Do It Yourself—But Watch It First

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Though there were more than a few valiant attempts during the years, no do-it-yourself magazine for high-performance powerboat owners ever really succeeded. The best of them was the curiously titled “Family and Performance Boating.” But after a semi-solid run it, too, went dark.

Why did all those magazines fail when reader survey upon reader survey ranked do-it-yourself articles at the top of the wish-list? Seems like a no-brainer, an easy recipe for success, right?

Because they were magazines. Do-it-yourself titles are among the most difficult and time-consuming magazines to produce. Even the most simple projects need to be laid out with multiple, sequential images supported by corresponding captions and supporting body text for the project at hand. Someone actually has to do the work while a photographer follows him or her to capture every major step, which slows an already glacial process.

A video-based content site, Powerboat1.com presents do-it-yourself projects from simple to complex.

And if the handyman doesn’t also happen to be a good writer, another person needs to be there the entire time taking notes for the story he or she will write later.

In short, one DIY story can take months to produce, which makes producing a monthly DIY magazine a mighty tall order. Combine that with the traditional lack of advertising support—despite reader demand—for such ventures and you have what was a longstanding recipe for failure, at least in the go-fast boating publication world.

But though it requires every bit as much work, DIY projects are perfect for well-crafted videos presented online. And that’s why Powerboat1.com, a new website dedicated to exactly that, could end up being brilliant.

As reported late last week on speedonthewater.com, the site is being backed by product distributors and manufacturers including Hardin Marine, CP Performance, Mayfair, Autometer and Holley. Powerboat1.com’s producers will have access to products from more than 200 companies for their step-by-step how-to videos, which will include everything from basic to complex projects with before-and-after results.

Some DIY project stories currently on the site, such as changing a shift cable on jet drive, are simple enough to be captured in a single video. Others, such as the “resto-mod” of a General Motors LS-based engine marine use, require a series of videos. All are a whole lot easier to follow than they would be if laid out in a print or digital magazine.

Through its top navigation bar, the site is separated into five major categories: Modifications, Restorations, Reviews, Tech and Upgrades.

“The videos will be geared toward everyday powerboat owners, not just those who are affluent,” said Rick Bourns, a Powerboat1.com representative who also hosts the online videos. “Our video productions will cover upgrades allowing an existing boater to upgrade to the many features—only thought possible on a new boat—on their own.”

Do it yourself, but watch it first—that’s the notion behind Poweboat1.com. And it looks like it’s going to be a winner.

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