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Refinishing a Mast


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#1 cheapshacht

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 02:50 AM

I want to refinish the aluminum mast and boom on my Wavelength 24 this winter. It looks like one of the previous owners used a flat white enamel paint on the mast. I don't know whether the mast is anodized under this paint or not. I want to refinish the mast with Awlgrip or Imron -- what is the best way to strip the mast of paint for a do-it-yourselfer? Chemical strip, sanding, sandblast? I've heard that Interlux 299 will take this paint off. Any suggestions on how to approach this would be helpful including the wisdom of refinishing with the 2 part LP.

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 03:02 AM

if you sand alluminum hard enough you will gouge it so i wouldnt sand. try mineral spirits with a small drywall mud knife. if yeah have a sand blaster that can hadle it, try it first cause alluminum has a tendancy to become more maluble over time so if you notice that the alliminum is being formed from the sand, you are gonna have to strip it by hand

#3 cheapshacht

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 03:12 AM

touch -- can I use a chemical stripper like Interlux Interstrip 299E? I've used it to remove bottom paint but I was told it would also be good for this job.

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 03:15 AM

yeah thats another route thats gonna be a lot less hands on demanding, id give that a try and see how some turns out

#5 crazyhorse

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 03:39 AM

Use chemical if you can but be careful of scrapping. Agree...do not sand, but for the same reason try not to scrape too much. Instead, let the chemical do most of the work.

Blasting is another good alternative, but be careful what they blast it with. They'll use a softer media to blast aluminum so it doesn't harm it. A pro will know what to use (walnut shells, glass beads?, I'm not really sure). I've always gone the chem route.

Once it's stripped, you MUST etch it and prep it for painting. There's a product called "Alumaprep" for that and the etching solution esacapes me right now, but I'll get that info later.

Awlgrip would DEFINITELY be the choice. Once it's on correctly, all you need to do is wash it with soap and water. No waxing, no nothing! (like my grammer?) And it's durable as hell.

Good luck.

52

#6 Recidivist

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 03:54 AM

Au contraire (or something like that!).

I had my boom sandblasted and it ended up quite pitted and more work to get a decent finish. But I sanded the mast and that worked fine. I used 80 grit on a finishing sander and it didn't take long at all. Because of the convex shape of the surface, only a small area is being abraded at a time and the work goes pretty quickly. On a small section mast, I've previously just hand sanded. Don't press hard so you don't get scratches, and run over with 120 grit after. I prefer elbow grease to chemicals! I'd be especially cautious using a strong caustic paint stripper on aluminium - pin holes in the mast wall indicate imminent expense! :blink:

Once you have removed the paint, a good etch primer (2 part is best) is a good idea (but because the surface has been abraded you could probably skip this step, except that it's essential if there's any surface contamination). Follow that with a 2 pack primer/undercoat and a PU topcoat. Awlgrip is certainly one of the best, but you may need to use their own undercoat.

R

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 03:56 AM

that is a good idea, it all depends like you said on the condition the metal is in, it could scratch with sandpaper or it could be tough as nails, thats a call you can make once you have started working

#8 crazyhorse

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 04:42 AM

The problem with sanding is that you are actually removing aluminum from the mast...albeit, it could be a small amount if done correctly. Also, because the rig is convex and the sander flat, you're run the risk of messing with the overall intended shape of the foil....again, a miniscule amount if done correctly, but an amount nonetheless. Would you notice the difference, or would it react differently?...probably not, but as an engineer, it would fuck with my anal, obssessive-compulsive mind the whole time...I'd always be wondering ^_^

#9 Recidivist

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 04:53 AM

it would fuck with my anal, obsesive-compulsive mind the whole time...I'd always be wondering ^_^

That explains a lot! :lol: :lol:

Seriously though, masts are usually T6 temper and you won't remove material unless you are trying to.

BTW - I meant to say that the "flat" paint probably was gloss to start with, but has chalked from UV over time. I had to refinish mine because I was sick of getting white stuff all over me every time I touched the friggin' thing!

