My little heart used to skip with joy when I received my Yachtie-Porn (Yachting Monthly).
I used to pore over it with glad rapture when it came through the post and I used to disappear into the heads at home and serve my IBS as I read it from cover to cover.
But nowadays it has gone downhill .
5 pages of news - but nothing new......(even the article on Drinking and Sailing seemed strangely familiar)
3 Columns from the usual columnists - Libby Purves turning hers into the Sailing equivalent of watch with Mother, (though in this case half the article is about a box of fog, and doesn't seem terribly original...but her closing argument, I buy)
Nigel Calder on about sea-sickness remedies (which Libby wrote about two months ago) and Tom Cunliffe about why he is brilliant. (No change there, then)
3 pages on Dinghy explorations - Swallows and Amazons revisited.
A couple of articles on long distance cruising....vaguely readable ('No shit, there we were, thought we were gonna die'... or 'Oh The Majesty of what I have beheld')
1 article on cutter rigs with a scant 6 columns of copy....little about the dynamics or what it would do to your insurance.
The requisite article from Rod Heikel
2 boat reviews - which are slightly too toadyish to the manufacturers
A couple of bog standard reviews (Which lifejacket/flares/compass/bucket..)
The sailing skills is a rehash of the same articles they always publish.
The reviews are no different to any article you get in any geek-mag from Running shoes weekly or Lightbulbs monthly. (Fluorescent tubes - we try the best!)
The rest? Page after page of standard chandlery adverts, with a couple of pages at the back on Classifieds, which we all read online anyway.
There is more to this noble sport than this. We all rant to each other about the best restaurants in this Haven or that, the gouging of marina fees, the scant regard for hygiene that anyone who has used the showers at Cowes Yacht Haven will have suffered or the threat to red diesel.
We postulate on training techniques, which school is good, etc.
We fulminate at the standards of seamanship exhibited in harbour and on the water.
We then Shudder at the water quality on the Medina.
We complain about the quality of beer in the many hostelries - and the standard of welcome given to people who should be their stock-in trade.
Observe the wildlife - or lack of it - and talk about the threat to our oceans and hazards to navigation.
Where are these written up?
Chaps - if you are reading this - time to raise the game. Time to get your teeth into the issues that affect us part of the 3.5 Million water sports participants.
We want to see the south coast marina monopoly challenged, poor service and rip-off sailing confronted, Government disdain campaigned against at the highest level and the RYA taken to serious task about it's general cosiness with the powers that be.
We need articles that reflect the experience of all of us, not the same people all the time collecting their £500 fee for another 'what I did on my Holiday you paid for'.
In the mean time, sorry chaps - your mag is now formulaic and tired.
I have cancelled my subscription.
UPDATE: Have re-read the article about cutter rigs and it is actually quite good -shame about the rest of the mag......