November 24th, 2015 by Piper Smith
Copper sheathing was applied to the bottom of a wooden ship to prevent penetration and damage by marine organisms such as shipworms. These worms could cause structural damage to the hull and constant maintenance was required for wooden hulled vessels that were not copper sheathed, particularly in warm tropical waters. While there was a tremendous expense in adding copper sheathing to the hull, an insurance company may have offered lower premiums as the vessel offered less risk. The term “copper-bottomed” continues to be used to describe a venture, plan or investment that is safe and is certain to be successful.