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Change for the Better

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A year ago I was a senior editor at this magazine and how times have changed for me. For one thing, my interactions with the boaters, boatbuilders, and other industry people who are our readers have increased exponentially, and I couldn’t be happier. I may have my radar turned way up, but I try to tune in to what each of them is saying when we talk or e-mail. Not just listening, of course, but also hearing the backstory. Those readers’ experiences inform what they’re telling me and give insight into their worldview. It fills in some blanks about why we’re having that particular discussion.

And invariably it strikes me: Things are changing everywhere, all the time, for everyone. 

Here’s one example. On the back of the Christmas card our family sent out last year was a picture of my daughter (she’s five) in her sunhat, shades, and lifejacket on a boat. She’s got that grin that appears so often in photos where she’s smiling and her mouth is open simultaneously (she’s telling the photographer something critically important).

This photo stands in contrast to one taken just a few years before, in a frame on a table in my living room, where she appears in my wife’s arms, a bundle about to be lugged down the dock at the Wianno Yacht Club in Osterville, Massachusetts, her expression betraying mild annoyance at having to face the bright sun for a few seconds to get the snapshot.

Now she holds her hand out to me when it’s time to board a boat. Those two photos weren’t taken that far apart in my lifetime, and yet much has changed.

Here’s another aspect of the same point: One of my biggest fears is what I call “Andy Rooney’s coffee.” You may recall the late Andy Rooney from the last five minutes of the the CBS news program “60 Minutes.” Insert the word “curmudgeon” here. You may have even seen the segment where he pointed out that what he referred to as a “pound of coffee” had shrunk to 12 or even 10 ounces, in the same size can. He had a great point, and I admit he opened my eyes—to this day I get the fresh grind whenever possible. But Rooney made a very long career of tying up five minutes of airtime pointing out how bad things are now, and how good they used to be.

The sooner we realize the relevance of that, the happier we’ll all be, I think. After all, the only consistent thing is change. To further make my point, I’d like to use you as an example. Think about your boating life in a timeline: How did you get your start? What was your first boat like? When did you get the itch to upgrade, and why? Give some thought to what it was like when your personal relationships onboard changed. Did you lose one first mate only to gain another?

You see? Even these few questions may have called up some memories that had lain dormant, thoughts from an earlier time in your boating life. And as different as things were then, and as much as things have changed even in the last five years, there’s a constant: you. Of course, I’d like to think we all evolve, adapting our boating experiences to personal goals, developing and receding skills, and the like.

That’s the core mission of Power & Motoryacht. We’re constantly hearing from boatbuilders and electronics companies and equipment manufacturers about their customers and clients. It comes out in their boat designs and user-interface tweaks and 2.0 evolutions of their products, and they’re very generous about sharing the thought process that went into all these developments. Your voice is being heard and we all see it in the details.

But what about you? What’s changed about how you boat? Why has it happened and are you happy about it? We’d like to know some of the details. Your perspective may fill in some of the blanks. How do you keep your experience whole and satisfying in the face of change, whether it’s rising fuel prices or an engine getting up there in hours or a favorite anchorage that’s unfortunately been discovered by droves of interlopers, or a new one found? Shoot me an e-mail if you have some insight or just want to share your thoughts—not necessarily for publication, just for consideration.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you.