How long does one have to be "from San Francisco" and "keep a boat here" to qualify?
I don't think the Coppercoat effectiveness question is as much about the material itself as the proper application of the material.
We've had Coppercoat on our bottom since our re-launch in spring 2009. I applied it myself in the yard in SoCal, spent a year sailing around down there with it, came to Napa Valley Marina in May 2010 to raise the waterline a couple inches (used a boot stripe of Petit Vivid). Spent 6/2010-8/2010 here (no problems with the bottom paint) also spent 11/2011-12/2012 in Redwood City (SF Bay) and the only problems down there were mud in the currents would stick to the forward port on one tide cycle and then the next the aft starboard side of the hull--so had about 1" of mud to get off those parts
of the hull
every 4 or so months. Things can grow in mud. Not a good plan to only do the hull
every few months with all that mud in the water
Was in the Bay 12/2013-2/2014, then more sailing elsewhere. Then here from 12/2014-8/2015 and just now leaving the Bay area again. The Bay area isn't a problem for fouling of Coppercoat. The most challenging conditions we've had were in SE Alaska
-- strangely fertile waters up there. We were also moving alot and found our waterline could pick up seagrasses (see below) when sailing in good ocean waters --and in Alaska
The Coppercoat has worked great for us for...what's that...a bit over 6-1/2 years. We're a wood boat so we do haul out
every couple years to look everything over. With the 2010 raise of waterline and then in 10/2013 we hauled out to take off the Petit Vivid bootstripe (what we raised the waterline with) and to replace that with just Coppercoat instead--so now no bootstripe, just bottom paint
. At that time in 10/2013 we did a touch up of Coppercoat on a few of the wood parts
of the keel/deadwood (those parts are really old tar-soaked oak and have cracks containing a soft filler that really doesn't hold the Coppercoat the same way as the other mahogany planking or the lead keel
do. Also--the bronze stern tube and bronze rudder
stock were re-primed and re-painted as they weren't holding the Coppercoat either. That is likely my own application problem, not the materials though.
There's also a too-close area in the prop aperture above the prop where the prop wash thins the bottom paint--it was down to the wood in a tiny (like 2"x1") area and thinner around that, so I applied more Coppercoat there too.
So--our experience is that the paint
lasts well for 6-1/2 years (right now) on the solid planking, but we expect to haul out
every third year indefinitely to make sure wood parts of keel
, bronze, and that close area above the prop aperture are well coated. Our next haulout is planned for Fall 2016.
We also note--when you go to an area with a lot of iron compounds in the water
, you can experience an inert (black in color) oxide rather than the active green copper oxides that are required for antifouling to work. Including 2012 year in Redwood City, we've spent a total of about 20 months in dirty mud-filled waters and have observed this whenever we're in such waters for more than a couple months. The black oxide must be scrubbed off in order to reveal the active green oxides. We experienced the same black oxide in a bay in British Columbia
where a sulfur compound from nearby hotsprings running into the anchorage made the water smelly. Our galvanized chain came out shiny like new (where galvanized) and black (where galvanizing was gone) and the entire coppercoat hull turned black -- and we were only there 17 hours!
Application -- We paid attention to what the folks at Aquarius Marine
(maker of Coppercoat) told us about keeping the mixture stirred constantly as we applied it. The copper is heavy and can easily settle to the bottom of the pan so you're in danger
of having areas where you're applying just the carrier (a water-based epoxy) rather than the proper mix of copper powder and carrier. If you do this, you're going to get growth. If you put it on too thick, the same problem happens. There are also other little things that could make a bad application of the Coppercoat and reduce its effectiveness to basically nothing. So, application is everything with this product. A few places I did "touch up" on that keel in 2010 would have growth on them (we'd note when diving
on the boat). When we looked at the hull in 2013 haulout, we saw that the edges of the touch up where white and had no copper on those edges -- I'd used a brush for those touchups not a roller and the copper coat was thicker in those areas and somehow the copper wasn't in those thick edges of the paint
. In other touch up areas, I'd taped the area off and used a roller for even application, all the way to the edge. They were prefect in antifoul behavior and color.
So--apply it per the instructions, pay attention, and it seems to work just fine. It does not work as well in the beginning months as it does after a couple years. The lower leach rate does seem to mean you won't have that instant "ah, it's great" thing going. I'd think someone who applied Coppercoat and then didn't clean their hull for a year might (MIGHT) end up with a lot of growth. But, maybe not.
Grasses-- we've not had problems with other things, but we can pick up grasses on the hull if we're ocean traveling for more than a few days. Here along the Pacific coast, we've noticed its the side towards the shore that picks up the grass. Go figure. Go north, it's starboard side, Go south, it's port that gets the grass. We've just come to expect that we're going to take the dingy to the bow of the boat after a long trip an use a scrubber on the waterline. The grasses show up after about 4 or 5 days as green fuzz and if you let it stay it turns into little bits of...grass...but only if you've been sailing for several days out in the ocean (or so it seems, Alaska), but not in the San Francisco Bay
If anyone else is interested in Coppercoat feel free to PM me