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What should I do?

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I contracted mecmarine to put copper coat on BP. We hauled in November and were out of the water for three weeks at my cost. Their contractor was on site a total of 2.5 days. When I saw the finish I immediately called the owner as it was unbelievably awful. We had a very intense conversation and the contractor was to come back the next day. He never did as he was rushed to hospital that night with a serious heart condition.

Over the next couple of days I agreed with the owner that I would paint the exposed bits and get it in the water(nearly Xmas by now) And he would haul again and fix it at his cost in January.

So far so good.

We have been out of the water a week. Work has been done and it is better than it was. BUT. They want to launch me in the morning and the job is still woefully substandard.

I'm sitting on my boat waiting for the contractor to come back, feeling quite ill and wondering what my options are.

It is a very expensive bottom job.

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Looks like it hasn't even been filled and faired properly before the coat went on. In Contract Law if a contract goes sour you have a legal obligation to limit your losses. I'd notify them in writing ASAP that you are terminating the contract due to "non-performance" and you want a full refund for any deposit you've paid for materials.  You should notify them that you also want "damages" in the form of hard stand and haul out charges.

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What was agreed? Were you responsable for bottom prep of any kind? What was the scope of their job and is it oral or written? Is there a written contract? If so can you post it with personal details blacked out?

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I feel that is what I should do but boy does it go against the grain. I've never "stiffed" someone like that in my life.


it looks more like you are the one that has been "stiffed" here


Beccara; has sound advice, be very clear on what was agreed and go from there.  I would have thought their easiest (and cheapest ) way out will still be to get the job done properly, they might just need a little prod to get them to see it that way.

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A contract is a contract; it doesn't matter whether it's written or verbal. A court, if need be, will decide who to believe. Good luck. Hopefully they will come good with a prod, but if not ....


And at this stage to put the matter beyond doubt if the prod works, I would get it in writing, even if they sign the back of an envelope, or they could agree to a recording.

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Verbal is a lot harder to prove and a court case will go far smoother with a written contract. Going to Disputes is a path but its also one thats more about whats fair to both parties than a clear case of right and wrong, Going to the district court can also be a 5 figure 12+ month task


BP is asking for advice and really the advise will be dependant on what he asked this lot to do and what specifically is wrong. Clearly he thinks it's sh*t and if the guy had a heart issue the day after it's finished I'd be questioning if the product which is known to be twitchy was even applied correctly in the first place and should be removed and reapplied. Upping and going to court is not going to resolve things for BP quickly nor will it fix his boat so lets hear some more about whats going on first before calling in the lawyers

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Their website says that they are importers of CopperCoat and CopperCoat's website confirms they are the NZ distributor. At some point it might be worth dropping a line to CC in the UK with your photos and let them know what's going on.




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We had MEC apply coppercoat in Auckland in 2012. I contracted them to do the whole lot (remove old antifoul, prep and apply new coppercoat) so that there was one bum to kick. They did a great job and it is still going strong.


Mitch has always been reasonable to deal with - what is his current position? Surely he will come to the party and rectify. That application looks like a real mess. NZ marine industry is too small to get a bad reputation.

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I wont add to the 'what to do now' advice, but having applied this stuff myself (privately) I'm interested in what has actually happened.


So there was the 'full' application last November, you weren't happy, you hauled out now and did some 'touch-ups'?


When we applied we stripped back all old antifoul and did a good based coat of interprotect, to give a good clean sound base.

On the application, the CC should be applied wet on tacky. If the whole boat can't be done wet on tacky in one go, the advice was to do half (one side) fully, then the other side. We did about 5 coats total. 


If it doesn't go on wet on tacky, the bond between the two coats is distinct. I'm not a coatings expert, but I assume this isn't good when the top coat slowly abraids back to the joining layer in the future. So your 'touch-up' work doesn't sound ideal. More so if the base CC it went on has already aged green.


Your last two photos look like the hull base is very rough in its preparation. You shouldn't have the pronounced edges and pits etc. What were the details on the preparation?


I'm only aware of two issues with CC application. Putting it on in such a way that you get runs in it (which isn't a major, it just leaves runs in it). The other issues we had a very little bit of, and I'm aware another boat had a bit of, is a thing like pox (like osmosis pox on a glass boat) these are blisters that form and then burst with over vigorous scrapping. They are to do with moisture or the temp of the surface on painting. We got a few on the shaddy side of our lead keel, which would have been cooler and not necessarily dry.


The reason I mention them is ours didn't appear for several years. I understand the quickest they turn up is circa 6 months. They can be treated by grinding out and applying touch ups.


What to do now?

