Sad news reached me yesterday that Motor Boat Owner magazine has closed down. Sad news indeed as although I no longer partake in the hobby on health grounds I do like to keep in touch with what is going on. Much in the hope that a miraculous cure can be found I am also miraculously presented with the keys to a Jeanneau MF895!
Lets deal with the magazine trade end of things first. The magazine trade for itself is a tough old bastard of a trade to be in. First you have to engage with readers delivering what they want to read on every page in every issue mainly for very little thanks although this bit depends on your title and target market. Second you have to keep your advertisers happy. On this note I must say that I have never known such a large market base that has no concept whatsoever of the word deadline! You see having run a business magazine for 3 and a bit years I do have some idea of the challenges! Regardless of this the magazine trade is a tough place to earn a living.
Before talking about boats let us look at the history. Before Motor Boat Owner was Motor Boat Monthly an excellent boating magazine which closed many years ago. Motor Boat Owner replaced this magazine in a similar format. Two of the Motor Boat Monthly crew stepped up to create Motor Boat Owner and craft it in to what it was.
This is where we start to talk about the boats. You see there are lots of different boating magazines on the market. Too many of them deal with the level of boating that most of us who really enjoy boating are at. Their level of boating is more about being seen in the flashy big thing and having gin and canapé parties in trendy ports of call. Real boating is not like that, its about bilges filling up and crap getting into fuel lines! This is where Motor Boat Owner excelled as it was about real boating and not some fantasy that few of us can attain. The content was well written and engaging. News pages told us not of trendy thing but stuff we needed to know like lock closures. Sure there still Practical Owner left and that’s good for repairing broken bits or dealing with dodgy fuel lines and its an institution which will still be around long after I have passed away. However it is not the complete picture of boating that Motor Boat Owner gave us every month. A normal boat that most of us can afford here, some decent kit there, good news, a tip for a decent trip or 3 and of course the fantastic maintenance tips and projects. Proper boating in print at its finest
I feel very sorry for the team at Motor Boat Owner you could see on every single page of every single issue that they clearly busted a gut to make every issue a very good one. I certainly cannot remember a bad one! I do hope that somewhere I will read their content on the subject of boats again. It would be a shame of their skill just died.
So farewell Motor Boat Owner Magazine. And to the team, my very best wishes for the future.