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  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-23-2014 07:14 AM
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.
03-23-2014 01:47 AM
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.
03-22-2014 05:23 PM
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.
03-22-2014 05:05 PM
Re: Practical Sailor magazine

Just decided to try it out.

Need 9 more posts ...
07-27-2007 10:34 PM
WuWei 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.

US 30' Wu-Wei
07-26-2007 08:57 PM
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.
07-26-2007 08:44 PM
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Knowing that you have a steel boat I was wondering if you are a member of the metal boat society ? I was but found I didn't use the site all that often and have since let my membership lapse.
I've considered joining it, but haven't got around to it yet. I'm not a metal boat builder, and I find most of the questions I have regarding zinc sprays, two-part epoxies, isolating different metals, avoiding galvanic corrosion, etc. I can get elsewhere.

But it is in the back of my mind, because I want to learn to do "light welding" before we go.
07-26-2007 08:34 PM
sailaway21 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.

I also was somewhat less than impressed with some of their testing methodology. Some of that can be ascribed to the limited resources that subscription revenue only dictates. Some of it can be ascribed to preconceived notions showing themselves, which is something that Consumer's Report shares as a weakness. CR's automobile reviews are next to worthless if you know and love to drive. Car and Driver seems to be able to call 'em like they see's 'em, publish an excellent rag, and still keep ad dollars rolling in. Don't hold your breath waiting on the CR review of high performance rubber for your Honda Civic or the radar detector review. PS could, in my opinion, do much better with some selected ad revenue, and expanded, more thorough, testing.

The fact that they are somewhat mis-guided can only be seen by the evidence here. Sailnet only needs one designated subscriber and he'll update the rest of us. PS needs to deliver more bang for the buck to get my mailbox open again. Good Old Boat currently has priority.
07-26-2007 08:14 PM
tdw Valiente,
Knowing that you have a steel boat I was wondering if you are a member of the metal boat society ? I was but found I didn't use the site all that often and have since let my membership lapse.

I like Practical Sailor. Don't always agree with them but the good seems to outweigh the bad. Will have to check out Ocean Navigator.
07-26-2007 03:03 PM
Valiente I've been subscribing since 2001, and PS and Ocean Navigator are the only two I get now, although I will pick up selected issues of Good Old Boat.

I just use the search function and find the issue date and then look it up in hard copy. There's few articles pre-2001 that I need at this point because the gear changes in five-year cycles for the most part.
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