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Thread: Small Boats Magazine

  1. #1
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    Default Small Boats Magazine

    First let me say that this section is a great idea. As a long time subscriber I often wonder how rarely the magazine content is discussed on the Forum.
    I really enjoy the annual Small Boats issue; my daughter buys it for me for Christmas and I generally read the whole this, but I have a couple beefs:

    1. We need more pictures! The narrative desciptions of the boats are fine but I am constantly frustrated not being able to see much of what is described. Plus, there is no place else to go to see more details. Maybe an online supplement of photos would help if more pics cannot be added to the print version. Maybe an online extra with Maynard Bray "Matter of Details".

    2. I think the issue ought to be included with the regular subscription. FWW does this with their annual Tools & Shop issue. Maybe this would encouage more regular subscribers. Or maybe as a reward for regular subscribers, say, after 5 years.

    Rick

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    Always enjoy "Small Boats". Designs are probably my favorite part of WB.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    It's the only issue I read cover to cover anymore.
    If this post did not meet all of your needs, please consult this thread for more options.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    One of my favorite times of the year is when this issue comes out!
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    Love it, and I think the most recent issue is the best so far. Great mix of boat types. I too would like to see a lot more on each boat - I would happily pay a few dollars more for a fatter magazine.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    Which would you prefer: Fewer boats and longer treatments of each, or the same number of boats at the current lengths of articles? At the moment, we're constrained to a certain page count for the entire [Small Boats] magazine, and we've been holding the line at three to four pages per boat profile. As author of several of these articles each year, I must say that 1,500 words or so for each boat feels about right. But if we're missing areas of treatment in each (broadly we cover, the design, construction, and performance in each article), then let us know. Or perhaps you'd like to see more or larger photographs in a longer article, but the same amount of text. This is interesting and constructive feedback; thanks for bringing it up.
    Matt Murphy

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    I really like 'Small Boats', and I get plenty of mileage out of each copy. It's great daydreaming material.

    I'd say that the length of text is about right as is; I certainly wouldn't want to see it shortened. Likewise, I wouldn't like to see the number of articles decrease too much, as the diversity of the boat types is a big part of the success of each issue. (I especially like to see at least one or two boats from other countries or different boatbuilding traditions).

    There have been one or two articles where I've wished that a certain detail or aspect of the boat has been more visible in the photos (especially interior arrangements of dinghys or open boats, or a full profile photo or rig arrangement photo of some of the larger boats). More pictures, especially where chosen to avoid doubling-up on information about each boat, would be great.

    After the first read-through I fire up the web and visit the links at the bottom of each article, and that usually fills in the gaps.

    Jack

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    I like it as is. It is the only magazine I pick up at the news stand and buy without even opening it?

    My one wish (and this goes for the regular magazine as well) would be the inclusion of more hard performance data, as in "She did 28 kts at wide open throttle with a fuel burn of 3.6 gal per hour. Idling along at 5 kts fuel use dropped to 0.4 gal per hour." instead of "She moved out smartly when Ralph opened the throttle and just sipped gas when idling along."
    Denny Wolfe
    www.wolfEboats.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    My thought is: same number of boats; same amount of text for each; more fotos per boat. I really like it as is, but have certainly had the thought on numerous occasions, that it'd be nice if some detail referred to in the article was illustrated by a foto.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    I love it, and although it would be nice to have more detail and hard figures I do understand that it would be very difficult to get that information together, especially when one considers that different assessment methods can give quite different results, and when those figures are being used to compare boats that can be very misleading.

    The only change I'd like to see, is "more please".

    John Welsford, looking forward to this years issue.
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    Matt,

    I think the number of boats and the length of coverage is spot on.

    However, as has been suggested, more pictures, close ups etc. always improve the article. I understand your limitations to stay within a certain page count. Thus, I'd like to suggest that at the end of each article, you could provide a link to a section on the woodenboat web site, where there are more photos, close ups, drawings, diagrams etc. that relate to the respective article.

    thanks for your consideration,
    Rick

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    >it'd be nice if some detail referred to in the article was illustrated by a foto.

    Indeed, let me hitch my cart to this horse.. To have a textual reference to a particular feature of say, a construction detail, rigging or whatever, with no photo to illustrate, is massively frustrating.

    This should not to be interpreted to mean minimize textual references! ;-)

    enjoy
    bobby

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    I will echo what Denny and John said. Technical details too often are missing in the articles on boats. I still cannot decide what the ride of one boat could possible be as it was described as "sweet and loping". Sounds kind of nice but means nothing that I can decipher. This kind of comment is much more common than any factual data. Such oversight is not acceptable in PBB so it can be done and many would wish WB would try to get more hard data into the magazine.
    Tom L

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    Technical info can be difficult and time consuming to come by, can't it? And the time, tools and work involved in getting it isn't really reimbursed by the per word payments offered by WB. For example i was asked (perhaps because it 's located nearby) to think about writing up the article on the Mini Tug in the last issue (it's for sale on Craigslist here by the way: http://maine.craigslist.org/boa/2756764571.html ) One thing I would have wanted to include in considering whether to do it was gathering info such as fuel burn and perhaps 'towing power', however that might be measured, silly as it might sound in an 18' 'tug'. If I had followed on with the article I suppose the owner may have been interested in listing such details also, so there may have been a way to work it out. There are just so many variations regarding conditions, loads, speeds, etc. How many do you test and list?
    "Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates." ~ Mark Twain


  15. #15

    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    Knowing that the editors are at the mercy of those making submissions, it would still be nice if there were just general photos of the interiors of some of these boats. I found it annoying that the writer extolled the ergonomics of the interior of the Hampton Sloop--but no interior photos, especially of such a fetching looking vessel. The D-18 Myst was another boat whose interior would have been of interest. Interior photos can also answer a lot of questions of "how did they do it" with regards to line placement and interior appointments.

