Why Do Barnacles Attach to Boats? The Pesky Truth

By Matt Claiborne

Barnacles look for places with lots of water movement, so they’re often spotted attached to dock pilings, rocks in tidepools, the bottoms of boats, and even whales.

Once they settle, barnacles start secreting a cement that is one of nature’s most powerful glues. That is the secret to their success, allowing them to remain attached no matter how strong the current.

What Do Barnacles Do to a Boat’s Hull?

Once a barnacle attaches, they just keep increasing and growing. The colony of critters can get so thick that it adds a significant amount of weight to the boat. Water will no longer flow smoothly over the boat’s bottom, so drag is significantly increased.

How to Prevent Barnacles on Boat Hulls

Unfortunately, there is no magic solution for preventing barnacles. They are tenacious, attaching to anything and start growing.

However, there are some things you can do to lessen the chances of getting barnacles!

Tips to Prevent Barnacles on Boat Hulls

1) Copper Bottom Paint 2) Hull Cover 3) Modern Barnacle Removers and Repellents 

Palm Leaf

Why Do Barnacles Attach to Boats?

Click for full blog