This week marks the 3rd anniversary of ‘The Blurb.’
We launched in May of 2020, which, looking back on it, was a wild time. We all know why.
We’ve come a long way since then. Our subscribership has exploded in recent months, and we’re providing (in our opinion, at least) some of the most up-to-date and complete information in the boating world. We’ve gone global, too. We are based in Canada and started with a strong hometown readership, but now our top five countries are the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, and New Zealand. In that order. We’ve also growing quickly in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Germany. In other words, the boaters have found us. We exist to be there for you, and our mission is to educate and inspire. I’ve always said it: if there’s something you want to read, let me know and we’ll cover it.
I’m not a hard guy to find either, just hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This anniversary also gave me a chance to reflect. What were the biggest stories from the last three years? What’s changed in the boating world since we started? How is boating different than it was in 2020?
Those are hard questions to answer, but I’ll try.
I’ve put together the 15 biggest stories from the last three years. They were chosen based on two main criteria: 1) readership — the number of pageviews they’ve accumulated since they were published, and 2) influence — the measurable impact the stories had on boaters as determined by the number of comments, shares on social media, and feedback we received. Sometimes we publish an article that I suspect might go flat, and it goes viral. Sometimes there’s a breaking story that I’m convinced will change the game, and it quickly fades away. The internet can be a silly place.
If you look at these 15 stories as a collective, it paints an interesting picture. The boating world is everchanging, but at the same time many things remain the same. Boaters are a unique breed, and I have great respect for their sense of individuality, their fascination with details, and their thirst for knowledge. I’m the same way. I sometimes joke that boaters have ADHD because they rarely seem focused, but when they do focus on a story, watch out. They will consume it with incredible intensity. No detail will be left undiscussed.
I get confirmation of that theory every Tuesday when our newsletter goes out. I watch the web traffic in real-time as boaters attack the latest information. They’re quick to point out irregularities. They don’t mince words. I love that.
They also love engines. I don’t know exactly why, but boaters love a good engine story. You’ll see that reflected in the list below.
I must also take a moment to hank our Editor-in-Chief Chris Perera. We are part of the BoatDealers.ca family, and Chris has incredible vision. I don’t know of anyone else who loves boating, and the boating community, as much he does. He lives for all of us. There isn’t a better advocate. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you should absolutely be using BoatDealers for your buy/sell needs. We also have a suite of other sites for RV’ers, motorcyclists, and snowmobilers.
Without further ado, here’s the biggest 15 stories of the last three years. Thanks for being with us on this ride.
1) BRP Unveils Groundbreaking Rotax Outboard Engine with Stealth Technology
BRP announced a series Rotax outboard engines that are horizontally designed, rather than vertical, allowing them to be mounted below the stern deck. The new lineup of 115 and 150 hp configurations was met with strong reactions. Read more.
2) Don’t Poke Poseidon: The Ritual of Naming Your Boat And Staying Afloat
Naming, or renaming, a boat requires following a very strict protocol. Failure to follow the rules of the deep will land you, and your beloved new boat, in Davy Jones’ locker. We put together some guidelines so you can do it the proper way. Read more.
3) Tom Brady Adjusting to Florida Life with Custom Wajer 55S Yacht
Tom Brady had it pretty good in Florida. The iconic NFL quarterback not only won a Super Bowl in his first year with the Buccaneers, he also picked himself up a stunning Wajer 55 from the boutique Dutch builder. Read more.
4) Famous Boats: The Strange Saga of the ‘Orca’ from JAWS
Jaws was released on June 20th, 1975, and to celebrate its 45th anniversary as one of cinema’s best aquatic thrillers we dove into the fascinating backstory behind what became of Quint’s disheveled but beloved boat: the Orca. Read more.
5) Evinrude Discontinued; Mercury Marine Enters Agreement with BRP as Primary Engine Supplier
The industry was stunned in May of 2020 when BRP abruptly declared the discontinuation of the longstanding Evinrude brand. The gaping hole it created across the industry had a profound rippling effect that is still playing out today. Read more.
6) Sea-Doo Launches ‘Switch’ Pontoon Line
No one was prepared for the arrival of the Switch. BRP and Sea-Doo designed a revolutionary pontoon line that uses PWC styling, like handlebars instead of a steering wheel, paired with an incredibly adaptable platform. Read more.
7) Man Completes ‘The Great Loop’ in Pontoon Boat in 34 Days
Most cruisers take 10-14 months to complete ‘The Great Loop.’ Scott Meyers from Tulsa, Oklahoma completed it in a jaw-dropping 34 days. Even more, he did by ripping across the continent in a 24-foot Bennington tritoon. Read more.
8) Suzuki Releases New 4-Stroke Outboards with Drive-by-Wire Tech for 2021
The new line of 4-stroke midsize outboards from Suzuki was a slow burn when it was released. Over time, however, boaters have become incredibly interested in Suzuki’s new drive-by-wire design that produces incredible output, efficiency, and value. Read more.
9) The Pros and Cons of Jet Boats
Love’em or hate’em, jet boats are a big market share. Captain Bill broke down exactly what to expect when buying a jet boat, and it’s helped thousands of prospective buyers understand what they’re getting when they opt for a jet instead of a propeller. Read more.
10) Outboard vs. Sterndrive – Understanding The Right Power Choice for You
Craig Ritchie brings the knowledge with one of boating’s most commonly asked questions — what’s the difference between outboard and sterndrive? It’s more than simply a power choice, it also affects boat design, layout, functionality, and efficiency. Read more.
11) 2023 Forecast- When is the Best Time to Buy a Boat?
After a topsy turvy few years, boaters went into 2023 with understandable reservations. Captain Bill decided to clear the air by providing a breakdown of the current market and how to navigate it. Readers got great tips about how and when to shop for a boat, and what to expect when buying a boat in 2023. Read more.
12) Captain Makes Clutch Decision to Save Superyacht ‘GO’ in St. Maarten’s Crash
The internet was abuzz when the superyacht GO slammed into the St. Maarten’s Yacht Club in March of 2021. One of the most prestigious yacht clubs in the world, pummeled by one of the most impressive superyachts currently on the water. An interview with Captain Simon Johnson cleared the air by providing not only an explanation into what happened, but also some great insight into what it means to be a great captain. Read more.
13) Gone But Not Forgotten- The Brands We Loved That Are No More (Part 1)
Many boat brands have come and gone. Few have left an indelible mark like OMC. In Part One of Richard Crowder’s excellent 15-part ‘Gone But Not Forgotten Series,’ he discusses the heydey of OMC and the mark they left behind. Throughout the entire series, he explores many of the names we’ve loved and lost throughout boating’s tumultuous past. Read more.
14) Innovators in Boating – N.E. 188th Street & The Famous “Thunderboat Row”
There wasn’t a bigger place or time in boating than ‘Thunderboat Row’ on N.E. 188th street in Miami. Beginning in the early 60’s until its downfall in the late 80’s following the murder of the Don Aronow, ‘Thunderboat Row’ was emblematic of the ‘Go Fast’ culture that spawned brands like Donzi, Magnum, Cougar, Apache, Cigarette, Tempest, Pantera, Formula, and more. Read more.
15) Mercury to Introduce Electric Outboards by 2023
The electrification of boating has understandably elicited strong reactions. Purists are content with the gas-powered status quo, while innovators are looking to legitimitize the potential of electric power. Industry magnates like Mercury Marine not only dominate the gas-powered market, but have also made investments in the future, including bold plans to launch five new electric outboards by the end of 2023. Read more.