float Magazine

Lesen, was auf dem Wasser bewegt © Rob Bye / float
Portrait

float turns five

🇬🇧 float was launched exactly five years ago. Here is how the magazine has started and grown. And who is in the float crew today.

von
Kerstin Zillmer
und in
4 Minuten

The table is full of laptops, notes and coffee cups. Not only the heads are smoking. Outside the glass door to our new editorial office, Stephan Boden, who has just joined us from Hamburg, and Beate Autering, our graphic designer, are having a quick cigarette break. Polly, a Parson Jack Russell dog, is asleep on the armchair. Olivier Guillard, our web developer, sends instructions via Trello. Community expert Susanna Lotz supports us in social media.

Kerstin, where can I find the pictures? Stephan, what I the shortcode again? Watch out, don’t publish yet! We are working flat out to produce the first 40 articles, ten in each category for the float kick-off. We’ll go online at Boot & Fun 2016. Olivier presses the button and then it’s there: float, the new German-language magazine for everything that moves on the water. Hello World!

We dared to jump into the water because it’s our favourite element. We want to be on, in and around the water. We want to report about boats – people – places – things, and so we do until today. Simple and clear, well arranged and – above all – aesthetically top class. As little advertising as possible, so that the joy to read is always there. We make trusting connections with partners and our community. float wants to be at eye level and on a first-name basis in direct exchange with our readers. Strong in social media. Close to them.

A new territory for us too

From the very beginning, the leisure boating industry has been eagerly following our enthusiasm for breaking new ground on the web. float is still an independent start-up that has been economically viable for the past five years. Our stories and articles, which are read for free by thousands every day, are supported by partnerships with large and small companies, shipyards and manufacturers. They find themselves on float and value our reporting – as do we.

As of today, we have published 1,533 articles in 1,875 days. After we set off from Berlin five years ago, hardly a day went by without us reporting. We cruised across river Spree into the Havel, up to the Baltic coast, sailed around Skagen into the North Sea, on to the Atlantic Ocean and around the globe. We joined the Golden Globe Race, were on board at the Ocean Race and accompanied Boris Herrmann at the Vendée Globe.

We have been on lakes and rivers, sailed, cruised, rowed and swum. We love innovation and trying to become better on the water – for the oceans, for us humans. This is where our heart beats high.

We are journalists from the heart. We dig to the bottom where water comes from, because this is our element, according to our motto: float is about all what moves (us) on the water.

Who is float

Our contributors and staff writers are float’s pearl hunters. For many years we have been delighted with the contributions of Jens Brambusch, who likes to share his new sailing life on „Dilly Dally“ with us and, as a journalist, also writes investigative stories. Michael Krieg, with whom we have worked for over 20 years, knows dinghies and sailing boats like no other. Roland Wildberg, our highly eloquent author and permanent staff editor at float, always finds great topics.

  • Jens BrambuschJens Brambusch writes and lives on-board © Jens Brambusch
  • Tommy LoeweTommy Loewe with his classic Abeking und Rasmussen sailboat © Kerstin Zillmer
  • Jan JoswigRoland Wildberg © Wildberg
  • Jan JoswigJan Joswig sails the Flax 27 on Berlin’s lake Wannsee © Kerstin Zillmer
  • Jan JoswigDee Caffari in her home marina in Cowes © Felix Diemer
  • Jan JoswigMeteorologist Sebastian Wache of Wetterwelt reports regularly for float © Wetterwelt

Tommy Loewe, as a boat builder, interprets the new refit videos by „Tally Ho“ restorer Leo Sampson every second Sunday and writes enthusiastically about wooden classics. Jan Joswig, who prefers to write reportages for us, does the proof-reading for float every morning too.

Not to forget our weather expert Sebastian Wache from Wetterwelt and six-time circumnavigator Dee Caffari, who brings an international perspective to our Berlin editorial team. Plus many other authors who have written great articles for float over five years. And finally, the people who support us in production.

Kerstin Zillmer
float founder Kerstin Zillmer testing the electric Frauscher Timesquare 20 © float

It couldn’t have been better

And then there is Kerstin Zillmer, founder and editor-in-chief of float. She is the woman who keeps float together in terms of content and visuals, and boldly and creatively runs the magazine. She writes about regattas, does boat tests and sails, she loves troyers and loves being on air since past year. In 2020, float became the first boat and watersports magazine to develop its own podcast: the float Originals.

Stefan Gerhard has been with float for three years as managing director and business editor and is intensively involved in the exchange with the industry. At the Best of Boats Award, initiated by him, float is networked throughout Europe with boat testers and magazine makers who join once a year in awarding the best new motor boats at Boot & Fun Berlin – including the Best for Future category on sustainability.

Kerstin Zillmer
Stefan Gerhard, founder of the Best of Boat Award at the virtual ceremony 2020 © Best of Boats

We love doing float. The independence and freedom to find and write stories is like the wind in our hair when we are out on the water. It couldn’t have been better nor starting at a better time. This Sunday, 5 December, we celebrate our fifth birthday. We are very proud to have come this far with so many readers on board. Without you, there would be no float. Thank you very much for that!

And what’s next for float? We’ll tell you next year. Of course, we already have something in the pipeline. If you want to support float, become a float friend.

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