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In your mailbox soon - the new Wooden Canoe journal

Discussion in 'Wooden Canoe Journal' started by Michael Grace, Feb 18, 2020.

  1. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Coming soon to a mailbox near you - the expanded, all-new Wooden Canoe! Our new editor of Wooden Canoe, Chris Eden, has put together a bold new look for the journal, focused on visual impact. Using gorgeous photos and wonderful stories, Chris has worked hard to generate something I hope we'll all love.

    In order to improve the quality and the cost-effectiveness of journal production, Wooden Canoe is now being produced quarterly but in expanded format, looking forward to even greater expansion in the near future.

    In this issue:
    - A new E.M. White build on the Danube River (yes, that Danube)
    - Art of the Canoe (a stunningly beautiful photo essay from a builder and a photographer, both well-known and steeped the wooden canoe world)
    - A young canoe builder realizes his dream
    - Builders and Suppliers Directory
    - and much more!

    If you're not already a member, join now so that you don't miss a single issue of the beautiful new Wooden Canoe Journal.

    Wooden Canoe Winter 2020 cover.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
  2. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    I received the new WC yesterday and while I realize a lot of work went into making it,
    2 things immediately stood out,

    1) it's physically smaller in size - it's no longer 8.5 x 11, it's now out of balance. This might be able to get used to but,

    2) much of the print font is a smaller size, - this is fatal.
    I can no longer read the words on the page.
    Being we have an older membership, I suspect this will be a common issue.

    Please go back to the standard 8.5 x 11 size and most importantly, go back to a larger font size.

    Dave Wermuth likes this.
  3. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    Got mine today and Dan has a good point. Is this due to a need for downsizing? Are we financially circling the wagons? The photography is pretty cool. Nice graphics.
  4. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    OK got mine also...........I love it. Good choice on the paper. Yes the printing is a little smaller. Would be nice with the larger print but I can deal with it. Need new glasses anyway. Odd that it's a little shorter 9 1/2 inches but kind of cool looking. In the builders and supply directory Tremolo Paddles is under me and it's not highlighted so it looks like it's part of my add. Again not a big deal, we'll fix it on the next issue. I'll read through it tonight but overall I like it.
  5. ticonderoga

    ticonderoga "Just one more"

    Mine came in the mail yesterday and yes its smaller, hard to read but with a lot of nice pictures. I thought we were an organization of people who are members because we like like to preserve/ restore old canoes and not replace them with new plastic ones, we seek out wilderness areas for solitude to get away from troubled society and then we add to the problem by mailing the WCJ in PLASTIC! While other organizations are feeling the need to reduce plastic consumption by mailing their publications in paper, we are going in the opposite direction by adding more plastic to the growing problem. Why not go in the other direction and print the WCJ on post consumer recycled paper. We can offset any increase in cost by the savings we surely realized by reducing the size of the journal, the number of copies by a third and effectively raising the cost per issue to $7 each.
    Just a few thoughts.
  6. Andy Hutyera

    Andy Hutyera The Red Canoe Guy - Life Member

    Got mine yesterday and was pleasantly surprised by the total revamp when I opened it. I found the new format very impressive and think Chris has done a remarkable job of adding new life to the journal. The layout banners are a cool idea. To me the new format has the look and feel of a truly professional journal. I think Chris deserves a thank you for a job well done.
  7. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

  8. dtdcanoes

    dtdcanoes LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Yeah..... something else of today that seems inexplicable. Plastic wrap , but fewer copies helps and smaller yet with high quality content. I got notice earlier this year that Mr. Casella our waste picker- upper ( living in VT. ) was raising the rate 15%/ month and decreasing the pickup frequency by 50%. ......Some sort of a new business model . I too need new glasses anyway and will go to Quad focals and then go find my Henny Youngman joke book. It will help me " get over it ". OYE !
  9. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    I had a thought today, for those of us who can't read the new font,
    how about posting an electronic copy on the web site so we can read it on-line?
    And then have an "opt out" option on the paper WC.

    (who currently reads the paper on line for the same reason.)
  10. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Hi Dan,

    I just sent you a link to an electronic copy of this issue. The board has considered electronic publishing and distribution but decided against it. Let me know if any other member would like this as well. I'm hoping that this font size issue will be resolved in the next issue. Thanks,

    Dan Lindberg likes this.
  11. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Count me in for paper copies. something about getting that book or magazine in the mail. I have a pretty big nautical book collection. when I read I want to turn pages.
  12. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Thanks Benson
  13. Blott

    Blott LOVES Wooden Canoes

    My copy has not yet made it across the Pond to me yet so I cannot make comment other than to say that as a regular contributor of features and photos to the publication, I will be very interested to see how it looks.

    A few years ago the Paddler Magazine went “E” . I have not read it since simply because on an IPad or MacBook it was small and I do find that I print stuff to read at leisure. I look forward to the arrival of Wooden Canoe with anticipation; it’s tangible, can move from the kitchen to living room to bathroom. It can be picked up by visitors and most importantly, when I attend shows with my WCHA Roadshow the array of copies with great colour photography attracts and pulls in a lot of people and may assist in gaining some new members.

    We must remember that it’s a publication for members by members. I would therefore suggest that we all look at how we can contribute in a manner that shares skills, tips, trips and adventures with our wonderful craft. A picture saves a thousand words. It’s not difficult to pen some words and send some photos and is an easy way to pass an evening. I am a firm believer that we need to make the editor earn his fee; give him a choice of stuff to deal with editorially, the more the better. It will make Wooden Canoe a better and stronger publication. People are interested. Similarly, I believe that this WCHA website and forum is a grossly underused asset. On the Song of The Paddle website there is a “self build” section of the forum wher I and fellow WCHA UK members blog our repair or refurbishment projects. My repair of a Cedar Rib canoe blog had 14500 views and 60 replies whilst the re-canvassing of my Chestnut had 8500 views of the blog.

