I think barrels should all be locked to a specific type of product, like they are on our ships. In other words, instead of generic, multi-item barrels, you'd see a food barrel, or a wood barrel, or a cannonball barrel (or perhaps a more generic "ordinance barrel"). The cursed cannonballs would appear in cannonball barrels but not wood or food barrels. This would simplify and expediate resource gathering, and it would make a whole lot more sense.
I Agree 100 percent - I am an Athenas 10 Pirate Legend who stopped playing until they fix this Barrel UI Nightmare