Good Old Boat Magazine was founded in 1998 by Great Lakes sailors Karen Larson and Jerry Powlas. The couple met because of sailing and enjoyed exploring Lake Superior aboard their C&C 30, Mystic. They were rank-and-file sailors, with a modest boat and modest plans. They maintained and upgraded Mystic themselves. They weren’t in the market for a new boat with a six-figure price tag. They were like all the sailors they knew, yet it didn’t seem like any of the sailing magazines on the shelves spoke to them.
The answer was obvious and ambitious: they would start their own sailing magazine.
They’d never run a magazine, but they tapped into a rich, unserved market and got lots of help from the A-list of boating writers of the time. The first issues featured the bylines of Nigel Calder, Don Casey, John Vigor, Ted Brewer, Dave Gerr, Lin and Larry Pardey, Reese Palley, and others. And the enthusiasm hasn’t waned.
But time passed. Just months before publication of the 20th anniversary issue, Karen and Jerry wondered how the years had flown by. Running a magazine takes away from sailing and the couple decided they should retire and spend more time sailing. Rather than sell their magazine (their baby) to an outside publishing conglomerate, they found willing and eager staff to carry on the spirit and excellence of Good Old Boat.
Curiously, boats yet to be built when that first issue was released, are now time-tested good old boats. Funny how that happens.
Good Old Boat sails on.