One of the best ways to really get to know a boat is to take it apart and put it back together — piece by piece by piece, upgrading, replacing, reconfiguring and modifying as you go. That, in a nutshell, is a boat project.
A fair number of today's new boaters come to the water with an automobile-centric orientation - and not the kind of cars we grew up on, either. They're driving sophisticated, gadget-rich vehicles with computer-controlled systems that don't make tinkering under the hood easy, even for those few who are so inclined.
Welcome to the new Soundings.
As you can see, we were doing more than chipping ice and shoveling snow this winter. All of us in Essex, Conn., are excited about the magazine you're holding in your hands. It measures 9 by 10-7/8 inches, the right size, we believe, for today - and tomorrow.
At last, change - and a whiff of spring - are in the air.
For the last 2-1/2 years the marine industry, like the broad economy, has been struggling with recession and downsizing and change. Companies have disappeared. So have some brands. Others have changed hands. And more failures are likely to occur as businesses continue to right-size to fit reduced demand.
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A 1981 Phi Beta Kappa journalism graduate, Bill has been writing about boats for more than two decades. His boating travels have taken him from the Persian Gulf to the Baltic Sea, and always back home to Little Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. As editor, Bill is responsible for planning and executing the publication's boating coverage each month, and his Under Way column starts each issue. Bill has been with Soundings for 20 years and in 1997 won the Moulton H. "Monk" Farnham Award for Excellence in Editorial Commentary.