Ship Magazines

31st May 2007, 14:41
I started with "Sea Breezes," which I subscribed to for many years and evenually gave up on image and content quality for "Ships Monthly."
I have swapped SM on a regular basis for Shipping Today and Yesterday with an old pal in NZ.
Now that ST & Y have learned to spell it I feel it has overtaken both rivals above.

1st June 2007, 05:25
Can you post the info on your mag ST & Y that you refer to, as I for one, would like to take a look. I have been a very long term subscriber to SM but getting increasingly cheesed off with it. Can I put in a plug for Bernard McCall's "Coastal Shipping", a great little magazine and reasonably priced too.

1st June 2007, 05:55
Likewise Cboots. Re ST&Y< if it's available in NZ it should be in Oz.
HPC Publishing, St Leonards on Sea, Sussex

Locking Splice
1st June 2007, 10:29
Morning All,

I have to agree that Ships Monthly is not what it used to be. I have every copy back to when it first started in the mid sixties. I remember buying my first issue from the old wooden type Smiths Kiosk on the platform of the Marine Station on the Admirality Pier at Dover in 1966 when I was 15 and worked as a Ships Messenger boy in the Shipping Office their. Even then it was a bit heavy going however I stuck with it, and in the early seventies it really took of photo wise and continued to be a great read for many decades, however it has become quite bland the last few years. I always used to get my Sea Breezes there as well, that little magazine was always a great read, still not bad in its new format. Over the years I have managed to get every copy of Sea Breezes back as far as 1948, and its still great to pick up some of the old ones to read as the content was excellent. Its strange but also satisfying to read reports of the Last grain races and the Windjammers taking part and reported sightings of them in 1948/49 editions. Their was also another little Magazine that I used to get called Ships Illustrated, this was also a good read but did not last long, seem to remember Ian Allan having something to do with it.
A bundle of old 1950s magazines that I aquired a few years ago were called "Ships and Ship Models" for their time the content is excellent loads of photos of the tonnage of that era both Merchant and Navel, deck plans, company histories, and lots of first hand accounts of seafaring life. If you ever see any of these about grab them as you will not be dissapointed.
Coastal Shipping is certinaly a good little read, however Smiths down our way used to stock it but then stopped after a few years. And then of course the good old World Ship Society's little magazine "The Marine News" is another good read and sometimes overwhelming in content with its Sales, Transfers and renaming section.
With the advent of great sites like this most of us are seeing what we want to see and remember, which is really great, and this in turn perhaps outshines what we used to think about how good some of the Shipping Periodicals really are. Sadly I think I will be ending my long association with Ships Monthly, I will give the Sea Breezes a while longer. Have tried Shipping Today on many occaisions and some of the photos are very good, however it also to me has the Ships Monthly feel about it.

Best Regards


1st June 2007, 12:46
I still have my sub to "Ships Monthly" and still enjoy the magazine. My main complaint of recent times is that the print seems to be getting smaller and smaller. I already have reading glasses so its not the eyes. Will have to get a magnifying glass soon. I have thought of contacting them but I am sure it would fall on stoney ground! Will have to have a look at "Shipping Today." I truthfully thought that "Sea Breezes" had long since gone. I used to take it in the dim past but it had a little too much sail for me.

dave beaumont
1st June 2007, 14:50
Cboots, i have been getting s.t&y here in melbourne since it first came out in the ninties sometime. Was a pain for awhile with the spelling mistakes and wrong picture or caption but seems to have got its act together. Some good pics usually in each copy. Gave up on Seabreezes about the time they went from small pocket size to new format. Stories got a bit boring for me. Ships Monthly still ok i guesss but internet gettting the place for me, As each mag about AU$11.oo looks like i can save a few bucks each month by just logging on to S.N !!! Dave

Paul UK
1st June 2007, 16:59
SN usually gets there with news before any of them, still get SM but agree with all above "could do better"


2nd June 2007, 07:51
Thanks fellas, I'll certainly check ST&Y out before I renew by subscription to SM. I tend to agree that sites like this one have largely superseded the magazine of old, but I retain a fondness for print; being born before 1985 and not being able to work an IPod has a lot to do with it.