Cheers

R

#10 GRUMPY

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 05:09 AM

I've done a couple, light whip blast or machine sand 120g, WASH thoroughly wax & grease remover, silicone off or some such, wash again...and once more to be sure. Etch with acid, ali brite, good etch primer (2 pack) and finish coat. Most of the big name paint companys will have a "brushing thinner" to suit their product if your not in a situation to spray. We use a flatting base to remove gloss

Me, I'd leave it, paint on ali masts always facks up in a couple of years and all the chips and scratches look shitty

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 06:34 AM

I'm with Grumpy - get the old stuff off by stripper, then sand, and then use Tectyl 151 - it's a clear coating for alluminium that some spar makers around here use (that's them wot's not got an anodising tank) - dries clear, looks good, and in about 2 years, you give it another coat.

#12 AYACHT

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 12:29 PM

Interlux 299 works just fine. Sanding with 220 is fine! Sanding will not hurt the mast!

1.Clean the whole mast down with Acetone
2. take a damp spung and lightly wipe the whole mast with US Paints Alumiprep #73001
3. Rinse off mast
4.Take a damp spong and wipe a light coat of Alodine #73003 on the whole mast.
5. Clean with lots of freash water.

No primer needed.

Paint with Awlgrip.

#13 Becalmed

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 01:13 PM

I've seen some done in Melamime paint, cheaper and easier to use than awlgrip, and it looked great. Caveat to the cost..... your prep work will cost more in man hours than the cost of paint would ever be.

#14 Fishbone

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 01:37 PM

Did our mast on an Andrews 26 with iook industrial paint remover. Took time but didn't scratch the mast. Just plan on taking your time so you don't gough the surface. I would stay away from painting again as it will just get beat up over time.

#15 Pointy End

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 01:37 PM

If you're determined to use Awlgrip (US Paint) find an Awlgrip users/product guide at WM (or such) and follow the instructions for aluminum for prepping, priming, topcoating to clearcoat....Brushing...not spraying. The instructions are step by step with all materials that you'd need listed right there.

I did a Lindenberg 22 mast and boom Matterhorn White. (along with the rest of the boat) a few years ago and it turned out beautifully. The original mast and boom were anodized black.

545 primer will bond to aluminum like no other and its very easily prepped.

A WL 24 mast and boom should be easily balanced and supported between sawhorses then easily brushed or sprayed.

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 01:40 PM

For stripping, get lazy and cheap and go the hardware store and get the Jasco paint stripper. I've used it many times, it is much cheaper and does no harm to the mast.

#17 cheapshacht

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 03:20 PM

For stripping, get lazy and cheap and go the hardware store and get the Jasco paint stripper. I've used it many times, it is much cheaper and does no harm to the mast.

Slacker -- is Jasco a chemical stripper? Have you used it on masts or booms?

#18 cheapshacht

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 03:24 PM

Interlux 299 works just fine. Sanding with 220 is fine! Sanding will not hurt the mast!

1.Clean the whole mast down with Acetone
2. take a damp spung and lightly wipe the whole mast with US Paints Alumiprep #73001
3. Rinse off mast
4.Take a damp spong and wipe a light coat of Alodine #73003 on the whole mast.
5. Clean with lots of freash water.

No primer needed.

Paint with Awlgrip.

AYACHT -- thanks much for the advice. why did you alodine the mast if you were going to paint it? I assume the Alumiprep is an acid etch so the alodine is used in leue of the primer.

#19 cheapshacht

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 03:36 PM

How durable are single part polyurethanes like Interlux Brightside on masts? Seems like that would be a lot easier to apply but probably less abrasion resistant than the two part poly's. Anyone use a single part poly paint on a mast? If so, how long before the paint was all f'd up, especially near the spin track?

Oh, another question. When I replace halyards, I always use the old halyard or a messenger line. When you remove the halyards to refinish the mast, what is the easiest way to rethread the new halyards down the top of the mast through the halyard exit plates on the side of the mast. I was thinking of using a small fishing line sinker on a thin messenger line, then tie to the halyard and pull it through.

