View Full Version : I've Been a Subscriber to WB Since....

Carl Cramer
08-06-2013, 08:04 PM
this might be fun?

I can verify -- since Issue #1.

I'm sure that fact helped me get my great job here in 1987.

Imagine: Living vocation and avocation.

And -- you say?

Thanks, Carl

08-06-2013, 08:12 PM
Thanks, Carl!

08-06-2013, 08:59 PM
Off and on for me but pretty regular for the last 10 years or so but I have an almost complete collection starting with number 1http://forum.woodenboat.com/images/icons/icon6.png

David G
08-06-2013, 09:30 PM
I don't know when I first subscribed, but I've gone back and filled in the voids and now have a full collection, I believe.

08-06-2013, 10:48 PM
Since 1984 about issue 65. Found a bunch of earlier ones in a used book store and snapped them up a few years ago.

08-06-2013, 10:52 PM
6 Years. A gift from my in-laws, who are directly responsible for getting me sick.

But really, as great as the magazine is, I have learned more here than I ever could reading the publication.

Sorry Carl.

Carl Cramer
08-07-2013, 06:03 AM
Thanks, all. A good beginning.

And no need to be sorry, BB. I think the Forum and the magazine work very well together.

Paul Pless
08-07-2013, 06:11 AM
This is the first issue that I ever picked up at a news stand.


I subscribed shortly after that.
I have every issue now.
I'm not sure if the subscription is mine or Katherine's now.

Ian McColgin
08-07-2013, 06:13 AM
I got every issue as it came but did not subscribe till this spring. I was one of those (probably because I'd written to John Gardner) who got the $100 offer. I so wanted to do it even though I just knew the rag would not last. But I was living on what I could hand long-line during a timber recession in the high unemployment Oregon coast and there was not C-note to be found. So I maintained a stupid snit for nearly forty years.

I lost my original copies when Goblin was sunk in Hurricane Bob. Those were so graciously replaced from Prairie Islander.

It's fun to have the set. A young woman who is about Pease a bit has a nice dory-like boat she's learning to row. I am happy that the internet available index let me find the number with "The Dory Stroke" article to lend her. An incredible resource.

08-07-2013, 06:21 AM
My first is Number 32, I still buy them occasionally but there are about 150 issues on my shelves, the first 70 hardbound between card in old fashioned library style.

08-07-2013, 06:56 AM
Mid 1985, but never a subscriber, but I have always had them on order via the newsagent. Only 1 issue missing, I loaned it to someone.

Brian Palmer
08-07-2013, 07:43 AM
My Dad and I have been subscribers since about early 1976 when I was about 14 or 15. He bought issue No. 6 off the newstand and we started subscribing shortly after that. He and I still get it. He's almost 89 and I'm now 51. I've got a complete set from issue No. 1 to the present.


08-07-2013, 09:29 AM
A friend of mine somehow found about WB and started subscribing very early on if not #! and I read every issue until he stopped subscribing, at which point I started I believe with #46. I filled in most of the early issues but then a few years ago I got a call from someone on the move who had been given a pile which turned out to be complete from #1. When I left my shop I took a complete selection and left the rest.

john l
08-07-2013, 10:40 AM
I first discovered Wooden Boat in 1976 at their booth in an Annopolis Boat show. Been a reader ever since and have many but not all of the early issues. I recall talking with someone at the show and telling them that I was interested in wooden boats and they steered me to the Wooden Boat booth. I purchased the current issue and a few back ones and WB has been a major part of my life ever since. Thanks for all you have done to advance woodenboat building and provide me great pleasure and information.

08-07-2013, 12:09 PM
I used to subscribe, but now buy my WB issues at Elliott Bay Books in Seattle. Other regular purchases include Sea Kayaker, Good Old Boat, and Small Craft Advisor. I also closely follow Phillip Allen here on the forum.

08-07-2013, 01:08 PM
I have never subscribed. ( I don't think I have, anyway). But have two stacks in an office corner going back to the 1980's.

I may now subscribe since the local " five and dime" where I have purchased the magfor decades just clsoed its doors last week. If I have to hunt, or drive out of my way to find you, I will subscribe.


