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King’s Pride Refit Blog

Painting the mast.

by Mike Beemer | Dec 15, 2020

Painted Boom Part

We had only planned to remove the mast, re-rig, new wire, and put back up – simple, As if…. Once we had it down in the shop, we all agreed it really needed to be painted. Yes, it was a nice warm space but prepping a mast for paint was an immense amount of work.  Removing everything from the mast took over a week’s worth of work!

Stainless steel and aluminum for about 40 years amounts to a lot of corrosion and stuck fasteners. The impact driver was our best friend. Once it was stripped and bare, we had to sand the entire thing! While sanding the rigging class has measured and ordered all the parts for new standing rigging. Currently being assembled in the rigging shop with our instructor Quinn. In the end it was totally worth it, the mast turned out amazing! Out friend and master painter Michael, from Rolfing’s Yacht Painting helped us out. He said, we could paint it any color we wanted, as long as it was white 🙂 he had plenty of extra white paint that saved us a great deal of money, we like that!!!

SS frame

We built a temporary paint booth using cordage from our heat shrink kit, a few temporary frames, the building, and our forklift. We had everything ready to go when Mike showed up to paint and it was assembled in about 30 minutes. Everything went smooth and the paint turned out perfect!

mast ready to paint

Mast is sanded and ready for paint, after an acid bath!

Temp paint Booth

Even inside, we needed a paint booth. Didn’t take too much to build the structure. Easier when it’s inside and we don’t have any wind or weather to contend with.

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How do I paint my anodized aluminum mast?

It is difficult to paint over anodizing. If it is in very poor shape remove it before painting. To paint anodized first degrease using Fiberglass Solvent Wash 202. Then give it a heavy sanding using 60 or 80-grit sandpaper. Apply one coat of InterProtect 2000E (Thinned 15-20% with 2316N Reducing Solvent). Allow to dry overnight and apply a second coat of either Epoxy Primekote (thinned 25%) or Pre-Kote primer. Sand and apply Perfection (if using Epoxy Primekote) or Brightside (if using Pre-Kote).

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Repainting mast and boom

  • Thread starter Dalliance
  • Start date Mar 18, 2008
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The spars on my 1982 Hunter 30 were originally painted white by the manufacturer. Over the years the P.O. added a couple additional coats and last summer all three, but mostly what remained of the 26 year old original coat, started peeling badly - exposing bare aluminum. At haul out last fall I unstepped the mast with the intention of stripping and repainting it myself this spring. Then I did the research I should have done first and realized it's a bigger job than I will have time to take on myself this year, so I got a cost estimate for the work today from Lakeshore Marine. They were recommended by the yacht yard. It's good I was sitting down at the time because it's a bit more than I expected. $4,616.17 to be exact. They propose to chemically strip, etch, prime and paint the 40 foot mast, boom & spreaders with Awlgrip. The breakdown is $3,570 for 42 hours labor @$85/hour, $959.79 for supplies & materials, and $86.38 tax. At that price, it won't happen this year. Or next. Oh well, it's a good time to give the standing rigging a good inspection anyway. So, that said, I have three questions for everyone: First, does this sound like a reasonable, fair price for this work? Second, is Awlgrip the right choice or is it overkill for this job? And third, can any of you recommend someone less expensive in the Chicago area?  


You can probably get it anodized for less than that.  

Rich (P303)

Rich (P303)

sounds about right... for a boatyard... your getting screwed @ 85 an hour. Somebody will go out there and tell the High School kids what to do... until it's time for the awlgrip. I would go the anodized route... if you can find someone that can handle that length. Sounds like a project.  

Big Job James - Thats about right. It took me about 4 weekends to do the job myself not counting the evenings I put in disassembling and reassembling my boom in the basement over the winter. Sanding and paintings is actually the easy part.....disassembling and reassembly takes a lot of work and detail. I used imron which is similar to Awlgrip - but you will find many opinions on that (both 2-part types coatings). I also replaced all the wiring and hardware which added extra time to the project so perhaps you can do it in less time. I am not familiar with anodizing as mentioned here. My recco if your going to use paint and DIY - go for a quality 2-part paint and just roll-n-tip it on. You will give up some of the shine but it will be minimal. Its a mast / boom - not a hull where you would really want a wet-finish shine. Good luck - Rob  

Bill Coxe

Mast/boom maintenance When the boom on my O28 started exhibiting signs of deterioration, I removed it, took it home, wirebrushed the daylights out of it after removing as many fixtures as I could, wiped it down with acetone and hit it with an aluminum outdrive spray primer paint, then gave it two coats of off-white rustoleum. I don't remember the total cost, but it held up for at least the three years until I sold it. FWIW, Bill Coxe, O40 Kukulcán, New Bern, NC  

New Mast? I did mine last year when I had the rigging replaced. Decided to do it myself after an estimate similar to yours. Did it in 3 weekends but it was a LOT of work. Halfway through the job my rigger suggested that it would cost about the same to replace with a new mast and I would end up with a new spar. I didn't check on price but he said he has replaced several for about the same price (or even less ) than having the yard do the painting. Might be worth a check. Down time would probably be a factor.  

Ed Schenck

Joseph Shirley

I did my mast last year I had to unstep my mast to truck my boat back from Mexico and thought it was a good time to redo the paint job on the mast since it hadn't been done in 10 years. The boat yard at that time had a rate of $65/hr and I winced at their estimate. Fortunately for me they were extremely busy and their mast paint shed was stuffed with stuff so they suggested that I do all the prep work which I did. They ended up just spraying the mast with Sterling (similar to Awlgrip) and it only cost a few hundred dollars. My problem was that they didn't finish there part of the deal for almost 3 months which cost me most of the sailing season. I was unhappy at the time but feel a little better about it now that some time has passed and it still looks good. See if they will let you do the prep. A few days, A couple of gallons of paint remover, some sandpaper, some tarps, and a few beers and sandwiches for some help, could save you a bundle.  

