Before Powerboat magazine kicked the bucket, Performance Boats magazine was its archrival. Before Performance Boats magazine became Performance Boats magazine, it was called Hot Boat magazine — and it was still Powerboat magazine’s archrival. Now, Performance Boats magazine is called Speedboat magazine and it has no rivals.
That’s nothing against Boating magazine — I have plenty of good friends who work there on the editorial side and their work is excellent. But Boating is a general publication for people who dig everyday boats, not folks who live and breathe high-performance. It’s also no slight toward Poker Runs America’s magazine or the Florida Powerboat Club’s Powerboating in Paradise magazine. Hats off to both outfits as they do a nice job, but those are — for the most part — club-specific publications.
Even Speed On The Water’s bi-monthly digital magazine and 2016 Year In Review (shameless plug, order yours now if you haven’t already by clicking here) in which I have an extremely vested interest are not the same things — one being digital and the other being annual — as a consumer magazine that prints and distributes 9 times a year.
Don’t get me wrong, I think our daily news site, weekly digital newsletter, digital magazine and Year In Review print publications are first-rate products. But when it comes to something new you can hold in your hand and flip through almost every month, Speedboat is all that remains.
Truth be told, Chris Davidson, Ray Lee, Brett Bayne, Bob Teague, Alexi Sahagian, Jim Wilkes, Greg Shoemaker, Tony Scarlata, Kenny Dunlop, Todd Taylor, Jay Forbes and the rest of the crew are doing a damn good job of it. (Click here to watch a video of the Speedboat magazine team.)
Yes, I just wrote that — and back in the Powerboat magazine days it would have been blasphemy. There were two things you learned to hate shortly after you walked through the doors at Powerboat magazine: 1. Pre-dawn wake-up calls after late nights during the Performance Trials. 2. Hot Boat magazine (now in its Speedboat incarnation). Hot Boat was the enemy, for god’s sake. That was the party line, even though for the most part we covered completely different segments of the go-fast powerboat market, even though our paths rarely crossed.
Dumb doesn’t even begin to describe that way of thinking, but that’s the way it was. It seems so foreign to me now. Maybe I’ve grown up. A little. Powerboat is long gone, having ceased publication for any number of reasons in 2011. (Trust me, it was not “one thing” that killed Powerboat magazine — it was a combination of many things, some beyond our control, some self-inflicted.) Hot Boat, which morphed into Performance Boats, which morphed into Speedboat, survived. And though my speedonthewater.com co-publisher Jason Johnson and I have other priorities and a different approach with our editorial offerings, we tip our hats to the Speedboat magazine team, and not just for surviving. They’re working their butts off, and the effort shows.
So thank you for being here, Speedboat magazine. Like your other loyal readers, we’re glad you’re still around.
Matt Trulio is an award-winning journalist who has covered the high-performance powerboat world since 1995. He wrote for Powerboat magazine for 17 years and was the magazine’s editor at large until it ceased publication in 2011. Trulio is the founder, editor-in-chief and publisher of speedonthewater.com, a daily news site that covers the high-performance powerboat realm. He’s also the former editor of Sportboat magazine.