08-07-2013, 01:17 PM
Some time in the late 1980s, I think. At least, that's how far my stack goes back, I was buying it off the news stand every month for a while before I subscribed.

peter radclyffe
08-07-2013, 01:24 PM
not subscribed,about the first i read had the leavitt on it

John Meachen
08-07-2013, 03:04 PM
Since Issue 49 and via a number of European distributors,prior to switching to the source in Brooklin.I used to buy from some chandlers or other sources and have most of the back issues too.

Thad Van Gilder
08-07-2013, 04:10 PM
since 1992... when I was 15...

08-07-2013, 06:41 PM
There should be a second question for all us amateurs, namely - and it took XX issues before I started building my first wooden boat.

In my case the answers are issue No. 101 and about 30 issues later

Carl Cramer
08-07-2013, 07:07 PM
Excellent idea, AJ. That'll be next.

So... most of you bought off the newsstand first?

I did, after the first year, because I couldn't afford the subscription price, then about $9-12. I was just a poor (in all ways) boatbuilder.

Rob Hazard
08-07-2013, 08:08 PM
I still have Issue #1, but can't remember whether I got it by subscription or saw it in a store. I've subscribed on and off over the years, and I keep issues that have articles of enduring interest to me. The others I pass on to a couple co-workers. I have to fight the urge to hoard books and magazines that I've already read!

08-07-2013, 09:17 PM
Never actually a subscriber, I like to buy from the news agent (news stand) at the same time that I buy my lotto ticket, it always seems like the appropriate purchase alliance.

Binnacle Bat
08-07-2013, 09:39 PM
Pretty continuous subscription since Issue #45, I think, the one with Annie (be still my heart) on the cover? A few issues missing 'cause I didn't renew in time. Bought the thumbdrive package to fill in the gaps.

Still haven't started my first build, but retirement is near, 'though there is a long honeydew list before I can lay a keel (New Hampshire farm house, the old piece dragged to the site in 1812, added on to in the 1870s, god knows when & where the barn came from, never had central heat, still only half insulated). I do have a good project boat waiting in the wings for the odd moments (hot molded I-14 hull from the 1940's, probably Douglass & McLeod).


08-08-2013, 02:12 AM
I started buying Woodenboat in the late 1990s from the newsagent. Pre-internet, I had a really bad habit of reading lots of magazines in the shop, so I used to buy alternate copies of Classic Boat and Woodenboat, to ease the angst of the newsagent, and my conscience. I gave up on Classic Boat years ago as it became flooded with advertorials. It's to WB's credit that you haven't allowed that to happen to your magazine. Since then, I've developed lots of new, equally bad habits on the internet, subscribed a couple of times and more recently subscribed to the iPad version of WB. I lost all that when my iPad died - pretty disappointing, and haven't bought WB since. I will probably subscribe again though, to an e-version of some sort. It is a great magazine. Okay, it's very US-centric, it would be great for us to see a bit more international content, but the technical tips are excellent and the quality of production is outstanding.


08-08-2013, 02:48 AM
I don't know the number but it had a Peterson Coaster on the cover and I clearly remember reading it cover to cover late into one winter evening, ignoring all else. I let the fire go out in the woodstove and things got pretty chilly (on several fronts) that night.

08-08-2013, 05:37 AM
Bought my first issue in 1982 at the airport in Houston. Subscribed almost immediately after that. My girlfriend, now wife, made the annual subscription and later the annual calendar a perpetual Christmas gift. While I don't read it cover to cover every issue anymore (yeah, it does get a little repetitive) I do look at every page of every issue.

Built my first boat, a shellback, in 1998. Built my second, a Sea Hoss skiff, shortly after the onset of the Getting Started In Boats series.

08-08-2013, 06:00 AM
Issue 20. Got it at the NY boat show in Madison Square Garden.

Rich Jones
08-08-2013, 07:14 AM
There should be a second question for all us amateurs, namely - and it took XX issues before I started building my first wooden boat.

In my case the answers are issue No. 101 and about 30 issues later

I started subscribing around issue #17 and have no intention of ever stopping. Built my first wooden boat well before that, though. Well before the magazine existed. How much better it would have turned out if WBM had been around then!
Upon moving to Vermont two years ago, I gave my entire collection away to some chap in the Hudson Valley. Hadn't looked at them in years and didn't want to bother moving them. But, I'm accumulating a new pile now!