You can save a lot if ... you do it yourself. Having the time and the place to do it is a big factor, though, and you will have to pay for those commodities if you don't have them. I'm assuming that transporting a 40' mast to your basement is a problem. When I did the job, I was able to get our 33' mast home to do the job and it took at least the 42 hours that they quote; but, I expect that they could be much more efficient with their time. What if you took the boom and the spreaders home and did them yourself ... that could save something. I guess I would start out by asking a lot of questions. Will they let you remove all the hardware and sand (I sanded rather stripped the old paint off)the spars? Maybe you can cut down on the hourly rate if you can do the prep work. Like somebody said, much of the work will take no skill so maybe there could be some negotiation on that end of the work. Having said that ... are they removing all the hardware rather than painting around it? I would clarify that. There were some parts that were rivited on to the mast and boom with some pretty substantial stainless steel rivits and I really didn't want to mess with that so I took the short cut and worked around those few parts (the spreader ears and the vang attachment). I would expect that they would be prepared to remove them but I would ask the question just the same. Will they fix the hours or is it just an estimate? They could easily spend more hours doing this job, especially if they use cheap, inefficient labor for the prep work. You don't want to be paying $85 per hour when they go over the hours budgeted because the were using some kids that weren't all that efficient. You want to do this with a 2-part primer and 2-part surface paint. I don't know if Awlgrip is the premier product or not. I used Interlux Perfection and love the result. The price for supplies seems way too high. The products are expensive but you don't need that much. You won't need even a quart of the etching primer so that should cost less than $50. You need to spend about $200 for the 2-part primer and surface. I think I got a quart of primer and 2 quarts of Perfection. I had plenty of primer left after 2 coats and I put on at least 4 coats of the surface just to use it up. My memory is a little fuzzy because I bought a quart of each to do the boom one year and it was good for the next year when doing the mast, except that I had to buy another quart of Perfection to finish the mast at about $65 per quart. Unless you are buying other parts or supplies, $900 for paint is about 3 times too much. What else do they need to provide? With your 40' stick, and the boom, I would think that you could get multiple coats of the final product with 2 to 3 quarts tops. I bet you would need only 1 quart of the 2-part primer and 1 quart of the etching primer. I would ask those questions and be armed with the price per quart from any retailer. I WOULD encourage you to find a way to get this job done. The improvement is really noticeable and you will be happy. Failing to get the price down, maybe new spars are a better alternative!  

Thanks everyone. This is real good input from a lot of experienced people. I think my next step will be to ask a lot of questions about what I would really be getting for this price and then see were negotiation gets me. It's really helpfull to see your responses before I do that. You've also pointed out several options I had not thought of.  

Warren Milberg

Warren Milberg

A few years ago, I watched the pro's in our yard here on the Chesapeake take a huge mast down off of a Hans Christian. Not sure how long it was, but it looked like a telephone pole when they laid it out on horses near my slip. Since I had to walk by it every time I sailed, I watched the work and progess. They removed all the hardware (lots of it...)and the old paint, then prepped the surface (not sure of the method), then Algripped it in ivory. It looked spectacular. Whenever I see a job like this, I always ask myself if I could (1) do it myself and (2) if so, could I replicate the results. Both answers were clearly "no." I don't know what that job cost, but am sure it was a bundle. But it sure was worth it to whoever the owner was.  


not sure why I am replying Scotty, engage the safety shield. Aye, Captain. I used to anodize aluminum tanks. We used an acid that ate into the metal. Two coatings did the trick. You will have to find a place in Chicago that does it to find out what type of acid it was. Believe me, anodizing is a simple job. Why bother? A. You are on a fresh water lake. B. The mast was painted once before and probably still has paint on it. C. Why not lightly sand it and repaint it? D. Lightly sanding will most likely take any anodizing off. Maybe. So if it does, you should only have to do those areas. I'd just wash it and repaint it. You might want to call a few places that powder coat stuff and ask them if they could do a 40' pole or whatever the length is. Or, if you are handy, you could buy the stuff and do it yourself. However, I'd go with two part paint and roll and tip it.  

Thanks again - Letterman (and others), anodizing does intrigue me. I like the idea of letting aluminum look like what it is. I was actually hoping to find that the mast was originally anodized and the PO had just painted over it. That was not the case. Hunter confirmed that the mast was orignially painted by the spar manufacturer and was not anodized. Since Dalliance is one of the "Cherubini Hunters" designed by John Cherubini and thought of so fondly by many Hunter owners, I felt that I should stay true to the designer's intent and repaint the mast. That I felt that way is no doubt due to my also being a designer. Though of buildings, not boats. Given the first cost estimate and my limited time available this spring, the light sanding and Rustoleum route is tempting, but I think it would be a short term fix at best since it appears that most of the paint that is failing is the orignal manfacutrer's paint under the others. If the job is really done right, my gut instinct is that the stripping and prep work represents about 2/3 of the project cost and the net difference between anodizing and painting could be nominal. However, if I find that anodizing can really save me money, then forget the designer, I'll have to seriously consider it... And that makes me sound like one of my clients.  

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  • B & B Yachts Forum

painting aluminum masts

By Randy Jones September 23, 2019 in B & B Yachts Forum

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Randy jones.

