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Old 06-29-2014, 09:34 PM   #15
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Is Coppershield made by Aquarius Marine in the UK?

Ours is the Coppercoat by Aquarius Marine. It's no magic and the application itself is important to the success of the coating. It starts working slowly but gains more effectiveness over several months. If you're in a river/heavy mud environment, you can pick up some black (iron related) oxides which are quite inert. Inert oxides don't work well as anti-foul. We had to scrub off such oxides a couple different times when were in dirt-laden waters for several months. We've had the Coppercoat in place for 5 years so far and would definitely use it again. No--not magic, and it does require a scrub here and there but we do like it.

Fair winds,
Yes, Aquarius Marine makes mine; I don't know why but Coppercoat is called Coppershield in Australia. I am so happy to hear that the product gains more effectiveness over time; I had hoped that was the case. I am moored in Sydney Harbour and normally the water is crystal clear except for a week or so after very heavy rains.

What has your scrub schedule been like? Have you kept a log of that? I had set my expectations at scrubbing 3-4 times per year. Based on my first experience, I feared it would be more often than that, but it won't take much improvement in the effectiveness of the product to achieve that and according to you it should improve -- so your post is very encouraging.

Do you scrub in the water or on the slip? The nice thing with my little cat is that it is small enough to take it in the shallows and scrub the bottoms in a foot of water. This saves on slipping charges and adds to the benefits.

What do you use to scrub with and what kind of marine growths have you encountered? I used one of the green scotch bright type pads - both to activate the product the first time (after completing the build) and to scrub down this last time, thinking I might not have successfully "activated" the product.

Thanks for responding, I'll bookmark this thread and report back periodically.
Steve
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:11 AM   #16
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Details... we do keep notes on bottom cleaning in our log book so we see how long it's been and what we're scrubbing off.

Our time-frames have been variable on the scrub schedule. We use a scotch pad called a "doodlebug." it is brown. The different colors of the scotch doodlebug pads are different amounts of "stiff" and that one seems to be perfect for getting rid of growth while it also lightly abrades the bottom paint getting rid of inert oxides (if you see a black oxide, know that it is inert!) and so forth.

When in warm waters, in the summers hubby dives on the boat about every 6 weeks to 2 months. He replanked this boat in 2008 so he calls it his "quality time" with his work. In winters, he usually lets it go for a 6 month period. It is quite variable though--in Southern California, he'd do a whole bottom scrub in the middle of winter but not north of there.

Last fall, we had a haulout to do topsides paint and we removed our bootstripe and put Coppercoat in its place. At that time, we touched up a couple spots on the keel (we're a wood boat, so there are cracks between sections of deadwood on the keel that can move and the bottom paint can crack/flake there) and we re-did the bronze rudder stock (it does not hold the Coppercoat well, even though the lead keel does and other bronze on the boat does). So..anyway, that was late October. We have not cleaned the bottom since then other than to take a doodlebug and scrub the waterline from the dingy and a little brushing off of silt below that. The waterline (depending upon where we sailing) can pick up green grass.

We are in Alaska now in what are considered to be very nutrient rich waters. We arrived in mid-April. We've been doing the doodlebug at the waterline (for there is a bit of grass) every month or so. We used a broom on an extension to wipe down a dusting of silt just the other day. I suppose that makes sense as we're in silt-rich glacier waters where the baleen whales love to feed on the krill... since the waters are cold, hubby hasn't dived on the boat. They have many tidal grids up here and use is reasonable cost and we are likely to put the boat on a grid to do a pressure wash before going south in the fall. A pressure wash will remove the black inert oxides, btw.

Types of growth--usually green grass at the waterline; a bit of fuzz/silt can end up anywhere; when we're in "dirty" waters we get the black intert oxide that takes a LOT of work to scrub off; we were in a riverway for 8 months without cleaning the bottom (during winter) and the following spring we had not only about an inch of dirt coating the bottom where the tides had swept it in (like port bow was filthy and starboard stern was awful, but port stern was OK and starboard bow was ok) but we also had hard growth nubbins about 1/2-1 cm diameter here-there-and yon along the planking seams (not on the smooth planking faces). That growth was in the inch of dirt on the hull though. I can't imagine a hull with so much dirt not having growth. As an aside--during that 8 months, I scrubbed the waterline with an extension broom about 1x per month to keep any grass away. We actually had NO idea there was so much dirt on the hull because the boat wasn't moving for 8 months. Those hard growths were scrubbed off with the doodlebug, but they left behind little "glue disks" that were invitations to other sealife to stick to. So for 16 months after that experience, hubby had to dive on the boat more frequently just to scrub things off those little disks. Then when we hauled out last October, I went around and literally sanded off the disks and then laid on Coppercoat over those seams. Took forever. Moral of that story? Clean your bottom if you're in cloudy waters! It was sooo frustrating to have the bottom be clean except for on top of those same little disks each time.