    Still, a fun read. Certainly looking forward to the next issue. Hope to see more boats around 15 feet (probably what my next build will be).

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    With portable GPS it is not impossible to get some performance data; xxxx knots in yyyy breeze. Able to maintain xxxx for a couple of miles rowing. Problem is that sometimes the writers don't have enough time in the boats, certainly the case in a couple of Small Boat projects in which I have been involved. Working it differently, taking lines off kayaks, Sea Kayaker manages to do this in their boat reviews.

    And I second the note of a place to put materials that don't make it to the print form, in fact this is a useful suggestion for the magazine in general, electronic added content possibly as part of the subscription price. New Yorker is a good model for this, using the subscription ID materials to give you access to the electronic versions.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Vernon Langille, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity and a quiver of unamed 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    Good point, Ben, We do have the technology; we just need to use it.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    We're in the process, Ben. We have a way to go, I'm afraid... but we ARE working on it.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    I love Small Boats. Again, I could only wish for something like a small boat adventure, one per issue. With good descriptive writing, and photo documentation. A little like Messing About, only in color, and edited a bit. It wouldn't really be trespassing on WB territory, since WB doesn't really do much in the "personal adventure" line.

    Over the years by far the most memorable WB articles have been "life with a 100 yr. old catboat" type of first hand accounts.

    Small boats are great to read about, but stories of their lives on the water are even better.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    I'd like to second earling2 opinion. Small boat adventures to me are more interesting. I'm glad to hear one will be in a future issue.

    Noteable profiles can be easily obtained on the internet but, John or Jane Doe sailing his or her's adventure is something we can all savor especially if we could be lured by a well told tale.

    JD

    JD
    Senior Ole Salt # 650

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    I'll third that idea. I know WB has not often published cruising stories, but we're over thirty years into more or less the same content. I still enjoy the mag, but it is slipping in my read priority. A little change would be nice.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    With the passing of Small Boat Journal, there was a huge hole left, even if they tended to be focused on production fiberglass boats. Small Craft Advisor seems to be trying to fill that hole and is doing a pretty good job of it - their variety of articles on boat types, trips, technical articles and designer/sailor articles are well balanced. The thing that I miss in the Small Boats Magazine is some more of the tips and tricks and "small boat" specific tools, hardware and methods. The article a year or two ago about small boat storage was fantastic, BTW and I'd like to see more of that. Another article on voyaging in small craft is always interesting and I'm looking forward to the February issue for that reason. Perhaps even an article on the building of one of the craft that is showcased in the Small Boats magazine would be appropriate. While I like reading about the designers and the larger craft in WoodenBoat magazine, I suspect that the majority of readers are those who have or would be better served by smaller craft and information about them.

    What applies for a 16' stick-up sharpie is different than a Concordia Yawl. I suspect that the majority of the readers tend toward smaller wooden boats - say, less than 30'.

    I also concur that I'd like to see this issue added to my subscription, even if my subscription rate goes up, or my term is shortened a bit.
    "Anyone who says they like portaging is either a liar or crazy."
    - Bill Mason


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    With the passing of Small Boat Journal, there was a huge hole left, even if they tended to be focused on production fiberglass boats. Small Craft Advisor seems to be trying to fill that hole and is doing a pretty good job of it - their variety of articles on boat types, trips, technical articles and designer/sailor articles are well balanced. The thing that I miss in the Small Boats Magazine is some more of the tips and tricks and "small boat" specific tools, hardware and methods. The article a year or two ago about small boat storage was fantastic, BTW and I'd like to see more of that. Another article on voyaging in small craft is always interesting and I'm looking forward to the February issue for that reason. Perhaps even an article on the building of one of the craft that is showcased in the Small Boats magazine would be appropriate. While I like reading about the designers and the larger craft in WoodenBoat magazine, I suspect that the majority of readers are those who have or would be better served by smaller craft and information about them.

    What applies for a 16' stick-up sharpie is different than a Concordia Yawl. I suspect that the majority of the readers tend toward smaller wooden boats - say, less than 30'.

    I also concur that I'd like to see this issue added to my subscription, even if my subscription rate goes up, or my term is shortened a bit.
    I have become a fan and subscriber of Small Craft Adivsor. For me Wooden Boat is about the boats I dream about. Small Craft Advisor is about the boats I own. Good Old Boat is better at tips, tricks and How-to artcles IMO.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    Another article on voyaging in small craft is always interesting and I'm looking forward to the February issue for that reason.
    Just to be sure, and to avoid disappointing: The article describing the small-boat cruise from Iowa to Maine (!) will be in the March/April issue.
    --Matt Murphy

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    Quote Originally Posted by MPM View Post
    Just to be sure, and to avoid disappointing: The article describing the small-boat cruise from Iowa to Maine (!) will be in the March/April issue.
    --Matt Murphy
    Yup. That'd be the one Robin was talking about...
    "Anyone who says they like portaging is either a liar or crazy."
    - Bill Mason


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    I love the small boats issue - to the point that all of the issues you've published sit in a pile on my bedside table.

    What I particularly liked about this year's offering is that none of the boats are ones I'd read about much otherwise. And I liked the bit of focus on pulling boats - since I'm probably going to build one fairly soon.

    I think that the idea of having additional material available online for subscribers (or others who decide to pay a fee) is a great one. I'd certainly pay that fee, and it might encourage me to subscribe rather than just pick up copies of WoodenBoat at the newstand.
    "It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." - Oscar Wilde

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Small Boats Magazine

    MPM, An example of a good yarn :

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/18/sp...?_r=1&emc=eta1

    JD
    Senior Ole Salt # 650

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