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 03:42 PM

I had mast, boom, and spreaders for my Wilderness 21 blasted and powdercoated (red), and they came out fantastic. Cost me about $350 here in Vegas, but considering time, materials such as stripper and paint, I thought it was well worth it. Also did winch drums at the same time, $6.00 each to strip and coat.

#21 BtC

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 03:45 PM

Oh, another question. When I replace halyards, I always use the old halyard or a messenger line. When you remove the halyards to refinish the mast, what is the easiest way to rethread the new halyards down the top of the mast through the halyard exit plates on the side of the mast. I was thinking of using a small fishing line sinker on a thin messenger line, then tie to the halyard and pull it through.

The sinker will only work if you stand the mast up (that is how I reran my topping lift. Use some kite string and a shop vac with the mast laying down. You can use a coat hanger to fish the lines out of the mast exits once you have them through the mast.

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 03:47 PM

A wire tape made for electrical work, available at Home Depot or Lowes for about $15.00 works fantastic. I just finished doing halyards, and with mast down this is a piece of cake.

#23 Walt

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 03:54 PM

Carl, call Bob.... He has very good insight into how you can do this and you might even get to use the boatyard.... Good luck

#24 ease hike trim

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 03:59 PM

I've sanded masts plenty. I also fully agree that sandblasting even with baking soda leaves a horribly pitted, dull finish. It's been my experience that 220 fre-cut with a 3M foam backing pad on a DA or orbital is the best solution if you want to maintain the anodizing (it's easy to see when you chirp through, as you get an unprotected, mirror finish). On my OD mast, which had chipping paint under spraypaint, I stripped all of the spraypaint chemically, then sanded the two-part paint, continuing through the anodozation, then triple-ought steel wooled it, then sealed it with paste wax. Saves a few pounds aloft and is the pimpest. More maintenance, though.

#25 cheapshacht

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 04:07 PM

Carl, call Bob.... He has very good insight into how you can do this and you might even get to use the boatyard.... Good luck

Walt, which Bob? Bob F? or Bob M?

#26 cheapshacht

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 04:09 PM

I had mast, boom, and spreaders for my Wilderness 21 blasted and powdercoated (red), and they came out fantastic.

I think the powdercoating will be heavier than the paint and I don't think I can find an oven that will cook a 34' mast, at least not easily.

#27 Walt

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 05:00 PM

Carl, there is only one Bob.... F of course.... He did the mast and boom on his current S2 and the previous Capri 25... Did nice work and had benefit of having good spray equipment..... For sample of his spray work go look at the bright red interlake that is over by the cranes... Very nice work.... Send me an email if you do not have his number.....

#28 AYACHT

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 05:29 PM

Interlux 299 works just fine. Sanding with 220 is fine! Sanding will not hurt the mast!

1.Clean the whole mast down with Acetone
2. take a damp spung and lightly wipe the whole mast with US Paints Alumiprep #73001
3. Rinse off mast
4.Take a damp spong and wipe a light coat of Alodine #73003 on the whole mast.
5. Clean with lots of freash water.

No primer needed.

Paint with Awlgrip.

AYACHT -- thanks much for the advice. why did you alodine the mast if you were going to paint it? I assume the Alumiprep is an acid etch so the alodine is used in leue of the primer.

Alodine does the work of the primer but does not add weight.

out of the Awlgip Application instructions

"Alodine- Chrome conversion coating-The coating formed by Alodine is gold in color and it becomes part of the aluminum surface. This chrome conversion coating provides an excellent substrate for paint adhesion and corrosion resistance."

I can fax you the aplication instructions if you like.

Doug

#29 Great Red Shark

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 06:17 PM

I got great results refinishing a 15 year old 36 foot Kenyon aluminum mast - lots of knowledgable sailors asked if we got a new rig and the finish has held up well in the inverveining 7 years - no chalkng despite serious UV at this latitude.

Paint only looks as good as the preparation.

