SOUTHWINDS Magazine

Please do not send in a review of your boat if you don't like it. You must like your boat.

SOUTHWINDS will pay ten cents/word for the boat review with photos (example: 1000 words with photos pays $100). We pay by mailing a check by the end of the month of publication. I think it should be approximately 1500-2000 words. Getting over 2000 or so is getting long, but okay. I did one that was 2200 words that was a great review. I need to have several photos in there with it (I generally print 7-8 on big boats, like 30-foot and up). A general one of the boat is important - can be sailing, anchored or at dock. And then maybe another showing the cockpit, forward deck, etc, maybe also cockpit and a few down below. Others as you see fit. A selection I can choose from would be best. Try to get light for all the photos, especially down below. If you have a wide angle lens it helps on the photos that are close-ups and those down below. Modern smart phones held horizontally take very wide, wide-angle photos and good quality.

One feature most modern smartphones have is the "Panorama" feature for taking wide photos.  This is ideal if you are standing close to the boat at the dock and want to get the whole boat in, or if you are down below and want to get a lot in and you are too close. Once it is activated you can slowly move the camera from left to right to get a wider photo in. You start by hitting the camera button, then move the camera to the right slowly and then hit the stop button. Give it a few seconds to save it. We can crop it easily if you can't. Don't make it too wide or it is a long narrow photo. If you have the feature on your phone, try both; standard, single-click photos and panorama photos  - and send us both. 

If you have a great vertical photo of the boat that has cover potential and is a high resolution photo, then it could be a cover and I pay an extra $65 for a cover. High resolution is real important for that (at least 1700W x 2200H in pixels). Ask if need be on how high, although a modern smart phone usually has enough resolution. Plus cover photos need be portrait format (vertical), not landscape (horizontal). (If enough pixels are present, we can crop a vertical photo out of a horizontal photo.

Write the article preferably in MS Word and email the photos. Otherwise, just paste the text in the email. You can email many photos at a time if they are around or under 1mb each. If a lot more than 1mb each, then just 2-3 per email. Emails over 10mbs total per email often don't always come through. Photos must be sent as separate attachments and not embedded in the email or in the Word file. Do not attempt to layout the article with the photos. We'll change it, anyway.

A very easy way to send photos is through Dropbox. If you sign up for Dropbox, we create a shared folder. You get a folder in your computer that we both agree to share (it is secure) and you just put them in that folder on your computer and I have access almost immediately. If you don’t already have it, I can send you an “invite” to join and then I create a folder and send you an email to share it, which when you accept is now available to only you and me. It’s all free. (Dropbox folder names should have both of our names in them, like Southwinds-Smith).

In general, the article should be a review that will tell a reader what the boat is like, especially if they are looking to buy one. It should discuss all aspects of the boat you are familiar with, like cruising, racing, daysailing, living quarters down below, cockpit comfort, deck layout, engine, gear, sails, etc, etc. Discuss trailerability if it is a trailerable boat. Also about how it handles under sail. Specs of the boat are important, like length, beam, draft, sail area, mast height, etc. Any customizations you’ve made could be mentioned also.

If you have a floor plan of the boat available, that would be good, but I rarely get one. General statistics are important, like LOA, LWL, beam, draft, sail plan, displacement. You can frequently find this information in a Google search and the floor plan in a Google image search. We sometimes do this ourselves.

We have over 70 boatowner boat reviews (plus another 30-plus daysailer reviews) on our boat reviews web page, ranging from good to great.

When will your review be printed? That depends on many factors. At times, we have had boat reviews backed inline ready to go for as long as 4-5 months, while at other times, we have none. And then we have some that are promised to come in, or the photos haven't been sent yet. Those completed submissions that come in first are the ones to be printed first. 

You can also find this information on our boat reviews web page, where it can be printed out or saved to your computer.