Aluminum Coating

I have a groovy mast from Midwest Model Yachts and I would like to coat it black. Originally I was going to have it anodized but the only company around here that can accept 6’ parts wants $350 which is ridiculous. Would painting it with a rattle can be too fragile? All I can picture is a mast that is speckled black and silver after only a short time. Any opinions or suggestions would be appreciated. A last ditch effort would be to buy one of Ludwigs black masts, but that would be a bit silly since I already have a perfectly good one.

Maybe search for online powder-coaters. I’ve heard that is a very strong finish.

If ya can’t find a solution to the black, you could buff it to a mirror-finish for another type of look.

Polished or Chrome, hadn’t thought about it before. The scheme I am going for is sort of a mix between Mean Machine and Iberdrola, but maybe instead of a white name, I could find some kind of chrome sticker, with a chrome mast it would simply be… Blinding

Nigel you always keep me thinking. On another note I am devising a way to use your “cowl” on my USOM have some cool visual ideas and trying to make them function well.

Millrtme, I have had good success with clear coat, I did some carbon fibber masts with clear, did not have any chipping at all, I generally put some blue pearl in the clear, it gives it a blue tone in the sun. You would have to paint it black first then clear coat it. I use DuPont DAU 75 with hardener.
good luck john

I’ll also jump with a possibility …

use Hi-Temp paint designed for car engines and BBQ grills. Comes in both flat and gloss. Probably need to hit auto store if you want colors, but black is in WalMart.

While in the spray paint can aisle - take a look at the appliance epoxy paints. I’ve had good luck with them but not sure they are in black - maybe though … ?

I would support Tbar’s suggestion for clearcoating when done. Just added protection from chipping - although you don’t have halyards slapping against the mast, or Pelican droppings from the spreaders. :smiley:

Its not too hard to do anodizing yourself.

We did it in high school shop class with a simple set up and the parts looked great.

Painting is probably the easiest & cheapest way out. The key to painting raw aluminum is to use the proper primer, color coats don’t always stick all that swell without it (at least in a marine environment). You’ll want a zinc chromate-based primer. It’s available at most marine stores in a spray can. It’s the paint used to prime the lower units on outboards & outdrives. Tempo is the brand I see the most. It’s not exactly cheap at about $15 USD per can but that’s the price to play. After the color coats, I’d blow a full can of clear coat on the whole deal.

Happy Yachting - Kip

I know it sound cheesy and cheap, buy have you though about a “sharpie” paint job…get a few black chisel tipped permanent markers and see what happens…

No extra weight, no chipping, touch-ups would be easy, and if it doesn’t work to your wishes, you could paint right over it…

Marc is the first person in this debate to mention one very essential aspect - weight. You go to tremendous trouble to build a mast boat and then rob it of righting moment with a paint job.

Did you know that commercial aircraft are seldom painted all over because the weight of paint has a perceptible effect on fuel costs?


One Canadian airline(Air Canada I think) painted thier planes a bright orange. Apparently they had to remove six seats in order to keep the weight in line. And that was just because of the pigment.
I don’t lnow where I heard that

I thought it ws Braniff - who went bust!


I am going to give that a try, I figure it will be the lightest as you mentioned, easily touched up and I would think relatively strong. I will keep you all updated. Thanks for the pointers.