Mast disassembly and cleaning

Arrived at the boatyard, patted myself on the back for the yard crew noting my earnest application of labels and turnbuckle markers to my shrouds in advance. It took about 15 minutes from the time I had tied up at the dock until we were able to remove the cotter pins from the stays toggles and get the crane around the mast. I hope that’s what they charge me for in crane time.

Laid the mast down in some adjacent sawhorse/racks:


Stay removal to begin. The yard rigger thought my forestay top block thing (that fits in the masthead) was unusual and that I would have a hard time getting it out. I removed a cotter pin with some pliers and untwisted a threaded cylinder with my hand. Easy peasy:


Had to disassemble the spreaders to unhook the lower shroud lines. Some aluminum corrosion had built up.


Caps of the spreaders that hold the shrouds disasemble like this:


The VHF whip has done time and will be replaced. The cable seemed to be be in good service.


Removed a grotty Radio Shack broadcast TV antenna mounted mid-mast:


The masthead assembly is in rough condition.


Eventually with some PB Blaster and channel-lock pliers, the flathead machine screws yielded.


Without too much effort I have been able to spruce up the condition of the spar from worn and filthy:

To clean and shiny:

I wound up getting the grime off with Scotch Brite pads, but (surprise!) the pads rubbed off any sheen of paint. Chalky-matte was left.

I considered repainting the mast. I bought some paint. Special nautical paint, but not the crazy-expensive kind.

I decided that the paint on the mast was probably like automotive paint (as in, a lot better than I could do in a boatyard without a proper paint enclosure.) Furthermore, I decided that if I had a 30 year old car, I wouldn’t try to re-spray or roll and tip it. I would instead work hard to buff it and bring shine back to the existing paint. So that’s what I tried. Essentially with the same equipment and techniques that I used to buff my hull.

Again, not perfect, but substantially better: