Copper Bottom Painting

One part science, five parts experimentation. Every wood boat veteran has their secret recipe for a showy finish. Share your trials and triumphs.

Copper Bottom Painting

Postby maxxadams » Fri May 25, 2007 10:05 am

Ok, the weekend is near, and I got a crazy idea my Wife is gonna love. I can get the cooper bottom paint on the skiff. Question has anyone tried rolling the paint instead of brushing? I was thinking foam roller? Any suggestions to make the job be a little less lengthy would be appreciated.
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Postby Don Ayers » Fri May 25, 2007 4:27 pm

First off you can't brush that stuff very well at all because it leaves brush strokes. What you want is a short nap foam roller made for varnish and epoxy applications. You can get these at the Home supply of your choice. Rolling it is the only way to get it to look decent short of spraying the stuff.

What ever you do, crank up the music and have fun!
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Postby maxxadams » Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:45 am

Thank you for the recommendation, maybe I will tackle this this weekend.
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Copper bottom paint

Postby 57 chris » Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:11 am

How did your copper bottom paint go? When I did mine I rolled it on with a foam roller then "tipped" it off with a high quality 4" brush. This stuff is like rolling water, very easy to apply too much but once you have the right reducer ratio, right temp, right humidity etc the finished product is awesome! I think that the next time I do this I will try spraying just for comparison.

Craig
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Copper Bottom paint question

Postby Happy Boater » Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:43 pm

Last May I had the bottom of my Riveria painted with two coats of copper bottom paint... I launched it in May and had it in the water (saltwater in Puget Sound) for only 4 months. When I took it out in September there was a lot of fouling, especially around the waterline. I did not feel that the paint was doing it's job correctly... Was it because of the brand? I had a boat repair shop paint it for me and don't know what brand he used... I know it had the copper color... I will paint it again next spring but I'm looking for a paint and a :?: better result this time.. Any suggestions. :?:
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Postby Wood Commander » Sat Jan 19, 2008 7:09 pm

If your boat is left in the water for very long it is not uncommon to get a stained and discolored look to your bottom paint right at the actual waterline. The softer the type of paint, the worse the stain. If the rest of the paint on the lower bottom is not fouling, I'd just lightly sand the bottom paint along the waterline and put a new thinned coat on every so often.
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copper bottom painting

Postby 57 chris » Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:44 am

Is this an anti-fouling paint that was applied? if not then that could be part of the problem. If we assume that it was anti-fouling then there are many factors that can affect the performance of your bottom paint such as the amount of water motion in your docking area, water temp, salt water versus fresh. Do some research and find out if you can what was applied. Next read up on the subject and make sure that the product is correct for your area (there are definately products that are made for certain areas).

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bottom paint

Postby Happy Boater » Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:02 pm

Thank you both for your comments. I wrote this question to get more informaiton on the "copper" color bottom paint. For almost 14 years I applied a blue Interlux bottom paint to my 26 foot sail boat... I could go for over a year with the occasional brushing around the waterline... Now on this boat using a different paint, I can not go 4 months without some major cleaning... I had 'grass' about 4-6 inches long growning on the waterline...
My first impression is that this was not a anti-fouling paint at all but just copper color paint... I will investigate with the person who painted the bottom for me to find out what he used... I know I will not use it again but want to find a brand of paint that will work in this area and still maintain the color... Thanks again for your comments...
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Postby Pieter Janssen » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:12 pm

Hi All,
is the copper you are talking about the same as broze (this is what it says in my hull card). If so do you know what paint i need to buy (brand)
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Copper Bottom paint

Postby Happy Boater » Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:30 pm

Your're right... I've been calling it "Copper" paint but what I wanted to say was "Bronze" color bottom paint. I have found that the paint that was put on my boat was Interlux Y999 Racing Copper paint... I was very unhappy with the results... I will find something else this year...
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Postby maxxadams » Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:11 pm

I used Pettit Hard Racing Bronze. It went on well and lasts in Lake Champlain pretty good.

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Postby Don Ayers » Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:36 pm

Sounds like you used the Bronze anti-foul paint. I don't think that stuff works very well on smaller boats that move fast. the Pettit 1959 Hard racing bronze is the only bronze paint that I know of. Woolsey used to make it years ago and they went belly up.

does anyone know of any other hard racing bronze out there?
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Bronze Bottom Paint

Postby evansjw44 » Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:39 am

I use a bronze bottom paint made by Kush Paint in Roseville, MI. Its very much like the original copper-bronze paint CC used. The algea washes right off and the zebra muscles don't like it at all. Kush is a lot cheaper than the Petit.
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Postby mcisaac inc » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:48 pm

petit 1933 is the anti fouling hard racing bronze. 1959 does not have anti fouling in it......mark
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Copper bottom stripping

Postby kmjohnson » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:47 pm

Hello all,
Some great information for applying copper/bronz bottom paint.
How about stripping old bottom paint?
I have a 1955 15' Chris Craft Cavalier (plywood) that has old soft copper paint, I want to compleetly strip it so I can seal it with the CEPS products then use a hard racing Copper/ bronz paint.

