I can't count how many times over the years people have insinuated or outright accused me of accepting payment from boat/engine/electronics manufacturers in exchange for writing something nice about their new products. "You never say anything negative!" they claim.
That's not true - or at least, only true to a small degree. After all, anyone knowledgeable about such products understands that no boat or attendant product has ever been perfect for everyone. So anyone who regularly reads my columns will see that I regularly point out the shortcomings I find. Do I slam these products for slight imperfections? No, of course not. There's a diplomatic way to frame every criticism. And of course, one man's meat is another man's poison, as they say.
But to those who continue to question our credibility and honesty, I offer this explanation about why you never see any products summarily trashed in our pages: Sport Fishing magazine has space to write about 18 new boats each year plus another 18 smaller write-ups that qualify more as announcements. Many more new boats than that get introduced each year. That makes the limited space we have to cover these products valuable in the extreme. Certainly the majority of those boats qualify as high-quality, and perform well in the applications for which they were designed. But then as you might expect, some boats simply don't measure up. The design, construction or fittings may be ersatz or the performance sub-par compared to comparable vessels.
Here's where the common sense enters the equation: with all the great boats introduced to the market by solid companies each year, why in heaven's name would we want to use that valuable editorial space to talk about boats we don't like and that we would prefer or readers never even think about? I am certain that you can figure out the answer to that.