MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — Because the vast majority of Boating Industry's readers spend a great deal of time on the water, the magazine has decided that it will now print exclusively on a new type of buoyant waterproof paper.
"I got the idea from children's bath time books," Publisher Matt Gruhn said. "I've always enjoyed reading them in my spare time, and recently the idea just clicked."
Since boating season hasn't yet begun in Minnesota, where Boating Industry's editorial offices are based, Managing Editor Jon Mohr has been diligently testing prototype materials in his own tub for months.
"I had to go through a lot of soggy missteps before finding something that worked," Mohr said. "But that's the price of progress I guess. The wine, candles and easy-listening music helped though."
The only negative aspect of the change is that the magazine will have to pare down to four pages an issue, since each page will now be printed on a half-inch thick plastic/foam compound.
To accommodate the new size, several editorial changes are planned. In place of the magazine's service department coverage, each issue will now come with a "Clean the Boat" game, where readers can scrub clean a different vessel each month with a provided washcloth.
Advertisers have already expressed significant interest in the new format. Motor oil companies in particular are expected to appreciate the change, as now readers won't have to worry about spilling their products on the magazine as they read.
"Ever had the wind rip your magazine away and deposit it squarely in your boat's wake? Well now when that happens, you can fish it out and start reading without missing a beat," Gruhn said. "Let's see your iPad do that."