Guidelines for Submissions

What we’re looking for

Our readers view Professional BoatBuilder as a tool, and look to the magazine to supply accurate, objective articles that will help them improve the efficiency or quality of their work. They want to be informed but not lectured to; they like learning from the specific experiences and perspectives of their counterparts at other companies. They want technical information on materials, methods, and design, with plenty of detail and real-world examples. As business people, they’re looking for problem/solution-oriented articles tailored to their specific needs, not to those of the boating public.

Subject matter of the articles published in Professional BoatBuilder varies widely. Virtually any important element of boat design, construction, and repair—and anything critical to the operation of businesses in these fields—can provide the makings of an appropriate piece. While the articles may be quite technical in content, in terms of style we strive for a fairly conversational tone (as distinct from the dry monographs, or papers, that characterize so much of the technical material printed elsewhere).

Our features range from 3,000 to 6,000 words. In addition, we regularly publish shorter pieces of approximately 750–2,000 words in our departments. “Tools of the Trade” takes an in-depth look at a new or little-known product, material, tool, or method that its users say works well in boat construction and repair. “Practical Solutions” describes useful, innovative techniques for solving common yet complex problems facing builders and repairers. “Design Brief” is an opportunity for naval architects to discuss the thought and calculated compromises of specific designs or details. Finally, the last page in each issue is devoted to “Parting Shot,” an 800-word op-ed essay that may focus on any aspect of the marine industry.

Submitting your manuscript

Most of the magazine’s feature articles are assigned, but many of our writers are drawn from the industry we cover. They have day jobs. And quite often they propose their story ideas to us. We will also consider unsolicited contributions.

We prefer that writers query us prior to beginning work, and that they provide an outline of the story being proposed. This should be accompanied by a description of the photographs, slides, and/or drawings that will be available to illustrate the article. We can then advise the writer whether the proposed piece stands a good chance of being published, and we can suggest useful contacts and other sources of information.

When e-mailed, manuscripts should be in Word format; Rich Text format is also acceptable. All submissions must be identified with the sender’s name, address, and e-mail address and may not be offered simultaneously to other marine publications.

Once stories are assigned, the editors will make every effort to clearly specify the details of the assignment with the author. For his or her part, the author must agree to thoroughly review the assignment with the editors before work is started and while the story is being written. The writer must further agree to contact the editors promptly if he or she is having difficulty fulfilling any requirements of the assignment, especially the deadline for submission.

If the editors determine that revisions are necessary before an assigned article can be accepted for publication, the writer must undertake these revisions as part of the original assignment.

Professional BoatBuilder reserves the right to reject any article. If the editors deem a submission unusable—either before or after revisions—we will notify the writer promptly and return any mailed material.

Submitting your graphics


  • Photos: JPEGs or TIFFs.
  • Computer-generated drawings: EPS, BMP, DWF, DWG, or similar vector file format.
  • Note: Please send the original, individual image files. Image files placed in other programs such as MS Word, MS Publisher, PowerPoint, or InDesign or Quark saved as PDFs are hard to work with and may affect the quality of the image.


  • Photos should be shot at the highest-quality JPEG setting available (least amount of compression). Resolution should be at least 300 dpi. Lower resolutions may mean we can’t use or must shrink the photos.
  • For example:
    1. If we receive a 16.5 x 12.5” image at 72 dpi, it must be shrunk to 4” x 3” to be at the required 300 dpi.
    2. A 39 x 29” image at 72 dpi will print as a 9.33 x 7” image at 300 dpi.
  • Send us images straight from the camera. (Any adjustments that make the image better looking on your monitor may render the image unusable in print.)
  • Line drawings that are not in vector format need to be 800 dpi; bitmap images are best at 1200 dpi.


  • An image that is technically acceptable may not be compositionally acceptable.
  • Take time to properly light your subject. Be aware of shadows, reflections, and hotspots.
  • Take time to set up the image; remove clutter from foreground and background.
  • Choose your background wisely. Don’t place the object you are photographing on your shag carpet, your favorite plaid jacket, or any other similarly busy pattern.
  • Shoot several shots. Adjust the lighting slightly. Alternate between light and dark backgrounds.

How to send files:

  • Electronically: Files under 25 MB can be sent by email. Larger files can be uploaded to Dropbox.
  • On CD or DVD.

What we pay

Our base rate for text is 30 cents per word as printed, payable on publication. A copyright statement will be mailed to the author approximately 30 days prior to publication.

Whenever possible, photos and/or technical drawings, with full captions, should accompany text; digital photographs (see Guidelines for Digital Photography), medium-format color transparencies, color slides, and 8 x 10 black-and-white prints are preferred, in that order.

Payment for photographs used inside the magazine is determined by the size of the image published. As a guideline, we purchase both black-and-white and color photographs at a base rate of $50 per 1/4 page. The selection and sizing of artwork take place immediately prior to publication.

We pay $400 for one-time use of cover photographs (color only). Payment for an illustration or diagram ranges from $70 to $400, depending on its size and complexity.

In certain instances, the editors may agree to reimburse an author or artist for various expenses, including such items as travel and telephone calls, associated with a specific assignment. The limits of this reimbursement will be established in writing before work on the assignment begins.

Where to send it all

Aaron Porter
Editor, Professional BoatBuilder
41 WoodenBoat Lane, P.O. Box 78
Brooklin, ME 04616–0078 USA
tel. 207–359–4651
fax 207–359–8920