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New Performance Boating Magazine Launched

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Old 12-18-2010, 08:03 PM
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The very very best performance boat mag was the few issues of SpeedBoat that Eric Colby was editing. There were a lot of boat tests with good performance info on boats that actual middle class people might be able to buy sometime in their life. I would be subscribed to that even if it only came out quarterly (which is pretty much what it did). Nothing else I've seen even comes close...
Eric's very good at what he does, and it's a shame Speedboat didn't last. But the publisher wasn't in it for the long haul. When the bucks didn't roll in right away, they pulled the plug.

Speaking of quarterly, I spoke to Joe Rode, the publisher of Sport Boat, and quarterly is what they're planning for that new title. Given the start of the industry, that makes a lot of sense.
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:04 PM
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Scary thing is (to me), printed magazines will probably never go back to they way they were before the recession. More than one that I subscribed to are now gone! Most of the ones left are 1/2 what they used to be.
You see the same things w/the local newspapers. More and more people rely on the internet for their info and it's free. I am old school and still look forward to pulling my mags out of the mail box to catch up on whats new.
I keep our local papers honest too by dropping them when they start pandering to one side of the political spectrum. Have sent letters to presidents of both papers and let them know why I'm changing. Have gotten positive replies from both. Also told them that I'd been reading their reports of competing w/the net and to not confuse that w/us going to the net to get the side of the news they won't print.
As far as the tech articles in PB, I used to read them all too but they're pretty much the same. A guy has his car race buddy build a motor for his 26' brand X and it's now slower than it was stock and wants help. Seems there's some confusion when it comes to dropping a motor built to propel a 3K lb vehicle w/a 5 speed transmission in a 6K lb boat w/a 1 speed
An interesting thing is that even in this economy some mag's still thrive and even very much niche oriented. I subscribe to 2 very specific car drag mag's that are full color, large page count, professionally done that appear to be as strong as ever. They are the best though at that specific target market.
I really think back in the hey day of the performance boat builders selling more than they could build, spending stupid advertising money w/the mag's, almost all 100% positive write up's etc, etc that the magazines chose to listen to the advertisers and not their subscribers.
Remember back in the day no one made it through a PB test w/o something negative or critical coming up??? Now even if an issue w/a boat does surface they spend a paragraph telling you it doesn't matter or all the builders are guilty of same. I always flip to the advertiser index to get the real reason.
A friend of mine used to write the Unlimited section (when they had one) for PB and they even let him stir the pot.
I still say it was never the same after the big man passed away.

Last edited by Twin O/B Sonic; 12-18-2010 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:45 PM
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I think its a pretty sad state of affairs when people who enjoy this hobby/sport/lifestyle/addiction - or whatever you refer to it as turn their back on the single longest running performance boating magazine in existence (been printed for the last 40 years).
Excellent post. I agree with every word......although I shortened the "quote".
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:04 PM
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Scary thing is (to me), printed magazines will probably never go back to they way they were before the recession. More than one that I subscribed to are now gone! Most of the ones left are 1/2 what they used to be.
You see the same things w/the local newspapers. More and more people rely on the internet for their info and it's free. I am old school and still look forward to pulling my mags out of the mail box to catch up on whats new.
I keep our local papers honest too by dropping them when they start pandering to one side of the political spectrum. Have sent letters to presidents of both papers and let them know why I'm changing. Have gotten positive replies from both. Also told them that I'd been reading their reports of competing w/the net and to not confuse that w/us going to the net to get the side of the news they won't print.
As far as the tech articles in PB, I used to read them all too but they're pretty much the same. A guy has his car race buddy build a motor for his 26' brand X and it's now slower than it was stock and wants help. Seems there's some confusion when it comes to dropping a motor built to propel a 3K lb vehicle w/a 5 speed transmission in a 6K lb boat w/a 1 speed
An interesting thing is that even in this economy some mag's still thrive and even very much niche oriented. I subscribe to 2 very specific car drag mag's that are full color, large page count, professionally done that appear to be as strong as ever. They are the best though at that specific target market.
I really think back in the hey day of the performance boat builders selling more than they could build, spending stupid advertising money w/the mag's, almost all 100% positive write up's etc, etc that the magazines chose to listen to the advertisers and not their subscribers.
Remember back in the day no one made it through a PB test w/o something negative or critical coming up??? Now even if an issue w/a boat does surface they spend a paragraph telling you it doesn't matter or all the builders are guilty of same. I always flip to the advertiser index to get the real reason.
A friend of mine used to write the Unlimited section (when they had one) for PB and they even let him stir the pot.
I still say it was never the same after the big man passed away.
With all due respect, and I do agree with many of the points you've made here, but the Performance Reports during the era of Bob Nordskog, a man I never met (he died the year before I got there), were overwhelming positive as a majority. If you don't believe me, go back and read them. I have ... again, I worked in house for five years and managed to piss away a lot of time reading back issues.

