Darrell Nicholson


Recent Stories From this Author

Cost of Miscalculating Hatteras
February 18, 2015 At the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis last fall, I paused at the newly launched $2.5-million Gunboat 55, Rainmaker, felt the...

40 Years of Breaking Boat Gear
January 19, 2015 Practical Sailor’s 40th anniversary came and went last year without hoopla. We talked a while about marking the event with a...

New Anchoring Rules on Horizon in Florida
December 9, 2014 So far, no one at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has returned my phone calls, so I’m left trying to...

Digging into the SSB Radio Kerfuffle
November 18, 2014 Bear with us here. Before you get too far into this month’s report on single-sideband radios beginning, you’ll find it is...

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?
October 13, 2014 Earlier last month, I had the chance to join renowned sailing author Lin Pardey and survival expert Steve Callahan (author of...

Stitching Versus Splicing
September 12, 2014 A stitch in time saves nine. You don’t need to tell this to a sailor. Anyone who has had his genoa split at the leach, or...

Reasons to Stick with Teak
August 11, 2014 About two miles up the Lumut River in western Malaysia, a local entrepreneur known simply as “Mr. Chan” ran a small mooring...

A Shoe Tester’s Epiphany
July 15, 2014 I had a bit of a problem last month when we scheduled our latest shoe test. PS Managing Editor Ann Key, our premier shoe...

Pura Vida Dreamin’
June 11, 2014 If you were the young, newly married Ben Harrison, hanging out in San Francisco in 1973 with your beautiful art graduate wife,...

Alberg’s Timeless Designs
May 14, 2014 We’d tucked into Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera, when the pretty green sloop sailed through the narrow slot into the basin. A ballsy...

Inside Practical Sailor Blog

Barnacles Consume Test Panels at 18 Months

by Darrell Nicholson on February 24, 2015

Our semi-annual inspection of bottom paint panels always yields surprises, but during the nearly ten years I've been barnacle-counter-in-chief, I haven't been more surprised than I was last month. My inspection in January marked the eighteenth months of continuous immersion for approximately 60 paints that were undergoing testing. During a normal year, I would expect roughly 12-15 of those panels to still be fighting barnacles, but that's not what I found.

Read More

Reader Questionnaire

Which of the following best describes your approach to bottom paint?
I choose my own paint, but I let a professional apply (521 votes)


I let a professional apply the paint that he (or boatyard) recommends. (329 votes)


I choose my own paint and I apply it. (1639 votes)


I apply paint that a local professional or boatyard recommends. (254 votes)