Fair winds,
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:11 AM   #17
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Ok, another 3 months have passed. I've got to go in hospital for a hip replacement. It may be a while before I can get under the boat again so I thought I'td go down and give her a scrub today before I go in. To recap: the boat was built over 2 years starting February 2012. The Coppershileld was put on when the hulls were upside down, relatively early in the build. We launched on March 12, 2014.The first scrubdown was at 3 months. That first scrub was detailed in an earlier post in this thread.

I was very pleasantly surprised this time: very little growth. A fair bit of slime but only a half dozen bits of hard growth. This all came off very easily using a 1 foot square I cut out of a beach towel.

Redbopeep, you said the Coppershield effectiveness improves with a bit of age. It certainly seems that mine has.
Steve
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:10 AM   #18
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So glad it's working for you, as well. Good luck on the hip surgery. Hopefully you'll be back out on the water in a jiffy.

Fair winds,
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:54 PM   #19
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My previous scrub down was Jun 19, 2014 is in a previous post. I performed a scrub down on October 6, 2014 a week prior to me going into hospital for a hip operation. This didn't go too badly, only spotty hard growth which came off with the scotch bright pad.

My next scrubdown was January 18, 2015. This had a fair bit of hard growth which wouldn’t come off with just a scotch bright pad. But, I found that using a plastic scraper, the hard stuff came off relatively easily. So I used the scraper first to find the hard bits of growth and then went over everything with the scotch bright pad. Seemed like a job done.

My last scrub down was March 3 and 4, 2015 which was a nightmare. I had hard growth which wouldn’t come off with a plastic scraper. In fact I wore out two plastic scrapers on just one hull and finally went down and bought a 100mm 4″ steel scraper. I started by rounding off the corners of the scraper so I wouldn’t gouge or scratch the antifoul. This worked well but was still a fair bit of work getting off the corals. I’ve always been concerned that I hadn’t activated my coppershield properly, as I’ve always had more growth that I thought I should have. So this time after the steel scraper and then a once-over with a green Scotch Bright pad, I went at it with 600 grit wet and dry sandpaper on a half-sheet rubber pad. (all under-water, not on the slipway.) The sandpaper really attacked the coppershield: it created a cloud of debris on each stroke and left the finish free of any stipling and feeling very smooth. Actually being immersed now for a year, I was surprised how soft the antifoul seemed - not nearly as soft as ablating antifoul but soft enough that with the scraper I could peel away the line where I had raised the waterline in July 2014. Hopefully now this is properly activated.

History: The construction of the boat took place over a 2 year period. The first stage was to build the hulls upside down (which is when I applied the Coppershield in October 2012) The hulls were then flipped, and the boat was build into the hulls. We launched in March 2014 so the epoxy containing the copper had all that time to “cure.” There are varying instructions on activating the coppershield - I forgot all of them and launched without activating. After a month or two I went under the boat and gave her a rub down with a scotch bright pad. There was no growth at the time and I considered this the activation. I’m thinking now that it wasn’t enough. You know how epoxy is much easier to sand when it’s only a few days old but much harder after a few months? Well I waited practically a year and a half before I did my activation. I’m thinking now that this was a mistake and that I never, properly "activated" my coppershield. I hope that's it.

Summary:
Build: Feb 2012 to March 2014
Coppershield applied September 20 2012
Launch March 2014
June 2014 First scrub
July 7 2014 Raised waterline 4"
Oct 6 2014 2nd scrub - easy with just a towel
18 January 2015 3rd scrub - required plastic scraper
March 2015 4th scrub (after 1 year in the water) required steel scraper. Re-activated with 600 grit.
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:21 AM   #20
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I'm becoming really interested in how muddy the water is where people are who are having problems. The dirt in the water has high iron content and the iron creates a black oxide that is inert (and thus isn't good antifouling) whereas normal saltwater gives that brighter green oxide that is active (creating the good antifouling).

Thanks so much for giving your reports and our fingers are crossed that you did indeed allow enough copper to show that it will create the oxides to do antifouling properly.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:51 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by redbopeep View Post
I'm becoming really interested in how muddy the water is where people are who are having problems. The dirt in the water has high iron content and the iron creates a black oxide that is inert (and thus isn't good antifouling) whereas normal saltwater gives that brighter green oxide that is active (creating the good antifouling).

Thanks so much for giving your reports and our fingers are crossed that you did indeed allow enough copper to show that it will create the oxides to do antifouling properly.
I'm in Sydney Harbour. When it rains the water is very muddy for a few days as much sediment is flushed into the Harbour. After a few days, the sediment settles out and the water is crystal clear. I'd estimate we have muddy water maybe 5% of the time. My coppershield above the waterline is green; below the waterline a blackish green prior to the 600 grit treatment.
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:04 AM   #22
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I really don't know the proper color of the green--but when we were in the muddy waters of the SFBay area (and we're back!) it became quite blackish and we'd use the brown scotchbrite "doodlebug" to scrub it off underwater to get back to greenish green Hope that helps.

Regular bottom paint has the cuprous oxide (don't know if that's the right spelling and oxide...) rather than copper in it. That is why it doesn't last as long as the coppercoat which does have copper in it that slowly oxidizes. So--if the oxides are happening in the presence of the iron, it just turns out a little "different" I suppose.
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