What Off-Season?

PDB Editor Sheds Light On This Time Of Year

January 2020 Feature Brady L. Kay

“Things must be pretty slow for you in the office these days, huh? Just staring at the walls, am I right my friend? Heh, heh.”

I am at a party.

I know no one at this party and have been dragged here by my wife.

The only thing I'm worse at than small talk is small talk with strangers. But here I am, trying to earn good husband points, talking with someone whose name has already escaped me 30 seconds after I heard it. I am trying to concentrate on what he is saying while my eyes desperately scan the room for my wife or, if she truly loved me, my wife with her coat on.

Alas, no such luck, so I am locked in with hearty laugh guy, trying to explain that, while it's certainly not boating season, there is plenty going on to keep us busy as a magazine this time of year, such as attending as many boat shows as we can.

He doesn’t understand, so he just laughs, jowls a-flopping. He's an arm gripper, this one, so as he braces himself on me for what I am sure will be a doozy, I grab a piece of paper and start writing a living will. I am convinced I will not get out of this one alive.

Eventually I manage to extricate myself by mentioning I have to leave early to start writing my next column for the April issue since we work a couple of months ahead of our cover date. He doesn't understand that either, but I don't care; I'm halfway to the bean dip by the time he can ask.

You, however, gentle reader, know exactly why boating “season” is really 12 months a year. I guess the outside perception of a boating magazine staff is we only work during the summer months, at least that’s what the jowl-flopper thought. As far as writing, November and December are by far our busiest months. Even though boats across many northern states are snuggled in this time of year enjoying long winter naps, our keyboards are heating up as we focus on our January Buyer’s Guide edition, followed by our annual Shootout Boat Test issue. You wouldn’t believe the time that goes into collecting info and writing those issues.

As far as travel, the time behind the monitor is so crucial during November and December that these are really the only two months where I try to stay off an airplane if I can. The rest of the year however, is fair game. I’m on the road an average of about a week a month from January to October, although the prime summer months kill that average – just ask my family. There are plenty of other professions that require a lot more travel time so I’m not complaining, nor bragging, just further clarifying the year-round commitment to our readers. The boat shows start slowing down in March or April and that’s usually when engine manufacturers begin hosting media events. I can’t speak for all the press, but testing new engines is a lot of fun and it’s what gets me excited for the upcoming year.

When we’re not putting on our own events such as poker runs, part of my summer is filled with collecting editorial stories and photos for the magazine by meeting with different families. It’s a highlight for me to be able to tell their story in our pages and on our website. Towards the end of the summer we crash a few dealer-only meetings because getting a sneak peek at new models is what we’re all about. In the fall we typically hit a few more boat shows or media events, as well as test all the boats for our Shootout issue so we’ll have something to write about starting in November. So, while it may seem strange to some that we really are quite busy this time of year, rest assured we’re fully committed to our readers 12 months a year.

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