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Old 24-10-2008, 05:34   #16
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I agree about Cruising World being almost 90% ads. Even their "reviews" are just ads hidding as articles. I like Lats & Atts best as it as least tries to be crusing based. Other than that I like Practical Sailor, but it isn't really a magazine.
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Old 24-10-2008, 08:27   #17
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I've subscribed to Cruising World, Sail, and Lats&Atts at different times over the years. L&A was a favorite way back but has become more advertising driven and is now closer to the rest. Both CW and Sail have good articles with practicle application. CW doesn't seem to discount thier subscriptions much, but with Sail if you hold off on renewing they will keep sending you discounted reminders at lower and lower subcription rates. I hold off until it's around $10 for the year!

But now all my subscriptions are expired and it's nearly time to fly down to the VI's to live aboard our P39 cat. Given my temporary (hopefully) unemployment I'll only be able to afford the BEST magazine in the islands. The Caribbean Compass is a free monthly paper that is stacked with info about what's going on in the islands. It's a must read. They also have a website: Caribbean Compass - Caribbean Yachting News Magazine
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Old 24-10-2008, 09:13   #18
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Good Old Boat!

I have let my subscriptions to Sail, Cruising World, Blue Water et al lapse as these all seem to be recycling old articles. Moreover, Sail and Cruising frequently have the same articles, albeit somewhat paraphrased and with slightly different snaps. Moreover, I have no interest in reading the "Latest Reviews" of $400,000 "day sailors", or $1.2 million "cruisers" or the seeming endless reviews of electronic rubbish.

Karen Larson and her husband publish interesting and useful information (see Good Old Boat - Welcome to Good Old Boat Magazine ). I also find Sailing Magazine (see Sailing Magazine ) good from time to time (but I am not a subscriber) and DIY Boat Owner shows potential (see DIY-BOAT.COM - Home ) although it may focus on power boats too much for some. I also find Ocean Navigator useful and interesting at times but I am not sure of the magazines endurance so I have not subscribed (see Ocean Navigator: The magazine for long-distance offshore sailing and power voyaging ). I do like Latitude 38 (when I don't have to pay for it) but of late Richard Spindler seems to be effected a little much by the "Peoples-Republic-of-San Francisco" mentality which, unfortunately, has bled over the Bay from the "Peoples-Republic-of-Berkeley".

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
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Old 24-10-2008, 09:52   #19
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My $.02:

I currently subscribe to:
Cruising World - While I agree with those who say it's old and tired, I just renewed my subscription for one more (and likely the last) year. It's true that a full half (ok, maybe a third) of the magazine is devoted to getting the reader to charter with one of the many advertisers. It's also true that very few can afford the shiny new boats they review. Why renew? I know what to expect month to month. It's not great, but at least it's a constant OK.

Sailing - I don’t know how I came to subscribe to this magazine. Perhaps someone bought me a gift subscription and didn’t tell me. It was free to me and has pretty pictures, so I’ll keep getting it until it lapses. I don’t see anything useful in the fluff. In my opinion, it’s a sailing magazine for people who want others to think they’re into sailing. I’d put it on the level of a doctor’s waiting room magazine.

I previously subscribed to:
SAIL - I found SAIL to be too focused on racing and advertisement of gear and charters for my tastes. There was the occasional article I liked. The only regular feature I found useful was the "Voice of Experience". It describes an emergency situation on a sailboat and the steps the author took in that emergency then summarizes with specific "What I did wrong" and "What I did right" bullets. I used this section as practice. What would I have done in that situation?

Blue Water Sailing - At the time I subscribed, I found it to be all about those destinations others were visiting that I dreamed of eventually going. Reading about other people's adventures and destinations is bitter sweet for me. Depending on my mood, I either enjoy it or hate it. (That is, motivating or depressing that it's going to take so long to get there.) As a result, at the time, I felt that it offered little. Now that I'm closer to departure, perhaps I'll try an issue again, if I can find it. I haven’t seen it on the newsstand in years.

Practical Sailor - Practical Sailor is a Consumer Reports magazine for sailing. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I found their tests and reviews to be fair, balanced, and unbiased. They also offered maintenance and upgrade tips. At the time I subscribed, I didn’t own a boat. It wasn’t good for me at the time. I recommend it.

I’m considering subscribing to:
Latitudes & Attitudes – I’ve only read a couple issues. L&A seems to be “by cruisers, for cruisers.” This is the biggest selling point for me (as opposed to Cruising World which seems to be "by cruisers, for bored, young, well-to-do retirees and those who want to be"). I like what I’ve seen and I’ve given serious thought to subscribing. There’s something holding me back that I haven’t put my finger on yet. It’s a nebulous, lurking minor annoyance that in the end is probably just all in my head. I’ll buy single issues until I figure it out.
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Old 24-10-2008, 09:56   #20
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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
I have let my subscriptions to Sail, Cruising World, Blue Water et al lapse as these all seem to be recycling old articles. Moreover, Sail and Cruising frequently have the same articles, albeit somewhat paraphrased and with slightly different snaps. Moreover, I have no interest in reading the "Latest Reviews" of $400,000 "day sailors", or $1.2 million "cruisers" or the seeming endless reviews of electronic rubbish.

