good old boat (print) vs. practical sailor (online)
Be careful of what you're getting with Practical Sailor online. You can search for articles and boat reviews in their back issues, and each gives you a teaser that says:
"Purchase selection, or begin your FREE 14-day trial subscription to practical-sailor.com."
Hmm. So I can purchase this old, two page article for $10, or
begin my subscription to practical-sailor.com.
I was interested in reading several old articles, so I tried the "FREE 14-day trial subscription". Guess what? To get it you have to buy a 6 month subscription to the paper magazine.
OK, I'll bite. So I sign up and pay. Now I go back to the website to look at those old articles, but I still can't get them. So I check with customer support. It turns out that (a) you must purchase the subscription to the paper magazines to get the the on-line subscription, and, (b) the only thing you can read with your on-line subscription is the current and immediate previous issue of the magazine -- exactly what you have in the paper magazines you purchased.
To me it felt like bait-and-switch. This alone diminished my opinion of their credibility.
I do recommend their book "Practical Sailor Guide to Sailing Gear". It summarizes a couple hundred gear review articles. At Amazon sellers have it new for $10 and used for $6.
Their boat reviews are really good and are all reprinted in their "Practical Boat Buying" books. I bought a used older edition and got reviews of the boats I was interested in. This was a lot cheaper than spending $20 for each review.
They do a pretty good job with their magazine, but I don't buy enough new gear to justify the price. In fact, in four issues the only article I can remember off-hand was the one on the FLIR night vision for $10 grand or something ridiculous, and they even used the photo out of the FLIR advertisements!
When my 6 month subscription ends it won't be renewed. On the other hand, I just bought a three year subscription to GOB, and even picked up their CDs of old issues. Maybe some day I'll have time to read them.