I've tried to read every old post on painting aluminum mast.  Proper preparation is a consistent theme but I have a few questions:

1. Who's got an old mast paint job in good condition and how did you do it?

2. Do you prime and paint prior to attaching the sail track? 

3. Do you leave the B&B aluminum track unpainted?

My current plan is to degrease, sand, and immediately spray with 3 coats self etching aluminum primer. Then prime with System 3 Silver Tip primer and top coat with Systems 3 white LPU.  Since I don't a have a spray gun the self-etching primer will be from a spray can, the Silver Tip and LPU will be brush and roller.  

I'd appreciate guidance.  

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I did what you did....except with awlgrip products and was all roll and tip. Paint has done well for approx. 3 years. Chips/rubs off in high friction areas (mast tube opening/bottom). Also bubbles around screws etc that were not initially sealed.

I put on sail track after painting. Would not paint, as that would potentially affect the ease of hoisting the sails. I have limited experience...only my opinion.

Alan Stewart

I've seen some in great condition painted and I think the secret is not letting ANY salt water get to the aluminum after painting. Joe's EC-22 mast for example hasn't a flaw on it. He has the ss track. 

I plan to prime and paint my mast prior to attaching the track. I too want to try etching primer. In the past we've just cleaned the surface really well and went straight on with awlgrip 545 followed by topcoat without sanding between. a good spray job and the result is still pretty smooth and it beats sanding the primer by hand. 

The track itself is anodized clear so no need to paint it. 

I think you have a sound plan. If you wanted to you could put on all your hardware (or at least drill and deburr holes for it) then prime and paint in hopes of getting that last bit of primer needed to protect the aluminum. Bedding compound everything going down. I like butyl rubber for that. 


I used Amerlock 2/400 epoxy primer and Amercoat 450H two part polyurethane. Exactly same system I put on the boat. Got good mileage out of my paint cans that way. Not a marine paint as such but it is a GOOD stuff. Both were actually designed for metal application so the mast makes for a preferred application from manufacturer's point of view. Glass comes close second in my experience. Held up really well over 5 years. Sprayed the boat and rolled the masts. Installed hardware after painting, Used Tuffgell on screws.  PeterP

  • 2 weeks later...

Don Silsbe

I used Rustoleum products on my masts.  I took care to sand immediately before applying the etching primer.  The paint is holding up very well after four years’ use, with one exception.  The high stress areas around the base are too much for this paint.  As you can see, it has chipped off.  Everywhere else, it looks perfect.  Not sure if any paint could withstand this stress.  If I were to do something differently, it would be to not paint this part of the mast.


I was thinking of drilling the holes for the new aluminum sail track before taking the masts over to be locally powder coated. Has anyone gone down this road?

I still plan to use tuffgel upon mounting the track, but I think the spars should be pretty well protected with exceptions of excessive wear i.e. snotter.

I retract my previous post due to my oversight in searching earlier posting topics on powder coating. I found insightful information which is leading me to rethink the opinion of painting as per Don’s process using Rustoleum or similar.

Another option would be to have the tubes anodized before applying the fiberglass collars and installing the track. Graham has been collecting sulfuric battery acid thinking he might try some diy anodizing in his "extra" spare time. We probably all know about that mythical concept (spare time).  


I have hollow bird's mouth Douglas Fir masts.  I like everything about them except they are a bit heavy to step.  I still do fine, but I can see the day I won't want to lift them any more.  My next set of masts are possibly going to be thin wall wooden masts with a carbon sleeve epoxied over them.  Graham says he has done the math, and this will meet spec. Another thought I had was to build a thinner wall aluminum mast and epoxy the carbon sleeve over it.  Would this be strong enough?  I figure by plugging, the sealed sleeve and epoxy it would make the mast water tight.  Then by bedding all hardware to the epoxy it would end up very light and float.  Does anyone with knowledge of carbon, epoxy and aluminum have any thoughts on this?

What's the latest thinking regarding the "ramps" under the sail track where it spans from one aluminum tube size to another?  Do you build these up with thickened epoxy before track installation or is there an easier way?   I seem to be making this harder then necessary.   


I made some ramps with epoxy.  There wasn't much to it, pretty simple, especially on the joints that had the taped gasket, since I let that run out some into the exposed section of the smaller tube.  Looked nicer that way. 

We have been using some packing tape under the track and clamping it down into a bed of thickened epoxy and cleanout the squeeze out which forms a nice even wedge. Some choped up glass mixed in would add some strength (less britttleness). 

Nick C

For what it's worth: I made long tapered ramps out of Starboard, bedded all with 3M 4200, and I also used Rustoleum products. What I wish I had done differently is to make an attractive taper all the way around the mast to conceal the steps between sections. I have admired masts where folks did that. Maybe that is a revision to try when repainting is needed.

  • 3 months later...

Does anyone have a picture or two of these tapered ramps?  Or maybe a close up of a mast joint that supports the track well.  

There is some more explanation of the ramp at the end of this video from the sailtrack page. There are quite a few ways to accomplish the ramps that we have used.

-Multi layers of fiberglass molded over the mast. as I did on the CS15 I built. video below.

-UHMW plastic strip shaped into a ramp. Like from a cutting board. 

-Simply using thickened epoxy as shown in video below starts at 8:10

Thank you for your great response to my request and the attached  videos.   They are well done and very helpful.

Best regards,


On 10/9/2019 at 8:55 AM, Hirilonde said: I have hollow bird's mouth Douglas Fir masts.  I like everything about them except they are a bit heavy to step.  I still do fine, but I can see the day I won't want to lift them any more.  My next set of masts are possibly going to be thin wall wooden masts with a carbon sleeve epoxied over them.  Graham says he has done the math, and this will meet spec. Another thought I had was to build a thinner wall aluminum mast and epoxy the carbon sleeve over it.  Would this be strong enough?  I figure by plugging, the sealed sleeve and epoxy it would make the mast water tight.  Then by bedding all hardware to the epoxy it would end up very light and float.  Does anyone with knowledge of carbon, epoxy and aluminum have any thoughts on this?  

You don't want carbon to directly contact aluminum. You could put a fiberglass sleeve over the aluminum first. Probably a better idea would be to start with foam, and cover that with carbon sleeves. I'm not sure how you would keep it straight. The issue with the thin-wall aluminum is that it won't significantly contribute to the strength of the mast, only to the weight. The carbon will carry the load until it fails, then the load will go to the aluminum, and that will fail. An all aluminum mast would likely be as light, and cheaper.

Windrider sells a carbon mast for their 16' boat that could possibly be adapted for your use. It's a little less than $1k US. It's in two pieces, so shipping to you would be possible, but probably not cheap. Probably a better idea for those in the US.

  • 5 months later...

I've nearly finished the mast that started this thread some nine months ago.  Finishing method was two coats Rustoleum self etching primer (spray can) followed by brushed on Systems 3 Silver Tip Yacht Primer finished off with brush applied Systems 3 Linear Polyurethane (LPU).  After a bit of a learning curve on the first mast the second one went smoothly.  The B&B mast kit was a great help. 

I'd probably skip the second primer next time as unnecessary but do everything else the same. I'm in isolation following Covid-19 exposure - healthy at day 9 with another 5 days to go.  Thankful to have my own isolation garage and a spouse that leaves me food and the occasional cold beer on the porch. 

Thanks everyone for the advice.  Looking forward to a test sail.  

@Alan Stewart — what do you plan to useon your CS20?  Devoe 2-part poly?  What about primer?

I think im going to try treating my mast tubes with an alodine cromate conversion coating. They make a "clear" alodine coating. This is a chem process like used on unpainted small aircraft. Or as a treatment before painting. The chemicals are a bit icky but its just brushed on or dipped and then rinsed off. The regular alodine leaves the aluminum a golden color which i dont think i want. If it works then i wont paint them just leave metallic.

I spoke to a guy recently who was in the mast and later aircraft business and this is what they do. There are lots of youtube vids on it mostly for prepping homemade aircraft for painting. 

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For the one-year report (PS, November 2009 ), testers evaluated abrasion resistance using a Scotchbrite scuff pad and 3 pounds of pressure; this test was conducted only on white paints. They used drops of dark tea (mimicking tannic acid, the culprit behind most waterline stains) to evaluate stain resistance.

Test Panel Findings

All of the topside paints that weve been monitoring fall into four categories: conventional enamel, modified enamels, two-part coatings, and water-based paints for marine use. Our tests found that when it comes to ease of application, the one-part products stole the show. But the highest marks for gloss, hardness, and durability went to the two-part polyurethane coatings.

Our intentional use of the term coating stems from the way these long-chain, polymer-linking paints behave. In essence, they are more of a catalyzed resin than conventional enamel. The latter loses solvent through evaporation during its curing process, while the former goes through a molecular crosslinking process that leads to both extra hardness and a wet-looking, high gloss. One thing we did notice in this field of super performers was that they come with some tradeoffs.

For example, industry leader Awlgrip (an Azko Nobel company) is the manufacturer of coating systems marketed for professional use only. Because their two lines of paints are available to the general public at West Marine and other retail chandleries, we included them in the test. These are not DIY coatings for the inexperienced, but the skilled and practiced DIYer-those already familiar with fiberglass repairs, applying epoxy primers, and fairing a surface, and who know what sanding to perfection really means-may be ready to handle professional-grade products like Awlgrip.

To determine coating hardness

The top-rated Awlgrip behaves much like the other two-part products in our paint reviews, and it delivers the very best results. The companys top-coat bifurcation gives users two different products and approaches to two-part painting, and its worth a closer look. The makers traditional two-part, high-solids, polyester-based linear polyurethane (LPU) coating is named Awlgrip and its acrylic, modified two-part polyurethane topcoat is Awlcraft. The latter is easier to handle and allows a user to fix flaws in the finish or spot repair damage that occurs at a later date. Sags, hangs, or a fly doing the backstroke just after the final coat is applied don’t result in as critical a failure as they do with Awlgrip. With Awlcraft, wet-sanding and touching up is not as much of a Michelangelo-level skill as it is with Awlgrip because Awlcraft is a bit softer and can be rubbed out and polished back to maximum gloss in the same manner automotive paints are handled. However, as with all softer acrylic-based LPUs, theres a drop in abrasion resistance when compared with polyester-based LPU paints like Awlgrip.

Between top-rated, top-priced Awlgrip and much softer, brush-friendly one-part enamels resides an interesting array of chemical innovation. Traditional enamels like those made by Z-Spar, Kirbys, and Sherwin-Williams delivered good initial gloss but most deteriorated over the three-year test run. The good news is that none suffered adhesion loss or excessive oxidation, and an open can of alkyd enamel doesn’t have the harsh chemical odor that two-parts have.

