Digging the Daily Grind
This month’s bottom paint article got me thinking again about Practical Sailor. We are, in some ways, the old barnacle of the marine publishing world, clinging tenaciously to an independent, ad-free format, while our brethren are whisked off by the current toward banner ads, YouTube videos, and blogs, where opinions and advertiser bias often supplant fact-based reporting. Ours is not an easy road. If it was, there’d be others doing it. I dare not try to calculate the man hours that went into conducting the tests in this month’s issue. The annual bottom paint project alone consumes weeks. Then there’s the multi-day pull-tests for the rope-clutch comparison, the days spent dissecting 9.9-horsepower outboard engines, and a long week of comparing 27 different kinds of clear-vinyl cleaners. And I haven’t even mentioned the dirtiest project featured this month, Technical Editor Ralph Naranjo’s epoxy barrier coat removal project—a hot, dusty ordeal carried out for weeks during a Chesapeake Bay heat wave.