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Old 24-01-2013, 08:06   #91
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
I found PS to be a valuable resource through the years. I use the information from PS as part of my decision process along with my personal situation (where I am sailing, my boat, etc.), cost, logic, reason, and other factors. This process has worked well for me except when I weight my own logic and reason too high.
Same here: The PS testings I find are perhaps limited, and othertimes not applicable to my situation, but they appear to be objective and well-considered. If they have shortcomings of methodology, it's pretty easy to see where they might be, and to weigh the results accordingly.

I do miss some of their longer-form discussions. I would think part of the strategy going forward would be to have certain articles clearly trimmed for length to be made available in "expanded" form online; I for one would appreciate hearing all the points the original authors intended to make on a product, process or technique that didn't make the paper magazine since it got chock-full of photos, big fonts and airy leading (the space between lines of type). Sure, it's more readable now, and sure, there are fewer words.
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Old 24-01-2013, 10:24   #92
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

I think weíre all t being honest here, this is what CF is about-that said - This is what came to my mind, for me and to say less than what I believe after the experience would be not be honest, - Iím stating facts as I know and have experienced them-These are feelings and thoughts that arose for me personally after the effect of listening to Practical Sailors change in ratings of this anchor from good to bad -, we all form our own opinion Ė Mine is only one limited opinion that I hold, it does not mean itís true or false- right or wrong only my experience- Like I said Iím Sure Darrel is a good man, but a company is more than 1 man -when test results change as much as it did this has me question the testing and what is the motive behind the change-,and I dont rule out any possibility~



Taking anything anyone says personally, is a sure way to live an unhappy life -Practical Sailor is not who you are its just words and a very limited opinion that can and does change at any given moment--- My comments were not directed at you Personally only the Rag your publishing - Iím sure youíre a good man just trying to make a livingóand Iím sure some of your recommendations are great, but like the rest of us you make mistakes, only yours cost others money it could even cost lives-`(Iím sure its saved folks money also)

I have 4 anchors onboard & Iím happy I never had to rely on the XYZ- the one Practical Sailor recommended or I would have lost my boat & maybe my life--I was a subscriber and what I posted is from my own personal experience & perspective- I read your Popular Sailor and, listened to your recommendation and I got burned, that is a fact- Practical Sailor Said that the XYZ was rated highly, or very highly as I remember (its been years) and so I took it that your tests were true and complete. I then forked over $400 and bought THE XYZ- - then soon after , and Iím not sure of the time frame here could be months to a year later Practical Sailor came out with some more tests that said the anchor performed poorly-
This was too late for me and who knows how many other folks who did the same thing I did and bought an anchor for $400 that has got to be one of the worst anchors made in recent times- I wasted $400 along with I can only guess dozens of other people. Iíve used this anchor on just about all conceivable conditions and its not been good in any of them-for my boat- Before I bought it I called the maker personally and talked to him- he assured me it would work just fine, so with that & your glowing report I bought the anchor, and threw the $400 in the garbage.

The manufacture was a very nice man, in fact very enthusiastic , but in the end the xyz anchor would not work on my boat-in any conditions and his advice was no better than Practical Sailors Ė -so I contacted the manufacture again & he refunded $100 to me , but Iím still stuck with something that does not work at all, and this is because I believed in Practical Sailor at the time- --
This all seemed a little fishy to me, and the thought of a payoff entered my mind, we all are aware that this sort of thing happens and while I donít know it to be fact, itís certainly a possibility, at least in my mind- one report says it preformed great & the other Poor- SO after that Practical Sailors credibility was rated poorly by me personally & I put that last issue in the bathroom where it could do the most good , it did save me the cost of toilet paper that month and that did save me money~ Sorry if Iím a bit hard on PS here but itís what I have experienced-its nothing personal, just my opinion.
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Old 24-01-2013, 12:56   #93
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

Caveat emptor. If you buy an expensive piece of marine equipment based on a single review in a single publication, you are asking for trouble. I ask at least 6 experienced sailors what they think before buying anything.
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Old 24-01-2013, 13:40   #94
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

We've been subscribing to PS for over 20 years. It's like a Consumer Report for cruisers.
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Old 24-01-2013, 15:08   #95
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

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Originally Posted by Amapola View Post
We've been subscribing to PS for over 20 years. It's like a Consumer Report for cruisers.

