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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Annual bottom painting is very expensive. It's not only the ridiculous cost of the paints, but the haul and block, labor and supplies. Bottom jobs can cost thousands of dollars when you add in all the costs

Depending on where you keep the boat and how much it's used and how fast it goes you may find the bottom gets all manner of growth regardless of whatever you paint on. Your only option is to dive and scrape off the growth...and unless you do it yourself... another expense. And this doesn't even consider how harmful bottom paint can be the the water as it leaches off.

My experience, where I sail and how I use the boat and trying several different paints was that they don't do the expected job... or well enough I suppose.

My thinking has evolved to using an inexpensive hard paint and employ divers regularly to inspect and clean your bottom. Regular diving will likely save you lots of money. Racers are diving their bottoms because they need every .1 of a knot of speed. Dinks left in the water become disasters... transducers fouled and thru hull clogged.

Bottom paint is an unreliable solution to marine growth.

Why not employ divers and go "green" in the blue!
 

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employ divers regularly to inspect and clean your bottom. Regular diving will likely save you lots of money.
We got around this reoccurring expense by purchasing a 12 vdc 'deck snorkel' by Sea Breathe. It was a pretty hefty outlay originally, but it has paid for itself many times over. It's also valuable for inspecting/working on the bottom and running gear. We can also carry it and a battery in the Zodiac and do some diving for fun. My biggest regret was getting a single unit instead of a double one, but at the time I purchased it, I never in my wildest dreams expected to have a 'bestie' to sail with me at this stage of my life.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
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.

Minnewisaka I agree. After watching the same intro a few times, there is no need to watch it again so it is most likely, and easy, for a viewer to skip forward. I was thinking it is well time to change, and shorten, the intro to these videos. You have given me motivation to do so. It is a lot of work to put even a short intro together and not practical to do so for every new video. Soon we will be sailing along the African coast to Cape Town, so maybe I can get some usable intro footage on this next passage for a new, shorter intro. I made a long camera pole to poke down from the foredeck so maybe I can get some underwater penguin or whale video while they are swimming alongside the boat. Anyone can get video of sea life from the deck but is far more challenging to get the moving, underwater video. In any case the intro will be shorter. I am working on the blister repair video which will be up in a month. For that one, I will shorten the sailing part of the old intro to ¼ so you, and other viewers, won’t have so much to skip through. Maybe I will just eliminate it; we will see. The establishing, part to explain who we are, and the boat we are on, has to stay.

Normally, scenes should be 3 to 5 seconds, to keep ones attention. The problem is, this is not a silent movie for entertainment purposes. The spoken words are equally, if not more important, than the visuals. A viewer who skips through a section of long visuals, means missing important information. Not being a professional video crew, we have to do the real boat work and get what footage we can to get the point across. We don’t have someone dedicated to wander around with a camera and take videos all day. Working on our boat is the priority. Dicking around with a camera and trying to get angles and B-roll (filler clips so the main clip does not run a long time), at times falls to a distant non-concern, especially when my hands are full of fiberglass resin and I don’t want to touch an expensive camera, or I just need to concentrate on the more important job at hand. Then, during editing, there becomes the problem of what to do to help shorten scenes to get them down to be 5 seconds or less and visually explain what is happening. For the washing of the boat, the narrative had to run long, this was needed information so the problem was how to fill that space with video, rather than having just a blank, black, screen. I shortened that very,very long scene, by going back and taking a B-roll clip of the soap bottle on the ground, then water at the faucet running down into a bucket. That was sort of a senseless time killer but it did add B-roll to help run through the long dialog, and break up the washing clip. For us armatures, there is only so much we can do, or care to do. No one is paying us big bucks to produce these videos. I think it is far easier to write magazine articles…and certainly, the money is far better than making videos. But hopefully, this information will help other boaters.