Karen Larson and her husband publish interesting and useful information (see Good Old Boat - Welcome to Good Old Boat Magazine ). I also find Sailing Magazine (see Sailing Magazine ) good from time to time (but I am not a subscriber) and DIY Boat Owner shows potential (see DIY-BOAT.COM - Home ) although it may focus on power boats too much for some. I also find Ocean Navigator useful and interesting at times but I am not sure of the magazines endurance so I have not subscribed (see Ocean Navigator: The magazine for long-distance offshore sailing and power voyaging ). I do like Latitude 38 (when I don't have to pay for it) but of late Richard Spindler seems to be effected a little much by the "Peoples-Republic-of-San Francisco" mentality which, unfortunately, has bled over the Bay from the "Peoples-Republic-of-Berkeley".

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
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Old 24-10-2008, 10:10   #21
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I received a free subscription to Cruising World with my boat show tickets, I've yet to see an issue arrive yet though.

I got a free copy of Latts & Atts off of their website. It took a few weeks to show up, but my wife and I liked it so much that we just subscribed. It is more of a "cruising lifestyle" magazine. In the issue we received there was a notice how it is now going to be under the name "Seafaring" so it will be on the shelf next to the other sailing mags.

I like to watch the videos on the Latts & Atts website too. The information is pretty good, and it is well produced. Its especially great if you are stuck in the increasingly frigid North East and dreaming of a the tropics...
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Old 28-10-2008, 00:21   #22
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I've seen the typical mags for so many years I feel like I rarely see anything new. A mag I used to read, but now out of business, was Motor Boating & Sailing. It had a great mix of articles with how-to info, and tear out info sheets. The closest thing to it today is Practical Boat Owner from the UK. I really like its style and articles but given the Euro focus and the extra high cost to acquire here, I only pick one up now and then. If there was a US mag that was just like it, I'd subscribe in a flash.

While lamenting great magzines of the past, I also really liked Rudder.
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Old 28-10-2008, 09:39   #23
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If you are fairly new to sailing most of them will be helpful. Sure , those of us that have been sailing along time tire of the "same ole stuff", but to new eyes there is a lot of good info or at least thought provoking things in them. Sail mag is not what it used to be, but you can get a year's subscription for $14 and there is some good stuff in it.
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Old 28-10-2008, 10:18   #24
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If you are fairly new to sailing most of them will be helpful. Sure , those of us that have been sailing along time tire of the "same ole stuff", but to new eyes there is a lot of good info or at least thought provoking things in them. Sail mag is not what it used to be, but you can get a year's subscription for $14 and there is some good stuff in it.
That is a good point. If you are new to the lifestyle and the magazines, take out a 1 years subscription then read the old ones over and over for the next ten years
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Old 28-10-2008, 11:58   #25
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Keep in mind that, in an agreement between water sailing">Blue Water Sailing and the SSCA, a new membership in the SSCA provides one with free electronic subscription to BWS. This is in addition to SSCA membership also giving you a digital subscription to Ocean Navigator. There's also a special offer arranged between the SSCA and Practical Sailor that provides for two full years of past PS magazine content, in CD format, should a member subscribe to PS. (I probably don't need to mention that the SSCA's monthly bulletin is also available in digital format).

If planning an extended cruise, downloading issues of these magazines provides a lot of leisurely reading without any of the bulk and mold of paper being carted along.
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Old 28-10-2008, 12:54   #26
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Okay, I'm the newbie here, I don't own a boat and I can sail enough to get from here to there on a good day, so I'll chime in with my viewpoint on the mags.

I'll compare the sailing mags to other mags relating to other hobbies, flying and motorcycles.

Airplane magazines are mostly about the latest electronic gadget that takes away from enjoying what we really got into flying for-flying the plane.
of course, there are the new airplane tests, but most are of the latest twin engine turboprop or 6-8 passenger multi-million dollar skyburner with every luxury and electronic gadget available that requires a space shuttle pilot to operate.
There are good safety articles but eventually they seem to be pretty much the same result-pilot error. You know what the erring pilot did wrong in the first paragraph. But they do serve as very good reminders. What goes up must come down.

Motorcycle magazines are mostly about the latest kid racer bikes that one must fold their body into a contortionist's pose to ride and then it can only be ridden at supra-legal speeds in order to be halfway comfortable, if at all. Or they are about the latest in how to look like a wannabe "bad boy biker" as if the bike and the "accessories" make the rider.
There are a couple good ones, however, and one doesn't accept advertising, which helps in the review of new products, but it still doesn't take the personal biases out of the equation when it comes to the bikes.
Yes, they still do the "shootouts" and "comparoes" (favorite bike mag lingo for "test"), but after many, many years of subscribing I started to see the exact same articles being repeated, so I dropped my subscriptions.