Any sugestions for completly stripping this geasy paint?

Thank you.

Ken
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Postby 57 chris » Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:55 am

Hi Ken,
Depending on how "green" you want to be, there are earth friendly chemical stripping products that in my experience don't work as well as I would like. Then we progress to the less earth friendly chemical strippers that work fairly well as long as you take your time and don't rush it. Then there's my personal fave, a belt sander with 36 grit belts. It's a very messy proposition but quick and easy. This method requires frequent belt changes because as you say this stuff is thick and loads the grit quickly. This method also requires some preperation such as covering the ground with plastic and surrounding your work area with plastic so as not to contaminate the area too badly. The only caution that I'd like to offer is as you get trough all those layers of old paint and get near the bottom surface of the boat, go SLOWLY. It's amazing how much wood you can remove in short order with 36 grit!
Oh, one other thing; don't forget the resperator. Breathing that dust can't be good for humans.

Craig
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Postby kmjohnson » Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:15 am

Thank you Craig,

I have not turned the boat over yet but when I do I may try your method. Being a plywood boat I am not shure if it will be a good Idea as there is not much wood thickness and I know what 36 grit will do to wood.

Does anyone recomend burning the finish off?

Ken
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Postby Wood Commander » Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:25 pm

Yes, you could burn the bottom paint off. I get 1 1/2" wood handled hook scrapers from Sandusky Paint Co. Or grind the sharp edges off of a putty knife so that the edges don't dig into the wood. Burnt paint fumes or stripper fumes and splash are to be avoided! And the hot trailings off the scraper from burning off tend to be slightly on fire, so watch the area around you, perhaps wet the floor.

I'd prefer using an air- driven Double Action palm sander from Harbor Freight Tools for about $70.00 with the 36 grit stick- on paper. A belt sander will work, but the DA is so much more forgiving when pushed aggressively. And the DA is an extremely usefull tool for boat work and other things to. When used with smaller grits it's great for many other things.

You can do the main bulk part with a heat gun or propane torch and then finish up the rest with the sander. You do need to be a little carefull when you do get down to the wood. Entirely forget using any kind of disc sander unless you like round scallops dug out of your hull.

The DA does require a fair amount of air, but I've stripped 3 32-35' Chris Craft cruisers to absolutely bare from gunhale to gunhale with inadequate air compressors and this DA did a good job. And for a somewhat "cheapie", has held up pretty darn well. I did have to repair a bent arbor after hitting up against the keel (whilst lying on my back, in about a 1/4" layer of bottom paint dust, breathing through a supplied air mask) too much. But I was able to easily obtain the parts from the parts list that came with the sander.

I had to do my cruisers lying on the ground and working over my head. If you get to work on the overturned boat, duck soup! Sometimes I really envy you runabout guys!

If you do a search of my posts, or look for "Commander in her birthday suite", you should be able to find a picture of my 32' Commander that ended up with the only paint left on the cabin and hardtops on it's exterior.
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Postby kmjohnson » Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:25 pm

Bret,

Thanks for the info!
Ya us runabout guys have it made, I will have the lugary of working on the bottom with the boat upside down.

Do you have any recomendations for heat guns?

I tried some 5F5 stripper on a small part of the copper paint today and is seams to work fairly well. I will wait till I turn her over to try other methods.

Thanks again,

Ken
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Postby Wood Commander » Sun Jun 22, 2008 1:33 pm

By far the majority of my wood boat work has been on cruisers. And it seems like on the old cruisers there are so many coats of old and different brands and types of paint that strippers, even my old all time favorite- nasty a_ _ Zip Strip, only take off one or two or maybe three out of 19 different coats that are on the boat. Especially bottom paint that gets really slathered on.
Since runabouts are usually trailered and are often not left in the water all season, they probably don't end up with as much bottom paint on them or even have hullside paint at all. So strippers probably work a lot better.

I'm not too picky about heat guns. I think mine are old, 2 fan speed/heat range Wagners, probably from Home Depot or somewhere. And of ourse the old propane torch works well too when care is used.

I did the "Commander in her birthday suite" search and could not find it. So here are some pictures. I know I have previously posted them on here somewhere...............
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