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Old 12-03-2011, 19:02   #1
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Has Anyone Used Copper Coat Antifouling ?

I just came across this add in a sailing Magazine about a copper based paint that has been allowed into the U.S,
Has anyone used it? Here is the link to it.

Home

They have a video and explain what has to be done to get the bottom ready. I ask because they claim it lasts ten years. That would be sweet.
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Old 12-03-2011, 19:47   #2
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Re: Has Anyone Used Copper Coat Antifouling

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 would stick!!!
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:
Copperpoxy Saga
In light of your recent letters on copper/epoxy antifouling bottom coatings, Id like to share my experience. Near the end of my Searunner trimaran boatbuilding project, 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 ground.
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.
Mark Johnson
Delphys, Sea Runner 34
Caribbean

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)

Mark
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Old 12-03-2011, 23:12   #3
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Re: Has Anyone Used Copper Coat Antifouling

There are a few threads around on this subject (but no current ones) and I have posted my experiences before - somewhere of CF - can't find them right now. The general consensus was it doesn't really work very well yet some people are very happy with it

I am using this product and I applied it about 5 years ago - however the boat was only relaunched December 2009.

So far I am happy with it, it has now been on for 2 summers and the mooring is in a reasonably high fouling area.

After the first summer, autumn and winter, it needed a quick (very quick) clean to remove slime; now after another spring and summer, it will need another quick clean, mainly on the first foot or so below the waterline. There has been NO barnacle / shell growth whatsoever except on the shaft where there isn't any anti-foul.

The local chandlers told me it doesn't work but the local AMC agent insisted that the only time it has failed was due to incorrect application. He insisted that he inspect my hull before application and gave me very detailed instructions and more importantly, possible pitfalls before selling the product to me. I note that his instructions varied slightly from the video link on the above USA website.

I believe this product is somewhat different from similar products especially by way of epoxy type; this being water soluble until a few days after curing!

My position is - so far so good but I need to wait another year or so to see what the long term results are.
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Old 12-03-2011, 23:17   #4
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Re: Has Anyone Used Copper Coat Antifouling

This product has changed ownership and now has the backing of a company with the advertising potential to really move it. This said, I too have had nothing but poor experiences with these epoxy/copper coatings.
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Old 13-03-2011, 01:57   #5
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Re: Has Anyone Used Copper Coat Antifouling

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This product has changed ownership and now has the backing of a company with the advertising potential to really move it..... .
Who were the original owners, I always thought Aquarius Marine Coatings were the original manufacturers?
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Old 13-03-2011, 03:12   #6
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Re: Has Anyone Used Copper Coat Antifouling

We got a copper / expoxy paint named Cuprocoat sprays onto our Hanse 461 when new in 2004 in the UK.
Each annual lift through 2005 and 6 saw a clean bottom in very warm Med waters, but in 2007 after 6 months of no movement the bottom fouled up - and then so did the Turkish yard.
We asked them to clean it off and give the bottom a 'light abrasion' (which was what the manufacturers recommended after 3 years) but when we got back to the boat the next day we found a smiling young lad - a smoking sander - and a ruined bottom. He'd attacked it hard and basically ruined the finish.
We reverted to regualr antifoul from then.
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Old 16-03-2011, 13:05   #7
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Re: Has Anyone Used Copper Coat Antifouling

We are the U.S. distributor for Coppercoat anti-fouling. Coppercoat is manufactured by Aquarius Marine Coatings In the UK. Coppercoat has been on sale around the world since 1991. We begain selling Coppercoat in the U.S. 2 years ago.

Coppercoat should not be confused with ANY of the other copper/epoxy coatings that have been mentioned here because it is very different. Coppercoat is a water miscible epoxy(soap and water clean up) into which we add 99.6% pure copper powder. This produces an 83% copper content by weight.

We call Coppercoat the "10 year anti-fouling paint" because our average customers gets about 10 years of use before they need to start touching up the high wear areas. This isn't a complete recoating it is just a touch up using 1 or 2 kits of Coppercoat. The high wear areas are along the waterline and the leading edge of the keel.

Coppercoat does need to be wiped down from time to time to remove slime if the boat isn't used much.

I am happy to answer any questions any of you may have about Coppercoat.
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Old 16-03-2011, 13:47   #8
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Re: Has Anyone Used Copper Coat Antifouling

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I am happy to answer any questions any of you may have about Coppercoat.

