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.