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Old 07-01-2018, 12:05   #1
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sailing/cruising subscriptions... when its too many?

Hi, as a newbie willing to learn more I subscribe to the print editions of SAIL, CRUISING WORLD, and SPINSHEET (local Chesapeake Bay area) which I read cover to cover every month.


Now I'm solicited by PRACTICAL SAILOR..... Overall cost is negligible.... but how huch is too much.
Any thoughts?
Thanks
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Old 07-01-2018, 12:16   #2
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Re: sailing/cruising subscriptions... when its too many?

I found that SAIL and Cruising World was great for the dreaming phase. Big ideas, big possibilities. Lots of pretty pictures… Practical Sailor was good during initial boat ownership when I was first learning to equip her and get out cruising.

I found they all became redundant after a few years.
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Old 07-01-2018, 12:18   #3
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Re: sailing/cruising subscriptions... when its too many?

My wife was telling someone about my near-rainman-level obsession, and they asked what sailing books I had read. She said "All of them, I think."

There is no "too much."



But to be honest, well, I subscribed to all of those magazines and more for a while. But I dropped most of them after a couple of years because the content became repetitive. I still get Sailing magazine, because of the raw and righteous porn in every issue. And for some odd reason I still really like Blue Water Sailing. And if I was about to start a refit of an older yacht, I would resubscbite to Practical Sailor.

So ya, there is no "too much" when it comes to learning stuff.
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Old 07-01-2018, 12:55   #4
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Re: sailing/cruising subscriptions... when its too many?

They are all interesting and worth the cost when you start. Then as time goes they become less and less interesting (you it has happened when you start spending more reading the ads than the articles) at which point to don’t renew.
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Old 07-01-2018, 14:36   #5
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Re: sailing/cruising subscriptions... when its too many?

I didn't care for "Sail" magazine at all, and cancelled it. Practical Sailor is wonderful. I save all the issues for future reference. They are nice because you can clip them into a 3 ring binder. One you didn't mention, that is my favorite, is "Blue Water Sailing". Really nice magazine...
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Old 07-01-2018, 15:57   #6
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Re: sailing/cruising subscriptions... when its too many?

When you can flip through all the pages in a couple of minutes and there are no articles, new products or ads that jump out, it is time to cancel your subscription
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Old 07-01-2018, 18:45   #7
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Re: sailing/cruising subscriptions... when its too many?

For years, a neighbor (who never owned a sailboat) got Sail Magazine for free.
He had no idea why it came to him, but he was glad to give them to me.
It was probably just to save space in his garbage can !
(He owned a commercial long line trawler, and fished Alaska)

Several years later, while still receiving the free issues from my neighbor, I began to get subscription offers for it in the mail.

Over the space of 2-3 years, the price kept coming down, but never a free offer.
I wouldn't have paid anything for it, as most of the (very thin) magazine was advertising.

The offers stopped about a year ago.
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Old 07-01-2018, 19:28   #8
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Re: sailing/cruising subscriptions... when its too many?

Go with books.
Electrical
Engine
Fiberglass
Cooking
Color regs

You want to learn your boat and all it's systems.
Life gets easier when you understand it.
When your new you really don't know what you need. Read everything. If it doesn't quite make sense, try another author on the same subject. I went through three 12volt electrical books before it started to come together.
You become more confident the more you know. This site is full of great questions and answers. Search away!
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Old 08-01-2018, 00:22   #9
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Re: sailing/cruising subscriptions... when its too many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Badsanta View Post
Go with books.
Electrical
Engine
Fiberglass
Cooking
Color regs (I suspect he meant COLREGS here)

You want to learn your boat and all it's systems.
Life gets easier when you understand it.
When your new you really don't know what you need. Read everything. If it doesn't quite make sense, try another author on the same subject. I went through three 12volt electrical books before it started to come together.
You become more confident the more you know. This site is full of great questions and answers. Search away!
I'd agree with this in general. Magazine articles are for the most part dumbed down to reach the barely literate and often are rife with misinformation. Lots of pretty pictures to support the advertiser's pitches.

