OCC Forums

Coppercoat and other epoxy / copper antifouling


By simoncurrin - 21 Mar 2012

Whilst labouring with a tin of conventional anti fouling on a windy day I began to wonder if there is any truth behind the hype surrounding the various copper epoxy products on the market. There must surely be some OCCers out there that have taken the plunge and invested in this supposedly long life and labour saving product? If you have tried it I 'd be really interested to hear how well it worked for you?
By RobbieW - 22 Mar 2012

I put Coppercoat on Spring Dawn in 2009 after I bought her. Although the hull is now approaching 30 years old, she 'd been out of the water about 12 months when the job was done. The hull, except the rudder, was within the recommended limits for moisture given by Coppercoat 's supplier. I had the hull profesionally slurry blasted to clean off all previous and provide a good key. We then put 3 coats of epoxy and about 5 coats of the copper epoxy on.

Effectiveness seems good so far, whilst still on the Hamble we needed to scrub 2 or 3 times a year but the availability of scrubbing piles at both the Southern and RAFYC take the hassle out of that. Since then, in going round the coast to Gibraltar, the hull has stayed free of all but a light weedy growth in the sunny areas. That comes off easily swimming round with a pan scrubber, which I dont hestitate to use as the underlying surface is hard.

As a cost case I 'll at least break even over ten years, especially as the price of antifoul goes up as you leave UK waters. What I wont have is the labour of preparation and application of new layers each year. Trying to minimise lift outs and time ashore was also part of the equation, taking that into account it should be better than break-even but, hey, whose counting. The key to doing the job is to get the application right; temperature, thickness, timing and weather all matter.

If you search on Google for 'YBW coppercoat ' you 'll find a number of threads with a wide range of peoples experiences - mostly good, though there are the usual notorious dissenters.
By DariaBlackwell - 23 Mar 2012

We just heard from our paint expert that this method is extraordinarily reliable. They 've applied it to one of our local boats in Galway so I 'll be keeping track of results as well.
By bbalme - 10 May 2012

I like the idea of this coppercoat- but find myself vacillating - I can 't find many reviews and those I can are rather mixed. Curious: What happens towards the end of life, does it die slowly or all of a sudden? How does one move forward afterwards - another coppercoat application or does the old stuff have to be removed?

Since I have to make a decision within a week I 'm probably going to go the more traditional ablative route...

... but willing to hear arguments...
By RobbieW - 10 May 2012

Hi Bill,
Of the comments I 've read it appears application is a key factor in making Coppercoat work. Also, I guess like any antifoul, there are areas it 'll work well and those where it doesnt. There are still one or two competitive copper based coatings around and a number have been tried over time - some comments may not be relevant to Coppercoat. All I can say for certainty is that I 'm happy with the result on my boat.

On end of life I dont think there is a lot of expertise around. I spoke to an owner yesterday who added a layer of Coppercoat on top of his, then, 4 year old treament last year. There is no sign of any separation and the pressure wash used in this yard is aggressive! The surface seems to leach its copper over time, so I dont think it would fail suddenly. There is a US distributor in this list, the UK guys have always had a reputation for giving good advice if you were to ask.

Cheers ... Robbie
By dcaukill - 31 Jul 2012

I researched this when building my current boat destined for a world cruise.

As is said above, there are good stories and bad stories and it very much depends upon whether it is properly applied. Few yards have a great deal of experience in applying it. On the occasions that the coat fails, the yard blames the paint and Coppercoat blames the yard. The upshot of which is that is is hard to get redress when it fails.

No-one I approached (UK) was keen to apply it and at least one yard refused.

In view of that - and the fact that had it failed, I would have been by then half way round the world so redress would have been hard to come by - I went with a conventional soft anti foul.
By simoncurrin - 30 May 2013

Well I have taken the plunge and gone ahead. It 's turned out less expensive than expected. Excluding the prep it 's cost just twice what we spent on conventional paints last year.

By bbalme - 17 Sep 2018

Simon, How's your Coppercoat holding up?
By simoncurrin - 17 Sep 2018

Five years on and we are very pleased especially as for 3 of those years the boat was continually in the water with no lift and scrub facilities. We hauled out last week and have a clean hull. The coppercoat is looking a bit patchy especially near the waterline where it has been gouged by ice. Tomorrow we are going to give it a light sanding and then a few more top-up coats.