I own a Sparkman and Stevens 24 that I imported from NZ when I came back to South East Queensland
I have recently completed a major restoration
of this vessel and launched at the end of September 2013 about halfway between Brisbane
and the Gold Coast
Years ago when I had the boat in Auckland
I purchased a test pack of a copper/epoxy antifouling product that was being promoted at the Auckland Boat Show
I did a patch about 100mm x 60mm on each side of the rudder
with the product to test it out.
At the time I was using a commonly available copper-based hard antifouling paint
on the rest of the hull.
I found that over a period of about 4 years the test panels
worked as well as the normal antifoul at preventing barnacles
. Yes I got slime on the whole underwater hull area and used to put the boat on a grid and scrub her off myself every 3 months or so.
Since a copper/epoxy antifoul is far more environmentaly friendly than normal antifoul I made the decision to go this way when I re-did the antifoul.
Since the product I had used was no longer on the market I did some research
on the Internet
to find a comparable product.
CopperCoat looked a likely product. There were testimonials that said the product worked very well and others that said it was a dismal failure.
I figured then that it was worth the gamble to give it a try since the earlier test panel had worked well on the rudder
I stripped off the old antifoul with a biological paint stripper, sanded the hull and applied 2 coats of West System epoxy.
I sanded again and then applied 4 coats of Coppercoat in one day as per instructions.
Along the leading edge and bottom of the keel and on the rudder I glued shim copper as an experiment
to see how it performed since the old sailing ships had copper sheet nailed to their bottoms for antifouling..
I hauled the boat after 4 ½ months of sitting idle on the mooring
unused. A couple of small patches of the CopperCoat had got rubbed off on the trip to the marina to launch and I wanted to fix them as well as to see how things were performing.
There was a thin layer of slime on the bottom which came off very easily with the low-pressure waterblaster. Took all of about 5 minutes to wash the bottom clean.
There were no barnacles
on the hull except where the CopperCoat had been rubbed off.
There was however a considerable growth of large barnacles on the propeller
shaft, top of rudder shaft, bottom rudder shaft bearing and the rope cutter
– all unprotected stainless steel
One of the haulout guys said if it was his boat he wouldn’t have bothered to haul and blast with the amount of slime build up.
There was less slime than I used to get in 3 months in Auckland with conventional antifoul paint.
Average sea temp for February in Auckland is 21.2 deg C - and Brisbane’s average is 26.2 deg C.
I know 4 ½ months is not a very long test, but I am pretty pleased with performance so far, better than the conventional hard antifoul I was using in NZ.