The first Triton published since March in on the streets. COVID-19 hit our small business hard, but unlike many others, we could pivot to the digital world and continue covering and providing important news to our readers.
But our old-fashioned business model relies on advertising, and many of our most time-weathered partners had to close for weeks, maybe lay off some staff, and certainly trim budgets. Marketing budgets always come first. You can run a business without marketing; you can’t without power and a roof.
I’m sorry to say that we, too, had to lay off our staff, including our editor, Dorie Cox. Many of you know Dorie, forever with a smile as she trudged around innumerable boat shows, cajoling and convincing even the toughest seamen to soften and pose for a crew shot. It was heartbreaking to lose my sister-at-arms in the newsroom after working together for 11 years.
We lost our production manager, Patty Wienert, as well. Patty held the whole physical thing together as Dorie and I gathered the news. We never had to worry that the pages would miss their mark to the printer or come out less than perfectly, unless Dorie or I had made a mistake. It was like magic, it seemed. Certainly effortless.
After putting this issue together without her, I now know it was not magic, but skill and dedication. And I miss her even more having had to do this new beautiful issue without her.
Without them, The Triton is different. But the whole world is different. So my new business partner, Robin Meagher, and I set off for the future where yacht crew still value strong and reliable reporting and sponsors still support our efforts digitally. Robin’s marketing expertise brings a freshness to The Triton, our structure and our events that we sorely needed. We were set in old ways for too many years. It took COVID to give us that reluctant shove and challenge us to think new thoughts.
So let us know what you think of this new book (firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com), our makeup of stories and our vision for reimagined networking (see page 21). We are planning seasonal issues to coincide with the yachting calendar. And maybe something more.
In the meantime, there’s lots to digest in here, and I recommend reading a section depending on your mood.
The first section is full of career-specific information for yacht crew, including advice for new crew (pages 8-9, 16, 18), insightful perspective on yacht crew from an owner (page 11), and the rules surrounding termination and repatriation (pages 14-15).
The next section is technical. Read about a lesson learned about gyros (page 26), how one charter captain plans to bulletproof his A/C system (page 28) and some tutorials on all the oily bits in the engine room (page 32).
The third section looks at crew life and highlights the important work the industry is doing to care for crew mental health (page 34). We also look at a few of the creative and dynamic crew who have adjusted during COVID to do fun things (starting on page 38). A new Triton contributor shares his thoughts on how yacht crew can make their earnings last a lifetime (page 46). And we unfortunately close out that section with several obituaries from the past few months that remind us how short life can be (starting on page 48). Their passings and their lives deserve to be noticed.
Our cover story, “What the FLIBS?”, starts on page 56 and includes details from our two-month, industry-wide survey. Even when the show is over, the thoughts and insights from our reporting will tell a story moving forward.
We close out this issue with some stories of off-the-beaten-path cruising grounds, which have gotten more attention since COVID. Check out Nova Scotia through the eyes of two captains (page 64), the efforts to rebuild Walker’s Cay in the northern Bahamas (page 68) and Northern Europe (page 70).
We have an update from US Superyacht Association Executive Director Kitty McGowan as well as some images from Open Day in Monaco, held in early October with 19 boats and a turnout of brokers and industry.
And there’s a gem on page 76 for anyone cruising the Bahamas this winter. You’ll want to keep this list with you.
Thank you for reading, and for sharing your thoughts on how we can continue to make The Triton important to the work and lives of yacht crew.
Lucy Chabot Reed is founding editor and now publisher of The Triton. Comments are welcome below.