What makes a great magazine?
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What makes a great magazine?

  1. #1
    Canatard
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    Default What makes a great magazine?

    I've been thinking about what makes a magazine great.

    When I was a young teen, I was into Car Craft. That magazine was epic with some amazing tech and how to articles. I recall a two or three part article on body work that had me checking the 7-11 mag stand a couple of times per week for the next issue.

    As epic as it was, decades later when I was cleaning out stuff I left at my parents house, I found that stack of Car Craft. I flipped through a few of them and found them not as great as I remembered. One, in particular, had an article on a restoration process that, years later, we have come to know wasn't the most reliable process. In fact, I recalled an article that recommended laquer over enamel paint (maybe that was appropriate back then).

    It seems to me, part of what made that magazine great was my lack of experience and the wide-eyed enthusiasm I had during my teen years. I'll bet a lot of more experienced car guys found the magazine unexciting.

    Has that happened with Performance Boats? Does it seem less exciting because most of us are older, have been in all sorts of boats, maybe even owned a few, and are much more difficult to impress? In this case, I suppose I am considering the Hot Boat to Performance Boats continuum as a single entity.

    I guess I am questioning how we judge the magazine. I still enjoy it but I wonder how much the content has changed since the first Hot Boat article I read and how much I've changed since then.
    Last edited by Tom Brown; 07-25-2011 at 12:28 PM.

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    Bass Lake Dream'n "Flat" foot'n's Avatar
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    What I look for in a magazine is the "how to" stuff, the budget builds and real life readers rides/builds. There is waaaaayyyy too much time spent on boats that are so far out of the realm of reality for 99% of the readers. I, like most of us are blue collar mid to upper mid class boaters. I have almost no interest in a $200k motor package. Just like most car mags, they show hot rods built by shops hired by owners with deep pockets. Show something that a everyday joe can build or buy. Also can't stand reviews that are so biased to the large advertisers, that there is virtually nothing wrong with the product. As far as the mag is concerned, the tested vehicle is perfect.
    When I bought my Z06 in 2006, it was the cats meow, absolutely perfect is everyway, as far as Motor Trend was concerned. That is until 2 months later when Porche came out with huge ads and a new 911. Then the Z06 was crap. My $.02

    So, honest reviews and real world spreads.
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    Senior Member snake321's Avatar
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    looks like the bag of candy wasn't enough

    what's next, Brown modeling Performance Boat shirts???
    YOU LIE!!!!!!!!!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ultra26 # 1 View Post
    I've been known to be a jackass a time or two.

  5. #4
    Already miss the 310/562 2manymustangs's Avatar
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    How about a PerformanceBoats ENGINE MASTERS build featuring six of our ON THE DYNO peeps throwing down to build the best average (HPxTQ/2)/Cubic Inches... ONLY in the Performance Boats ENGINE MASTERS builds they have to hold up to a 15 minute dyno pull, WOT...

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    Senior Member EVILFORCE's Avatar
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    More How to articles. And more meat. Need more things that pertain to us po folk. Boats for 80k and less. Can be to many advertisements at times as well.
    No Fool Like A Old Fool is there?

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    I think if your looking ofr subscribers, most dont subscribe because everything is here on the forums, when i buy the mag i scan it once and rarely is their anything that interests me. I owuld subscribe just so the forum is funded. I agree with the above stating that i dont care much about a 200k boat, i like my vdrives and jets. i subscribe to a host of other mags and collect them because of the tech articles. I would like to see more articles showing the rebuild of a jet, vdrive, outdrive whatever, or articles on polishing gel or metal.. many of us do work on stuff, but also may want to understand whats going on inside the parts of the boat..
    Much like other mags you can get experts (vendors) showing how something is done (example a prop guy showing what goes into fixing the prop that got trashed)

  8. #7
    Already miss the 310/562 2manymustangs's Avatar
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    I do like the fact that the magazine has the LAKE BOAT editions as well as the OFFSHORE/Big boat editions...

    Even though I could never afford to run a big honkin MTI speed racer I sure like to look at the articles on them... A guys got to dream ya know...

  9. #8
    KAP
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    Comment:

    I like this topic "What Makes a Magazine Great" and would like to offer the following.

    1. Let's have one magazine that covers it all Offshore and Lake stuff all in one edition. That means well balanced throughout but extensive in the page count i.e.. 120 pages or up to the point of maximum print per copy.

    2. Then the content must have statistical data when testing a product. I want gear ratios, type of prop...labbed non-labbed....type of oil run in drive or unit or recommended. Service intervals for products such as drive, blowers, or other accessories. Tech heavy specifics.