We had no promising antifouling left to try but Coppercoat. We are going to the very cold water world of very far S. America. I want to spend as little time scrubbing our bottom in that water as possible. I want to avoid the pitfalls of other failed applications. The problem is, no one, even Coppercoat, can explain why this product, at times, fails. One would think Coppercoat would take a chip sample of a failed application and have it analyzed, like Practical Sailor might do. From my perspective, I see some of the Coppercoat instructions as being wrong, or incomplete. The best example is about washing off sanding dust prior to the application of Coppercoat. Coppercoat says to wash dust off with fresh water. Yes, but how? With a brush, rag, just hose it… One can take a 3,000 psi, pressure washer, and wash a car and still have a layer of residual dirt left on the surface. Using a soft bristle brush, while washing the car, will be equally ineffective. A soft rag has to be used during washing to get that car clean. We found the same rag method was necessary when washing all the sanding dust off our boat in between sandings and fiberglass layups or more puttying. So following the Coppercoat directions might not be the best method for some boat owners. Just relying on wiping down with clean paper towels, or very clean rags, and alcohol, I felt was not enough. So my “experimenting” is really an effort to do things I think are a better way, on our boat, than the skimpy instructions suggest, and hopefully, have positive results. Maybe those who have a failed Coppercoat application can give feedback on my deviations from the instructions and we can figure out how others might not have a failing.
Thanks for your constructive observations. This YouTube/video thing has been a very long learning process....and still is....But this is part of the fun of sailing around the world on a boat.
 

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Annual bottom painting is very expensive.
I don't understand why anybody feels the need to haul and paint annually. There are only a very few anti fouling paints that can't provide two or three years (or more) of 24/7/365 anti fouling performance.

My thinking has evolved to using an inexpensive hard paint and employ divers regularly to inspect and clean your bottom.
A common misconception is that in-water hull cleaning can replace an effective anti fouling paint. It can't. The two are needed in conjunction with each other.
 

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I don't understand why anybody feels the need to haul and paint annually. There are only a very few anti fouling paints that can't provide two or three years (or more) of 24/7/365 anti fouling performance.



A common misconception is that in-water hull cleaning can replace an effective anti fouling paint. It can't. The two are needed in conjunction with each other.
YES... but everyone seems to haul and block and bottom paint annually in LIS Southern NE. And many dry winter store and automatically as part of Spring prep, sand and paint.... habit I guess.

I suppose the paint will be somewhat effective... after even 3 years perhaps. I will paint only every 2 or 3 years... and diver clean in between!
 

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YES... but everyone seems to haul and block and bottom paint annually in LIS Southern NE. And many dry winter store and automatically as part of Spring prep, sand and paint.... habit I guess.
I understand extreme winters require annual haulouts, but otherwise, it seems an expensive habit. In Florida and California, going three or four years between haulouts is typical.
 

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I don't understand why anybody feels the need to haul and paint annually. There are only a very few anti fouling paints that can't provide two or three years (or more) of 24/7/365 anti fouling performance.



A common misconception is that in-water hull cleaning can replace an effective anti fouling paint. It can't. The two are needed in conjunction with each other.
I'm sorry, but your statements are way too broad based for your experience. You do your thing in a tiny microcosm and have no experience outside that, that I know of.
As you are well aware, I've been complaining about the non-antifouling properties of modern antifouling paint for years, and obviously, from this thread and others proceeding it, I am not alone.
I think it only fair that you qualify your statements to say your experience is only in Frisco Bay, unless that has changed over the last year or so.
 
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I'm sorry, but your statements are way too broad based for your experience. You do your thing in a tiny microcosm and have no experience outside that, that I know of.
Look chief, there are some constants regarding anti fouling paints and one of them is that there is no reason to annually renew a paint that has a useful lifespan measured in years.

You don't even believe there is such a thing as an effective anti fouling paint, so your opinion about them is barely worth the electrons you used to post it here.
 

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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.
I once did a test of anodes by placing them on 18-inch copper pipes and leaving them in the water for a year. The pipes that had anodes had virtually no metal loss and were covered with hard growth. The control, with no anode, was pretty clean (not perfect) and lost about 9 grams of copper per square foot. That is probably more than is required.

If you do the math on the copper load of a typical paint with a typical application rate, it is 4-8 grams/ft^2, depending. But not all of that is released, and the higher figure is for a 2-year paint.

California has a copper leach rate restriction of 9.5 ug/cm^2 per day, = 9.5 x 365 x 929 / 1,000,000 = 3.2 grams/ft^2 per year.

So you need to release somewhere around 3g/ft^2 per year to get effective protection.

CopperCoat goes on about twice as thick as paint, but still, the copper load simply isn't enough for 10 years, IF it was released at an even rate. It's maybe 1/4-1/3 of that, which what we see. It works a little.

So the math says Fastbottoms is right. It can't have the horsepower. You can't cheat the math.

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I've always gone 2-3 years, and yes, I like a very clean bottom. Some scrubbing is required, but not a lot. Without antifouling, some times of year you can expect hard growth in less than a week. I've done side-by-side tests. So yeah, the stuff really works in the Chesapeake (some formulas better than others).
 

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Bottom paints are equally bad and a PAINT in the BUTT
 
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