08-08-2013, 07:36 AM
Jan/Feb 1984 for me, not long after I bought my first house, and continuously ever since. I now have the full digital collection as well, which I use a lot. Can't imagine it not arriving in the mailbox every couple of months..it's a regular like the seasons...accumulated memories, stories and images that are treasured. I live in a wooden house (which people often say feels like a wooden boat), sail a wooden boat, and the lifestyle that goes with them is beautifully captured by the magazine.

bob winter
08-09-2013, 02:14 PM
Can't really remember. Certainly before 1985, likely 1983.

08-09-2013, 04:58 PM
Since Issue #1, ..... and still have it, and every other one I received. (Though there was a 'dark time' in the middle of this time line where I had to let my subscription drop for a couple of years due to tight finances.)

*** Actually the #1 issue that I have is an 'official' reprint, or second printing. It would seem that from issue #1 it was more popular than expected and the supply ran out, so letters were mailed out explaining that a second printing was being run and we would receive our first issues shortly (which I did, except the second printing was in B&W.) Still have the issue and the letter.

Bruce Keefauver
08-09-2013, 07:13 PM
Issue #2 or 3, can't remember but have them all. At this time I think that it is the best boat magazine ever published, period!

landlocked sailor
08-09-2013, 11:16 PM
I've got 'em all. Rick

08-10-2013, 07:18 AM
Probably since the mid-'90's. Bought it at news stands pretty regularly before that around '82, I think.

MN Dave
09-03-2013, 11:37 PM
I bought a subscription at the 'booth' (I think it was a card table with a folding chair) at a boat show in Newport. I picked up all three back issues along with starting the subscription.

09-04-2013, 12:43 AM
My first copy, bought from a newsagent, was No.54, with the beautiful trimaran Juniper on the cover. I was about 10 and we were cruising Indonesia in a trimaran of our own that year; I remember sitting in the cockpit, imagining what cold weather cruising in eastern USA might be like. A boatbuilder friend gave me a bunch of back issues, and from there I bought occasional copies from the newsagent as funds trickled in.
I was broke when issue No. 176 with Mikey Floyd's 'Salty Heaven' yawl came out. I couldn't remember the issue number, the boat's name or the designer's name, but couldn't get the boat out of my head; so when the USB dongle set of back issues was released a couple years ago, my darling wife bought me one, plus a subscription. By 3.00am the next morning, I'd found the article, via Chappelle, via Bolger, via Burgess, via Lyle Hess, via... Bliss.

Old Dryfoot
09-04-2013, 01:13 AM
My sub started at the end of 2007 but I'd been buying for about 6 years prior to that. I'm garage poor so I'm still waiting to build...

09-04-2013, 06:54 PM
First "discovered" WB at a newsstand @ #35. Wasn't too impressed. Went to the library looked at a few back issues, (they didn't have #'s 1,2,& 3) went back and bought off the stand unil 6 years ago. Got 'em all from day-one. Gave the extra #'s 1,2,&3 to the library.

09-05-2013, 06:17 PM
I used to have a subscription about a hundred years ago but I let it slide when I bought a fiberglass boat!

09-09-2013, 12:58 PM
My brother gave me a sub as a sort of wedding gift in '91 (apart from the actual gift..) It had the start of Dynamite Payson's build of Phil Bolger's s & t peapod. I wanted to get right out and buy the plywood. I kept up for several years until we moved to France, but like all mags, I find it get a bit repetitive, or cover areas that don't catch my attention.
Classic Boat & Water Craft also fell by the wayside. But I did get to talk with Dynamite Payson at his shop and see the Peapod in his yard. I bought plans for Devlin's Winter Wren, it was on the cover of WB. Even cut the panels & bulkheads. But then the move refocused, and I built IO's Whilly Tern, followed by A CH21. That is languishing at the moment as I have started a Bolger Micro.
But it was WB that kicked me back into building. And for that I am very grateful.

10-09-2013, 05:04 PM
I met Jon Wilson at the boat show in Newport in 1974 and bought issue #1 there. I've been a subscriber ever since and have every issue on my bookshelf. I had purchased my Herreshoff Newport 29 in 1973 and feel an early member of the WoodenBoat movement.

