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Old 20-11-2011, 07:59   #1
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Sailing Magazines

When I got interested in sailing and cruising 5 years ago I started reading the various magazines. At the time these did a reasonable job of feeding my dream. But I think all of them have lost their way as far as being much about sailing at all.

In the Dec issue of Cruising World there are 112 pages. If you do not count the space of pictures in articles that are used to fill up space; there are about 24.5 pages of print. And some of these pages of print are in fact adds pretending to be "reviews".

The big story of the issue is "Escape to Turkey". It did nothing really to increase any desire for sailing in Turkey for me as it spent as much time talking about their chartering deal etc.

So that leaves around 87.5 pages or 78% of the issue as ads/reviews/filler pictures. The issue doesn't cost me much because I have a subscription, but still I'm wondering why I brother getting it at all for the 10-15 minutes of reading it provides.

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Old 20-11-2011, 08:03   #2
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Re: sailing magazines

Imho, Latitude 38 is the only one worth a subscription.
In some places, you can pick it up for free.

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Old 20-11-2011, 08:04   #3
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Re: sailing magazines

I agree with you. Personally, I prefer Yachting Monthly, Practical Boat Owner (PBO) and Yachting World. I sail in Canada mostly, they are British magazines, so sometimes it's not very relevant, but there's a lot more meat in these mags than in the one you mention. I find PBO most useful, because it has a very down-to-earth approach to boat maintenance.
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Old 20-11-2011, 08:05   #4
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Re: sailing magazines

Haven't read Charter World in years. But I must admit I read it religiously for years before I started cruising.
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Old 20-11-2011, 15:04   #5
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Re: Sailing Magazines

Don, We have been writing for boating publications for 15 years. Much has changed since we first started. Many magazines, Cruising World especially, has their own "Cruising Editors" and very seldom take articles from anyone else. The articles that get published today, as you stated, are little more than information fed to the publication by manufacturers. As a result you see much less fresh content and very little in the way of interest to most boaters. In addition, about every article we submit today is cut down to 300 to 400 words, that's about a page and a half, maybe. How much information can you really convey in that small a space? Many times the publication prints the cut down version and we post the complete version on our blog. It can be read there by anyone for free. I received an email from the former Chief Editor of Yachting Magazine and he stated that the posts in our blog where more interesting and informative than what is published in that magazine today. We are also told by many of our publishers that the magazine is filled for the next 11 months and articles won't be published until Then. If it is time sensitive it makes little sense to have it published. There are a few exceptions, like Good Old Boat, but the overall consensus from readers is that many magazines are no longer worth the price of subscription. And for whatever reason, the publisher just don't get it and refuses to accept that they need to make changes. As a result, the ranks are thinning and will continue. Add to all of this, lots of information is now available free on some great blogs all over the internet and it is not hard to see what the future holds. Chuck
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Old 20-11-2011, 15:18   #6
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Re: sailing magazines

Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
Imho, Latitude 38 is the only one worth a subscription.
In some places, you can pick it up for free.
Just the guy that runs the boat.
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:31   #7
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Re: Sailing Magazines

Yep. No names but some sailing magazines are nothing but Elle for sailors. Complete waste of time and money.

There are some fine ones too though: I like the US ones that concentrate on older boats and DYI projects. Less shiny covers hide much better content.

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Old 06-12-2011, 05:32   #8
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pirate Re: Sailing Magazines

Don... save your 'Sub's' and log into things like this for free...
Still got the ad's... but at least they're free...

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Old 06-12-2011, 05:54   #9
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Re: Sailing Magazines

Rrview of Jannuary 2012 Practical Boat Owner (PBO). By me
132 Pages
pages Content
10 News
3 Readers letters
18 Edutainment, Tales with lessons
17 How to Manuver, cook on board Rplace windlass etc
17 Guides IE best east med locatons,RYA course sumary
10 Review/tested
4 Hints and tips
4 Advertainment
2 Notices to mariners
2 private boats for sale

87 pages of some use there are ads in margins/bottom half of pages etc.
The guides have Lots of pictures but they clarify and explain the proccess.
The review of a yacht had around 3,000 words gave +/- and alternatives.

PS that is my count not 100% accurate but i think reflects the magazine reasonably.
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:35   #10
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Re: Sailing Magazines

I like Blue Water Cruising, but I have also noticed in the last year or so the articles seem to be more fluff than fact. I previously liked Ocean Navigator but now it is so thin it is hardly worth the effort. Both seemed to have content that one could use. I figure any magazine that is worth buying needs to be worth keeping for future reference. Both of these almost fit the bill but not entirely.

Good Old Boat is a fine resource but doesn't really feed the world cruising dream. Practical Sailor is the same.

PS. That said, I still look forward to receiving them, especially over the long winter.
s/v Scoundrel
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:58   #11
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Re: Sailing Magazines

I find "Lats & Atts'' the most fun of any of them but it's too damn expensive.
Lat 38 and 48 are great plus they're free at most marine stores!
What could be better than that?
I dropped all my subscritions once I got on this forum - I dont have time to read anything else - everything I need to know is right here. I do miss the pretty girls in bikinis though - maybe we could get some volunteers to send in some pictures?
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:27   #12
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Re: Sailing Magazines

Don, I'm glad you started this tread so I can vent about my magazines. I've been a subscriber to Cruising World for 15 years and Blue Water Cruising for 5. I keep my subscription to CW for one reason only - I love to read Captain Fatty. That guy makes me laugh. His articles are meant for the humor and for that he succeeds. He is also the first article in the magazine. So, I usually come off that high and proceed to get ill as the pages turn. By the end, when I read the last page about some cruising mother gushing about watching her children grow to tweenhood while basking in the setting sun, I puke.

The problem with the actual cruising articles is they don't provide much info on cruising. They are a documentation of that persons trip, who they where with, what they did, and worst of all, how they felt about it. I don't care!! What I want to know is where's the best anchorage, what was involved with clearance, etc. Give me some facts, info I can use, like where to go for happy hour

Both magazines use the same authors month after month rehashing trips from years ago. I would like to see some new blood used as regular features. Also, keep them current. There has to be thousands of people cruising right now who could provide month by month updates that are informative.

In any case, I'm not renewing either as it's time for me to do, not read.
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:44   #13
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Re: Sailing Magazines

glossies are not fun.
i like lat 38 until they start saying not to visit some place due to the violence that is occurring between narcos and the drug enforcement folks and narcos and other narcos and between cartels. dont place hand in spidey's nest and spidey wont bite.
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:48   #14
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Re: Sailing Magazines

I agree with Palarran - too many syrupy family stories in Sail, Cruising World, Blue Water Cruising, etc. Who cares about your teenage daughter and her cute friends - not me! Meantime, there's not enough navigation, engineering, performance sailing, construction details, repair wrinkles, and so on. And what ever happened to real boat reviews with lines plans. I sure get sick of the reviews of the $500K JenBenBavaLina three-double-bunks-ensuite-and-a-freezer reviews of so-called cruising boats that are clearly intended for the charter trade.
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:01   #15
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Re: Sailing Magazines

If you want a really surreal read, try Multihulls. The magazine is basically French badly translated to English. And the "reviews" are thinly veiled advertorials.

But hey, I pick up the odd copy. Sometimes I have to sit in the dentists office, or the car licensing bureau, and I reckon I'll need more than the current copy of Hello! magazine......

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