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Aluminum Boat Frame and Wire Brushing

Q. Hi everyone,

I'm a 17 year old catamaran owner/sailor, I have a 14 foot catamaran with a clear anodized aluminum frame mast and boom. All of which are severely marked and scratched up. I'd like to refinish or remove the finish/scratches all together, (I'm on a very tight budget), but I'm curious as to what the effects of wire brushing the entire frame would be on the wellbeing of the material in a high salt environment like bays and ocean. Will this seriously harm the aluminum, will applying an acrylic clear coat directly onto freshly brushed/rinsed aluminum protect the surface well enough to keep the surface from going gray and corroded again? I would also like to paint, but only acrylic aerosol paints are an option at the moment, is there a way I can paint the frame to last at least a season with minimal preparation?

Thank you,

Jason B. [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Newark, Delaware, USA

A. Do NOT use a wire brush on it. For an ultra tight budget, wash it and rinse very well. Dry and then wipe down with a solvent compatible with your selected paint. Let dry for double the time that it says on the can and you should get more than one year out of it unless it is being abused.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

Epoxy Putty

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Q. Corrosion repair on aluminium mast. I have a high performance catamaran with a light weight anodised aluminum mast. I have found a corrosion perforation where some salt was trapped under the mast rest on the trailer. I have washed it down with spirit vinegar [in bulk on eBay or Amazon affil links] to neutralise the area. Can anyone advise on the best method of fully neutralising the corroded area & best repair technique? I am considering drilling the corroded area out then filling with a neutral cure silicone sealer (strength is not a concern but full sealing against water ingress in the event of a capsize is crucial).

Any advice gratefully received.


David Bosley
Consumer - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
2005 -- appended to existing thread by editor

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