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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,607

    Default cleaning copper coat with acid?

    My hull is treated with coppercoat which has worked well for many years. However, the last few years those hard calcium wormy things have started to attach to it (what are they?). Last year I blasted most of them off with a pressure washer, then lightly sanded with a disc-sander with P120 discs to get rid of the more resistant bits. But this year the little blighters have come back worse, so maybe sanding was not such a good idea.

    So I am thinking this year of maybe trying to dissolve them with acid - maybe get come HCL and mix it up with wall-paper paste and brush it on?

    Anybody tried it?
    I'd miss my compost heap

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    From South Devon, living SE coast Spain, boat in Algarve
    Posts
    912

    Default Re: cleaning copper coat with acid?

    I use muriatic acid neat (i think it is supplied 28% strength) to clean calceous deposits such as barnacles and calceous wormy things from the prop., bow thruster blades, sail drive leg. It is hydrochloric acid, called "acido muriatico" over here.
    Very fast results!
    Beware of the fumes and wear protective stuff, for eyes and hands.
    M.
    Bavaria 44
    Retro navigation - the way forward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Home UK Midlands / Boat Croatia
    Posts
    18,623

    Default Re: cleaning copper coat with acid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric View Post
    My hull is treated with coppercoat which has worked well for many years. However, the last few years those hard calcium wormy things have started to attach to it (what are they?). Last year I blasted most of them off with a pressure washer, then lightly sanded with a disc-sander with P120 discs to get rid of the more resistant bits. But this year the little blighters have come back worse, so maybe sanding was not such a good idea.

    So I am thinking this year of maybe trying to dissolve them with acid - maybe get come HCL and mix it up with wall-paper paste and brush it on?

    Anybody tried it?
    That's very worrying because I get a horrendous build up of worm casts despite abrading every year. I have contacted Coppercoat and they say that the abrading with Scotchbrite is not vigorous enough and that I need to machine sand with 100 grit down to bare copper .... so that's what I'll be doing in a couple of weeks.

    I've tried neat hydrochloric acid but with limited success because it runs off too quickly and the run off is bright green so it looks as if it is taking the copper with it more than the worm casts. If you can get it to stay on it might work better but perhaps don't use it too concentrated.

    Richard

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    On our way
    Posts
    1,323

    Default Re: cleaning copper coat with acid?

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
    I've tried neat hydrochloric acid but with limited success because it runs off too quickly and the run off is bright green so it looks as if it is taking the copper with it more than the worm casts. If you can get it to stay on it might work better but perhaps don't use it too concentrated.
    Richard
    I’ve used Kilrock Gel (https://www.kilrock.co.uk) with good results. As a gel it’s ’sticky’ and it does seem to dissolve the nasties on my prop shaft quite well. Might be worth a go. No connection etc it just worked for me...

    Dum vivimus vivamus

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Bricks & mortar: Italy. Boat: Aegean
    Posts
    10,430

    Default Re: cleaning copper coat with acid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric View Post
    the last few years those hard calcium wormy things have started to attach to it (what are they?).
    They're "tube-worms", which isn't at all specific since it includes many distinct species. To quote Wiki, "A tube worm is any worm-like sessile invertebrate that anchors its tail to an underwater surface and secretes around its body a mineral tube, into which it can withdraw its entire body."

    Whatever type they might be, Coppercoat seems particularly susceptible to them, albeit in the relatively few places where they seem epidemic. We had a deep-pile carpet of the damn things after three weeks in Thessalonika. Nowhere else has been remotely as bad. Being regularly under way seems the best preventative.

    If you're a capable swimmer, they're removed from Coppercoat relatively easily with a Bahco-type scraper whilst snorkelling. Works up a terrific thirst
    All epigrams are false

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Caribbean
    Posts
    2,258

    Default Re: cleaning copper coat with acid?

    Quote Originally Posted by macd View Post
    They're "tube-worms", which isn't at all specific since it includes many distinct species. To quote Wiki, "A tube worm is any worm-like sessile invertebrate that anchors its tail to an underwater surface and secretes around its body a mineral tube, into which it can withdraw its entire body."

    Whatever type they might be, Coppercoat seems particularly susceptible to them, albeit in the relatively few places where they seem epidemic. We had a deep-pile carpet of the damn things after three weeks in Thessalonika. Nowhere else has been remotely as bad. Being regularly under way seems the best preventative.

    If you're a capable swimmer, they're removed from Coppercoat relatively easily with a Bahco-type scraper whilst snorkelling. Works up a terrific thirst
    We put together a low pressure hookah for cleaning the bottom of the boat. Since we are 7’2” draft cleaning the keel with a snorkel is a real chore.
    The whole system only runs at approx 17psi compared to 145psi on regular dive gear. We have an aquarium compressor, 100ft of air breathing hose and a special low pressure regulator. The compressor plugs in to the boat 12v or 24v system and away you go. Uses very little power although the motor is supposed to be 120w it doesn't seem to use any thing like that much power. It works really well and takes up little space compared to dive tanks etc. All the bits came off Ebay.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    cumbria
    Posts
    329

    Default Re: cleaning copper coat with acid?

    Good idea and worth a try. do you have the detail of the bits, especially the regulator

    Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: cleaning copper coat with acid?

    hey richard,
    Thats true. Yesterday, I tried the same thing. what is the proportion to mix it well?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Caribbean
    Posts
    2,258

    Default Re: cleaning copper coat with acid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter View Post
    Good idea and worth a try. do you have the detail of the bits, especially the regulator

    Thanks
    Peter,
    The hose should be air breathing hose. We have about 100ft and its perfect for us. 10mm inside diameter. They sell it on Ebay for air fed masks when you are paint spraying toxic paint.
    The second stage regulator should be set to 17psi. Its very low. They are normally set at 145psi. If you have a spare second stage a dive shop should be able to change the springs to give the desired low pressure setting. Alternatively you can buy one direct from the States from 1936margarita. Thats the Ebay seller name. Product number was 173443549042.

    The compressor we purchased is 24v because our boat is 24v. It is made by a company called Resun. Ours moves 115l/m and has a 120w motor. They do a 12v version which is MPQ-906.
    Happy scrubbing

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Home UK Midlands / Boat Croatia
    Posts
    18,623

    Default Re: cleaning copper coat with acid?

    Quote Originally Posted by ElizabethBrown22 View Post
    hey richard,
    Thats true. Yesterday, I tried the same thing. what is the proportion to mix it well?
    Unfortunately, I've no idea. I was using the HCL at 19% as it came out of the bottle so you probably need to try diluting it with 75% water to see what happens but it depends what you are starting with .... that's if you can find a way to get it to stick on the vertical surfaces.

    Richard

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