Technical Article: #003
Title: Restoring the H30 Mast foot

Date Added: 6th August 2011

Article Author: Andy
HOA Name: Serenity
Job Time: 3-4 days

The mast had to come down for standing and running rigging replacement. With the mast down this allowed me the opportunity to inspect the mast foot, this is what I found.

Corroded Mast Foot

Corroded Mast Foot

As is evident there was significant corrosion in the mast foot. However, after prodding it with a screw driver the metal underneath still seemed pretty solid so the corrosion appeared superficial. I didn’t think I needed a full mast foot replacement just yet as Saltire Of Clyde did. However, I thought I’d try the restore before going down the new fabrication route.
One thing to note was that my mast foot did have drainage holes. However, these are at the back only. I’m wondering whether drainage holes are needed at the front as well.

Equipment needed

To complete the restore I needed the following for this job:

  • Fertan Rust Convertor
  • International Pre-Kote
  • International Toplac
  • Variety of Wirebrushes
  • Safety glasses/goggles
  • Bucket of water with rags
  • Paint brushes and surgical gloves
  • Blue wide masking tape (Doesn’t leave as much sticky residue)

It’s important to note that I have no affinity with any of the companies or products mentioned. I simply browsed the forums for reviews, dithered in the Chandlery for an hour then took the plunge and bought what seemed right for the job after reading all the manufacturer blurb. In addition, I removed old and replaced with fresh masking tape every day. My experience has shown that tape left overnight sticks good and proper the next day and always leaves a mess behind.

Mast foot restore image
Step One – Day 1
There was a lot of loose debris in the foot. So before I could begin I needed to attack the rust with a wire brush
Mast foot restore image
Step Two – Day 1
I needed around three different wire brushes to scrape as much loose stuff as possible, it’s highly recommended to wear safety goggles at this point. Lots of debris was pinging out and bouncing off my face! Don’t be shy about using the brush you really need to get all that loose stuff off.
Mast foot restore image
Step Three – Day 1
Once you’ve got as much loose rust off as possible brush up the debris that’s all over your hull and wipe down the area with a damp cloth. Wait for the area to dry. Once dry mask the area off around the mast foot. Don’t just mask the nearby area extend the masking to cover an 60cm around the area to be painted as it’s really quite runny.
Mast foot restore image
Step Four – Day 1
Dampen the area you need to paint with the rust converter. Spray the Furtan on the area you wish to stop rusting. I did the entire thing simply because A) I thought I’d catch even the smallest area and B) Why not?! :). We now need to wait 24hrs to 48hrs for the Furtan to soak up the rust and convert it to either black powder (any remaining loose bits) or completely black (The rusted area).
Mast foot restore image
Step Five – Day 2
Next you need to wash all that Fertan off. Anything that’s not been washed off is rust and should be black. We now wait for the area to dry before we put on the Pre-Kote undercoat.
Mast foot restore image
Step Six – Day 2
With everything dry and freshly masked off we apply the Pre-Kote undercoat. Now some will say that to do a better job you should sand. I didn’t and the paint seemed to apply ok with no problems. I only did the one coat of undercoat as I had limited time to get this job done. I think it depends on how bad the rusted area is really as to one or two coats.
Mast foot restore image
Step Seven – Day 3
After re-masking the area off I set to work with the Toplac. Again some recommend sanding and again I didn’t think I needed to. The recommendation from the manufacturer is one to two coats. Because I only had 3 days to this job I opted for one very heavily painted coat. I drenched the foot with the Toplac and the paint applied pretty well, it didn’t run as much as I expected.


The End Result

So here it is the end result. The rust has been treated and a fresh coat of paint applied.As to how long this will last I honestly couldn’t say. I’ll be keeping an eye on it though and will update this article in around a years time to show the results. Hopefully my efforts will have arrested the corrosion (or at least slowed it down).

Either way I now know thanks to HOA member Saltire Of Clyde that it is possible to get a replacement fabricated. I’m hoping to get a few seasons out of this restore though before I eventually go down the replacement route.

Andy – Harriet B

HOA NOTE: The article above is related to works that the author has carried out to their own boat at their own risk. This article is intended to share the authors experience with other readers only. It is not intended to be a comprehensive step by step instruction guide. Anyone choosing to do any work as a result of reading this article do so at their own risk. If there is any doubt about whether to conduct work on your own boat call a professional to assist.