Thursday, February 27, 2014

(Almost) New mast

Scott runs a website dedicated to Downeaster yachts - a noble undertaking.  As such, he receives submissions from others; what follows below is one of those submissions.  Although I have received permission from Scott to mine his site for content, I may be on shaky ground reprinting other's submissions (if you say so Scott, I'll take this down).

Hammerite is a company that has made a living by producing paints that, when dry, look like a hammered metallic finish.  There are two things interesting in this article:  First, this is a smooth Hammerite paint; second, the result looks like a fresh bare aluminum mast.  Read on...
Mr Charles McGrory of Glasgow Scotland recently contacted me to comment on the site and offered up some projects he has done on his boat. He has an Ohlson 38 he has restored and this was one of his projects to brighten up his mast by painting it. Over the next week or so I will try and put up a nice project he has for a watch standing seat in the companionway.

From Mr. McGrory:
When I bought my boat in Oct 2010 ,the mast was very badly weathered. I considered having the mast stripped and then painted with Awlgrip. I thought about a new mast but Sailspar in England kindly told me that the original mast would be of much thicker section than the masts of today.  And a new mast of thinner section would be approx £5000 without the tangs etc.  I did not strip the mast at all. I had this tip from another Ohlson 38 owner who is near Ipswich; he guards his privacy so I can’t mention his name. He touches up his 30 yr old mast with a Hammerite Smooth spray can. My mast was ghastly as you can see.

I tried the Hammerite Smooth spray can just for the hell of it; could not look any worse, and could see a big improvement but the paint was showing weeping run marks from too heavy a shot of aerosol;  I quickly changed to a normal can £20 and a hair brush. I had so little faith that it would work, it was all just an experiment, anything would look better. However, in one warm sunny afternoon I did the whole mast which was down for the boat going into the paint shed. What a difference!  It just took a wee bit care to not paint over ropes, shrouds etc. I painted all the way to the masthead crane.

The professionals in the paint shop who had quoted me ££££ for undressing the mast, Awlgrip etc later said it was fine (well almost) and next time to use a foam brush to avoid any texture from the hair brush.  I was so satisfied that it was so quick and cheap. To be sure I can see the brush texture in some places – invisible at any distance. The coating without any primer – just a light prior washing off of any grit – has stayed on and seems tough enough. I expect that with ropes etc slapping it will thin out where the ropes rub but the foam brush touch up will be fine. I still have half the can of Hammerite Smooth.

Mast before painting.
Mast before painting.

Mast After Painting
Mast After Painting

I want to thank Mr. Charles McGrory for submitting his write up of this project. It is a nice product and idea for an inexpensive but durable update to an old mast to make it look better and give it some additional protection.

You can find Hammerite Paint here.

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