Sanded with a DA & 150 grit, filled nicks & unwanted holes with epoxy.
Washed throughly
acid etched
Alodyne prepped
primer srayed
light sanding
Awlgrip

Did all the sand and prep work, had local yard pull the trigger on painting & was a very reasonable cost. They did the boom & spreaders at the same time.

Re-ran all halyards with mast down, using the backstay to 'fish' the messenger lines, then pull tight so as not to create crosses.

#30 snoochie poochie

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 08:31 PM

sand 220 key is a nice dynabraid air sander, light pressure, even coverage
sand 320
use heat and super fine sandblast for those "hard to reach places"
fill
sand filler
alodine
alumiprep
prime
awl grip top coat 2-3 coats supa thin

thats the ticket

#31 WillieCrear

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 10:10 PM

That Wavelength 24 is a nice looking boat in profile. I checked it out on your website:

http://www.futurelin...ling/cheap.html

I sail an S2 7.9, which looks like half of your competition, out of the Wayzata Yacht Club, on Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota.

I also sail my A scow, and the carbon fibre spar had a 'gravity storm' on Lake Winnebago this summer.

Coming home, I pulled the old alumninnium spar out of the rafters of the garage, but I couldn't bear to put that thing back up looking like it did. Been rode hard, banged up, put away wet, as they say. It is 20 years old.

All the hardware was off anyway, for storage. I got a Makita DA Palm Sander from friend Richie (BIGDICK on Anarchy), and sanded it all down. All this worry about changing wall thicknesses on the aluminum is absurd. It would be nice if it took it down that fast; it ain't like that dentist's drill running at 250,000 RPM. You can see what you are doing.

I had two guys who are professional painters on my A crew, so I had any equipment available to me that I wanted. What did I do? Went to Navarre True Value Hardware, bought my exact paint match (White), and painted it...with Krylon!

I am not making this up.

I spent the most time in preparation at the first spreader and below, because that is the part of the spar that one can see easily from the deck.

Even partner Kevin Caulfield, who races on the 'A' with laundered, pressed, yellow Bermuda shorts, thought it looked great.

Cost of sander, about $60.

Cost of sandpaper, about $5.

Cost of Krylon, about $20.

Weight aloft? Come on now; the pictures of your boat show the motor on your transom while racing (get that @#$%*& thing OFF of there, and put it below), and two meatballs sitting on the CABIN TOP, one of them is STANDING UP! You're sailing on the Potomac, not in the Gulf Stream, paint weight aloft is a non-issue. Those S2 7.9s should be hull down over the horizon behind you, not in the same picture frame. You weigh 2500 pounds, they weigh 4600 pounds.

Oops, sorry...you asked about mast paint, not racing technique. Nice web site, though.

More good news: when you use the Krylon, you have an exact paint match for touch-up in every hardware store in the country.

Let any paint job bake on...in that merciless Maryland sun. Plenty of time between painting and re-stepping is probably the most important thing that you can do to keep the freshly repainted spar looking good, no matter what type of paint you use. Don't re-step it when the paint is still 'green'.

Contact me directly through this site if you wish.

-Willie

#32 cheapshacht

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 11:31 PM

That Wavelength 24 is a nice looking boat in profile. I checked it out on your website:

Weight aloft? Come on now; the pictures of your boat show the motor on your transom while racing (get that @#$%*& thing OFF of there, and put it below), and two meatballs sitting on the CABIN TOP, one of them is STANDING UP! You're sailing on the Potomac, not in the Gulf Stream, paint weight aloft is a non-issue. Those S2 7.9s should be hull down over the horizon behind you, not in the same picture frame. You weigh 2500 pounds, they weigh 4600 pounds.

Oops, sorry...you asked about mast paint, not racing technique. Nice web site, though.

Willie, thanks for the kind words on the web site and the excellent advice on racing technique. You are correct that we should be well ahead of the S2's -- at least in theory. One of the S2 7.9's in our club (not the one pictured) is sailed by Bob Fleck -- he travels from FL to Canada competing in local, regional, and national events. He is an excellent sailor and nearly impossible to beat! I've had my WL24 for less than a year and I had never sailed on the Potomac River until this year, so, for a boat and venue that is new to me, I think we've done pretty well. Certainly better than we expected -- we did take home some silver this year.