Chris Wick

Don Kurylko
10-09-2013, 11:13 PM
Subscribed to #1. Read all the early issues from cover to cover, including the ads. Couldn't get enough of wooden boats! It was almost like a religious experience here on the west coast. Often refered to as "the wooden boat revival". :d

Ask Jon how often he got pestered to go monthly back then. |;)

10-10-2013, 03:39 PM
I can remember the phrase to this day - "Between this months Practical Boat Owner and next months Playboy a magazine called Woodenboat hits the newstands" (or words to that effect) - written by Pete Greenfield (who now owns and edits Watercraft magazine) in the late 70's when he freelanced for Practical Boat Owner. It took a move to Falmouth (Cornwall) before I could lay my hands on a copy (no 30), and I guess I then started subscribing at issue 60 or 70 and have been a subscriber ever since.

It was a bit easier for UK magazines. I was only about 15 years old when I started subscribing to Practical Boat Owner - a great magazine at that time. A neighbour had been lending them to our family and when I started subscribing he gave me all the back issues.

I bought issue 1 of Classic boat and subscribed to that from no 2 until about 120. I subscribed to the superb The Boatman (highly recommended if you can lay your hands on a collection) and its sister mag The Yachtsman from start to their respective finishes, and followed on with Watercraft no 1 until the present.

What I'd really like is to digitally download the full collection of Woodenboat. I have a friend ready and waiting with a 100Mp/s connection and a Nexus is on its way (don't know how succesful that'll be). Scot?


George Ray
10-11-2013, 06:56 AM
I subscribed for few of years starting with #1 and then let it lapse.
However I have kept my eye on WB ever since and and am pleased with the great work they have done producing a quality product and helping to keep a wonderful craft and body of knowledge alive.

Paul Scheuer
10-12-2013, 12:02 PM
Sometime near Issue 27. Continuous renewals since.

After launching my Yankee Tender project in 1986 I sent an unsolicited photo with a suggestion that it might be a candidate for use as a cover. I still think it's a good picture.


I got the following letters from Meg Maiden .


10-20-2013, 11:40 AM
I bought my first issue from a drugstore in Matthews County Va. in 1978. There was boatbuilding school there, upstairs, I believe in one of the store front buildings. We had just moved down to Onemo. I subscribed in that year, issue 18 or 19? Would have to look. I bought those green binders for several years, then gave up because I was always taking the issues out to carry around with me. Been in and out of subscription for all these years, missing a few, but have most. So how about favorite issue(s), one that sticks out in memory for being exceptional. For me that would be the one with Russ Brown's proa on the cover. One of my all time fave articles. Also the one with Bill Schwicker's original article on the 3 fathom sharpie.

10-20-2013, 06:24 PM
Believe it or not I have never subscribed, but I have bought every issue since I became aware there was a magazine. I enjoy going to the newsstand and buying magazines and books. I was given a NOOK some time ago but have never used it because I LIKE digging through the stacks and finding a book I never heard of before.

Don't worry, Carl. I am a loyal reader. I just haven't subscribed.

Mickey Lake

Peter Gottlund
10-22-2013, 08:11 AM
Carl, I just sent in my twentieth annual payment for a subscription. August 1994.
I admit to a goofy sentimentality that sees WB as the stockpot on the back burner, filled with the base for our individual creations and passions. I feel that I am "supporting" WB by subscribing.
An internet search yielded a 2007 interview with Periodical Radio (faculty.strose.edu) in which publishing WB is discussed. Here is a portion related to this thread:

Steve: I’d like to ask about your subscriber profile. First, what’s the mix between subscriptions and newsstand sales for WoodenBoat?

Carl: Oh, we’re about 52,000 subscribers, and about 45,000 newsstand buyers.

Steve: That’s a very significant proportion for newsstand.

Carl: Oh yeah, it is. I wish I could understand it a little better. I think some people like the convenience of shopping at the local newsstand. But in the boating magazine field, we’re far and away the market leader in terms of copies sold per month or per issue.

Steve: Do you have many subscribers outside of the United States?

Carl: Yeah, I think about 20% of our subscribers are out of the U.S. We have strong support from Canada, from Europe, particularly Western Europe, and I don’t think to much surprise Australia and New Zealand, as well.

Steve: What portion of your readers are men? Do you know?

Carl: Ninety-seven percent.

Steve: Ninety-seven percent?

Carl: Yep.

