|Research Points Needed||80|
Coppering protects a ship’s hull from marine worms and weeds.
By fastening thin copper sheets over the timbers below the waterline, weeds and worms are kept at bay. The ship lasts longer because its bottom is not eaten away, and is faster by not being fouled. Upkeep costs are reduced, and handling improved. Coppering is not cheap, though, as it requires substantial work in the shipyard during construction.
Historically, coppering ships was not immediately accepted by the Royal Navy. The Admiralty were put off by the high cost of the copper; a second problem was that coppering actually seemed to make the rotting of ships’ hulls worse, not better. This was the result of an unexpected reaction between seawater, the copper sheets and the iron bolts used to hold them in place. These became, in effect, a large battery, and the iron bolts were eaten away by the chemical reaction, resulting in the hull falling to bits. Once iron was no longer used, “copper bottomed” became a mark of approval: something so (financially) sound it could not possibly fail. Coppering remained in use until the development of modern anti-fouling paints.
Improved Coppering reduces naval upkeep costs by 5%, making it identical to the Bottling and Canning technology. Both technologies are available at the beginning of the game (for most factions--Russia doesn't have immediate access to Bottling and Canning), and both require the same amount of research points; the only difference is that one is a military technology and the other an industrial technology, so gentlemen researching them may gain different traits upon completion. The effects of Improved Coppering stack with those of Bottling and Canning.
Improved Coppering best benefits factions with large fleets, such as Great Britain and France: in the late game, upkeep costs for navies may reach thousands of gold, so a 5% decrease per turn can be significant. For those factions that only have small fleets or no ships at all, the technology's benefits are minimal at best, and research time may be better devoted to researching technologies with more tangible benefits.