Cruising World

COPPER COAT APPLICATIO­N TIPS

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The manufactur­er’s instructio­ns are very specific—and more complicate­d than rolling on paint. A few summary tips can help ensure success:

Become intimate with the instructio­ns long before the applicatio­n begins in order to avoid surprises.

Understand the impact of temperatur­e and humidity in choosing the location, season, and timing of your applicatio­n. Coppercoat won’t cure properly in temperatur­es below 50 degrees within 24 hours of applicatio­n, and temperatur­e also affects the pot life of the resin. Humidity also affects outcome; it’s recommende­d the coating be applied when relative humidity is less than 65 percent.

Assign roles. We had one person mixing constantly, two people rolling on Coppercoat

(Totem is 47 feet long), and a fourth to monitor and fill in as needed.

Confirm consumable­s and be sure you have access to necessary supplies. For example, the isopropyl alcohol used as a thinner needs to be 90 percent or higher, which we sourced from the US because only 70 percent purity was available in Mexico.

Allow enough time. Our applicatio­n was done mostly in a single day. But this had to fully cure before we could move the jack stands and keel blocks to coat those areas. Totem’s process took a week in total to apply coats and cure the entire bottom.

Coppercoat is sold in kits, making it less readily comparable to gallons of bottom paint. Both Coppercoat US and UK’S websites include a handy calculator that takes hull shape into account to estimate how many kits you’ll need. The number of kits depends on the hull area. We used 16 kits to reach the recommende­d minimum of four coats.

Follow the final light-sanding/burnishing instructio­ns to the letter. If the copper is not correctly exposed from the cured epoxy resin, it won’t have antifoulin­g properties.

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