That's the problem. I used to subscribe to both PS and CR. I brought numerous stuff over the years based on the Consumer Reports ratings that didn't last or work well at all.

There just are too many things that don't test well well as compared to the real world. Especially when they get beyond true measurements of testing and into "feelings" (and too much reviews have "feelings" in the ratings).
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Old 24-01-2013, 15:17   #96
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

When I was researching my current boat I spent %19.95 for a PS review of the boat. I figured that PS being just a test type of mag that doesn't do advertisting that it would have a review that was worth more that say a boat review in Cruising World.

So you be the judge as it is attahed (I send them an email afterwards about what I thought of the review and never heard anything back).

Im not really saying PS is worthless, just that it doesn't really seem worth the price to me when I can find some much info free.
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Old 24-01-2013, 15:33   #97
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

RAM I'm sure your a nice guy as well but it sounds like you look for other people to blame when things don't work out for you. If it wasn't PS it probably is the Government or your wife. Remember you are getting someones opinion, its neither right nor wrong just an opinion and while I'm sure PS makes its share of mistakes I'm also sure they often get it right. You relied on someone elses opinion and lost $400.00, suck it up!! Next time do your homework better.
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Old 24-01-2013, 19:24   #98
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

Darrell,
I appreciate your stepping up and talking about Practical Sailor. I think it is great that the online archives are available to print and digital subscribers, as many of your reviews stand the test of time and/or are updated with new information. What's really weird is your printed subscription is the same price as your digital subscription, at about $2.85/issue. Can't you pass the printing and postage along as savings for digital subscribers?

I'm a little confused over your trial offer - I don't see that anywhere on your site. If you don't mind, please let us know how to find the introductory subscription offer you mentioned.
Thanks
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Old 24-01-2013, 20:55   #99
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

Be careful with the "free" part. I signed up for a free sample of PS at the boat show, and then I get letters claiming the "unpaid balance".
It took me three letters , including the warning of filling out a consumer report , for them to stop the harassment.
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Old 24-01-2013, 21:31   #100
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amapola View Post
We've been subscribing to PS for over 20 years. It's like a Consumer Report for cruisers.
I've been a PS subscriber for a long time and have always felt I got my money's worth. It's not perfect, but I figure I have saved enough from its advice to pay for the subscription.

Anybody know of something better and the same price? I really don't want to have to solicit a whole bunch of experienced sailors every time I buy a piece of equipment.
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Old 25-01-2013, 01:20   #101
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

Darrell - I love PS and have been a subscriber and will stay one. It is the only objective sailing magazine.

I did get perturbed when the magazine glowingly reviewed the Raymarine e7 chart plotter that I had already found unfit for passage making since the toggle switch sticks consistently when it has salt water spray, and the touch screen is unusable when wet. I was looking for PS to give it an honest "in practice" review and scold Raymarine like I had personally for releasing an untested product. Of course I was disappointed when it didn't happen. It should have been tested in "real world" circumstances instead of a fresh water, happy weather environment.

I still love the publication, but we count on you to challenge the "big guys," not just endorse their products because they tell you how great they are, so please listen to us as subscribers.

An editor or owner should get praise for braving a forum and speaking directly to critics. This makes me respect you more, just for being on here; after all, we are your market.
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Old 25-01-2013, 06:22   #102
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

Practical Sailor/Power Boat Reports garnered nearly 10% of the responders votes as ďfavourite magazineĒ, on this CF poll.
The Magazine Poll
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Old 25-01-2013, 06:51   #103
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

Put me down as a supporter of PS.

