Aquarius Marine Coatings Ltd. manufactures the high-performance multi-season antifouls Coppercoat, Coppercoat-Superyacht and Coppercoat Commercial. Since launching in 1991, these coatings have proven to be durable and long-lasting. These hard-wearing and densely copper-filled epoxy resins provide protection against unwanted marine growth for many years (commonly over a decade). To date, more than 60,000 sail and power vessels have been treated with Coppercoat in the leisure, commercial and superyacht sectors.
Coppercoat consists of copper powder and resin, and its non-ablative characteristics mean it will firmly adhere to a wide variety of surfaces including GRP, concrete, steel, iron and aluminium. Its leach rate is less than 50mcg/cu/cm2 after 30 days. Managing Director at Coppercoat Ewan Clark says, “Increasingly restrictive laws governing the use of biocides in ant-fouls weighs heavily on coating manufacturers. Within Europe, the latest Biocides and Pesticides Register has reduced the number of allowable biocides by approximately 80%. The armoury available to paint chemists has been severely depleted.” He adds, “But a restricted choice of ingredients and a lowering of biocide levels need not result in poor performance. The latest coatings technology concentrates on making best use of the ingredients. The latest Coppercoat-Superyacht anti-foul being a case in point. The water-based, VOC-free epoxy carrier is loaded with pure copper particles, curing to create a semi-permanent outer surface so copper-rich as to be inhospitable to virtually all bio-fouling.”
The proof of the pudding is they say is in the eating. Coppercoat is currently celebrating its own memorable proof in the aftermath of the 2017-2018 Clipper Round The World Race. When the Clipper boats were finally lifted out after 40,000NM of racing and 16 months of continual immersion, the Coppercoat on their hulls revealed almost no loss of coating thickness. Barring the faintest trace of slime at the waterline in some parts, the hulls were virtually spotless.
So well did the Coppercoat antifoul perform that, for the first time in the Clipper’s 22-year history, the boats did not need to be lifted out at the race’s halfway mark in Sydney. As every boat owner is all too painfully aware, lifting out vessels to clean off old antifoul and apply a new coat can be a slow and costly business, so Coppercoat’s matchless resilience meant substantial savings in time and money for Clipper Race organisers and crews alike. “This enormously successful outcome understandably delighted us, the crews and the race organisers in equal measure,” adds Ewan Clark. “Look no further for a clear vindication of Coppercoat’s efficiency and longevity.”
Such positive feedback contrasts markedly with recent testimony from sailors involved in other global circumnavigations, who reported that rival coatings used on their boat hulls only lasted for less than six months. Even, by this point, barnacle growth on hulls was so advanced that it was calculated to be responsible for a 0.5 to 1 knot reduction in boat speed for every hour sailed.
It’s a wrap
Paints and varnishes are not the only way to protect surfaces and keep things smart. Vinyl wrapping is a way of protecting a paint finish with a plastic layer, rather than a chemical topcoat. The process known as wrapping has developed dramatically over the past decade and has moved into the premier league of coatings and is no longer simply in the realm of those seeking to temporarily advertise a new product or design on the side of a commercial white van. Vinyl allows for special effects the likes of pearlescent or matt effect to be applied if required, and we are now seeing many interiors receiving a fresh coat of vinyl...