Now to the sailing mags.

A friend subscribes to Sailing World and he started giving me his used issues. I took a stack home and immediately started to devour them. It didn't take long and I realized every magazine was similar. The same people on the same trip (are the subscribers subsidizing the writers' trips?) every month, just the next destination.
LOTS of ads, mostly for blue water boats (36' and up) that cost mid-six figures minimum. And they consider a 36 foot boat a "daysailer". Then the charter ads, and last, but not least, the last third of the mag is ads from yacht brokers. Zowie! 15-20 year old boats that still cost more than the average home! And they are all the cream of the crop.
I bought a few copies of Sail and pretty much came to the same conclusion.

Where are the mags about boats for the working stiffs out there who don't have six figures or even mid-five figures to slap down on a boat and go off into the sunset?
Where are the mags about boats for the average sailors who would like to get a decent sized (28-32'-or even smaller) boat at a good price ($10-maybe $30k-there are lots of good boats in that range to be had) and maybe do a few improvements or repairs to make it seaworthy or betterand then putter up and down the coast or the lake? Articles about things the average boater can do concerning mainenance and repair, and actual seamanship, etc. I don't see that out there. IOW magazines for folks on a budget.

I did take a look at Good Old Boat, that seemed to be getting there, but from what I saw there was still big money being dropped on some of the boats and the average person doesn't have the facilities in their yard to park a boat to work on it-or the skills to completely restore it.

I gave up flying due to the costs involved and due to medical reasons, and I can't afford nor will I spend the money to buy the latest $24,000 motorcycle.
I have three bikes, the most expensive being $4k, purchased 15 years ago (and still worth almost that), the cheapest was $400, a fixer-upper that once repaired, some improvements made and riding it a bit will be sold at a profit to fund another "project".
Bikes like this do can everything the epxensive ones can do, and in some cases better, for far less money, and sold with very little loss or even at a profit.

General Aviation people keep saying they need to get new people interested in flying. How can they do this when the costs of flying are sky high and the publications cater to people with unlimited funds and little effort is made to get the "average" person involved?
I see the same problem in the above sailing magazines. All the boats are out of the average person's means.

Where are the magazines for sailors like me who don't have unlimited funds and are cheap...I mean frugal...I mean on a budget?
This is not to say cutting costs by cutting corners, I buy the best stuff for my bikes I can get-on a budget. When something breaks, it gets fixed right. I'll do the same for my boat.

I can't be the only boater with this opinion out there, can I?

Thanks for the long rant, I'm off my soapbox.
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Old 28-10-2008, 15:41   #27
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... I did take a look at Good Old Boat, that seemed to be getting there, but from what I saw there was still big money being dropped on some of the boats ...
If one falls below the GOB economic demographic, Im fairly certain that there may not be any commercial enterprise catering to those needs.
Its difficult to sell a magazine (or advertising in) to someone who wont spend any amount, on anything, at anytime.
Even an old pinko commie, like myself, understands that there has to be some economic interest to commercially publish.
For non-commercial information, we are (thankfully) left with sources such as the CruisersForum, etc.
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Old 28-10-2008, 18:14   #28
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If one falls below the GOB economic demographic, I’m fairly certain that there may not be any commercial enterprise catering to those needs.
It’s difficult to sell a magazine (or advertising in) to someone who won’t spend any amount, on anything, at anytime.
Even an old pinko commie, like myself, understands that there has to be some economic interest to commercially publish.
For non-commercial information, we are (thankfully) left with sources such as the CruisersForum, etc.
You are so correct.

I have a couple of subscriptons and since I have not sailed a lot lately they are OK...........but I got them for free as I pre-purchased a ticket (discounted) to a baot show and got it "for free". Heh!

I no longer read flying mags or cycle mags either.........Heh!
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Old 29-10-2008, 11:38   #29
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I didn't say I wouldn't spend any money any time.
I just said I was on a budget. I'll buy what my boat needs and spend the money it takes to get it. I just won't be buying the most expensive item available.
Sure, I'll get some gadgets to make being aboard more comfortable and enjoyable, but I won't be spending $1k plus for a plotter/depthfinder. Function before form.
There are depthfinders available for much less. I feel I don't need a plotter.
I'd be willing to bet a lot of folks would get into sailing if they didn't see the prices of things in some of these magazines and get scared off.

Let's be thankful sailing isn't regulated like flying. Then boats and their upkeep would really be expensive.

BTW-I requested the free sample of Good Old Boat. Might give it a try!
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Old 29-10-2008, 12:12   #30
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I
Let's be thankful sailing isn't regulated like flying. Then boats and their upkeep would really be expensive.

I understand that in NZ there is a lot of regulaton.

There will be more in the US too if a whole bunch of "Ronnie wanna-be's" appear.
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