Meet the people behind Practical Boat Owner
David Pugh – Editor
David rose through the ranks of Time Inc. (UK) Ltd via The Geoff Pack Scholarship, a scheme dedicated to the memory of Yachting Monthly’s former editor which encourages sailors with a practical knowledge of boats to become journalists. Trained as a scientist, David conducts many of PBO’s technical product tests and has revolutionised the Marina Guide process with his computer know-how. For the past two years, David and Ben have been lovingly and sometimes furiously restoring the popular PBO Project Boat, a Snapdragon 23 called Hantu Biru, bought from eBay for £510. David became the youngest-ever PBO Editor in May 2013 when he took over the helm from Sarah Norbury.
Roz Jones – Editor’s PA
PA to the Editor but more generally the office oracle. No one gets paid if Roz isn’t here and no one can work out which of her many keys go where. Roz joined Time Inc. (UK) Ltd during the ‘Good old days’ and used to do hand modelling for a car magazine, to help show that women could be trusted behind the wheel. Roz and her partner own a small motorboat and are active members of Poole’s North Haven Yacht Club.
Ben Meakins – Deputy Editor
Like David, keen sailor Ben joined Time Inc. (UK) Ltd as a Geoff Pack Scholar and has swiftly risen through the ranks. He was promoted from Features Editor to Deputy Editor of Britain’s biggest-selling yachting magazine in November 2013. Ben and his wife Steph co-own and regularly race an Impala 28 with friends and keep her on the Hamble on a river mooring.
When Ben’s not slaving away on Hantu Biru, he can usually be found breaking things in the office – or product testing as he prefers to call it.
Kevin Slater – Art Editor
PBO’s longest-serving member of staff (16 years and counting!), creative Kevin is also an avid endurance walker who is known to take himself on 80-mile marches at weekend or night running with a head torch over the Purbeck hills. Often the first in to work, Kevin credits his punctuality to his snazzy new bike. Like Roz, Kevin joined Time Inc. (UK) Ltd in the Good Old Days. He can stay calm under pressure, even on final press day and takes stress in his sandal-powered stride, fuelling the office banter between biscuit bites.
Marco Rossi – Production Editor
By day Marco is a mild-mannered PBO Sub Editor, incorporating witty wordplay into even the most practical of articles. By night he is a guitar-thrashing Gothic Chicken, performing in one of his many bands. He also unleashes his artistic creativity on comedy videos for all the PBO group tests and as the office DJ. Don’t leave the biscuit tin near Marco unless you want it swiftly emptied and do not forget to keep the chocolate in the fridge unless you want to turn a usually sunny-dispositioned Scotsman to rage.
Laura Hodgetts – News & Web Editor
Prior to joining Time Inc. (UK) Ltd in December 2012, Laura worked for the Dorset Echo in Weymouth as the regional daily newspaper’s Olympic and Paralympic sailing reporter. When Laura’s not looking for news stories and working on the website, product testing for New Gear and gathering Cruising Notes, she likes to set her sights on tidying up the messy office. Laura, who’s passed the RYA day skipper, dinghy sailing level 2 and powerboat level 2 courses, is always a willing MOB volunteer for gear tests and loves to help out on the PBO Project Boat but can be accident prone, dipping her hair in paint and knocking over full paint cans.
Holly Powell – Copy Service
The chipper warden of PBO’s treasure… the Copy Shop archive. Holly keeps the reams of precious articles tucked away in tidy bookshelves; a Narnia of practical knowledge to make any sailor go weak at the knees. Rare sightings include her scanning documents at the printer where she is partial to making a melodic tune out of pressing the buttons, and supping Earl Grey by the coffee machine before it’s umpteenth malfunction, nothing to do with her of course…