The meat .., er, crew on the cabin top is to get the weight out of the ass end of the boat. The winds were extraordinarily lite that night and there was no need for them to be on the rail -- I thought we needed a little heel on the boat. Not a good decision? Anyway, I may be out to lunch here, but I think our sail trim and the boat trim looked pretty good - especially compared to the S2 behind me. We botched the start the night we sailed that race -- we recovered a lot of distance but not enough. We finished 4th that night and the S2 7.9 corrected to 3rd.

Relative to the motor ... yeah, yeah, I know. Everyone keeps the motor on the transom, even my fellow WL24 in the club. Shit, it's only Tuesday night racing. But, you're right. I'm looking for a lighter motor so that I can pull off and stow below. The motor isn't slowing us down now, the skipper is!!

#33 WillieCrear

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 12:46 AM

That Wavelength 24 is a nice looking boat in profile.  I checked it out on your website:

Weight aloft?  Come on now; the pictures of your boat show the motor on your transom while racing (get that @#$%*& thing OFF of there, and put it below), and two meatballs sitting on the CABIN TOP, one of them is STANDING UP!  You're sailing on the Potomac, not in the Gulf Stream, paint weight aloft is a non-issue.  Those S2 7.9s should be hull down over the horizon behind you, not in the same picture frame.  You weigh 2500 pounds, they weigh 4600 pounds.

Oops, sorry...you asked about mast paint, not racing technique.  Nice web site, though.

Willie, thanks for the kind words on the web site and the excellent advice on racing technique. You are correct that we should be well ahead of the S2's -- at least in theory. One of the S2 7.9's in our club (not the one pictured) is sailed by Bob Fleck -- he travels from FL to Canada competing in local, regional, and national events. He is an excellent sailor and nearly impossible to beat! I've had my WL24 for less than a year and I had never sailed on the Potomac River until this year, so, for a boat and venue that is new to me, I think we've done pretty well. Certainly better than we expected -- we did take home some silver this year.

The meat .., er, crew on the cabin top is to get the weight out of the ass end of the boat. The winds were extraordinarily lite that night and there was no need for them to be on the rail -- I thought we needed a little heel on the boat. Not a good decision? Anyway, I may be out to lunch here, but I think our sail trim and the boat trim looked pretty good - especially compared to the S2 behind me. We botched the start the night we sailed that race -- we recovered a lot of distance but not enough. We finished 4th that night and the S2 7.9 corrected to 3rd.

Relative to the motor ... yeah, yeah, I know. Everyone keeps the motor on the transom, even my fellow WL24 in the club. Shit, it's only Tuesday night racing. But, you're right. I'm looking for a lighter motor so that I can pull off and stow below. The motor isn't slowing us down now, the skipper is!!

You're lucky to have good competition locally with the likes of Fleck and his 7.9. Watch what he does, and imitate him, and ask him what he did afterward. When you start beating him, you can survive anywhere. Fleck is the 2004 MORC Champion. The 7.9 I sail on is Jerry Wintheiser's #517 Tuesday, which was the 1999 MORC Champion, steered, I think, by The Doctor, Mark Christensen. I was not on board that week.

On the positioning of Meatballs...I am blonde, blue-eyed, 5'-11", 215 pounds, so that qualifies me as a Swedish Meatball. Sometimes I steer, when the Doctor is aboard I crew, and you are right in keeping them forward; what really makes the boat rock is having them on the cabin house; get their butts down onto the non-skid on the side decks. What is probably happening on the 7.9 in that picture is someone decided to adjust the outhaul, or some such thing, and stood up to do it, which is ridiculous. Keep the crew of any little boat like these down on the deck; I have set the pole on the bear-away sets from a sitting position on the 7.9. If you are 5'-11", it is no problem. When I am steering, the crew knows better than to stand up downwind; with the 7.9 board mostly up, the boat is very tender. Your boat is very light, so it will be severely impacted by crew movement as well. Usually on light air downwinds, I lie right down on the deck; low, low, low.

