As The Triton team sat around our conference table this summer making plans for our fall editions, it occurred to me that we were about to publish our 150th issue.
The sesquicentennial. You hold it in your hands, and it reflects not only weeks and months of effort, but years of schooling on yachts, docks and shipyards, and of constantly refining our skills as reporters, editors, marketing experts and production managers.
I’m proud of our product today. Actually, I was proud of it from the beginning. We were small business neophytes, but we were passionate and committed, and from its first issue, The Triton made a statement.
Looking back, I honestly believe the best thing we’ve ever done — and most important thing we still do — is host the captains lunch every month. Getting six to 10 captains to sit down together in the same place at the same time is always a challenge, given all the balls they juggle to keep their vessels operational.
We’ve hosted 150 of them now, and the conversations are always fantastic. We learn something new every single time. After 27 years as a journalist, it’s the most rewarding work I’ve ever done, and I’m grateful to the captains who have shared their expertise with us — and our readers — over the years.
Our Triton Surveys have been fun to do, too. We started those in 2008 and have done more than 100 of them now. I am constantly humbled that yacht captains take time out of their day to answer my nagging questions. Please know that your personal experiences, added together, have helped create an industry standard of sorts. When shoreside industry people wonder how captains handle something, many brokers and business owners have told me they look to our surveys to find out.
And where would the industry be without Triton Networking events? Not to brag, but for a long time, ours were the only events held outside of the boat show season. I must give full credit for the birth of those events to Kristy Fox, the now-crew placement agent who helped us get The Triton off the ground in the spring of 2004. She was already organizing informal gatherings at local bars with captains she knew, and once The Triton was founded, it made sense to help our advertisers promote their businesses by having the events at their locations instead of in bars.
I pulled all our issues out recently to look at the covers, to get a sense of the breadth of stories we’ve researched and written. I can’t even put it all into words. But one popped out — the special four-page wrap we did for the November 2005 issue that covered Hurricane Wilma’s impact on that year’s Ft. Lauderdale boat show. We had already gone to press with that issue when Wilma hit, but we got the printer to give us 24 extra hours to create that special piece.
Those days before the storm and the tedious and heart-wrenching decision-making that followed kept us motivated and busy. We were proud to be a center for information in those first hours and days since the show’s website was down but ours was operational.
I guess looking back over 150 issues, I am proudest most of the crew we have gathered. Most of our Triton family — from employees to columnists to freelance writers and editors — have been with us for eight or 10 years, some since the beginning.
And I’m super excited to announce that Dorie Cox has been promoted to editor, a role she has blossomed into over the past few months.
So after 150 captains lunches, more than 100 Triton Surveys, 17 Triton Expos, about 220 Triton Networking events and thousands of stories in print and online, I’m just proud.
As I was thinking about all this and writing this column, I received this lovely compliment from a captain of 24 years: “Since The Triton arrived and started taking an active role in the informing, joining, education and networking around the boat show, the whole local yacht industry has stepped up its game for captains to a higher level.”
And that’s been our mission, to give the people who see yachting as a profession the information to do their jobs and manage their careers better. It feels good to know we’ve made a difference.
So my point is: What do you think? How can The Triton keep getting better? And where is there a need in yachting that you think we can fill? I’m all ears.
Lucy Chabot Reed is publisher and founding editor of The Triton. Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.