We had CopperCoat Antifouling applied to the hull of our Oyster 56′ in 2016. Since then we’ve had nothing but problems. To get the full story, to date, watch the following video that highlights:
- our first CopperCoat application in North Carolina
- a haul out in South Carolina for CopperCoat USA to inspect issues and instigate fixes from the original boatyard
- underwater footage of the hull after the fixes
- the hull after our haul out in Trinidad & Tobago
- another full application of CopperCoat (product paid for by CopperCoat UK)
- underwater footage a month after the last application
- the hull after our haul out in Antigua
- underwater footage of our hull after another sanding in Antigua
Watch the video below and to get into all the detail as to what happened at each major step see below for specific blog posts and videos regarding our CopperCoat antifouling issues.
CopperCoat Antifouling Nightmare Video – AUGUST 2019
CopperCoat Antifouling Nightmare UPDATE – SEPT 2019
To get into more details and read comments from readers make sure to check out the following articles/videos that we’ve made throughout our CopperCoat history.
Transcripts to the CoppperCoat Antifouling Video
So – quick background on our CopperCoat Antifouling experiences to date.
In 2016 we got lifted out at Bennett Brothers up the Cape Fear River in North Carolina. At the time of lift-out, we had normal ablative blue antifoul that we personally applied while in Greece during the summer of 2015.
After seeing CopperCoat on the same boat as ours, an Oyster 56’, in the Mediterranean and Caribbean and seeing the hull completely rid of any growth we were excited about the product.
We were informed by the Manufacturer and Bennet Brothers that Coppercoat lasts 8 to 10 years. Considering that a circumnavigation was on the cards it would be much easier if we didn’t have to haul out every couple years to get our hull repainted.
At the time we had no idea that CopperCoat seems to work for some boats and not others and in some areas and not others. Furthermore, we didn’t realize that it was possible for the application to go wrong.
More about that as we progress…
While at Bennet Brothers our antifoul was taken off and the hull was stripped back to the fiberglass hull. The required amount of CopperCoat was applied and we were excited to get Britican back in the water.
Simon, my brother and our friend, Ryan, sailed the boat down to Charleston, South Carolina where we planned to stay for six months over the hurricane season.
Simon, Sienna and I then took a break from sailing but not the boat. We were liveaboards at the Charleston Harbor Marina while our daughter went to 1st grade for a year and I could spend time with my parents, my brother and his family. It had been 20 years since I lived in America so I wanted to spend time with family while we were in their neck of the world.
Not too long after our arrival, hurricane Matthew arrived.
We decided to take our boat out of the Marina and go up a river as far as we could to get away from the coast and provide Britcan with as much protection as we could. Right after we started up the river we overheated. Long story short, unbeknown to us our hull and intakes we filled with barnacles.
As you can imagine we were already stressed about a hurricane coming. But to then find out that our hull and intakes were full of barnacles we become very anxious. We managed to ride the tide up the river and keep low revs on the engine so not to overheat.
After the hurricane, we went back to the marina and had a diver look at our hull. He told us that it was covered with millions of barnacles. After talking to various sources we discovered that the water in Charleston is super high growth and the reason for the barnacles came down to the fact that we weren’t moving. We then had to pay a diver every two months to clean the hull and through-hull fittings.
We complained to both Bennett Brothers and Coppercoat saying that we didn’t expect a hull full of barnacles.
Bennet Brothers said it was the manufacturer’s issue and CopperCoat blamed the boatyard. We felt like no one cared about the fact that we paid over $15k for something that clearly wasn’t working.
After several conversations and publishing a YouTube video about the treatment we were receiving, both companies miraculously agreed to pay for us to be hauled out to inspect the hull and fix any issues if there were any.
Upon inspection, the USA representative for Coppercoat went around our boat drawing areas where the copper coat was either not sanded down well enough or not applied correctly. He told us that the boatyard did not do a very good job with the application.
Bennett Brothers sent down representatives that followed Jim from CopperCoat’s instructions. And Simon and I hoped for the best.
We were put back in the water with our patch job and left America for the Caribbean in December 2017.
Unbelievably all our patch jobs seemed to have been working. They were clean and clear of barnacles but the rest of the hull was full of barnacles. We sent an email to Jim at Coppercoat USA who then made us feel like the whole issue was somehow our fault.
Something had clearly worked! We quested why the whole boat wasn’t redone and Jim told us we needed to scour the bottom of the boat with a scouring brush. So Simon got a brush and even tried sandpaper.
In the back of our mind, we kept thinking why Jim didn’t just instruct the boatyard to redo the whole boat? Trying to get and positive or helpful support from Jim ended so we sent the footage of our hull to CopperCoatUK.
After CopperCoatUK saw the video footage, they said they’d send us enough CopperCoat to redo the entire boat but they wouldn’t cover our labor costs.
The told us we’d have to ask Jim to cover those.
We asked Jim at Coppercoat USA to cover our labor costs of $3,000 USD and were told ‘no’. Jim actually hung up the phone on Simon. From thereafter Simon had to call CopperCoatUK to communicate with Jim at CopperCoat USA to arrange for the CopperCoat to be sent down to Trinidad.
So, here’s what our hull looked like after sailing from Charleston down to Trinidad.
The boatyard, Peke’s, in Trinidad is a well-known boatyard and has many satisfied customers. Peke’s was very professional. They explained that they’ve done CopperCoat and they fully understood the manufacturer’s requirements for application.
So…we had another full application of CopperCoat over the entire hull and sanded to the specifications required.
Britican was put back in the water in September 2018. In November, a couple of months later, Simon went down to check out the hull.
Here’s so GoPro footage in January 2019…
In April 2019 we decided to do the Oyster Antigua Regatta AND have our boat hauled out for a surveyor inspection. We’ve coded our boat to take paying guests and Antigua was a good place to get the inspection done.
While having the boat out in Antigua, we enquired if the boatyard had any experience with Coppercoat. The boatyard explained they had done several applications. Considering that Antigua is one of the largest boating islands in the chain, we thought that perhaps they might be able to get the product to work.
We didn’t have any more product applied…we had a team of guys sand the CopperCoat down, once again, abiding to the CopperCoat Recommended specifications.
Previous to the race Simon cleaned off as many barnacles as possible. But this is the footage I took when the boat was out of the water. All the white spots are the remnants of Barnacles.
Since we’ve been publishing all our issues with CopperCoat we’ve received loads of emails and comments on our blog as to people having the same or similar issues. We’ve also received notification from people that it’s working fine for them.
We know that the product works as we’ve seen it work. It’s been on the same boat that we have in the same water that we’ve been in. So – what’s the issue?
What do we want? We want someone or a team from CopperCoatUK to fly out to our boat. Have it hauled out. And for them to once and for all demonstrate that their product works by applying it themselves. Either that, or we want our money back that we paid for the product, the applications and the haul outs.
We’ve struggled for three years and have paid out well over $20,000 for a product that doesn’t work.
Any questions or comments about our CopperCoat Antifouling situation?
Please leave them below.