Speedonthewater.com Turning 10 Years Old

Speedonthewater.com was born out of economic desperation. That’s a fancy way of saying that in late 2008 I lost my full-time content producer gig at boats.com and saw Powerboat magazine cut my monthly freelance writing retainer by two thirds. Combine that with a freshly finalized divorce and you get what was a train-wreck ending to one of the crappier years in my life.

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Rising to the challenge of producing daily news of the high-performance powerboating world is a privilege and—for the most part—an absolute joy for the team at speedonthewater.com.

But then something wonderful happened. My colleague Kim Kavin, a charter expert currently with Yachting magazine and one of the finest journalists I know, called in mid-2009. Under her new boatermouth.com website, she was putting together an aggregation of weekly blogs from leading writers in each segment of the boating industry. She asked me to handle high-performance, and speedonthewater.com was born. (Kavin even paid her webmaster to build the site—all I had to do was come with a catchy URL.)

Problem was, Google did not and does not look kindly on aggregated content sites when it comes rankings and search results. So while it seemed like a good idea at the time—we did not know what we did not know back then—boatermouth.com was done by 2010.

But speedonthewater.com survived, which was a good thing as my boats.com and Powerboat magazine gigs continued their steady decline. Powerboat continued to reduce my monthly retainer until and boats.com knocked me down to just two $500 columns a month.

See what I mean by economic desperation? I wasn’t kidding.

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