A 'peel and stick' copper foil is the latest weapon against weed. Could this new coating bring an end to annual antifouling?

The latest development in copper hull coatings comes from engineer and sailor Willy Kay.

Fed up with haul-out charges and having to antifoul his yacht every year, Mr Kay developed a thin copper foil with a unique waterproof adhesive backing.

Once the hull is properly prepared – the gelcoat needs to be exposed and lightly abraded – the foil’s backing is peeled off and it is just stuck to the hull.

The adhesive has stood up to pressure washing at 3000psi without signs of the foil loosening.

It comes in rolls up to 300mm (12in) wide allowing relatively quick and easy DIY installation.

Because the copper is so thin – 100 microns, or 4 thousandths of an inch – overlapping the foil is not a problem.

A 50 micron film is also available which is easier to apply.

Mr Kay estimates erosion at a rate of four to ten microns per year, so a life expectancy of around 15 years would be reasonable for the 100 micron foil.

At £35 per square metre on 300mm (12in) rolls, an average 35 footer should cost around £1,000 if all the work is done by the owner.

Mr Kay did his own 12 metre yacht and estimates the job could be completed in a week to ten days.

Contact: The Foil Specialist Co Ltd, Tel: 0121 3133858

www.foil-specialists.co.uk, email: keith@foil-specialists.co.uk