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Old 11-12-2013, 09:47   #106
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

Andrew: Regarding: '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'

Just found this post. Not hearing from you again, I assumed you were satisfied. Please send me an email again, so that I may try to help you get a refund or credit for your purchase. I'm glad to answer any questions not covered in any of our e-books. (It sounds like you are still curious about material choices, battens, reinforcements and stitching?) Sails is a very large topic. Our approach for these volumes was to focus on topics we felt were not addressed in other sources. I recently posted a list of reader-recommended sailmakers on my blog insidepracticalsailor.

We are working on furling mainsail article that will be added to the sails e-book after it is published. We also just tested top-down furlers for asymmetrical spinnakers. This, too, will be added to the e-book.

Like many areas of the marine trade, the experts in the field of sailmaking are often connected with the industry so it is hard not to turn to these individuals for balanced input. I can see how that someone who was not familiar with our testers or staff or Ms. Hasse might misinterpret the text you quote. I'll make a note to neuter it when we update that book.

Also, we now have an online-only subscription for cruisers. I've made quite a push to get this thing going. Thanks again for your support.

Sincerely,

Darrell
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:35   #107
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

I was a PS subscriber long ago and recently got an online only susbcription. I don't take anyone's opinion as gospel on every subject but by reading their reviews I at least learn a little something about the subject so I can ask the right questions to experienced folks online at sites like this one, or to others who have used the product I'm interested in, or I gain more insight about how the product should be used. I think PS is a valuable resource and well worth the price of a subscription if just once every couple of years they guide me in the right direction on a boat related purchase, which they easily do!

I think it's also pretty inappropriate to suggest that their evaluations are corrupt or deliberately biased. Where I come from you just don't suggest that about anybody unless you have absolute proof. If they changed their opinion of an anchor or anything else and had the courage to publish that, I take my souwester off to them. Is it really reasonable to expect for anyone to be able to be right the first time, 100% of the time? At least they admit their mistake ASAP when they learn they made one or get more evidence about an item that leads them to a different conclusion. I've owned/maintained/skippered cruising sailboats for over 20 years and have an engineering degree so tend to think about things pretty critically, and I know I've learned a lot from them and have no doubt that I will continue to.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:17   #108
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

It definitely isn't the same quality mag it used to be. I did subscribe last year and found the quality was poor compared to 15 years ago. The shiny pages are hard on my eyes and the research was un-impressive. I did not renew my subscription for next year.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:22   #109
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

Quite apart from the content, which is only OK, there is the fact that once you are on those guy's radar, you have effectively signed up for a lifetime of spam. Seriously I must get something from them weekly, and it's two years since I had a subscription.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:36   #110
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
Quite apart from the content, which is only OK, there is the fact that once you are on those guy's radar, you have effectively signed up for a lifetime of spam. Seriously I must get something from them weekly, and it's two years since I had a subscription.
I'm with you Mark.

After years of subscribing I left (a couple of years ago) after the level of spam and mailings rose from irritation levels to "you're driving me nuts!" What really galled me was the incessant pleas for renewal, even months or even years before my subscription ended. And when I tried to have my email removed from the spam list, I simply couldn't. I used all their online tools, I emailed the contacts ... nothing. Finally, after weeks of effort, I sent a belligerent email to the editorial boxes. Only then did I get a response.

I appreciated PS's content and style. I learned a lot, and they helped me make many wise purchases (and a few silly ones). I also really like the ad-free nature of the publication, which was doubly ironic to me since THEY became the irritating advertiser.
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Old 12-12-2013, 14:56   #111
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

I still get Practical Sailor.
I do use some of the articles there as a guide, until something better comes along it's about the only independent testing source around.
As for the internet, I take internet ratings with a grain of salt, many can be manipulated or hijacked by saavy marketers.
Forums are a good source but are very influenced by individual opinions and many times by brand loyalty.
So like any rating, it's just a guidepost, get as much background info as you can and then just make a sound judgement on your own.
No one source will work for all applications.

