I haven't used this particular product, but I did use a similar "copper loaded epoxy
gelcoat" product in '95, that turned out to be one of the worst disasters of my 40 years at building and repairing boats. I also had a half dozen friends at the time, who tried these products (there were a number of them available), on their self built multihulls. Back then, hauling out a multihull
was a REAL problem, and it seemed like the perfect environmentally conscious choice. In the case of every one of these friends, using SEVERAL different brands of these products, they simply didn't work, nor could you wet sand in the water
(with SCUBA), to re-furbish the surface. Only the surface was in contact with the water
, not the inside copper powder, and the surface would very quickly oxidize.
In the case of these other boatbuilder
friends, it was just a VERY expensive mistake, and they bottom painted over the rock hard copper gelcoat
. In my case, this product had just changed hands, the new owners switched to a large copper flake, and it turned out that this new product was mildly "electrically conductive"!. It not only attracted barnacles
, but could not be painted over anywhere near the underwater metal, due to the current
"under" the paint
from dissimilar metals. Not even epoxy
It took several attempts over years to get bottom paint
to finally stick, and over $10,000 to correct this fiasco! I would avoid such products at all cost. It has made me quite leery of "new miracle products"... I have used it on dinghy
bottoms successfully, because it is such a tough surface, but I still found it to have no antifouling properties, nor did polishing up a new surface help.
This is an article published about the ordeal:
In light of your recent letters on copper/epoxy antifouling bottom coatings, I’d like to share my experience. Near the end of my Searunner trimaran
, I decided to apply a product known at the time as Copperpoxy.
I applied the coating to all three hulls to about 20 mils thick, and then sanded this "orange peel" surface down to about 10 mils. I finished up with 220-grit sandpaper. In the end, it was beautiful. It was just like a perfectly smooth, new copper penny, and just a bit thicker than recommended.
We started our cruising adventure in the foul waters of Beaufort
, S.C. Very soon, I was doing a huge scrape job every week. The bottom was covered with grape-size barnacles
. I noticed that the aft half of the main hull
, the part with underwater metals, was fouling the worst. (I was changing zincs every week.)
Two years later, in Pensacola
, Fla., we decided to give up on this product and paint over it with Pettit Trinidad SR bottom paint
When doing the weeks-long prep for this painting, we could see that the skin of our epoxy/ply boat was electrically conductive and corroding all the way through in the entire area of the bonded shaft, strut, prop, gudgeons, and copper mast
We put on three coats of Trinidad, waited a few days, and splashed the boat. Within two weeks, the new paint had peeled off in the electrically active area. We re-hauled, stripped the paint in this area, and coated the problem Copperpoxy area with three coats of epoxy. After sanding
and repainting, we set off for the Western Caribbean
. Over the following six months, we noticed that even the epoxy would not stick to the Copperpoxy.
Back in the states, I realized that I had to remove the 10 mils of dead Copperpoxy in this large area. I had to do this with 36-grit sandpaper, without ruining the thin glass/epoxy protecting the hull
, then re-epoxy, sand, and repaint with Trinidad. This time, it worked!
Over the years, I have finally gotten off enough Copperpoxy to keep my bottom paint from failing.
In my 36 years of building and sailing my own creations, this stands alone for sucking up about a year of my life and probably over $10,000. Use these and other "new" products with this in mind. Bond failures with any paint or epoxy are harder to fix than one can imagine.
Delphys, Sea Runner 34
Best of luck on finding a better solution, but IMO, this sort of concept
is flawed from the getgo. (They just got a POOR rating from Practical Sailor as well)