Interlux and Epifanes urethane modified enamels outpaced old-style paints and nudged ahead of Pettits EasyPoxy. West Marines Sea Gloss Pro also delivered great results. CrystaLacs Crabcoat was the only water-based product in our test, and from the start, gloss was not its strong suit. But Crabcoat does offer good adhesion, durability, and an attractive semi-gloss, and for those working inside or in tight confines, theres the bonus of a low VOC level. However, when it comes to comparing one- and two-part paints, its important to note that theres a significant performance gap between them.

After three years of testing, its become clear that two-part paints are in a league all their own. All two-part coatings we evaluated had more shine and better adhesion at the three-year point than any of the single-can options. That said, there was a grouping of top single-part urethane modified enamels that surprised us with their durability and, to a lesser extent, their shine.

Interluxs Brightside and Epifanes Mono-urethane are case in point, and in our third-year panel evaluation, they earned high marks as all-around paints when it came to ease of application and durability. Perhaps the best test of their tenacity was how well they held up on the cockpit sole of Technical Editor Ralph Naranjos Ericson 41. (See Field Test Results on right) These paints have endured 3 years of sailing travails plus the onslaught of icy winters and boiling hot summers. The gloss has diminished some, but their adhesive quality as nonskid paints and waterway topcoats has been impressive.

When all was said and done, theres no question that the professional approach to a two-part paint makeover yields the best-looking results. However, there are a few shortcuts that do work and a few that should be avoided. One-part urethane modified enamels like Brightside, Epifanes Mono-urethane, and Pettits Easypoxy deliver handling convenience and a surprisingly long-lasting finish. Boat owners who have mastered the handling challenges of a two-part LPU sprayed finish can get close to the like new look of a professional paint job. But keep in mind that these coatings contain aggressive solvents and other unfriendly chemicals. Covering up and wearing an appropriate respirator and eye protection are part of the process.

We were glad to see that results from our three-year panel testing showed a strong correlation to our field test findings. The winners in both test groups paralleled paints highlighted in previous years. One of the biggest surprises, however, was that traditional enamels held their own, retaining good adhesion, despite losses in gloss retention. On the panels, all of the paint products remained well adhered, but a few failures in the field could be linked to shortcuts in preparation. We demonstrated that those looking to lessen the chances of ending up with flaking and peeling paint should consider using an epoxy primer and above all, follow manufacturer surface prep guidelines as closely as possible.

Topside-Paint Endurance Test 3-Year Checkup

  • George Kirby Jr. Paint CO.
  • Sherwin-Williams
  • Signature Finishes
  • West Marine


This weekend I saw my first example of a “vinyl wrap” as a topside application, on a 50’ Fontaine Pajot (sp?) catamaran. Almost overnight the boat Was transformed from an ordinary, dated, white hulled cat, to a like-new boat in a striking gray finish. How does this system compare to other topside finishes like traditional gel coat and two part finishes?

Hello D.N.; thanks for the update on the topside paints but one question. I used EZpoxy polyurethane on my 1967 Morgan 24 this year and noted they offer the Performance Enhancer to increase hardness and durability. I used it as they advised and am happy with it thus far. The results are noticeably harder and cure faster and (for those who desire it) there is a higher gloss… Why have i heard nothing about the combination in various reviews including yours? It is an easy to work and forgiving topcoat…why no notice?

i am wondering about using an oil based exterior finish that is NOT a marine product… obviously these are much cheaper… any testing on this?

I have restored, modified, and repainted a few boats in my amature days. Full disclosure I am a former marine mechanic and have taught technologies for 20 years. Brightsides has been an overall disappointment to me. In 4 attempts at repainting my Bluenose 24, (my brother in law is a rough landing skipper) I only had the gloss come up once. The other three times the paint kicked too early or just cured dull. In putting an epoxy bottom coat on my Shark 24, with Pettit epoxy, that claims to cure even down to 5 celsius, the paint started kicking on the roller leaving a bumpy mess like a teen’s complexion. Pettit replaced the product and after exhaustive grinding off the previous mess, it happened again. Pettit is off my list forever. Epifanes has been my go to choice for my trawler yacht, a Mainship Mk1. It has been the best experience of them all. Using a roll and tip method, the brush strokes did not level out leaving noticeable lines up close. I contacted Epifanes Canada and they now recommend just rolling, and they are right. Just roll it on and it’s great. Yes the mono urethanes are softer, but they are so much more user friendly when rolling on. A factor when some drydock locations would not allow spraying without building a full enclosure. After my first season, a green dockhand caused a minor scratch with improper line handling. I called Epifanes and they advised just tape of a trapezoid shape around the scratch and repaint it. You will have to get real close to see the tape line. BAM! it worked just like they said. I now do not fear docking scratches as I know I can successfully with little fuss repair them during drydock times, or even afloat if need be. I have no investment in any of these products. I am Epifanes sold. Awlgrip is too fussy for a DIY boatyard job. Unless you want to fork out big bucks, accept the 4 foot test. If it looks great 4 feet away, be happy.

Total Boat on deck. A forty years old non skid started to erode. Sanding was almost impossible: it grinned all sand paper and the majority of wheels. I decided to deal extensively and degrease. And coat of Total primer ( same color as the original ) was applied. A second coat after two days did not offer nay adhesion advantage, using the metal comb scratch and peel testing method. It was followed by one coat of Total Boat Wet Edge (white) mixed with 33% Total Boat Non Skid ( Light grey to match the primer ). I added 50% of Interlux flattening agent. The result is very satisfying. I liked the non-skid : its material does not settle as much as other manufacturers like Petit. This system will be easy to maintain if necessary. It took 5 hours per coat on a 36ft deck, trapping included. The temperature was above 65F. and the humidity was low. There was high wind that accelerated the drying process. I’d be interested to read Practical Sailor writing on Total Boat products. This system was tested against test panels of Petit and Interlux. I did not see any major difference in adhesion nor ease of application.

