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Food for thought - the new age of boating journalism

by Mark Rothfield, Powerboat-World Editor on 3 Jun 2011
Every boat should have a professional waitress ... Mark Rothfield
The once hard-core job of boat testing has taken a turn for the better in recent years, finds new Powerboat-World.com editor Mark Rothfield.

A truckload of prawns, oysters, bugs and salmon fresh off the trawler. A professional chef sharpening his hunting knives in the galley. A Brazilian waitress wearing black … at least until they invent a darker colour.

Yep, it was all looking good for my test of Riviera’s new 61 Enclosed Flybridge Series II on a recent (and rare) fine day in Queensland!

The once hard-core job of boat testing has certainly taken a turn for the better in recent years and now, more than ever, the old joke about journalists is relevant: 'What’s the difference between a boating writer and a shopping trolley?' The answer is: 'Neither know where they’re going but you can fit more food and drink into a boating writer'.

It shows how far the industry has come in marketing terms since I first began clacking away on a typewriter in a darkened office, the air stale with Liquid Paper fumes and last night’s pizza. Builders and dealers have finally realised that sizzle sells a boat more than dry statistics.



Recreational boats are meant for recreation, so my aim as new editor of Powerboat-World.com is to reinforce this fact with articles that are relevant to the boating lifestyle the majority of us enjoy. Along with the hard and fast news on launchings and products, there’ll be a healthy smattering of travel stories and how-to pieces.

I personally fell into the journalism game back in 1981 as a fresh-faced newspaper journalist with no greater ambition than covering rugby league. In a 30-year career I’ve covered exactly four games played by the beloved Newcastle Knights.

Boating writing happened by pure accident – I admired a few old shipping pictures hanging in the newspaper editor’s office and the next week I was writing a boating column, which led to a 12-year gig as editor of Modern Boating and writing stints for other magazines.

I got back into mainstream newspapers for a while, dipped my toes into boat sales, but the lure of marine journalism proved too strong. With free seafood on offer, who could resist?

The shoes I’m filling here are huge. Bob Wonders is an absolute legend in the field – I have known him for 20 years and been in awe of his networking ability and news-gathering skills. Everyone knows Bob – he’s such a unique character that you can’t forget him.

He’s hitting the road on a Harley but will stay in touch via the miracle of modern communications.

Speaking of which, boating websites are the way of the future. Their immediacy and their reach know no bounds.

The four websites in the Tetramedia Marine group, Powerboat-world.com, Sail-World.com , MarineBusiness-World.com and FishingBoating-World.com with their range of regional sites around the world are a huge force on the Asia-Pacific and world marine news stage and with more and more vision coming onto the websites, they are are force that cannot be replicated by any other medium.

So to all the boating industry folk looking for a powerful news opportunity, I’d urge them to contact me early and often via email mark@powerboat-world.com or phone 0486 617 055.

If you can’t supply seafood and beer, at least feed us free information …

Barz Optics - Melanin LensesHenri Lloyd 50 YearsKiwi Yachting - Lewmar 660 - 1

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