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Old 29-12-2012, 12:12   #1
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Opinions on "Practical Sailor" Magazine?

If you're familiar with the magazine "Practical Sailor" do you think it is a worthwhile mag (I got an offering flyer in the mail)? I've only recently gotten back into sailing now that my wife and I are retired, and I'm trying to gain as much knowledge as quickly as I can. This board has been a wealth of great information and I appreciate the educated opinions offered. So far I've read several sailing books and taken three on-the-water ASA courses as well as gotten in a fair amount of sailing time with our Endeavour 37 (acquired July 2012), and prior to that on a Pearson 26. So far we've only been sailing around Long Island Sound, but expect to broaden our range a bit in the coming season - to Block Island, Martha's Vineyard and perhaps Buzzards Bay and northward through the Cape Cod Canal. We're lovin it!
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Old 29-12-2012, 12:48   #2
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" magazine?

I cancelled my subscription a few years ago after they reduced the number of issues per year, made the pages glossy color eye candy, increased the ratio of fluff to hard research, and kept increasing the price. I haven't really missed it since. If there's some really useful review that you need, I think you can buy the individual articles without a subscription.
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Old 29-12-2012, 13:04   #3
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" magazine?

I believe there judgment is tainted by the products they feature- about 6 years ago I subscribed because I was buying a new yacht, anyway they did anchor testing around then and had rave reviews on the XYZ anchor- said it was one of the best- so I bought one at $400 not long after that they came out with more anchor tests Ė this time - and they said how it was not so good- - So anyway I had already bought it & itís the worst piece of junk I have onboard- so from then on I donít trust them at all- if you want to know where the best reviews are go to SSCA.org- this is THE place, it will cost you $55 to join but the info is priceless-
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Old 29-12-2012, 13:14   #4
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" magazine?

I have had subscriptions twice. Both times I didn't renew because I felt the "judging" lots of times lacked any basis other than impressions. I also got tried of reading the bottom paint tests over, and over, and over!

But 2 days ago I got another email asking me to come back. So I sent them an email saying the same thing as above and that if they wanted me to come back maybe they should send me a free issue to look. They responded they would be happy to so I send them my address.

Moral of the story; if you are interested in them and want to try it first send them an email saying so and see what happens.
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Old 29-12-2012, 13:39   #5
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pirate Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" magazine?

Dump it... I used to be really into Practical Boat Owner and Yachting Monthly (UK mags)...
waste of money.. my enlightenment came when in an effort to tell the story of my trials and tribulations in my 1st UK-France crossing I recieved a bollocking on what an idiot I was and how I should not contemplate such things with just an outboard motor as my auxillary propulsion... its a frickin SAIL BOAT...
I realised these folk were just a pompous bunch of a$$holes only interested in perpetuating their beliefs, opinions and techniques and anyone who stepped outside their 'Rules' was an idiot...
I've not bought a sailing magazine since... got to meet some of the contributors later in life... bunch of boathook up the a$$ morons... know the book backwards but never go anywhere...
Must confess... I did enjoy Libby Purvis enormously... and the Confessions slot on the last page... but otherwise... not worth my hard earned coin..
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Old 29-12-2012, 13:48   #6
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" magazine?

I was a subscriber for many years and gleaned some good comparative info from Practical Sailor. It had almost a newspaper feel to it. After a while I noticed a distinct bias creeping into their analysis and dropped them a note about it (pre e-mail days). I got a snotty note back that basically said that I was clearly the biased one... haven't read the mag since... not a great way to hang on to or gain readership. Sounds like it has changed even more since the '80's. Phil
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Old 29-12-2012, 13:57   #7
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" magazine?

I need to point out that Practical Sailor magazine is not the same as Practical Boat Owner, the British mag boatman61 mentioned.
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Old 29-12-2012, 14:04   #8
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pirate Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" magazine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
I need to point out that Practical Sailor magazine is not the same as Practical Boat Owner, the British mag boatman61 mentioned.
Hell hath no fury like an author scorned....
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Old 29-12-2012, 14:14   #9
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" magazine?

Prior to internet age they were kinda cool. They provided basic, necessary and often contradictory to glossy magazines opinion on about everything. Lots of info too. Were they bias? Sure. But major sailing magazines were so commercially driven, PS felt like fresh air. Now there is an internet where you can get about a thousand opinions about every single thing. The field for forming your own opinion is there, value of magazines is greatly diminished. I cancelled subscription to glossy and less glossy magazines at the same time.
I still buy a single issue or review when i feel like.
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Old 29-12-2012, 14:17   #10
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" magazine?

I have PS and Ocean Navigator as subs. I prefer Ocean Navigator, but PS is still OK for a bathroom read on the Seat of Nautical Contemplation.

So are the four or five massive boat gear catalogues as well, really.
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Old 29-12-2012, 14:39   #11
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" magazine?

I was referring to Practical Sailor, the US publication. Haven't seen it around for some time. One of my favorites was Passage Maker Magazine. Phil
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Old 29-12-2012, 14:45   #12
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" magazine?

Quote:
I was referring to Practical Sailor, the US publication. Haven't seen it around for some time. One of my favorites was Passage Maker Magazine.
Both are still published.
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Old 29-12-2012, 14:49   #13
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" magazine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyRu View Post
Prior to internet age they were kinda cool. They provided basic, necessary and often contradictory to glossy magazines opinion on about everything. Lots of info too. Were they bias? Sure. But major sailing magazines were so commercially driven, PS felt like fresh air. Now there is an internet where you can get about a thousand opinions about every single thing. The field for forming your own opinion is there, value of magazines is greatly diminished. I cancelled subscription to glossy and less glossy magazines at the same time.
I still buy a single issue or review when i feel like.
+1,000

'Cept I don't bother to spend a dime on any magazines anymore.

These internet webbie tubie things are soooo much more fun, and interactive. Plus you learn a LOT more AND can contribute and help others.
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Old 29-12-2012, 14:59   #14
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" magazine?

i subscribed to practical sailor off and on since the 80's. but when they did a couple of issues on teak sealers and didn't give my favorite a stellar review, i quit.

i've used starbrite tropical teak oil for many years. i always get at least two years of good service out of it before i have to reapply. and this is in sunny florida and bahamas. so i know from personal experience it's better than what they say. i wonder sometimes how they really test things.
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Old 29-12-2012, 16:37   #15
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Re: Opinions on "Practical Sailor" magazine?

As a professional hull cleaner with 18 years experience and past PS subscriber, I can tell you I have always found their much-touted anti fouling paint test results to be worth less than the paper they were printed on.
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