Subscribers Only Lately, readers have been asking us about which antifouling paints serve well for specific bodies of water (or type of water). So, in this article—our annual spring bottom paint report—we will try to answer these questions with some recent reader survey data and sales reports from the two biggest brands in the U.S. (Pettit Paints and Interlux Yacht Finishes). But before we get into the regional breakdowns, a quick recap on choosing bottom paint and our paint testing program is in order. If you’re a longtime subscriber, feel free to skip down to the “Current Testing” section.
Subscribers Only For better or for worse, the modern cruising sailor is becoming more like an airplane pilot. Safely ensconced out of the wind, the helmsman relies on instrumentation to provide him with information about our environment. Should he bear off for more speed, set the screecher, or tuck in a reef? Increasingly, we’re seeking these answers in digital display rather than strips of yarn in the rigging and the hair on the back of our neck.
There’s nothing more satisfying than capping a pleasant day on the water with a good meal, be it burgers and dogs on the grill or some fancy, culinary extravaganza whipped up by the galley wizard. Most marine stoves and grills use liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). It’s efficient, relatively cheap, and widely available. It’s also highly explosive—particularly with regards to boat installations—which makes proper installation and regular inspection so critical in onboard systems.
Subscribers Only When classical musicians start playing rock and roll, fans take note. When their first song’s a hit, everyone listens to the lyrics. Bob Johnson, Bill Bolin, and the Island Packet Yachts (IP) crew have decades of experience delivering traditional cruisers to appreciative owners, but IP’s newest player has increased the tempo.
Subscribers Only The fiber-to-resin ratio was increased through a vacuum-assisted resin infusion, a process that better wets out the laminate and simultaneously squeezes out all the excess resin. The mechanical properties and blister resistance of vinylester resin are better than its polyester cousin, and this uptick in materials and laminating process dovetailed with the use of Divinycell foam to deliver a strong, stiff, one-piece hull with a an inward-turning flange. The BJ40 hull carries a 10-year warranty against osmotic blistering.
A lot can be learned from really small boats that carry no crew. In fact, sailing robotics—SailBot for short—is attracting sailors and engineering students from universities across North America and Europe. These competitive research programs are a proving ground for on-the-water autonomous craft, and they give us a glimpse of what the future of marine electronics may have in store.
Subscribers Only After nearly four decades of being married to my CQR plow anchor, I decided to try a new anchoring solution aboard my Ericson 41, Wind Shadow, and mounted a Manson Supreme on her bow roller. I’ll be long-term testing the Manson, but here’s a preliminary look at the CQR and the Manson.
Two racing sailors from Charleston, S.C., got together last spring to develop an economical alternative to electronic compass devices like the $340 to $500 Velocitek (PS, May and September 2011), the $460 to $735 Tacktick (PS, November 2009), and the $600 Sailcomp. The result? The Regatta Recon performance sailing app for Android and iOS devices.
Has Practical Sailor reviewed sunglasses since the 2009 article? The feature we’d really like to have is to be able to read our chartplotter’s screen without removing sunglasses. A review of that particular feature would be extremely helpful.
PS Reader Mark Baldwin wrote: "I used Uni-Gard pink antifreeze (rated for -50 degrees) to winterize my boat. The leftover jugs all froze solid at -14—or perhaps they froze before the night got that cold. The consequence for my boat’s systems? No telling until the spring, I guess."
We trailered our boat from Montana to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and sailed across to West End, Bahamas. We cruised in the Abaco islands for 1˝ months, and on the night before the crossing back to Florida, we had a horrible night in an anchorage, and we ended up with a bent Danforth primary anchor.
Early this month, irate boat owners from Marina del Rey, Calif., packed the regional water-quality board meeting, protesting a rule that would require them to switch to a copper-free antifouling paint by the year 2024. The board unanimously voted in favor of the rule, moving it another step forward in the legislative process—a bureaucratic cricket match that will drag on for several years.
Inside Practical Sailor Blog
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.
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)