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  1. #1
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    Sep 2007
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    Default Coppercoat advice

    Hi all, I'm planning to Coppercoat my 38' GRP sailing boat this year and would appreciate some advice on a couple of points. I don't want to spark off the whole debate about whether or not to Coppercoat, I'm aware there are some strong views but have researched this and decided that for my boat use the advantages make sense. Specifically I'd be grateful if anyone has any advice regarding:

    1. Drying out; the boat is currently in the water, I have read that it should be allowed to dry out before treating but I want to keep time ashore as short as possible. Would a week or so out of water be adequate? Also the boat has previously been epoxied below the waterline, does this reduce or remove the need to dry as it is already supposedly impervious?

    2. Application conditions - does anyone have any advice regarding conditions at the time of application, eg does it need to be warm, not too warm etc? How critical is this?

    3. Blasting - as I have a lot of underwater area and I've heard that surface prep is key, I'm planning to get the hull sand or slurry blasted before painting on the Coppercoat myself. In particular I'm keen that this is done sympathetically enough not to remove the existing epoxy layer. Can anyone recommend a good blaster in the London area? Also can anyone give an idea of what I should expect to pay for this?

    All answers much appreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    Default Re: Coppercoat advice

    I would strongly advise against applying Coppercoat yourself. If it goes wrong (a not uncommon experience) you have some comeback if it was done professionally. If you DIY you're on your own.

    If you are dead set on DIY, first get the manufacturer to supply a formulation that will work in the conditions you expect. I spoke to them and was told that they could make it set almost down to freezing.

    For surface preparation they advise de-greasing as well as abrading. My tests have shown that washing with e.g. Acetone does nothing to aid adhesion of resins but if you don't do it they may say you were at fault. Be sure to stick to the instructions to the letter, especially with regard to applying a second coat. It may not prevent problems with adhesion between coats but might improve your case.

    I believe there are two processes. One uses copper powder stirred into the resin then rolled on, the other involves applying the resin then spraying the wet surface with the copper. Only the 1st is suitable for DIY use.
    One hull good, two hulls better.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    1,092

    Default Re: Coppercoat advice

    [ QUOTE ]
    I would strongly advise against applying Coppercoat yourself. If it goes wrong (a not uncommon experience) ....[ QUOTE ]


    I would very interested to learn if you are stating fact or opinion here?

    If the former what are the facts?

    If the latter, was it first hand experience that shaped your opinion?

    I have decided to use Coppercoat this year and am obviously very keen to learn more
    “Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it’s the only one you have.”
    (French philosopher Emile Chartier)




    http://Yacht.silverfox.googlepages.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    428

    Default Re: Coppercoat advice

    You must avoid moisture getting near the Coppercoat until it is properly cured (a couple of days in warmer weather). If you're planning on applying it outside the summer months you will need to erect a canopy to protect the hull from rain/dew.

    I'd ask AMC for advice regarding your existing coat of epoxy. I'd probably get rid of it to make sure the Coppercoat gets a good bond to the gel coat. It is rather expensive to take a risk with.
    It will not be difficult Mein Fuhrer! Nuclear reactors could.... heh, I'm sorry, Mr. President.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    178

    Default Re: Coppercoat advice

    I applied Coppercoat last spring but to a much smaller boat. If I may, I'll give you my thoughts: It took me ages to prep the hull (several weekends) - half way through I wished I'd used a slurry blasting servive. Even if you do use this, I'd allow more time for hull preparation. It's not just the drying out time but if you need to repair any of the epoxy coating you've already got, you need to have time for this to go off before putting on the Coppercoat. Plus, if memory serves, you need at least 5 days after you've applied the Coppercoat before you re-launch. Application on the day: I've done quite a bit of epoxy work and I thought Coppercoat the most difficult of all the epoxies I've used to apply. It was quite tough day to get all four coats done in the day. You need to have a dry, warm day but not very hot (the epoxy seems to go off quite quickly). Best if boat is not in direct sunlight in the middle of the day. Do not apply too early in the day when hull is still cold and perhaps damp and don't plan on working late when dew might settle. Will probably need two of you to get all 4 coats on in the day on such a boat (you may even want to split it so you do one side one day, the other the next). You need plenty of disposable kit - rollers / brushes / measuring beakers, weighing machine, paint mixing sticks etc (I used at least twice as many as I thought I'd need). Keep stirring almost continuously before and during application. First & second (and even third) coats look awful and will make you question whether you've got the right mix etc. It is not tolerant to overcoating while wet (ie if you see a bare patch in an area you've just done, it doesn't really seem to work to try and cover it over - you have to wait until you're on the next coat) Comes right with the fourth coat. Needs sanding down with fine wet and dry just before you re-launch.