The CC should work fine as an antifoul as is. The big question is around the quality of prep, the soundness of the base coat and the thickness of the product. To get the 10 years performance life out of CC, you need a certain thickness of product. The quality of prep and soundness of the base coat will influence risk of it falling off over that 10 year life. If quality of prep was poor, then this pox issue could become apparent in a year or two.


Possible remedies?

Reach a financial settlement (they pay you out, so you aren't out of pocket, and maybe cover your inconvenience and risk of future failure - or they agree you don't pay them), you take your chances and see how long it lasts. Risks are pox needing work in a year, the CC only lasting 5 years, or it may be fine - lasts 10 years. You would own that risk.


Full rectification. If the base prep was poor, that would require a full strip back and start again. That would cost moonbeams and take a while. Depending on what work you engaged them to do, you could hold them to that. That is where other posters comments about a contract in writing, lawyers etc come into it.

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On what to do right now (before tomorrow).

Who is paying for the hardstand?

If it's on their bill, you can play hardball (if you want) to push for an agreement right now, i.e. a financial settlement.


If you want the full rectification, that may well need some logistical planning. That would entail going back in the water until it is sorted.


1) Ensure the state of the hull is clearly and fully documented. Ensure you photo all the good parts as well as the bad parts, so an independent third party can fully understand the condition of the hull while the boat is in the water.

2) Keep calm and get a clear head. Go for a good walk, get an icecream, go sit on the beach or have a swim. With your clear head, determine an plan of approach and then execute that plan.

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I agree, it's you being stiffed BP.
OK, so if the applicator was sick and had a heart problem while applying, maybe something was all mixed up in his head. I will let him have that as an excuse without knowing more.
But if the Company then came and had a look and carried out the patch up and did not say, Hell this is a complete stuff up and we have to start again, then the problem is all theirs.
Firstly and most importantly, the Epoxy Coating is only ever going to hold on as good as the base it is stuck to. It clearly looks like they have applied it over old Antifoul. BIG NO NO!!!!
The Epoxy Copper Coat will eventually, and in the not too distant future, fall off. Once a piece goes, the rest will very quickly follow. This needs to be stripped right back to a clean bare Hull, any pitting filled and then the Copper Coat applied in the way the manufacturer specifies.
So sorry BP, I really feel for you going through this kind of crap. But the issue is with them, not you. And it should not cost you for extra time on the hard. When the job is finished and if it is of the Standard you should expect for the cost of this stuff and it's application, then you can pay the cost of the original quote less any extra costs you have had to incur.

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unlike a car where you can give the mechanic the finger and drive off,in your situation I am thinking that once in the water the applicator may "must fine why did you go back in"I know its an expense being up but that may well be the plan,your not happy the work looks unprofessional,can you get independent in to survey the work and if they say needs redoing then you may have more leverage,catch 22?

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Ok. Some more detail.

Mec were to do everything. They contract out the application. First contractor did ZERO preparation after soda blasting. He sprayed CC over old paint over barnacles and mussels. The blasting ripped loose some silicon type compound between hull and keel. He sprayed CC over it. There were runs and voids and pin holes everywhere. The photos are after his work was repaired. ( I have others of his work on its own.) There was/is overspray all over the boot stripe and a bit on the black topside paint. Adding all the days he didn't show I probably paid for an extra 4 days in the yard ( plus our accommodation as we had to get a room). The blasting had damaged the glass on the bottom of the rudder.

When he had his health scare I then took 2 days to repair the rudder and paint where there was no CC.

A week ago we hauled again and Mitch came up from Wanaka. He looked at it and apologized a d said it would be fixed. The new contractor got stuck in and at that point I was happy.

I was off the scene till yesterday. When I got back I was told it was done. But it is as appears above. There is paint under the CC as has been identified here. Plus more at the aft third of the waterline. When the contractor was here today I asked if he had been told to hurry up and get it finished and had reverted from excellent repair to patch up. He looked at his feet and was embarrassed. He said he had done what Mitch told him.(I really have no beef with him-seems competent and a decent bloke.

Money. The quote in round figures 15k. I have paid half. I have paid the first yard bill close to 6k. Mec are paying this yard bill. I expected to pay the other half upon completion. But now I'm unhappy as the substrate still scares the sh*t out of me. You can see the old paint. There are still barnacles under the CC. Will I be up for another big bill In a few years to fix it.

I'm getting lots of people saying don't pay. But that makes me feel sick. My dad was a tradie and I know what it is like not to get paid.

If I don't pay then what. I'd be happy to sit in front of a mediator with the photos I have. But not I'd rather not go that route. I honestly just want him to go away and leave me alone.

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