Coppercoat experience


26 Sep 2007
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Well I hauled my boat out yesterday for the first time since coppercoating two years ago and, after reading Twister Ken's recent thread I thougt it may be helpful if I post the results including pics of the hull before pressure washing. Also I thougt I may be able to put some perspective on the question of burnising.

The coppercoat was applied by roller by Paul from Symblast; I had initially intended to apply it myself and indeed Paul, who had blasted the hull clean and supplied the coppercoat recommended this. In the end however the only clear weather window I could get was when I couldn't get time off and so asked Paul to do it. The finish has a slight orange peel effect from being rolled on but this is very shallow and is not a concern to me. And it is far smoother than the old epoxy coating which appeared to have been applied with a trowel from the opposite side of the car park, which SWMBO and myself spent many a happy hour sanding smooth. Paul then added an additional coat of epoxy before applying the coppercoat onto the tacky surface.

As you can see from the photos the surface on lifting was overall very clean with mostly a light coating of slime which could be rubbed off easily with a finger. In a few areas there was a light covering of weed, as you can see from the second photo; again these pressure washed off with no difficulty.

I believe that this was on the areas which were covered by pads when I burnished the surface prior to launch and so were not properly activated, showing the benefit that burnishing has following the initial application. To put this job into perspective I was advised to rub the hull over with a maroon scotchbrite pad before the initial launch. This took aroundan hour to cover the full hull and was really justa case of wiping it over whilst applying moderate pressure, certainly nothing like the effort of sanding back a finish. In fact I decided to burnish the full area again yesterday simply because it was so little effort and was less hassle than trying to identify the bits which had been missed previously. I don't expect to need to do this again next time I haul out, but wouldn't be dismayed if I did as it really is no trouble.

The small beard of weed under the front of the hull is a patch a couple of inches square which I deliberately left uncoated as a control (in fact we couldnt support the hull without a block under this point so I wasn't able to get to it).

The after photos show the clean finish and verdigris colour which also extends above the waterline and I actually quite like. You could use a boot topping above the coppercoat instead but this seemed like extra effort. You can also see a small colony of barnacles hiding behind the rudder where we were unable to get the coppercoat, showing that there was plenty of potential for fouling if the coppercoat was not doing its job.

I'm very pleased with the performance, I couldn't say whether it performed better than any conventional antifouling would have done in the same circumstances, but I can certainly say that it performed more than adequately over two years in the water. The total time out of the water to clean was 2 hours, and as I could clean her in the slings it was far cheaper than having her chocked and relaunched. Now I know what to expect I'll probably dry out on a grid next time to save even more. And who can complain about two hours of easy maintenance after two years, with no scraping or slapping about noxious paint?



Active member
7 Apr 2004
Cardiff Bay
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Ours was copper-coated new (2000) but a previous owner has anti-fouled her! Don't know why. I assume there is a limited life and he didn't want to re-apply coppercoat.