I read a lot of sailing magazines and have done since I was a lad. Practical Boat Owner was my first love for its practical (the clues in the name) approach to boating. A little later I switched my attention to Yachting Monthly which at the time had the most wonderful textured cover with beautiful pictures of boats unadulterated by banners and previews of the content. You could cut them out and frame them were you so inclined. As my income rose I took to buying both magazines and, once in a while I’d indulge myself with Yachting World as well.
When I moved to America I switched to Cruising World and, occasionally, Sail Magazine. Cruising World suited me perfectly at the time – I sailed on Chesapeake Bay but with an eye to more far flung adventures and the magazine’s content fuelled that ambition. A favourite contributor of mine was Dan Spurr, who was the magazine’s editor for a time, because he sailed simple, inexpensive boats and cruised on a modest budget. When he put up for sale his Adriana, a Phil Rhodes designed Pearson Vanguard, I bought her. Dan and I sailed Adriana from Florida to Chesapeake Bay, 1200 miles in 11 days, as a sort of extended sailing trial before I took her over. After refitting this simple seaworthy boat my wife and I took her on a three year modest odyssey around the USA and Caribbean. After our return to civilisation I had several articles published in another American sailing magazine – Southwinds.
Now I see there’s a new British mag on the street – Classic Sailor. It must be quite difficult to find an unexplored niche to elbow yourself into so I’ll watch the progress of this new publication with interest, and wish them success with the venture.