Before tackling ANY large painting project, paint a few 1-to 2-foot panels, playing with rolling, tipping, and specifically, the working temperature and amount of thinner.

Never push the low temperatures or high humidity. Follow the instructions or the odds will incline against you. I avoid paint projects both spring and fall in cold climates–the weather is just not dependable enough. Instead, I target that part of the summer when the wind stinks anyway and sail in the off-season.

I’ve always been able to get the finish I wanted. I pick the weather, dial in the thinner, buy the best rollers and brushes, and prep ahead of time so that I can easily finish in one push.

As for non-marine finishes, Rustoleum Gloss Protective Enamel is dependable for little projects like brackets and backing plates. I always keep a can of white handy–exact color matching is not vital on small things. It takes fewer coats than yacht finishes and seem to hold up about as well. Every hardware store has it.

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Mast Painting

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I just got an estimate from the yard for painting the mast and boom it looks chipped and not very seamanlike at all. does 2500.00 seem like a bunch of money it''s only a thirty foot boat to break it down it goes like this lift time 150.00 labor 165.00 r&r standing rigging 220.00 prep and paint mast and boom 1485.00 plus 400.00 material thats a lot of paint? retune mast 110.00 this seems like a gotcha to me, I may be wrong, but I''am willing to be educated on this not sure I want to pay the price but willing to learn.  

best paint for sailboat mast

Kryst! For that kind of money I’d bet you could buy brand new sticks for your 30 footer, paint and all! For all it''s worth, why not paint it yourself? Someone out here''s got to know what kind of paint to use and how to prep the aluminum and existing paint (I doubt you''d expect to need the same results as found on the presidential yacht or the like). Besides, wouldn’t it make you that much more proud of ol’ Betsy to be able to say that you did it yourself? Just as a note, I painted my mast but that one''s wood. I used regular old Pittsburgh house paint and it is holding up great after better then 5 years of hard use! Pi  

Yikes! I was going to paint mine as well but after looking at you''re estimate I''m am definetely painting the mast myself. I pick up Don Casey''s book on sailboat refinishing and it covers mast painting, prepping, etching, priming, etc.. It''s pretty interesting reading if I say so myself. Then alls you need to do is pay riggers to remove/replace the mast, tune the rig and your off!  

For that matter, why pay for someone to step and unstep the mast? There are public rigs set up on either side of the bridges of the Shinnecock canal here on Long Island, and they''re very easy to use by just two people. If you''re in an area with a canal or other waterway with low bridges, you might have access to free rigs to pull and step masts too.  

Free lifts? Not here in the west..SF Bay that I know of. Pretty good..I''d go that route myself. Get the book on painting first. Lee  

best paint for sailboat mast

Holy mackerel!!!! If it''s aluminum and for that kind of money I think I would look into having it black anodized. You''ll never need it painted again. And if your mast sits on a step on deck you can step it yourself. I have a HD 27'' mast that I step everytime I take it out (trailered s/v). If it steps on the keel then you''ll need a lift. What would the cost of a new mast be?  

We repainted ours - it was painted originally and the paint was totally oxidized and missing in many areas. It is A LOT OF WORK. The money does not seem unreasonable. The paint is expensive (we had awlgrip - 2 coats) as are the acid washes (2) and the primers (3). You have to remove EVERYTHING that is removable. This takes a lot of time. You have to CAREFULLY label everything and drop it in ziploc bags or you will never get it put back together. You have to sand EVERY spec of paint off. You have to sand any corroded areas. Then you have to tape anything left that should not be acid washed (stainless fittings). Then you acid wash with one type of product. Then you acid wash with a different type. Then you have to get the first primer on within 3-6 hours of the last wash, which has to be done right after the first wash. The primer has to go on with time to dry before the dew point, so you have to start early. And you will work non stop for hours. Eat a large breakfast and get going. Then 2 more primers. Then you sand with 320 BY HAND. Then you can paint. We did all the work ourselves with the exception of the painting and priming. We paid a painter with a sprayer to spray the primers and the awlgrip. Don''t forget to do the spreaders, the boom, and the mast head. Still want to do it yourself? If you don''t do the prep and all the steps, why bother? It won''t last. $2500 seems cheap now that I''ve done it myself.  

sadie14 Whew!! I think I will take a nap!! Wondering why my wallet is lighter, my arms sore and this extra bag of screws? Everything you say is true, I just didn''t realize it until after I was done. Though, now it is the brightest, shiniest stick in the marina!! Well worth it. Oh, you forgot to warn them about the cost and time of the other projects that creep in like new mast wiring, new anchor and steaming lights (LED, of course, new deck lights..........  

You''re right, John. We also rewired, re-halyarded, re-rigged (ourselves, stayloc), re-lighted, greased winches, new screws on every re-used part. We love the results, but honestly, I would NEVER do it again. (Until I forget the pain.) It was a huge job - not to be undertaken lightly.  