There were negative reviews, to be sure. But most were pretty positive. Again, I'm not making this up. I've done my homework on this subject because honestly, I wanted to know. Things that get repeated again and again tend to become "true," even when they're not.

Guys ... make no mistake. To quote my friend T2X, Powerboat is far from perfect. But the last issue was pretty damn good. That said, you can and should expect every issue to be pretty damn good. No, you should expect it to be better.

And I expect to hear from you when it isn't.
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:28 PM
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Excellent post. I agree with every word......although I shortened the "quote".
The content point is true. The rag is thinner mainly because of less advertising. But IMO they need to go back to a monthly format and sink or float because the present plan isn't working; It is costing them subscribers. I am now down to "Boating" and the "BoatU.S." Mag.
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:07 PM
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The content point is true. The rag is thinner mainly because of less advertising. But IMO they need to go back to a monthly format and sink or float because the present plan isn't working; It is costing them subscribers. I am now down to "Boating" and the "BoatU.S." Mag.
Boating and boat US are completely different content than PBM, IMHO. powerboat is performance driven, the other two are not. Performance oriented boating mags are few and far between. If "boating" is what you're looking for then there are a few more mags to chose from. If performance/speed/offshore/bad azz is what you're looking for then your choices are very limited and my personal opinion is - as of now - powerboat has led and does lead the way.
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:25 AM
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but the Performance Reports during the era of Bob Nordskog, a man I never met (he died the year before I got there), were overwhelming positive as a majority.
to paper very clear. Didn't mean the reports were negative as a whole only that the old man was very, very picky and critical. He expected every performance boat they tested to be built, rigged and finished to the quality of a top level race boat to which very few actually were. Those issues which he/they found were brought to light, in a positive way. so a good test might be 90-95% positive he/they'd tell us what they felt needed improved on.
Now it seems that it's all positive or nothing at all.
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:30 AM
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I would like to see some articles and reviews about places to use our boats. It would be nice and cheap for the mag to go to some locations and review them. They also, or maybe it was hot boat used to do a towing section. There are a lot of practical things people would be interested in. Our tow vehicles are an important factor in our powerboat experience. Matt if you ever need any ideas call me because I spend way too much time thinking about all this stuff. I know times are tough for the whole marine industry I'm trying to stick by those who are hanging on.
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by suntimes View Post
The very very best performance boat mag was the few issues of SpeedBoat that Eric Colby was editing. There were a lot of boat tests with good performance info on boats that actual middle class people might be able to buy sometime in their life. I would be subscribed to that even if it only came out quarterly (which is pretty much what it did). Nothing else I've seen even comes close...
Thanks. Comments like this are greatly appreciated and believe me, no one misses that magazine more than me. Best of luck to the guys with Sport Boat.
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:57 AM
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Magazines like BoatUS and TrailerBoating should be read by every boater. They have great monthly columns that don't show up in more targeted publications, but they have a lot of relevance for all power boaters. They should be read In Addition to your own special mag IMO.

I read the online sites like Boat Tests and others, which are pretty good. But they never elicit the long term appeal of the printed magazines. Some years ago, pundits on TV and radio started daily pounding and laughing at printed newspapers and how they were going to go the way of the dinosaur. I remember thinking how utterly bankrupt society would be if this were true.

The people that cheered them on didn't really know their motives. I think that many magazines got caught not only in the political crossfire, but also the dramatic reduction in advertising dollars as a result of the recession. It's too bad, because if the Internet is to be the source of it all, the decline in information will be substantial IMO. It's already happened in many ways.
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