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post #1 of 38 Old 01-23-2020 Thread Starter
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Coppercoat Application, Screw Up or Did I Do Okay

I wanted to try to find out why some boat owners have great success with Coppercoat, antifouling, and others have great failure of the product. It seems there has to be something wrong with the application. In experimenting with our Coppercoat application, I hope I did not go too far astray; we will see, over the long term. This is our Coppercoat application.
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Re: Coppercoat Application, Screw Up or Did I Do Okay

It would be interesting to get a straight critique on Coppercoat as so far it seems those who have used it are either very happy or very not. I've heard application is very important, but even some of those who have had it applied by a Coppercoat recommended yard have been unhappy. Then there are those who suggest sanding every year, which means a haul out every year, which kind of defeats the whole point of that bottom paint system.
I'd certainly pay the money if I was convinced that it did what it is advertised to do, whoever, if it did, why don't boats coming off the production line offer it as an option?
Too many unanswered questions at this point to spend 6k+ on a bottom job.
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post #3 of 38 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.

Mark
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Re: Coppercoat Application, Screw Up or Did I Do Okay

colemj, you are making me feel better about my aggressive sanding of the Coppercoat, which is contrary to the Coppercoat instructions. At least I will know the copper is well exposed. The only time I used such fine sand paper, of 320 or 400 grit, was finish sanding on the smoothest top side surfaces in preparation for gloss paint. Coppercoat recommends those sanding grits to activate the copper in the Coppercoat. That might work on a glass smooth finish but I have never seen a Coppercoat application that smooth. All applications I have seen are very dimpled, even when using the finest, smoothest, rollers, applied by professionals. That is why we went back with the green scrubby and wet sanded to try to get even more into the valleys of those fine dimples, and etch those surfaces. I do wonder what would happen, on a future haul out, if you should sand the Coppercoat a bit more aggressively, if that would expose more copper and increase performance.
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Re: Coppercoat Application, Screw Up or Did I Do Okay

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colemj, you are making me feel better about my aggressive sanding of the Coppercoat, which is contrary to the Coppercoat instructions. At least I will know the copper is well exposed. The only time I used such fine sand paper, of 320 or 400 grit, was finish sanding on the smoothest top side surfaces in preparation for gloss paint. Coppercoat recommends those sanding grits to activate the copper in the Coppercoat. That might work on a glass smooth finish but I have never seen a Coppercoat application that smooth. All applications I have seen are very dimpled, even when using the finest, smoothest, rollers, applied by professionals. That is why we went back with the green scrubby and wet sanded to try to get even more into the valleys of those fine dimples, and etch those surfaces. I do wonder what would happen, on a future haul out, if you should sand the Coppercoat a bit more aggressively, if that would expose more copper and increase performance.
I don't know how ours was applied, but it is very smooth. Like it was laid up in a female mold. Maybe it was sprayed, or maybe they just sanded it very good. I don't know why you think that is contrary to Coppercoat instructions. The instructions I have say the surface should be smooth and sanded to look like a new penny all over. People I know that left the application dimpled from a roller have had bad results with antifouling.

Before we launched, we sanded it again with the grit paper recommended by Coppercoat and reactivated the surface. I doubt doing again would give better performance. It is the copper oxide (green) that is the biocide, not the metalic copper (copper color). The whole point is to not have to haul it every year and sand it hard.

No, I think our application was perfect, and the Coppercoat is working as well as it can. That is to say, it is better than nothing, but not as good as purposed antifouling paints. However, it will work this modest way for a long time, but will need more frequent maintenance than painted hulls.

We will keep and monitor it for at least another year or two, because redoing the bottom is very low on our project list. The upside is that nothing will need to be done to the bottom to apply antifouling paint over it.

Mark

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Re: Coppercoat Application, Screw Up or Did I Do Okay

I watched about half the vid. Just some constructive input. Some scenes can be too long to get the point. Washing, rinsing and hosing could have been a 3 second clip, for example. I'm not trying to bash, just my suggestion. Keep in mind, while you inventory my perspective, I use the 10 second fast forward every time someone posts dolphins on the bow. I like them. I see them. Got the point in seconds. Kills me that 45 seconds later, they're still rolling.

Anyway, what motivated you to be a test pilot on the directions? I wish you well with it, but that's worrisome.


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Re: Coppercoat Application, Screw Up or Did I Do Okay

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
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.
This is as close to a scientific, side-by-side comparison of any anti fouling coatings that I have ever come across. And it 100% supports what I have long said about Coppercoat- that it releases so little biocide that it is ineffective in areas that experience moderate to high fouling. It simply doesn't have the horsepower to do as good a job as even a worn-out mid-range ablative.
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Re: Coppercoat Application, Screw Up or Did I Do Okay

Sure sounds like BrickHouse spends most of it's time in pretty warm waters. CopperCoat sounds suspect. Hope it works out well.

I'm curious whether it can be topcoated later, or whether it needs to all be ground off to return to more traditional ablatives.


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Re: Coppercoat Application, Screw Up or Did I Do Okay

I think there is a rush to market with many products these days.
Strike now attitude, etc.
Customers becoming involved in the r&d processes

The variables in cruising locations/conditions is great
One might suk at area A but be golden at area B
Along the path...we all complain
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Re: Coppercoat Application, Screw Up or Did I Do Okay

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Originally Posted by RegisteredUser View Post
I think there is a rush to market with many products these days.
Strike now attitude, etc.
Customers becoming involved in the r&d processes

The variables in cruising locations/conditions is great
One might suk at area A but be golden at area B
Along the path...we all complain
"First marketed under the brand name Copperbot by C-Defence International Ltd, this revolutionary coating has been soley manufactured and distributed by Aquarius Marine Coatings Ltd since January 1998, under the name COPPERCOAT." Hardly a 'rush to market' in the case of Coppercoat. It's been around long enough that if it worked well, we wouldn't have threads like this.

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