Just had a 55'' main and 30'' mizzen painted.. quote from a good yard was for 2800 had big blow out when I got 7400 bill. Starting to think sometimes new is better than maintenance...but disposable mast<g>  

I have painted several masts. remove all the stuff you can, sand, prime & paint with a brush, roller or spray. Our best paint job was done with the roll & tip method using Brightside paint. The manifacturer instructions will lead you to a beautiful job. John  

mast painting Capt Sea Weed has got it right, sand with 80 grit then 220 then etching primer. I shot mine with urethane 2 part light grey it came out automotive finish just get a good prep its only aluminum  

I''m in the process of painting the mast on my Islander 30 as I type. Using International two part Interthane. I''ve done this before on a previous boat (12 years ago) and it still looks like new. It is a tough paint to apply right but the finish is great. The solvents and paints (prime wash, primer and finish) smell real bad. I''ve pretty well finished the boom, mast step and spreaders, starting next week on the 40 ft mast in the garage (keep the doors open through the laundry room and into the workshop!). The paint is expensive as are the thinners. I calculated that the entire paint job will cost be about $300.00. But it is an enormous amount of work. The mast is 25 years old and badly corroded. Lots of sanding and filling, let alone trying to get the stainless fittings off (can you say grinding and drilling?!?) And then while it''s down the wiring will be replaced, the halyards put inside, new lights and new rigging to go with the Harken furler. Lots of fun (and money!). Good luck.  

Ken, In my opinion 2500. is a very reasonable estimate for unstepping, stripping, preparing, painting, reassembling, restepping and retuning the rig. You would be well advised to take lots of pics or even video the mast and fittings before the disassembly starts wether you have it done by the yard or do it yourself. While the rig is down consider everything else you might want to do. Such as tri-color light, new wiring, antenna, lightning dissapter, conduit if you don''t have it now, etc. etc. Any mast work goes easier and faster when it''s laying on horses. Make sure that the threads of any fasteners that are added after the paint job are coated with an insulating material to prevent corrosion. Bottom line: this is a big job and you should be prepared to be involved every step of the way no matter who does the actual work. Good luck  

Thanks for all the input folks. I think I''ll try to do the mast next year,It''s 70 degrees today and the water is calling,besides the budget is shot for this year and I still have to find a source for teak in the bay area I''m just not use to paying ten a board foot for solid woods would a spruce or fir hold up on a grating?  

Ken, the only places I''ve found here in the Bay Area are 1. Axelrod & Co. Teak - 415-626-4949 2. Exotic Hardwoods & Veniers - 510-436-5702 3. Handloggers 305 Cutting Blvd., Richmond, CA 94804 Tollfree: 800-461-1969 Tel: 510-231-6190 3. McBeath Hardwoods -510-843-4390; 415-647-0782 4. White Bros. Lumber -510-261-1600 5. Woods Unlimited -510-895-5266 As far as I know and heard Spruce and Fir won''t hold up out there. It''s far too acidic.  

Check on a wood called Afromosia...same properties as Teak....same look....much cheaper!  

Geees!Here I was thinking about doing my mast and boom, also. It's 36 years old, an original Spartan on my Cape Dory 25'. I've done everything else on my boat, from top to bottom, and although I know it would be a lot of work, time and effort, I can't see how it would be all that expensive. On the other hand, maybe prices have gone up quite a bit since I last did a major project. Maybe I'll just get a 12VDC blender and start making some margaritas and think about this for a few years! Fair winds..... sailorsloopy  

Ken… When you finish your mast painting you’ll need something to make you chuckle…your search for teak reminded me of this story…A sailor in San Rafael called a local lumber company and asked if they carried teak wood. Oh si, senor, said the helpful clerk who answered the phone. We have lots of teak wood. Great, said the San Rafael sailor, I’ll be right down. When the sailor arrived at the lumberyard he found mahogany, rosewood and apitong but no teak. Frustrated he went to the front desk. Hi, he said, I called earlier and you said you had teak wood here but I can’t fine it. Oh pardon, senor… we have lots of teak wood. What kind do you want and how teak do you want it… one inch or two inch teak.  

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  1. Tips on Painting Your Peeling Mast

    Most painted masts are white and there are so many shades of the color that a perfect match is all but impossible. The best answer is to purchase the exact paint used the last time the spar was painted. If not, an "almost the same" color will look just fine and more importantly, corrosion will be halted dead in its tracks.

  2. Recommend Me a Mast Paint.

    Re: Recommend Me a Mast Paint. "... Bare Aluminum: Wipe the surface free of oil and grease with Pettit 120 Thinner. Remove oxidation and etch the surface with medium grit emery cloth; remove sanding residue. Apply one thin "wet" coat of 6455/044 Metal Primer; allow to dry at least two hours. Proceed with the first coat of Easypoxy.

  3. Revive Your Mast Like a Pro

    The right answer is to do everything possible to separate dissimilar metals. Putting a Delrin strip or dielectric PTFE tape between the hardware and the mast wall really helps. When installing larger stainless steel hardware on a mast, it's easy to cut out a gasket from a sheet of 30 mil thick Teflon.

  4. Painting an Old Aluminum Mast

    Jay Tracy. Mar 17, 2004. #5. Painting an old alum. mast. We repainted our alum. mast but used a different approach as suggested by a rigger. He suggested we wet sand the mast, wash it off, treat it with alum. prepainting solution and paint it with Krylon clear enamel.

  5. Mast painting

    I did the mast on my 26 footer thirty years ago. Used two-part epoxy paint (Awlgrip). Removed all the mast hardware, sanded it down to bare metal, used the proper etcher and primers, and applied a few coats of paint. Sold the boat a few years later, then saw it about 20 years later and the mast looked great. Anything less than properly applied ...

  6. Painting an aluminum mast

    After a rough surface prep you will want to use Alumiprep (acid etch/cleaner) follow directions for dilution, let dwell for 5 minutes or so and rinse with plenty of fresh water. Then you will want to make sure the surface is dry and the temperature is over 70 degrees at min., hotter is much better, and then coat with Alodine.

