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Carbon mast polish

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SalsaPirates View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09 Feb 24 at 11:47am
I have read several things recently about polishing carbon masts rather than revarnishing or lacquering them.  Seems the polishes being used are a combination of lightly abrasive cutting compound and polish in order to clean off gunk and leave a protective covering.   This seems like a really good alternative to varnishing . If it works?

Would love to hear thoughts on pros and cons, successful products used etc ??
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 24 at 8:23pm
If a carbon laminate has no protection from UV then the surface epoxy resin degrades and effectively disappears. The result is the "furriness" that can be found on older glass fibre and carbon parts. As well as continually getting carbon fibre splinters every time you handle the spar it is of course steadily weakened. Try abandoned windsurfer spars in a dinghy park for an example, but be *very* careful handling them!

In practice UV resistant varnishes aren't all that great at resisting UV - we should remember that a mast in a dinghy park in the sun all year is pretty much worst case. You can tell its not that effective when you look at older spars and see the varnish peeling off in large patches - I reckon its doing that because the underlying epoxy has UV degraded and the varnish is no longer sticking to anything.

This is the first I've heard of what on the surface seems like a really silly idea. Start by using an abrasive to remove even more of the surface epoxy and get well on the way to more furriness, and then have some sort of coating that is supposed to have UV resistance? Well, I could be convinced by seeing a collection of test panels that have been exposed to sunlight for a good few years and see which has survived better, but otherwise I firmly believe that a carbon spar that's going to be exposed to sunlight all year round needs all the protection it can get, and that means white or light coloured paint.

A spar that's out of the sun under a cover is another matter of course.
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423zero View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 24 at 9:38pm
Probably a crossover story from car finishes, Google auto finesse, article about carbon fibre in the automotive industry. Like jimc said don't think it will work on furry masts.
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SalsaPirates View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SalsaPirates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 24 at 1:04pm
My carbon mast is about 7 years old and to be honest looks to be in pretty good Nick with no furryness or visible degrading or breakdown of the surface coat.  I am just wondering if there is something I should be doing to make sure it stays this way?

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Dakota View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dakota Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 24 at 10:27pm
I am interested in this as the D-zero dealer is selling this as the 21st century way to look after your mast and boom . I have my doubts but time will tell. 
Luckily as my mast and boom are kept under my cover and only 4 years old , I have a little time before I have to decide what to do with it. 


Edited by Dakota - 18 Feb 24 at 10:30pm
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