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Old 06-07-2013, 18:36   #1
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Boat Reviews

Hi there, long time reader, finally registered! I am wondering what folks think about boat reviews. It seems to me, well, I am having a hard time finding reviews that attempt even a little constructive criticism. You know, here is what is good, but here is where the boat falls a little short. No matter what magazine, and be it for.power or sail, this seems to be the case. Car magazines, photography, and in many other fields, there seems at least some level of willingness to say the bad with the good. But I just don't see thus for boating of any kind. Why is that the case, or perhaps you disagree?

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Old 07-07-2013, 11:01   #2
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Re: Boat Reviews

I disagree. Practical Sailor prints reviews that point out the cons as well as the pros. You can find a lot of reviews online, also, that are fair and objective.

Yes, if you only look at the glossy magazines that contain more advertisement than content, then you will find only find reviews that focus on the positive. They have to keep their advertisers happy, after all. But even in those reviews, you can often glean information about the negative aspects of a boat if you do a little bit of reading between the lines. What they don't say, and how they word their comments can often tell you a lot.

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Old 07-07-2013, 11:26   #3
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Re: Boat Reviews

Along with PS I have these two in my bookmarks; Bluewater Boats, and
Mahina. Also found a useful, although dated Yachting Monthly review online
of a boat I am researching. Bing has been very helpful occasionally.

Doing a search of Circumnavigation sailboats led to a number of decent
articles about various boats. eg Atoms Voyages-Good Old Boats List, etc.

Search terms; Top ten small cruising sailboats, best __ft sailboat,
best value boat, etc.

Don't discount all the manufactures web pages as quite often
there will be useful links to owners blogs, etc..

Dig a little and you might find some decent nuggets. I have...

And asking on CF about a specific boat might get you some useful info...

Forgot a sometimes very useful one. Your local library !

Take your machete and hip boots....
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:08   #4
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Re: Boat Reviews

Jack Horner's legacy reviews in BoatUS were always pretty objective. Practical Sailor told it as they saw it from their perspective. Blue Water Sailing- so, so. Cruising World, no.

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Old 07-07-2013, 13:06   #5
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Re: Boat Reviews

Time tends to reveal better info - albeit scattered around the internet. But lots of issues are generic, at least enough to know what requires a close look at (as boats get older, that moves from lots, to most things - to everything!).

Whether a boat works in practice for "You" and / or you like her are largely subjective matters, so one person's opinion is just one data point anyway.

Of course if looking for brand new, in build and design then less critical info around - for those who know what they are looking at / for not so much of a problem. For others? Well, I think they are mostly sold to via the colour of the scatter cushions.......
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Old 07-07-2013, 13:22   #6
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Re: Boat Reviews

Most sailing magazines make the bulk of their money by selling advertising space to boat manufacturers. The don't-bite-the-hand-that-feeds-you rule is always in effect.

I stopped reading the sailing mags shortly after I bought my first boat, and they seem less and less relevant all the time, especially now that I've bought my final boat. It's literally been years since I've picked up anything other than Latitude 38.
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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Old 07-07-2013, 13:34   #7
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Re: Boat Reviews

Good Old boat does a good job of collecting comments from owners. While almost all owners suffer from post-purchase rationalization to some extent, it is possible to get good feed back if drawing from a large enough group such as GOB's readers.
A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground no one would think to try and refloat it.
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Old 07-07-2013, 17:54   #8
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Re: Boat Reviews

Thanks I had never heard of a number of the mags/websites notes by others. I get that fear of.losing advertisers can limit criticism. For sure, other interests like cars and cameras also have more quantifiable it's easy to be critical when the numbers say you can.
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Old 07-07-2013, 18:20   #9
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Re: Boat Reviews

Forget about "unbiased reviews" anywhere. I once gave a good report on a travel site and it was accepted. Later gave a bad travel report and it was shelved.
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Old 08-07-2013, 13:54   #10
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Re: Boat Reviews

Originally Posted by Adventurebound View Post
Forget about "unbiased reviews" anywhere. I once gave a good report on a travel site and it was accepted. Later gave a bad travel report and it was shelved.
Same thing happened to me. Imagine my surprise when I called the travel agency and was told the hotel has the right to choose whether or not to post a review.

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