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post #3 of Old 01-23-2020
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Re: Coppercoat Application, Screw Up or Did I Do Okay

Our new boat had coppercoat applied by a professional Coppercoat recommended yard. This was done 6 months before we bought it. The application itself appears to have been done well - none of it is falling off, it is extremely smooth, it turned the color it was supposed to, etc.

It works. Sort of. At least it is better than no antifoul coating at all. Grass and slime grow at will, and barnacles take time to establish, and seem to come off pretty easily.

Last summer, we had this new boat, and our old boat side by side in a marina in Georgia. The old boat's bottom was painted with $90/gallon Ameron ABC3 ablative, and the paint was 3yrs old, heading into its fourth year. The boat had been sitting in the marina for a year without any bottom maintenance. There was no visible growth on the bottom beside a moderate slime layer.

The new boat was launched with a perfectly clean and freshly activated Coppercoat bottom - done following Coppercoats instructions for reactivation, and sailed straight to Georgia and put in the slip next to the previous boat.

After 3 months sitting in the marina, the Coppercoat had long heavy grass on the waterline, and quite a few barnacles around the bottom. We had it cleaned by a professional. The previous boat went untouched.

After another 3 months (deep into the summer), the Coppercoat again had long heavy grass on the waterline, and a lot of barnacles on the bottom. At this time, we needed to move the previous boat for a purchase survey and had both boats cleaned by a professional. By now, the previous boat had been sitting in the marina for 18 months without any bottom maintenance at all - and the paint was 4yrs old.

When asked about the painted bottom, the diver said there was a bit of heavy slime that wiped off easily with a sponge, quite a bit of barnacles at the leading edge of the bows, keels, and rudders (these have always been the spots that lose paint the fastest on the boat), and only a smattering of barnacles around the hulls themselves. The diver did both boats, and said the Coppercoated boat was much worse than the painted one. I didn't tell him the difference in coating age and 3 month vs. 18 month maintenance between the two. The props on both boats were heavily barnacled.

Later, we had the new boat bottom cleaned again, took it 700 miles, and 2 months after having it cleaned called a diver to clean it. After cleaning, the diver was very apologetic saying that he had to charge me a bit more than he quoted because the bottom was so full of growth that it took much longer than he expected. He recommends we have it cleaned every month, where he recommends the rest of his (painted) clients get it cleaned every other month.

So the above story either says that Coppercoat is only a modest improvement over a bottom with no antifouling at all, or that inexpensive Ameron ABC3 is a miracle antifouling paint that outperforms everything on the market at 4x the price.

FWIW, there are a couple of advantages of Coppercoat. Since it is a solid surface, one can go at it with scrappers and hard scrubbers without worrying about removing paint. Barnacle feet seem to pop off it easily although that could be a result of being able to scrape it hard with a metal blade. Also, the bottom is very hard and burnished smooth, which makes it a faster bottom. When clean. And, I guess, it will be good for 10yrs before needing recoating. However, you will be scraping it every 2-4 weeks in the areas we cruise in.


Dolphin 460 Catamaran "Reach"

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