    3. Cover all types of tech stuff like what service needs to be done to a 1350 Mercury motor down to a squirt boat that uses a N/A 598 BBC.

    Lots of interior photos, gps speedo photos, etc.. How to do X or Y and tips on how to do X or Y from an expert. Also things pro's look for on the preventative side.

    4. The writers need to know what they are talking about too many of them paraphrase or add content without it being factually correct.

    Great photos and more veracity even if some advertisers don't like it....yeah I know veracity is asking too much. What do I mean if a product sucks say so don't smooth it over because advertiser will pull ad's....it is a delicate balancing act and truth is the vendors/advertisers pay the way.

    I guess I could ask for a magazine utopia and know it ain't gonna happen but I can certainly hope it happens.

    KAP
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    www.dougwrightwest.com Home of X-treme Outboards

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    This thread didn't so much make a turn, as it never got going. It was like posting a "Slow... men working..." sign and having everyone floor it.

    I find the idea of perception versus reality interesting.

    If Car Craft were still around (I wouldn't know), and I were to purchase one, I'll bet I would find that it's not as good as it used to be. I loved that mag as a kid.

    The thing is, I went back and read a few old issues from back in the day and those mags aren't as good as they used to be, either.

    A magazine will never be a substitute for an encyclopedia. It just can't be that in depth and be released every month for a couple of dollars.

    It seems to me, what I look for in a mag now is quite different from what I looked for as a kid. Maybe such is the way of life. Performance Boats has an aging readership and maybe that plays a role in how their content is interpreted.
    Last edited by Tom Brown; 07-25-2011 at 05:35 PM.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Uncle Dave's Avatar
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    My benchmark is Dirt Bike magazine from the 80's with Super Hunky and Mr. Know it all.
    These guys told it like it was and still managed to land sponsors and actually help manufacturers make a better product while entertaining and informing us with style.


    1. Great articles written with humor and detail.

    2. How To - Lots of stuff you can do and should do yourself and some stuff you cant.
    I care more about what it takes a regular guy to keep his 24-40 foot boat running than what a crew of a dozen does to to a 200MPH race queen
    (the race queen is interesting but in moderation)

    3. Balls- Call BS on products that dont work and to compare products that do. the only way to do this is with a "shootout" or at the least a "test". Very tough, but instant respect. I always read shootouts, I dont care if its anchors or chain lube- I like to see what works.

    4. A wide variety of boats. A lot of the regular guy stuff, and a some of the aspirational stuff we drool over but few of us actually own.
    A magazine filled only with million dollar rides is fun for 2 minutes but I rarely find myself going back to it down the road.

    5. A decent but not "illegal" amount of skin. Lets face it what boat isn't made better looking with a good looking chick in it?

    6. A website with a video extension of the printed article connecting and extending the print experience.
    Ill happily pay more to see more if its done well.

    7. Give back- support some charity/causes and be present at local events.
    I thought the New Jersey club event that gave disabled kids boats rides was tremendously neat.


    In short you are pretty damm close Chris.


    Uncle Dave

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    I also uuesed to read CC and it was a good mag compared to most. Good tech and leaned to the garage type guy. But after a time I began to realize that the articles were just promos for advertisers, and that I wasn't really going to cut .80 off my ET buy buying a $250 hood scoop kit. I started reading cirle track when I was hangin with some roundy pounders and when the mag did a shoot out of intake manifolds and published that the best manifold for a single carb sbc below 5000rpm was the stock GM part, I thought "wow, didi this piss off some people" aand I respected the mag for it. Dirt bike was the same way. Now I look at some of the rat rod mags and bike mags, not because I'm into it so much, but I want to see what people are coming up with on thier own. I build concoures cars and I'm not impressed with cars that people throw 3, 4, 5 hundred thousand dollars at anymore. I want to know what my neighbor has going on.

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    Senior Member albypine's Avatar
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    Would be cool to make a few teams and have them buy and build boats that are rotting away in back yards or bone yards make it a budget build..At the end of a time frame have a race to see what boat was the fastest and held the best top end number. so many tv show's do car's and other stff,but no one does old boat's and we all know a lot of labor and love goes into the old rides

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    You know Brown. They just booted a guy for Mocking the KING.
    No Fool Like A Old Fool is there?

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    A lot of subscribers. Sign up here.

    Performance Boats Store. Boating Apparel, Accessories and Magazines

    Thanks Brown; keep up the good work and I will send you back the wrappers.
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