    Can't help with slurry blasting though.

    Hope this helps - there'll probably be a professional along in a moment to give you better / other advice.

    Regards

    Good luck
    Paul

  6. #6
    KevB is offline Registered User
    Location : Kent/Chichester
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    Default Re: Coppercoat advice

    I coppercoated my boat about 3 years ago so here's my tips

    I can recommend http://www.symblast.com/ for the removal of any old covering. Very efficient, good value and clean up after themselves.

    It needs to be warm when the coppercoat is applied, above 12 deg I believe.

    Many hands make light work - although it's easy to apply, you need to apply the next coat whilst the previous is still tacky. Having a few people rolling on the coppercoat allows you to cover a larger area and still have time to go back and start the next coat.

    An old hand held food mixer is good for mixing the copper in with the epoxy.

  7. #7
    galadriel's Avatar
    galadriel is offline Registered User
    Location : Chichester Harbour
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    Default Re: Coppercoat advice

    I cannot advise what you should do, however I am happy to recall the application of Coppercoat to our own 35ftr. Our plan followed your own to some extent.

    Our boat was out of the water and had just been surveyed prior to our purchase. The surveyor noted that the hull was particularly dry and long term would benefit from epoxy coating. We needed to remove the old antifoul and arranged for this to be done by a company called http://www.symblast.com/ . Steve from this company (I have no connection) was most helpful, he also, as you will see sells Coppercoat. We discussed with him our plan and he sold us ME100 epoxy coating (two coats) and the Coppercoat. He also gave us detailed instructions and advice. I would strongly recommend you speak with him.

    Once the blasting work was complete a weekend in March was chosen to do the work, I had help from a friend who had applied Coppercoat before, plus he had had it applied professionally on his most recent boat, more of that later. SWMBO also helped, mixing up the next batch, supplying tea etc, bless her!

    First day Sat AM. I arrived at the boat early and went over the hull, taking off the last little bits of AF, then wiped the whole hull down with white spirit, using copious amounts, 'till it ran down my arm, uck! By the time the rest of the team were on site the temp was up to about 10deg, so we set about mixing the ME100, which had been kept at home with the CC to keep the temp up. We used a mixer, as used in the building trade for mixing plaster, it goes in a drill and does a thorough job of mixing the two parts together. Application was with short haired rollers, which were ditched after each application, IE once we got to the other end of the hull, John worked one side, I did the other. After lunch the second coat of ME100 was applied and this took us to an early end to the day. As there was a risk of dew running down the hull we put a 'skirt' of tape on the hull above the ME100 to make the water drip off over the epoxy, are you with me?

    We applied the Copper coat on the Sunday, straight over the ME100, which was still a little tacky. We felt that as both the ME100 and the CC was epoxy the CC would stick better. The Sunday was damned hard work, four coats of CC applied one after the other, only stopping for a short lunch break! But we did it!

    That was 5 years ago and there is no sign anywhere of the CC peeling away, its there for good!

    Johns current boat, launched during the winter had CC from new. As it was a winter launch he had the CC applied professionally. We both feel that the professionals had the temp in their shed to high. It is too hard. CC that he applied himself to the water line (they only applied to the water line and not above it!) is working better than that under the hull. Last year he had to have a major keel repair done. The new keel had CC applied outside by pro's, that also works fine.

    Getting prepared


    Mixing


    The finished job complete with drip skirt which worked!


    Relaunch


    "You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
    And then one day you find ten years have got behind you"
    Roger Waters 1972

  8. #8
    galadriel's Avatar
    galadriel is offline Registered User
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    Default Re: Coppercoat advice

    Spooky! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]
    "You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
    And then one day you find ten years have got behind you"
    Roger Waters 1972

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Default Re: Coppercoat advice

    Thanks for the advice so far, really helpful.

    Galadriel some very good tips there; if you are able to post some pics or pm me that would be fantastic

    I'll definitely talk to symblast

  10. #10
    galadriel's Avatar
    galadriel is offline Registered User
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    Default Re: Coppercoat advice

    [ QUOTE ]
    if you are able to post some pics

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Errr, see above? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
    "You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
    And then one day you find ten years have got behind you"
    Roger Waters 1972

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