Tony Breach
2nd June 2007, 09:42
Maybe not a magazine as normally accepted as it is only published thrice annually. but Ships in Focus is worth more than the lot of them in quality & content. For a similar outlay as the subscription to SM, SB or ST&Y you will get almost 200 pages of first class shipping information with superb illustrations delivered to your door including a FREE comprehensive index.

I bought one copy for specific content & based on its quality I then bought the entire set to date & became a subscriber. It is the closest thing to an encyclopaedia on shipping & no, I am not on commission.

Try & enjoy,

3rd June 2007, 07:58
Cboots, 'The Log' is also good reading material. It's a quarterly journal of the Nautical Association of Australia and was first published by Australian members of the WSS in 1954.

I have subscribed to Ships Monthly for 21+ years and also think that the format and content has changed for the worse. Shall have to cancell the order soon anyway as the family reckons that I have far too many magazines around the house and there are more than enough for my funeral pyre.

Regards John

dave beaumont
3rd June 2007, 11:29
Couldnt agree with you more John about The Log. Well put together and some great pics in there as well. Dave

4th June 2007, 04:31
G'dye John,
Yes thanks for that one. I get the Log also and agree that it is a very good combination of history and Aussie coast news.

4th June 2007, 05:13
Sea Breezes and Ships Monthly I used to read whenever I could find them. Another one I enjoyed was "Fairplay", I think it was published in Hong Kong, there was "Marine Engineering Log" in the US, and out of Seattle came "Marine Digest", which was great for ship photos in the 1960s and 1970s. It died and was later resurrected as a transportation magazine, but never quite the same.

4th June 2007, 05:14
Oh, then there's Marine News, from the World Ship Society.

4th June 2007, 06:38
I lost interest in all the others when I got issue 1 of SHIPS IN FOCUS some years ago. The photographs are so clear that you may well be looking at the real thing apart from the fact that most of them are black & white of course. I have just quit the World Ship Society after teens of years - subscription of 36 is a little steep for me!

5th June 2007, 13:58
I started buying Shipping Today & Yesterday from the first issue. What caught my eye was the picture of a sinking ship on the front cover, sitting on the top of a pile of magazines in Ipswich station. I have been getting it ever since. I also continue with Ships Monthly & Sea Breezes. Sea Breezes I have started to get board with but I still enjoy SM & SD&Y. Another magazine, for the warship enthusists is Warship International Fleet Review, shortened to Warship IFR. This is also a monthly publication. Another one I see from time to time is Compass, a half German, half English langauge magazine.

5th June 2007, 22:39
Try "Ferry Scene". Specialises in ferries (all shapes and sizes). Very good articles and photographs. Published quarterly. See web site:- As far as I know it is only available by subscription.

6th June 2007, 00:42
Try "Ferry Scene". Specialises in ferries (all shapes and sizes). Very good articles and photographs. Published quarterly. See web site:- As far as I know it is only available by subscription.

No, you can get it of the shelf in London. Try the transport bookshop of Ian Allen in the area of Waterloo. That's were I get mine. They have four shops around the county, so I assume you can get it in the others. This is the only place I have found it, other then sending away for it.
Another magazine worth looking at, also sometimes in this shop, is Warship World. You can get this by subscription or from selected bookshops, this being one. The other place being the Maritime museum in Portsmouth.

6th June 2007, 11:04
you can buy it at W H Smiths in poole
8th June 2007, 14:58
I agree with most of the above but also love Professional Mariner magazine as well as Maritime Executive here in the states.

Tony Breach
8th June 2007, 20:31
I too enjoyed Professional Mariner when I was living across the pond - an excellent magazine. Also from the USA Steamboat Bill from SSHSA & the best of all is Sea History, the journal of The National Maritime Historical Society of which I am a long time member. The artwork reproduction is absolutely first class.

Our transatlantic cousins have a great tradition of preserving all things maritime of which the UK should take note. During my years in the States I visited as many nautical museums & preserved ships as I could & have more than 1000 colour slides of what I saw. Where I lived in Oxnard, California we had our own maritime museum with some fantastic models plus other artifacts & even Stobart originals (he was a Brit).

The Maritime & Industrial museum in Cardiff was demolished to build a sort of parliament for a dragon that breathes no fire (although hopefully may gobble up Peter Hain). The new Waterfront museum in Swansea is a disaster when compared with the old one. Keep up the good work, Yankees!!!


10th June 2007, 21:09
Just my bit here!