How about some use/cost comparisons to various bottom paints? And if you this is needs to be easy to take out hauling costs as in the NE we do this every year anyway.

Would you have to strip all the old anit-foul to use? If so that should be in cost comparison for switching over.

Look forward to the answers.
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Old 16-03-2011, 14:37   #9
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Re: Has Anyone Used Copper Coat Antifouling

I agree cost comparisons are going to be needed. It looked on the video that you must remove all the old paint and sand to a clean surface. should a epoxy barrier coat be applied before painting on the copper coat?

Electrolisis has been mentioned here as a problem. Are there any extra needed procedures to guard against electrolosis along the hull?
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Old 16-03-2011, 14:56   #10
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Re: Has Anyone Used Copper Coat Antifouling

I am traveling and will give a fuller answer on Friday. The short version is that you need to remove the old anti-fouling paint before applying Coppercoat but nothing else. I will give a more detailed accounting when I get back in country.
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Old 16-03-2011, 15:36   #11
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Re: Has Anyone Used Copper Coat Antifouling

Does Copper Coat cause problems with steel hulls?
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Old 20-03-2011, 06:22   #12
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Re: Has Anyone Used Copper Coat Antifouling

Here are some answers to the questions posted so far.

1. Coppercoat is a bit more expensive that traditional ablative anti-fouling paints. We do not sell it in gallons, but when we compare the price, ounce for ounce with gallons, Coppercoat is $300.00 per gallon at our boat show prices and $350.00 gallon at retail. When we talk to our customers most of them are paying about $200.00 for anti-fouling on average. Some are paying less, some more.
2. You need to remove the existing anti-fouling paint as stated above. That is usually the most expensive part of the application process. Some customers have their hulls soda blasted, some sanded, some sand blasted and some use soy strippers. We are finding that the soy strippers work pretty well unless you have a lot of years of build up on the bottom. On traditional anti-foulings if you are applying like over like you will still need to sand the bottom before applying new anti-fouling paint.
3. It is more time consumming to apply Coppercoat as we require 4 thin coats, as opposed to 2 or 3 coats of traditional anti-foulings. This insures that you are getting the correct milage on the bottom.
4. If the hull has been blasted to remove the old anti-fouling paint we recommend that the blaster stop after removing just the anti-fouling paint. After blasting, if the surface is rough or full of pinholes we recommend a coat of barrier coat to fill the pinholes. If the hull is smooth, you can then apply Coppercoat.
5. When applied, Coppercoat is non-conductive. We use Coppercoat on steel and aluminum boats. When applying Coppercoat on steel and aluminum hulls you must first apply a good barrier coat.
When we try to do cost comparisons with other products we run into a number of issues. These depend on what the yards charge to haul and block the boat, what their labor rate is for application and how much mark up they apply to products provided. That being said, most of our customers say that if they save one complete haulout and bottom job repaint they feel that they have broken even with the investment. Coppercoat can usually save the customer 4 or 5 haulouts over time.
As one of our customers in New England stated," I have gotten my spring back" They only have to pressure wash the hull prior to launch every spring, not sand and recoat every spring.
If anyone has any additional questions please contact me.
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Old 20-03-2011, 08:24   #13
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Re: Has Anyone Used Copper Coat Antifouling

Edboat, I do have one question.

When I applied Coppercoat, the local agent (in Australia) insisted that I MUST add about 8 to 10 % Coppercoat thinners to the mix before applying. He said it was essential to ensure good performance of the product and his reasoning was that the thinners would evaporate off during curing leaving tiny voids for seawater to react with the copper.

Yet the USA "you tube" video does not mention the adding of thinners at all.

Which method is correct in your view?

FWIW, the thinners was marked as "coppercoat thinners" and going by smell alone, it seemed to be alcohol based.
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Old 20-03-2011, 08:49   #14
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Re: Has Anyone Used Copper Coat Antifouling

New question - why does the old paint need to be stripped? Why wouldn't copper coat stick to old hard anti-foul painted bottom?
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Old 20-03-2011, 09:11   #15
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Re: Has Anyone Used Copper Coat Antifouling

It's an epoxy product which should only be applied over another epoxy or an epoxy primer like Interprotect. Like everything it's only as good as the surface preparation and the primer it can ashore to.

They use Coppercoat here in Hong Kong and it seems to work quite well. But you still need to wipe down the bottom periodically.
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