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Old 07-26-2007
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Originally Posted by sailaway21 View Post
Practical Sailor is sometimes not too practical. I let my subscription lapse because of their bias towards testing of items mostly applicable to only the high end, cruising sailor.
When compared to the "civilian" mags that I no longer buy, it seems a model of economy to me. I find that between PS and ON, I learn and can judge applicable a fair range of products, but more importantly, I can start thinking about systems because reading of a product, service or technique in these magazines helps me to design (I hope) a better way of doing things.

Three examples come to mind: I have purchased a FilterBoss dual Racor fuel pump, an idea I saw in a less formal form in ON. I saw in PS the idea of having a reel of line stowed vertically off the arch for stern anchoring or reaching the shore. And finally, I started thinking about all the problems caused by seawater intrusion into fuel and water tanks from deck fills and topside vents, and this lead me to a great old book called Small Steel Craft by Ian Nicholson. Lo and behold, in there I learned that it once was (and may still be) customary to route all vents to centerline goosenecks on pilothouse cabin tops. I think I can improve on this by making a vent manifold with separate shutoffs, and by routing the vent stack, so to speak, inside a brass pole, which can double as a handhold in the pilothouse AND can have a drain **** at the lower end. Even if the boat rolls with the engine running, I have a shot at keeping seawater out of my tankage. Granted, that might be the least of my concerns, but the ideas were sparked by reading PS and Ocean Navigator and realizing that the way things are done today for the average cruising boat is neither sensible nor applicable to the distance cruiser, and the right idea might be an old idea awaiting rediscovery.

Sure, I read the product comparisons and gear reviews, but mainly these magazines get me thinking productively, I hope, about how to improve my vessel.
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Old 07-27-2007
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PS is a load of garbage. I subscribed to their crappy magazine for a year, as their advertising had mislead me. I was thoroughly diappointed in every artcle I received. First, it is not cheap. It looks to be some crappy publication I could print off my printer at work with 3-hole binding. Graphics and picts lacking... Well, I gave it a chance, stupidly thinking content might outweigh its flaws. Nope. It is pretty much a West Marine advertising bulletin. That's it. Amen. The rag is so full of bad reviews on products that you can tell who their sponsors are. I felt no remorse for failing to renew my subscription after a year. I only subscribe to SAIL (they have pretty picts and articles for waaay cheap) and Good Old Boat (quarterly, and expensive, but damn well worth the price.) I can go to West Marine for free and hear how great they think their stuff is without a subscription.

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Old 03-22-2014
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Re: Practical Sailor magazine

Just decided to try it out.

Need 9 more posts ...
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Old 03-22-2014
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Re: Practical Sailor magazine

The best boating magazine in the business Professional Boat Builder and subscription is free if you are in the marine business.
they also run podcasts on all sorts of boat topics and have free webinars.
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Old 03-23-2014
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Re: Practical Sailor magazine

I think that PS is a fantastic resource. Though I am getting a bit tired of the seemingly endless anchor comparisons that pop up every other issue and the bottom paint article every spring, for my $14 per year it is a steal. I had no idea that my fiberglass Lite Cylinder propane tanks had been recalled until I read it in PS. Not every issue addressed an issue that is relevant to me and my boat but when they do, I have found them most helpful. You can complain all you want about their testing methodology but, bottom line, they are using a methodology and putting equipment through the paces--a whole lot more reliable than what Joe Schmo from down the dock gives you when he tells you that a Spade is better than a Rocna/Manson is better than a CQR is better than a Bruce is better than a Fortress/danforth.
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Last edited by obelisk; 03-23-2014 at 01:49 AM.
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Old 03-23-2014
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Re: Practical Sailor magazine

I subscribe to it because it's a good resource for many of the things (radios, foul weather gear, hot water tanks, etc.) that I've been researching. As with so many things about sailing, if you ask 6 people, you'll get 10 wildly divergent opinions. PS is not the gospel, but it does provide a valuable source of aggregated information to help filter your thinking.
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