Just got my copy of the Autumn 2018 magazine and has a great feature on Dublin Swift, amongst all the usual articles also a large feature on New York ferry services.
Plenty of good stuff as always and the usual odd typo, Stena Forerunner marked as Stena Forwarder on a photo caption (not a problem easy to spot when not rushing to check before print deadlines).
Also https://www.niferry.co.uk/ got a mention as the most comprehensive source of info on the Stena E-Flexer series, credit to both author Matt Davies for the mention and the team behind niferry for the info.
In this digital first age, still great to arrive home and see the magazine in the post ( I know it only comes out four times a year but still great to have a physical product).
Bit of a long post this but as someone who read the magazine pretty religiously since the BFS A5 format days and stopped buying it in the past couple of years I thought I’d give my opinion on the latest edition.
For me there are still some worrying errors - does the editor proof read or just stitch what he is sent together to send to the printers? Stena Forerunner is definitely longer than 96m and her shorter part-sisters definitely aren’t 98m long either!!! To be honest anyone who knows anything about the ferry industry should realise Stena don’t have 96m long roro freighters these days!!! This isn’t so much a criticism of the contibutor to be honest as it’s easy to make mistakes, as much as the error checking and proof reading that goes on back at HQ who still seem to struggle with putting the correct captions on pictures. Hopefully though the magazine has started to turn a corner with someone new at the “helm”, the format has certainly moved around a bit and it’s nice to see smaller services get a mention in the “England and the Islands” news. Matt Murtlands piece near the end with the 1980 P&O brochure was a nice inclusion - would be good to see more of this type of thing, and for me at least it would make the magazine a more worthwhile buy (this is the first issue I’ve picked up in about a year I think). It will of course take time to make real changes and get the processes in place to stop the sloppy errors (which we all make, but that’s why I often get NIFS proof read by someone else for example - in the contributors defence I know from experience it’s easy to miss things when you proof read your own work) but at least changes seem to be happening.
For me there’s too much space given over to “news” which in this day and age is out of date before the copy date never mind the publication date which is about 6 weeks later! It makes half the publication largely irrelevant and such a dependence on old news to fill the magazine will only see sales slide in future IMO. It’s not exactly an easy publication to track down as it is so why will people continue to make an effort to do so if they can get up to date news emailed to them every week (Mike Louagie’s ferryshippingnews.com mailing list) unless there is enough new content in there to justify them doing so!!! It’s nice to have a recap but by my count it takes up half the publication - perhaps more “news” could be put in the “in brief” section? I’m also mindful this is just my opinion and perhaps others value the news sections more of course, but it just doesn’t seem sustainable to me as the core of the product. It would also be good to see more things like the New York ferries feature and MD’s Danube ferry article too - stuff like the aforementioned P&O piece that isn’t easy to find just anywhere.
It’s nice to see book reviews return but reviewing only books published by the company themselves with the corresponding advert for said books opposite is a little cheeky in my opinion and really just a 2 page advert! Speaking of adverts, the GABRIELLA mooring winch article reads a bit like one! Perhaps it would have been better if it had looked at the development of these systems or looked at alternatives such as fully automated mooring “arms” for example rather than just one system on one ship?
It was very good of Matt to mention NIFS - I sent him a message on here to say thanks but looks like he isn’t active on here anymore.
Will I buy the next issue? Probably not if I’m honest but I’ll at least give it a flick through to see if there’s anything in there worth buying it for.