While tightening regulations spell trouble for antifoul paints, Coppercoat has been exceeding current standards for 30 years


Visit a boatyard in March and you’ll be greeted by the sweet smell of solvents. Known as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), they are essential to the application and curing of most antifoul paints – many contain up to 45%.

These solvents have a fundamental problem – they’re major contributors to climate change. In an attempt to keep the polar ice caps intact, regulations are moving towards stringent reductions of VOC content, to the point of complete elimination.

The atmosphere is not the only area at risk. Traditional antifouls work by releasing a toxic cocktail of biocides, designed to tackle the entire spectrum of slime, weed and shell fouling which loves to cling to hulls.


Coppercoat provides unrivalled longevity and value. The owner of this Westerly, Jim, enjoyed 17 years of protection from this one treatment

Again, the regulators are moving in to limit the damage. Within Europe the choice of biocides (the “active” substances) available to manufacturers has been reduced to just 10, and the latest legislation may restrict each product to a single active from this list. The speed at which the biocide is released – the leach rate – is also under scrutiny, looking likely to follow California and Sweden in limiting it to just 9 micrograms per square centimetre per day.

Coppercoat already meets all these regulations, and has done since it was launched in 1991. With a single biocide (an exclusively-sourced copper powder, made in the UK from recycled copper wire), water-based VOC-free epoxy and minimal leach rate per square centimetre per day of just 1.4 micrograms, Coppercoat is a logical, environmentally-friendly and effective choice for antifouling.

The low leach rate also contributes to long life, with a single application of Coppercoat lasting up to 20 years. And when that re-application comes, it is directly to the old coating, eliminating the ‘end-of-life’ contamination associated with scraping off old paint. Coppercoat has always been a great choice to minimise maintenance whilst providing effective protection: now, it’s the responsible choice to protect our sailing environment.

To find out more, download the full report (1.5Mb PDF) or request a quote from the Coppercoat website.