Change of the Watch at Latitude 38

Published on October 17th, 2016

Regional publications provide significant support to the sailing areas they serve, and Latitude 38 has been a trailblazer among sailing magazines. Launched in 1977, founder Richard Spindler now reports the magazine has been sold…


Latitude 38 founder Richard Spindler

I made this move because I sincerely believe it’s in the best interest of Latitude readers, advertisers, employees, and the sailing industry. I’m very excited about it.

The best part about the sale is that the buyer is John Arndt, who has been the Advertising Manager for most of his 30 years at Latitude. So the magazine is staying in the ‘family’. No other buyer was sought.

John, who is also the founder of Summer Sailstice, believes in sailing as much as I do, which was the important thing, and has long been a leader in the sailing industry.

The second best thing about the sale is that I’ll still be doing Letters, Changes in Latitudes, at least three ‘Lectronic Latitudes a week, and a number of Sightings articles. So most of the ‘voice’ and the attitude of the magazine will continue. The cool thing is that I get to keep doing what I love — writing, as well as photography and layouts — while I no longer have to do what I’ve never cared for, which is business.

Latitude 38 will retain the excellent staff that has served the customers and readers for all these years. Although I’ve been writing for 40 years words truly can’t express what a pleasure it has been to work with these people, who always did their jobs without needing my supervision.

I’d also like to recognize Kathleen McCarthy, who was with me from issue number one, and who was so instrumental in getting the magazine off the ground. We were two kids with little publishing experience or money in 1976, and thanks to nonstop work and ridiculously lucky timing, we made it work.

Kathleen and I later married, had two kids, and divorced. I’m happy to say that today we’re better friends than ever, and have frequent great get-togethers with our kids.

I’d like to thank everyone who has helped make Latitude 38 a success for all these decades: the dedicated readers, the terrific advertisers, and everyone else who has ever worked for Latitude.

While I have sold Latitude, I will continue to own and operate the Baja Ha-Ha as an independent company, now in its 23rd year, and the SoCal Ta-Ta. Both events will continue to work with Latitude.

The bottom line is that, while I have sold Latitude, you won’t be getting rid of me anytime soon.

Lastly, I’m certainly not swallowing the anchor. I have 3.5 boats between California, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe, and will spend all my time living aboard them with Doña de Mallorca, doing all I can to cover sailing to the best of my ability for Latitude 38, and to foster ever more much-needed mischief around the world.


Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck (left) with John Arndt and SpinSheet publisher Mary Ewenson as John was named the winner of the 2015 Distinguished Service Award by the Annapolis Boat Shows during the 2015 United States Sailboat Show.

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