I have an older hobiecat 16 with what was once a black frame (I see everyone nodding their heads with all too much familiarity
) and was wondering if there was some way to "re-anodize" the frame to its original color. I understand that it's more than a simple painting procedure, but I'm not too familiar with how it's done or if it even can be. I'm not crazy about simply painting it, as that will easily scratch and chip after a while. Any ideas out there? Has anyone found anything that worked for them? Thanks again!
Anodizing is a process where aluminum is dipped in an acidic solution while attached to the positive (?) wire of a high-current electricity source. I believe ideal is like, 25A/sq. foot of metal for 15 minutes or something like that.
After this period of time, you immerse the metal in the colored dye of your choice for a few minutes. Then you use either a chemical (what it is I'm not sure) or steam to seal the "pores" in the anodized lattice, locking in the color.
You CAN do it at home, but for something the size of one of the crossbars you'd need several large car battery charges to supply the current. My friend uses two standard (15A size) car battery chargers in parallel to anodize pieces of aluminum the size of an apple, so you can see you'd need a lot of them (or fewer really powerful ones) to do the tramp rail.
I'm in the opposite situation. I have all shiny aluminum but my new mast base is black. I think I'm gonna wire-wheel off the black anodizing and re-anodize it just plain aluminum so it matches the rest of the boat.