You're certainly right about the light air heel; it helps to shape the sails. When the wind comes on, keep it as flat as possible upwind and down.

Bad starts? Make it a point to jump the gun on your next start. You'll be amazed at how many races it takes you to finally accomplish an OCS, and since you'll be in clear air and moving fast, it is no big deal to get back to re-start. Sure beats hanging out in the third tier of a two-tier start, oxygen masks dropping out of the boom. By your own words, the only rigging problem is the loose nut on the end of the tiller. We all have that problem....

Lose that motor!

Cheers, Willie

#34 cheapshacht

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 01:25 AM

You're lucky to have good competition locally with the likes of Fleck and his 7.9. Watch what he does, and imitate him, and ask him what he did afterward. When you start beating him, you can survive anywhere. Fleck is the 2004 MORC Champion. The 7.9 I sail on is Jerry Wintheiser's #517 [i]

Bad starts? Make it a point to jump the gun on your next start.

By your own words, the only rigging problem is the loose nut on the end of the tiller. We all have that problem....

Lose that motor!

Fleck has been very generous to us this year. He has sailed several races with us on cheap shacht, especially around the beginning of the season, to orient us to the Potomac River and to show me, the skipper, that the boat isn't the excuse for doing poorly on the race course!! When he skippers the boat, we do do a horizon job on the fleet! He has a crack crew sailing for him, including his lovely wife, and I was fortunate to crew for them at Screwpile in Solomons. Learned alot. Always learning.

Starts aren't normally my problem -- I'm pretty aggressive at the starts. The crew and I just need to learn the boat, learn the River, be aggressive about cleaning the bottom, and get in sync. I also need a good tactician ....

#35 Guest Anarchist Wilderness21_*

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 08:33 PM

I had mast, boom, and spreaders for my Wilderness 21 blasted and powdercoated (red), and they came out fantastic. Cost me about $350 here in Vegas, but considering time, materials such as stripper and paint, I thought it was well worth it. Also did winch drums at the same time, $6.00 each to strip and coat.

I think I just bought this boat -- there can't be many Wilderness 21's with a red mast & red winch drums. Was the boat's name Coyota?

#36 hammonegg

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 10:31 PM

I want to refinish the aluminum mast and boom on my Wavelength 24 this winter. It looks like one of the previous owners used a flat white enamel paint on the mast. I don't know whether the mast is anodized under this paint or not. I want to refinish the mast with Awlgrip or Imron -- what is the best way to strip the mast of paint for a do-it-yourselfer? Chemical strip, sanding, sandblast? I've heard that Interlux 299 will take this paint off. Any suggestions on how to approach this would be helpful including the wisdom of refinishing with the 2 part LP.

Cheap,
Go to the Wavelenght 24 site on Yahoo.
Ron Sailor, from Goose is a professional painter who did Goose's mast a couple of years ago and can give you the lowdown.

Kipp Hammon

#37 cheapshacht

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 12:45 AM

Cheap,
Go to the Wavelenght 24 site on Yahoo.
Ron Sailor, from Goose is a professional painter who did Goose's mast a couple of years ago and can give you the lowdown.

Kipp Hammon


Kipp, thanks for the recommendations. We painted the mast and boom last year. But, unfortunately, I just sold the boat about a month ago. The better half and I have decided to move up to a bigger boat in the spring.

cheap

#38 soling2003

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 04:21 AM

I repainted our spars in 1999 along with the rest of the boat. Sanded off all the old paint, preped following awlgrips recommendations and then few coats of topcoat. They all came out great. Still looking pretty good, just acouple of spots near the batten pockets on the main have worn down a bit. If you are using awlgrip, follow their directions to the t and you will be fine.

As far as halyards go, just leave some light line inside so you don't have to rethread them. If the butt is open, you can tie them off down there, then just fish them out of the exits when down.

Just make sure to let it dry thoroughly before stepping. Good luck!




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