Editorial December 2005 Issue

Changes in the Wind

Long-time readers may be surprised to pick up their January issue next month and discover that the magazine has made the move to color. Yes, after more than 30 years of publishing in black and white (we've printed the title and logo in color for over a decade, but that doesn't really count), it's time for a change.

The use of color can be a vital means of conveying important information. Certainly that's true with nautical charts, and it holds as well for boat construction details, instrument readouts, paints, clothing, lights, etc. It's a change that we believe will significantly enhance the magazine, offering visual and substantive benefits to readers.

And this isn't the only change in the works. In recent years, this publication has made a gradual migration south. For two and a half decades, the magazine was based in Newport, R.I. A little over five years ago, we moved to Connecticut. Only a short time later, beginning with my tenure in mid 2004, the editorial offices moved to Charleston, S.C. Now, as of the first of next year, we'll be headquartered farther south in sunny Sarasota, FL. (Note the new editorial office address at right.)

As part of this move, Darrell Nicholson, a veteran cruiser and distinguished marine journalist will be taking over as the new Marine Group Director for Belvoir Media Group. His duties will involve overseeing the editorial development of both Practical Sailor and its sister publication Powerboat Reports, as well as stewardship of the company's DIY publication Boatbuilder.

Nicholson comes well recommended. He was most recently the editor of Offshore magazine, and prior to that he spent roughly three years as a senior editor at Cruising World, where his duties included directing that magazine's popular "Hands-On Sailor" section.

He's the perfect fit for this magazine, in part due to the 11 years he and his wife Theresa spent cruising—from Florida to Thailand— aboard their 32-foot ketch. He's thoroughly conversant with designs and on-board systems, and not afraid to criticize a product that's been tested and deemed to be substandard.

Despite these critical changes, rest assured, the outlook of the magazine won't vary. We'll maintain the same resolute attitude toward product evaluation, and we'll redouble our efforts to deliver the most useful insights on gear and boats—information that can make a real difference in your enjoyment of sailing, and in your budget.

The names you've come to associate with this publication—those that appear in that masthead on the right hand side of this page—will remain largely unchanged, including my own. Though I'll be switching over from editor to contributing editor, I'll continue ferreting out new products, reviewing boats, and testing gear from my base in the Carolina Lowcountry.

Though relatively brief, my stint at the helm of PS has been wholly fulfilling. The interactions I've shared with readers and colleagues have always been enlightening. As Doug Logan pointed out before me, PS subscribers remain the "best-informed, most involved, helpful readers that any magazine could have."

Working with Doug, Tim Cole, and Dale Nouse, has been a particular pleasure. These individuals are true professionals, ideally suited to this work. Not only do sailing and ink commingle in their veins, they fully grasp the importance of putting readers' concerns ahead of all others. And my colleague at Powerboat Reports, Chris Landry, has been an invaluable resource, sharing insights and editorial content.

To Darrell, and everyone in the PS community, I wish you fair winds and broad horizons.

 

—Dan Dickison

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