I was surprised at the percentage of total copies which are prepaid, or not. Though it does seem to mirror the responses to this thread. Hey guys, the only way to "get Carl to Hobart" is to raise the subscription numbers, a publishers' manna!!
Keep up the great work, to everyone at WoodenBoat!

10-22-2013, 09:27 AM
I'm not re-upping this year.
To be honest, I see WB going the way of FWW, dropping the content that drew me in, in exchange for more "instant gratification" eye candy.

12-11-2013, 09:34 PM
Strangely, when I was working as a boatbuilder in the '80's, first at Wooden Boats in Norwalk, Ct, then up here after I built my house, at Pieri's in Lincolnville, Maine, I didn't look at WoodenBoat much, but was captivated by Fine Woodworking. As mentioned above, at some point FWW lost it's specialness and I've been a lover of WoodenBoat since. My Dad has been giving me a subscription as a xmas gift for a long time. He built a sailboat in the '80's. I'm always excited to get the new issue. I'm waiting on the latest- my best friend is on the cover!

12-11-2013, 10:39 PM
I was a subscriber for a time but got into other things. I still have ~100 copies.
When I went looking for an index on the WB site and found I had to buy it it just killed my interest.
I already paid for the articles - I just wanted a convenient search capability.

What I wanted I probably would have bought a back issue to get.

Pity WB needed to find every little trick to get money from me. Up to that time I was a loyal follower, in spite of not being very "traditional" minded.

Steve McMahon
12-11-2013, 11:25 PM
My wife bought me a subscription for Christmas when we got married, 1989, and has been buying me a subscription for Christmas ever since. Before that I had been buying off the magazine rack since around 1984. Have filled in most of the missing issues from used bookstores.

Tom Jackson
12-12-2013, 09:26 AM
I'm not sure what this refers to:

"I was a subscriber for a time but got into other things. I still have ~100 copies.
When I went looking for an index on the WB site and found I had to buy it it just killed my interest.
I already paid for the articles - I just wanted a convenient search capability."

WoodenBoat used to publish a print version of an index periodically, at some nominal price, which anyone would expect. Years ago, the index came online—where it is free, open, searchable, and continually updated. Here is a link: http://www.woodenboat.com/search-back-issues-woodenboat-magazine. It's the index I use—I haven't looked at a printed index of the magazine in probably 10 years.

Russ Manheimer
12-12-2013, 09:33 AM
I think I have a full collection and started subscribing years ago. Carl, I can't begin to tell you the joy this magazine and Forum have brought to my life. Like Ian, I was hooked on the wooden boat life by John Gardner's articles in National Fisherman in the 70's. WB was the next step up.

Best of luck in your post WB life. Hope to see you on the Reach this Summer. Does this mean you can come to Doug and Carter's party next year?

Deeply grateful,


jimmy lee
12-16-2013, 06:49 PM
I've been a subscriber since, and love reading every issue.

jimmy lee
12-16-2013, 06:52 PM
I've been a subscriber since, and love reading every issue.
Since I have built, a Skiff, two kayaks and a PDRacer, hull 235.

12-19-2013, 11:12 AM
I'm a newbie...have received 3 issues so far, but I'm entranced. I just got a 1930 Elco & know once she's launched in April that WB will be a valuable resource.

I also really like the section for novices, and I suspect once I know what I'm doing, I'll enhance my library with some of the specialized series...not sure if I'll ever be a boat builder, but I can see varnishing and carpentry will be on my future.

WB Magazine also inspires me...and too be honest, I have less trepidation about owning & cruising alone just having the magazine & forum around. I'm really appreciative of WB. :-)

12-20-2013, 01:29 PM
I found a Wooden Boat magazine in a shop in the Baltimore Inner Harbor around 1992 or 1993 and liked it. It didn't take long before I subscribed and built a dinghy. I've been a subscriber ever since.

Dave Wright
12-23-2013, 04:30 PM
I like the magazine very much and have subscribed continually for the past ten years or so. When I didn't subscribe I usually picked up copies at a new stand. I have 2 feet of back issues on a shelf and regularly purge them - discarding old ones to make room for new. Storage becomes an issue. I subscribed the very first year the magazine came out and I was disappointed with the format and the content. I remember thinking at the time: "G#dd*mn boat hippies, they're just going to reprint articles available elsewhere so they can hang out in the woods doing their thing." Eventually I realized that I was wrong and the magazine developed, improved, and became a pleasure.