After having subscriptions of all the sailing mags I've whittled it down to PS and Ocean Navigator. Very often I don't read the entire issue just the conclusions but I believe it saves me the subscription cost. It's not the Gospel but is the best at what it does. Heck, I remember years ago when Consumer Reports didn't recommend A/C as an option in their new car reviews!

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Old 26-01-2013, 14:23   #104
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

For those lucky enough to have a PS subscription, check out the February 2013 issue. Tests on water makers, ss hose clamps, and yes, an anchor test.
This one a veering test - interesting.

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Old 04-02-2013, 13:58   #105
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

I've just received an email from Practical Sailor inviting me to purchase a three-piece suite of publications, the first entitled "Sail Buying, SailMaking and Mainsails"

I've already bought this set, some time ago, and was rather disappointed for several reasons.

The main reason: the very small proportion of the information on SailMaking was really information on Sail Buying, appearing to consist entirely of marketing fluff culled from sail brochures.

I didn't expect to be given a tutorial on making my own sails, but I did expect a detailed and informed presentation on the decisions and choices which face a sailmaker, on which a well-informed client might want to supply some input to get the best fit with their needs.

I'm thinking of the various ways of building corner reinforcements, implications of long vs short battens, choices on batten pocket design and batten tensioning, positions of reef points relative to battens ..... and many other aspects of mainsail making - ideally at the level which actual sailmakers would discuss them with a Starzinger or a Dashew, rather than a marketing guy from a sail loft discussing them with a first boat buyer.

I didn't think all these expectations would be met, but was pretty disappointed that none of them were.

I took Darrell up on the offer he made further up this thread for disappointed former customers to email him.

His response to me made it clear his intention was to change my perceptions of what I'd received, rather than taking my criticism on board.

This is the sum total of his response regarding the question of misrepresentation:

<<There should be a pretty good discussion of materials. Stitch patterns are pretty standard. Carol Hasse and I worked together on a her article discussing details on cruising sails.
Google Carol Hasse, "Cruising Sails" and it should pop up. I was pretty sure that was referenced in the piece.
We add to those e-books and you get the "upgrades" free, so I'll see if we can pump that up.>>

It wasn't a great consolation to be referred to the excellent Carol Hasse article from some years ago, reprinted from a different publication; that was freely available on the web. I had downloaded it at the time it appeared, and I still had it on file.

I was rather underwhelmed to be told about it by Darrell. It felt like going to the designer of a boat, saying "You told me this boat would go well to windward, and I've bought the plans, and it doesn't", and have him say "Well, there's this other boat I helped Carol design which does that, and she gives the drawings away"

It's also pretty offhand for Darrell to base his response on his incorrect recollection that her article might have been referenced in his: he clearly hadn't checked, and it was not. Instead, here's the entirety of what the article said about Caroll Hasse:

<< Carol Hasse, owner of Port Townsend Sails, is the quintessential cruising sailors’ advocate, and is always looking to build quality and long term reliability into the sails she makes.

Her vision includes the insight that “at sea you’re a long way from
your sailmaker and the extra care that goes into the initial design
and construction will pay off in the long run.” This is especially
true on the rough nights at sea when the reefing process
starts just a little too late.

From Hasse’s point of view the right choice in material is a premium woven Dacron that affords a little less on the performance side of the ledger, but a lot more on the handle-ability, durability, and longevity.>>

I leave you to judge whether this constitutes marketing fluff or useful disclosure.

There has been no mention of any upgrades, and their promo for the "Sail Buying, SailMaking and Mainsails" volume remains unchanged. I was not given the option of even a partial refund.

This would at least have demonstrated some sort of acceptance of responsibility for raising false expectations, although I would much have preferred a candid engagement with my criticisms. What I got felt like a brushoff.

I wasn't going to come back here and report, because at least he had replied, and I thought I might have struck him at a bad moment, but when I found that they had not changed the blurb to more honestly reflect the contents, I decided I had to report back.

I don't think this is responsive behaviour from Darrell, but you are free to judge for yourself.
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