    It’s snowing here now so rather than paddle I can put together the bones of my Assembly Presentation on The Enigmatic Cedar Rib Canoe which too will get shared via Wooden Canoe for those who cannot attend at Paul Smiths.
    Go on write something; even a story about a canoe restorer who drove a tack through his thumb would do!

  14. samb

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I have to strongly agree with what Nick says about electronic publications. If it did not give license benefits, I would no longer be a member of Canoe England. If Wooden Canoe goes electronic, I would see little reason to being a member.

  15. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Blott or Nick has a lot of good points. when people come in my house or shop they love to pick it up and learn about it. I always keep a few copies in my office, library, ok bathroom in the house.
  16. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    It's interesting that folks in this org like paper copies, but I shouldn't be surprised.

    A few years back when the Assembly featured Joe Seliga, I was closing in the having most of his canoes included in the Build Record.
    And Jerry was giving a talk about the book and I brought copies of the Record for folks.
    I brought a bunch of disks with electronic copies of the file along with a stack of paper copies I printed out.

    Guess which folks wanted? Yes, all the paper copies were gone fast, and NONE of the disks, which I believe were way more valuable.
    I always much prefer an electronic copy so I can do anything I want to it versus a paper copy.
    If they had taken the disk, they could have printed out as many copies as they wanted.

    To me the WC is of secondary importance to the web site, and I often don't read it (WC) completely.
    I do like to scan it to see Chapter events, new members and maybe the canoe offerings in the back.
    And then the paper copy goes on a stack to never be seen again.

    I don't do IPad, MacBook's or even cell phones. Only a computer, and preferably with 2 large screens (though I'm down to 1 now)

    When I mentioned electronic, I wasn't thinking pdf, but rather elec like when reading the paper on line.
  17. OP
    Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Thanks to everyone for their views, positive and negative, on the new look and feel of Wooden Canoe. Change is never easy, but please know that the new editor’s goal is simply to provide the WCHA with a visually exciting publication that continues to be filled with stories, news, tips, techniques, destinations and more that are of interest to the wooden canoe community.

    Both the frustrations and the excitement expressed here and elsewhere are understandable. I personally find the new version of Wooden Canoe to be a beautiful product that takes the WCHA to a new high. That said, in a large and diverse group such as ours, there will always be differences of opinion. All comments are valuable and they help shape how we continue moving forward. Let me address a few issues that I have some knowledge of:

    Format: The choice of the new format was solely about visual presentation. I don’t think we save any money by making the journal more squarish than tall (the printer doesn’t charge by the square inch), and even if we did save, that possibility never entered into any decision making. The editor simply wanted to create something that is visually exciting and that didn't look like every other magazine and catalog that comes in the mail. I personally think it works well. For example, when I looked at the spread that starts the story of the Danube canoe, I was stunned by its appearance, and part of this lies in the format of the journal which allowed for that broad image spread. Regardless of my personal likes or dislikes, the format choice was about making the WCHA’s publication stand out as something special. Your opinions may or may not change (that’s okay), but that’s the reason for the journal format.

    Font size: The editor certainly didn’t intend to decrease font size to the point of unreadability (what editor would?). In some places - like the donor list - a choice was made to decrease font size in order to get everything to fit, but in any case the new journal format had nothing to do with choice of fonts. Font style choices, elimination of much of the white space that we once had, and other design considerations were done to enhance the look of the journal, but there was never any intent to make the journal less readable. Quite the opposite. In any case, font sizes and text/paper contrast are being addressed now in anticipation of the next issue.

    Plastic wrap: Like many of you, I am very concerned about plastic in the environment. In my professional life I have personally done extensive, hands-on research on the ingestion of plastics by marine turtles, and the problem is far worse than most of us probably know. The tragedy is real when you collect hundreds of dead hatchling sea turtles each summer and find that every single one of them is literally stuffed with plastic – surely their cause of death. So frustration with a plastic-wrapped journal is understandable, and the editor is investigating other options right now. As for this current issue, please recycle the wrapper if possible. I believe that almost everywhere plastic films are recyclable; we recycle every scrap of plastic film that comes into our home.

    Print vs. digital: The Board has for years discussed the option of going to digital publication of Wooden Canoe, either partially or fully, but for multiple reasons there has not yet been a decision to do so. One of the most important reasons, as mentioned previously here, is that many of our membership simply want a print journal. Electronic distribution under present conditions could eliminate one of the most important member-specific benefits – the hardcopy journal - and it could lead to the downfall of the WCHA. That is, if we post the journal electronically here, then everything we offer (website, journal, forums…) would freely available to the public. With no incentive to actually join the WCHA, income would cease, expenses couldn’t be met, and the WCHA (along with the journal, website and everything else) would be gone. Some have suggested making a “members only” section of the website where we could place things like an e-version of the journal, but others have successfully argued against that. But like everything else, this remains an option.

    The WCHA and the journal are evolving as the world around us continues to change. Navigating change while preserving the history of our organization is challenging, so everyone's input is valuable. There is no intent to change our mission or values; Wooden Canoe is simply our print means of communication and we all want it to be the best it can be.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
    Andy Hutyera likes this.
  18. samb

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Uk members received the new edition today. I, for one, am impressed.Well Done

  19. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I just thought I would add 2 cents.
    • My wife, who is not a member and has very little interest in my canoes or the WCHA, really liked the new format. There is an unbiased opinion for you.
    • I found the new format much easier to lose in the pile of junk mail.
    • I found one typo.

  20. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Fitz, my wife has about the same interest as yours but she noticed the new journal right away. she does work in a large company that does a lot of advertising and she thought the new journal was a great change.

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