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  #1  
Old 03-27-2014
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Copper sheeting & CopperCoat anti-fouling

We've been researching the history of anti-fouling on boats toward resolving that issue as best as can be accomplished this year.

From marine history, (British War ships first discovered it), copper sheets / plates, (eventually it evolved into a mixture with 5% nickel included) work the best of all.

So, ideally, I would like to install the copper sheeting with the 5% nickel, and I will look into that when we get to Fort Lauderdale next fall. There was a company doing that down there, but they went out of business over a decade ago. I have found sources of copper sheeting with the 5% nickel, and might consider installing it myself.

However, this Coppercoat product appears to provide the closest base to that, and theoretically, the application process (using epoxy) has been refined / designed to accomplish the adhesion goal better than sheeting.

The CopperCoat site has a testimonials page with reviews from a number of sailing magazines too, which sounds quite positive.

A friend of mine asked about removing the CopperCoat if it doesn't work, to accomplish painting, but a number of years ago I applied a barrier coat on the Gulfstar we owned at the time, of West System, which is an epoxy, and then applied typical anti fouling paint over that without any problems..... so.... I would assume Coppercoat / epoxy could also be painted over. But, I sure would be surprised to find myself painting over copper.

I have read through numerous Sailnet.com postings about copper / epoxy results, and there seems to be a frequent mix up between the other companies, not Coppercoat, which have gone out of business, with the CopperCoat product.

Evelyn and I spoke with the owner of the CopperCoat company at a Newport boat show a couple of years ago. He was vehement (almost frothing at the mouth) about the battle he is waging with the paint anti-fouling companies, since he says they have been working quite hard to "slander" his product. He said he has initiated court cases against them for this organized slander. I could well imagine how much regular / paint antifouling companies might fear such a product.

Overall, it appears important to use the process and the materials from the company, and not try to make a home made mixture. And, to follow this up with "scuffings" to bring fresh copper to the surface over time.

So, I was wondering if any of you have actually used CopperCoat, properly applied per their instructions, and what your results were?

And, or, has anyone installed copper sheeting?
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Old 03-27-2014
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Re: Copper sheeting & CopperCoat anti-fouling

Doug,

You might want to look over our web site and Youtube channel. We first used a product called CopperPoxy. I can't get it now. It lasted us about 11 years from the San Francisco Bay area to and through the Sea of Cortez! We tried mixing our own copper in epoxy (NO GOOD!)!!. Last year we applied Coppercoat (see on Youtube). We have posted a one year report so far.

From OUR usage, IT WORKS! for hard growth, not soft stuff/slime.

Greg
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Old 03-27-2014
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Re: Copper sheeting & CopperCoat anti-fouling

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougSabbag View Post
So, I was wondering if any of you have actually used CopperCoat, properly applied per their instructions, and what your results were?
CopperCoat on a Hallberg-Rassey 43 in Berkeley.



Quote:
Originally Posted by DougSabbag View Post
...has anyone installed copper sheeting?
Do you honestly believe that 300-year-old technology is going to provide you better performance than current anti fouling coatings?

Last edited by Fstbttms; 03-27-2014 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 03-27-2014
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Re: Copper sheeting & CopperCoat anti-fouling

I've been following the discussions of paint vs copper powder/epoxy for a few years now.
I wish someone would setup and do half their boat in paint and the other half in copper powder/epoxy. Maybe quarter the application so one can't blame starboard/port exposure for the results.
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Old 03-27-2014
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Re: Copper sheeting & CopperCoat anti-fouling

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I've been following the discussions of paint vs copper powder/epoxy for a few years now.
I wish someone would setup and do half their boat in paint and the other half in copper powder/epoxy. Maybe quarter the application so one can't blame starboard/port exposure for the results.
Well, if the stuff is the best thing since sliced bread, you'd think the manufacturers would do some kind of side-by-side comparisons. But they don't. And I have to wonder why.
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Old 03-27-2014
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Re: Copper sheeting & CopperCoat anti-fouling

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Originally Posted by Fstbttms View Post
Well, if the stuff is the best thing since sliced bread, you'd think the manufacturers would do some kind of side-by-side comparisons. But they don't. And I have to wonder why.
Point well taken Fastbottoms and could apply to the paint companies as well.
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Old 03-27-2014
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Re: Copper sheeting & CopperCoat anti-fouling

I raced on a Catalina 30 out of Shilshole for over 10 years, and he has a coppercoat bottom. At least that's what I assume it is. It's an epoxy with copper powder bottom that was applied by the yard 15 or 20 years ago and he hasn't painted it since.

I think it's pretty great myself, since he never has to paint his boat, but last time I talked with him he says he wished he would have just gone the regular route.

Why??? He says that the only way to keep it working is to sand and scrub it constantly. The exposed copper oxidizes quickly and must be sanded away exposing more. He still has to haul out every 2-3 years and scrub/sand the bottom like mad and yards that will allow you to do that are getting harder and harder to find. He also dives the boat and scrubs the bottom before each race, so that's probably 10 times/year.

Still, not having to paint the bottom for over a decade seems pretty great, but on the other hand, if you still have to haul, and work like a fiend (or pay someone to work on it) then what do you really save?

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Old 03-27-2014
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Re: Copper sheeting & CopperCoat anti-fouling

Met an old guy hauled in Trinidad, late last year, with a copper sheathed wooden boat. Unwashed bottom looked like it had been pressure cleaned. He said it was 3 years since his last haul out.
Two big problems with copper sheathing;
1) how do you attach it to glass hull?; obviously it won't work on any metal hull, which brings up problem #2) galvanic action with metal boats (or other metal objects) in your marina. Big problem!
Copper sheeting does work as an antifouling, but it is quite impractical and expensive to do. Wood boat application requires a layer of tarred felt between boat and copper. Hello EPA?
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Last edited by capta; 03-27-2014 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 03-27-2014
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Re: Copper sheeting & CopperCoat anti-fouling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fstbttms View Post
CopperCoat on a Hallberg-Rassey 43 in Berkeley.


Do you honestly believe that 300-year-old technology is going to provide you better performance than current anti fouling coatings?

Well.... basically, a sailboat is utilizing "technology" which is much older than that, and we move along quite nicely. So, just being older than me is not necessarily a deal breaker.

The basic "technology" of the copper clad British War ships of the 1700s, i.e., copper, is what we ARE still using today, just in different, and weaker, formulations.
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Old 03-27-2014
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Re: Copper sheeting & CopperCoat anti-fouling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delezynski View Post
Doug,

You might want to look over our web site and Youtube channel. We first used a product called CopperPoxy. I can't get it now. It lasted us about 11 years from the San Francisco Bay area to and through the Sea of Cortez! We tried mixing our own copper in epoxy (NO GOOD!)!!. Last year we applied Coppercoat (see on Youtube). We have posted a one year report so far.

From OUR usage, IT WORKS! for hard growth, not soft stuff/slime.

Greg
Hello Greg!

I greatly appreciate your meticulous efforts at documenting your experiences! Bravo Sir!

I am wondering, given your CopperCoat evaluation "Op-Eval" #2 was after about 4 + months of being in the water, (besides the blister experience), how would you say the CopperCoat performed vs. a similar time frame of regular antifouling paint on your boat? Would you have expected to have more growth than you found using the CopperCoat?

Thank you!
Doug
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