Had a cheque for £40 from 'Sea Breezes' today for a story I submitted almost two years ago! Still waiting for ST&Y to publish an article on the UT704 AHTS.

FYI, I interviewed for the post of assistant editor on SM 8 years ago. I got to the final two candidates but the chap that got it had journalism experience as opposed to my 'hack' experience. When they asked me if I knew Quark Express, I thought it might be a ro-ro or fast cat type ferry....only joking!

I'd love to get involved again - keep looking out for adverts and keep submitting the odd article - as I feel they have (in the majority of cases) lost their true maritime ways. Cruise ships are not ships in my opinion, not when compared to something like - say f'r example - the classic liners or the work-a-day ramp steamers. Old traditionalist me - wonder why I didn't get the job?

(Actually I do know - lack of current journalistic experience.)

Good interview though.



10th June 2007, 22:02
The problem with most of these mags is that they will often accept articles & then hang on to them for years with payment only on publication. A while back I got fed up of this sort of thing & sent one to an American mag who "paid on acceptance!" Great, I thought. Within days a letter came back acknowledging receipt of the article - two years later, they accepted it & enclosed a cheque - Can't win either way! I decided there & then to stop trying. Later on, another mag asked me to write regularly for them & there have been no problems with the arrangement as it was them that was asking! I feel the only way forward is for them to ask you for articles & then you can dictate terms to some extent. But how do you get known? I got a CD re-writer fitted to my computer some time ago. It enables me to write whatever I want without any great limitations as to text length or photograph content. A disk can hold hundreds of pictures & unlimited text & only costs about 25p to produce. They can be sold on Ebay or something like that until you become known.
I know of several people who do this sort of thing with great success.

10th June 2007, 22:50

I was a quite 'well published' writer until things got heavy at work and I found I could no longer dedicate time to it. I wrote for four years - on a paid but freelance basis - for 'Shortwave Magazine' - until I had a disagreement with the editor who simply sacked me! before that I wrote 'on spec' for 'The Seafarer' (and won a few competitins too ), 'The Seaman', 'Sea Breezes', 'Military History Online', the BBC (pieces, unpaid) and also won the UK Writer's Award for a short story (fiction based on fact) three years on the run. I also wrote a regular quarterly piece in the Min Owners Club magazine, as I had one back then - a Mini 1000 not a magazine.........

I was also commissioned by Fairplay Magazine to do two pieces for them on ship's lifeboats being used as MOB craft and one on the demise of the traditional salvage tug. They paid extremely well - if I recall right, £500 a piece for 2500 words. Alas, it was a commission basis and it just dried up with a change of editor.

I had to let it go due, as I say, to pressure of work. Perhaps the saddest part of that was writing - on a pleasure basis - for Marex Marine as a monthly diarist on ship movemnets, sales, activities etc offshore. I still kick myself when I decided to wrap it up as work was heavier than I thought at the time - but he still has them up in his 'News and Views' section, bless him!

I'll keep chipping away but nowadays it is the balance and I am working on a short story or two so who knows?

Cheers for the advice,. Bob - appreciate it.


15th June 2007, 13:48
....... Ships in Focus is worth more than the lot of them in quality & content.

.....a FREE comprehensive index. .......

Couldn't agree more Tony, I picked up Issues 5 & 6 at Waterstones inTunbridge Wells of all places, a lot of maritime interest there ! It was in the book section, and I haven't missed an issue since.

You mention the index, for a modest payment, the index is available on CD ROM, allegedly I am the only customer for that so far !



21st June 2007, 14:36
I have been collecting books and magazines since 1974 when I first brought SM, November issue. I have most of them from the first in 1966 but with a few missing for 1973-74 and the last year or so.

I have issues of Sea Breezes from 1946. I did have the complete St & Y until I moved and left two full boxes with a mate to look after, when I moved but he dumped them (nice mate).

I joined the W.S.S. in October 1977 when we first started the Gloucester branch (there are only about 5 original members left) and I have issues marine news from 1954 with full annuals from 1966. I have collected and I am still collecting mostly those early mags if I can find them cheap enough

But I will agree with you all about the lack of sustained commentary in the mags now. There seem to be a lot of space between the articles and the pictures. I was frustrated with ST & Y when they published photos that I have a copy, but they didn’t give a full history of the ship or what happened to them