  7. Painting Mast

    bob77903. 178 posts · Joined 2008. #5 · Jul 30, 2015. Just painted my mast. Sanded the old paint with 80 grit, removing half of it to bare aluminum. Washed the sanded mast with acid bath, and primed with zinc chromate. Sanded primer with 280 grit, and finished coated with Awlcraft 2000 Jet Black....

  8. Painting The Mast

    Painting The Mast. We had only planned to remove the mast, re-rig, new wire, and put back up - simple, As if…. Once we had it down in the shop, we all agreed it really needed to be painted. Yes, it was a nice warm space but prepping a mast for paint was an immense amount of work. Removing everything from the mast took over a week's worth ...

  9. Painting an aluminum spar

    Put on a coat of over priced yellow stuff. Put on some over priced primer in less than 24 hours OR do the yellow again. Try and find some way to get all the stuff back on without dinging the paint which takes 14 days to full cure. Perfection or Awlgrip is Like Ford and Chevy. Do a bunch of sailing and enjoy it.

  10. Painting my mast

    I repainted our wooden mast 3 years ago with Alexseal epoxy paint. This was the same paint used to re-coat the rest of the boat. The previous coating (type of paint unknown but PROBABLY some sort of one part enamel) was degraded. Good sanding, NOT down to bare wood, epoxy primer on the bare/worn spots and 2 coats of Alexseal.

  11. can i paint my mast?

    If it was my 16' boat, I'd either do the mast right or not do it. I say that because it's aluminum, and painting aluminum is more difficult to paint properly as compared to wood, steel, or fiberglass. Paint doesn't like to stick to it unless the surface has been properly prepared. That means, as others have suggested, properly abrading it.

  12. How do I paint my anodized aluminum mast?

    To paint anodized first degrease using Fiberglass Solvent Wash 202. Then give it a heavy sanding using 60 or 80-grit sandpaper. Apply one coat of InterProtect 2000E (Thinned 15-20% with 2316N Reducing Solvent). Allow to dry overnight and apply a second coat of either Epoxy Primekote (thinned 25%) or Pre-Kote primer.

  13. Regarding mast paint touch up

    Catalina 22 home. Jul 4, 2011. #8. Anodizing is just a controlled corrosion, somewhat along the lines of gun bluing on steel. There is no reason to avoid painting it. First, wash with detergent, rinse and dry; then wipe down with acetone, naptha, or some similar solvent to remove all traces of wax. Ideally, you should roughen the surface with a ...

  14. paint mast

    Oct 1, 2011. #5. guys - i painted my mast several years ago and it was a much bigger job than anticipated; but very well worth the effort and the painted mast / boom dramatically increased the overall look of my boat. Its all in the prep and I would recommend removing all hardware and do it right and do it once.

  15. Aluminium Mast re-painting or ?

    Originally Posted by nfbr. 27yo white painted aluminium mast is losing paint / showing surface corrosion at most rivet / screw points. This basically means the stainless hardware wasn't installed right the first time. Unless it is all removed and installed with Ted-Gel or Duralac you can expect a repeat. Quote:

  16. Repainting mast and boom

    Mar 19, 2008. #8. I did my mast last year. I had to unstep my mast to truck my boat back from Mexico and thought it was a good time to redo the paint job on the mast since it hadn't been done in 10 years. The boat yard at that time had a rate of $65/hr and I winced at their estimate.

  17. Stepping a Sailboat Mast, Painting topsides & Rudder Repairs (Ep.17)

    There's a lot going on in this video as we try to get the boat ready for launch. We repaint the topsides after our our last coat of paint went terribly wrong...

  18. painting aluminum masts

    Both were actually designed for metal application so the mast makes for a preferred application from manufacturer's point of view. Glass comes close second in my experience. Held up really well over 5 years. Sprayed the boat and rolled the masts. Installed hardware after painting, Used Tuffgell on screws. PeterP

  19. Masts and Paint

    19468 posts · Joined 2005. #2 · Mar 9, 2008. "Unpainted" masts are actually clear anodized. Aluminum, if left bare, will oxidize to a degree and stabilize, but the oxidation leaves a dusty/flaky surface that is unattractive and rubs off on contact. If the paint is in good shape you should be able to do a scuff sand and repaint.

  20. Topside-Paint Endurance Test 3-Year Checkup

    6. Our topside-paint test panels have endured three full years of 24/7 exposure to the elements, and the time has come for their final evaluation. Testers have annually scrutinized the paint swatches and rated the topside coatings on gloss retention, flow out, scratch resistance, and anti-oxidation ability. In this final round of evaluating, we ...

  21. Mast paint yes/no?

    I have a friend who just bought a boat with an aluminum painted mast.There is some bubbling of paint around some of the fittings but overall the mast looks great and the step and bottom of the mast are fine. The quote he got to remove all the mast hardware and repaint is a good deal higher than he wants to spend. I've never liked the idea of painting aluminum because it always seems to have ...

  22. Mast paint yes/no?

    The mast paint wasn't in good shape and the mast had been removed and stowed for shipping with the boat, so it was an opportune time to paint it before install. I wanted to do the job right and was diligent in seeking professional assistance before undertaking such a job for the first time.

  23. Mast Painting

    87689 posts · Joined 1999. #11 · Feb 27, 2003. I have painted several masts. remove all the stuff you can, sand, prime & paint with a brush, roller or spray. Our best paint job was done with the roll & tip method using Brightside paint. The manifacturer instructions will lead you to a beautiful job. John.