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Practical Boat Owner magazine (or PBO to it's friends) is aimed, unsurprisingly, at the practical owner with a limited budget as opposed to the big glossy boating magazines, which seem to be aimed at dreamers and millionaires, although the price tag, at £3.00 a go does not really reflect this (you can only presume that since we have a "Practical Boat Owner" magazine, then in an alternate universe somewhere, there is an "Impractical Boat Owner" magazine featuring articles such as "Going to Sea in a sieve", "10 reasons to shoot Albatrosses", etc.. still, I digress). Written in a fairly down to earth manner, the magazine manages to combine both yachting and motorboating articles in such a manner that even a dyed in the wool motorboater like me finds the yachting articles of use also - this is some feat, and one I cannot say I've found in other magazines. Each month there is a "basics" section on items such as mooring, man overboard drills (this month), anchoring etc. There are also equipment reviews using a panel of boaters of varying experience and type - which gives a more reassuring review than those carried out in some magazines by magazine staff who cannot help but be conscious of manufacturers advertising in their magazine when writing reviews. Reviews of both new and second hand boats make interesting reading, and long term I find that you begin to draw your own conclusions as regards build quality and likely longevity of some of the newer boats. There is of course the usual bias towards the South Coast and channel hopping, but given that the vast majority of boaters are based there, its understandable and not really so bad that a Northerner like myself would stop buying the magazine. In fact, it's probably less pronounced than in some of its peers. Refreshingly, there is just the right balance of advertising to be useful but not over the top. The magazine
also has a website (www.pbo.co.uk) which is top notch, particularly the bulletin board which is worth a look almost daily. Would I recommend this magazine? ................... I never miss it.