Books of a technical nature will generally have better info and less BS... and they take up less space on your shelf (or hard drive) than glossy mags. Your local library will have, or can get many such volumes, so you can give them a "trial read" and then buy ones that resonate with your needs.

So, my answer to the question "sailing/cruising subscriptions... when its too many?" is... when the number is greater than zero!

Happy reading and learning...

Jim
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Old 08-01-2018, 06:41   #10
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Re: sailing/cruising subscriptions... when its too many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Badsanta View Post
Go with books.
Electrical
Engine
Fiberglass
Cooking
Color regs

You want to learn your boat and all it's systems.
Life gets easier when you understand it.
When your new you really don't know what you need. Read everything. If it doesn't quite make sense, try another author on the same subject. I went through three 12volt electrical books before it started to come together.
You become more confident the more you know. This site is full of great questions and answers. Search away!

Love this site and thanks for everyone who answered my question.
- I still love the magazines. I even learn from the ads and enjoy the pic. I almost always find an interesting article. I might get tired of flipping these pages sometime.
- I also love books... Just got in a used books shop "Cruising Sailboat Kinetics" (the art, science & Magic of cruising boat design), By Danny Greene, N.A....... way over my head: it's from a Naval Architect!
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:07   #11
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Re: sailing/cruising subscriptions... when its too many?

+1 for Sailing, BWS and PS. Cruising World if you feel like it. E-version of Latitude 38.
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:20   #12
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Re: sailing/cruising subscriptions... when its too many?

Sail mag has gotten better in the last several years. It's still mostly ads or "selling points" for the companies that advertise in their mag. But the thing is, if you look around you can get it for $10 a year to your door! There is often 1 or 2 good detailed article a month. More real and detailed than they used to be.
Practical sailor was fun but seemed expensive when I had it years ago. There is a lot that goes into deciding what product is best for you, and it may not be what someone decided was a good "test" of similar products.
Here's an example: There have been tons of anchor tests done, but rarely have they tested the biggest issue with anchors: "Reversal of the pull and ability to re dig in." That is really the only situation in which my anchors have failed to hold once dug in during 40+ years of sailing. Not much point in testing otherwise as the Danforth design is always heads and tails above the rest in holding power.
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:37   #13
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Re: sailing/cruising subscriptions... when its too many?

+1 eVersion of Latitude 38 is a must, even if you are not in California, hands down the best sailing rag, even today with all the excessive ads in it.

I am just annoyed by the way Practical Sailor does business. Just this morning, in their daily digest (you can subscribe for free), they advertised a book that I thought it was interesting. I clicked their link to order it, then thought to check the price online, and sure enough, PS' price is 30% higher than Amazon's.
In my opinion, they are consistently misleading their customers, that's why I canceled my subscription to PS some time back.

The only magazine that I still have a paid subscription is Sailing World, but I cannot offer a rational justification for it.

I do have at least 5 free subscriptions to boating rags, none useful, I must say. If you visit a Boat Show, you'll be able to sign up to several right there.

As others have said, the information in this Forum and in similar ones is probably more valuable, accurate, and up to date than any magazine, so time is probably better spent on reading these sites than reading magazines.

Also agree with what others have said, money is probably better spent on some of the "classic" books on seamanship, maintenance, engines, etc., than magazine subscriptions.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:35   #14
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Re: sailing/cruising subscriptions... when its too many?

When you find yourself not reading articles you initially planned on reading.

As some have pointed out, forums like this one ar invaluable because you get real problems with many experienced people giving their suggestions on how to solve.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:42   #15
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Re: sailing/cruising subscriptions... when its too many?

Many magazines do free subscriptions to medical practices and other places where the magazine is likely to be passed around, putting all those blow-in subscription cards in the hands of potential customers.

And many mags play a game now (even National Geographic) where they'll knock down a first year subscription to something like $10, and in teeny tiny type it says "Will automatically renew at the then-prevalent rate" which means full list price, often 4x higher.

So there are bargains to be had, but also tar babies. I've heard from several mags and newspapers that "all of our subscriptions are automatic renewal, all you can do is cancel it if you don't want it." No more "one year", you are signed up for life.

Clever, eh?
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