I made the mistake of using the mast to support the tarp last winter.The tarp did a fine job of polishing off the black anodizing where the tarp was whipping against it.
There were already many nicks and scratches from almost 40 years so it really didn’t matter in the big picture. The boom was in the same condition but did need one rivet replaced.
I decided to sand everything, tape all the stainless and spray bomb the mast, boom and spreaders with a flat black epoxy airplane propeller paint! I squeezed as much of the mast I could into my small two-car garage so it would be out of the wind, donned my respirator and emptied two cans in one afternoon. After reading all the warnings on the can, I nearly decided not to do it. We’ll see how it holds up next season.
I’m also replacing all of the running rigging. If I can locate new shackles at a reasonable price, I will put them on. I will also be learning how to splice. Since I have no documentation for what diameter the four halyards are, my best guess is that they are 3/8 inch. Specs on a 5.2 says they’re 5/16. I looking into samsonrope.com and Defender seems to have the best price on their XLS3.