PS: The Block is still my favorite island on the east coast, If you can get an anchoring spot there, better in the fall.
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Old 21-01-2014, 15:05   #112
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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 just shot down PS for me...

I've read CR off and on for years and loved them.

After my dad passed away I purchased my own subscription.

That mag had changed and was written more like the national enquirer...
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Old 13-04-2014, 21:01   #113
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" magazine?

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As I can testify, subscribing to PS means subscribing to a lifetime of spam - by mail, by e-mail, and if you un-subscribe it only gets worse.

I only get one sailing mag now, Small Craft Advisor. Still printed on proper paper, still full of interesting stories about real sailing - even if I ended up with a 150-ft yacht, I'd still buy it.

Sorry about the hassle. If you don't want to be reminded of new products or subscription offers, just send a note to customer service or the editor or circulation department and you can be put on a "do not contact" list.
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Old 13-04-2014, 21:53   #114
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

I think the important point to make is that we are the only organization dedicated to independent marine product testing.

As for scope: Our recent tests included gennaker furlers, marine fridges, watermakers, non-skid paints, PFDs, autopilots, multifunction displays, and yes, bottom paints, buffing compounds, and products (and techniques) for restoring dodger isinglass.

As for quality: We recently swept the Gear Test category of the 2013 Boating Writers International Contest, winning first, second, and third place. The contest, now in its 21st year, attracts writers from most major marine publications. (See BWI website for more info.)

We are very grateful to our subscribers. And I believe all sailors should give them some credit, since their support makes our testing program possible. Whether you subscribe or not, you have benefited from our tests. Several of our reports in recent years have revealed design and manufacturing issues (some of them potentially life-threatening) that the makers have subsequently fixed (or issued recalls). Likewise, several of the more innovative products today evolved from findings from our past tests.
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Old 13-04-2014, 21:55   #115
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

Sorry about the hassle. If you don't want to be reminded of new products or subscription offers, just send a note to customer service or the editor or circulation department and you can be put on a "do not contact" list.
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Old 13-04-2014, 22:27   #116
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

I'm a fairly new sailor and an even newer subscriber, but I've enjoyed and been able to make good use of the great information provided. Thank you for a fantastic website and magazine!
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Old 13-04-2014, 23:10   #117
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by practicalsailor View Post
Sorry about the hassle. If you don't want to be reminded of new products or subscription offers, just send a note to customer service or the editor or circulation department and you can be put on a "do not contact" list.
If your email's don't include the information necessary to stop your spam, you may not be in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act.

Although you don't have my email address, so I couldn't tell you how many of these rules you're breaking, from what other's have said, you may be violating this rule:
Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.
Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.

Each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $16,000.
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Old 13-04-2014, 23:16   #118
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

Regarding Practical Sailor, I'm relatively new to the sailing scene, but somebody referenced a Practical Sailor article regarding a wifi setup on here, and after reading it I had to say it looked more like an ad to me, not objective at all. I only have that experience to go on, so take that with a grain of salt.
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Old 14-04-2014, 04:50   #119
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

This is option is included in all of our emails as well. I'm sorry but I cannot respond to private messages through this channel and I don't monitor discussions here, just check in from time to time to set the record straight. If subscribers would contact me or customer service directly with their complaints then we can work to improve the publication, testing program, etc.. I don't have time to monitor forums. You can always reach me directly through practical(hyphen)sailor use the (at) symbol then belvoirpubs and the .com.
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Old 14-04-2014, 10:24   #120
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

I have had a subscription (on and off) for around 15 years. Some of the articles have been very helpful for the kinds of boats I have had. We are currently boatless and shopping for a blue water cruiser in the 40 foot range. Got really excited about the latest issue with the review of the C&C 40. After I started reading the article it seemed familiar. Sure enough, except for a few paragraphs, it was word for word lifted out of a review PS put in their two volume boat buyers guide from 1996. WTF?
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