We seem to have somewhat of a minor tiff in our little world. Some staff editors and some readers of Truckin' just can't seem to agree on whether or not there is a place in our magazine for boats. There are pertinent reasons behind placing these aquatic hot rods in our magazine, and we'd like to tell you why.

This isn't the first time we've had to discuss the basic desire we have for the boats in this magazine. It seems overly easy to notice that the boats we do feature are attached to matching trucks. Our heritage is steeped in truck and van runs that started at river and lake locations. Truckin's initial issue was released some 31 years ago and did, in fact, have boat coverage. It was no fluke that we started in that way. Our pages also saw editorials with jet ski racing at some of the Southern California truck shows for a while because Al Martinez and his Intershows Productions crew had their truck show venues set up as such. We did not have a section of the magazine devoted to such crafts, but nonetheless, water-related vehicles were covered in our pages. Now that we are well into the third year of a dedicated boat section, you readers and some of our staff still have mixed feelings about the issue.

Truckin' magazine works closely with a lot of aftermarket entities. The aftermarket advertises in our pages, and we are obliged to create additional advertising if this magazine is to survive-it's a business, and businesses must make money. With our Water Toys section, we can attract additional readers-those who not only have an interest in trucks but also in custom boats. As a direct result of an increased readership, the magazine can see not only new advertising dollars, but also current advertisers who make both truck and boat accessories can expand their market.

How can I justify saying such things? New boat manufacturers are creating more graphic-intensive gel schemes, and the idea stems from the insane graphics that show trucks have been using for years. Mercruiser is a major player in the boat industry for mechanical propulsion. Newer versions of its motors are using EFI supercharging systems that started life as truck systems. Are there major differences? No, only the plumbing. And that is why trucks and boats belong together. Boats require trucks for transportation to the water, and the trend has even moved to trailering accessories. Trailers are now running matching 18- and 20-inch wheels to complement the truck's wheels.

Jamming audio and video systems have left the custom truck world and are now integrated into water-bound hot rods. Almost all of the parts associated with customizing and powering boats are rooted in the truck industry.

This is really a dead horse, and we won't be devoting any more pages any time soon to our opinions on this subject. We do read every e-mail and every letter that comes through our door, and the majority wins: Boats are a fun break from the norm and are going to be around for a while in our magazine. Truckin's reality is really a dream world, and you, the readers, are grabbing our pages to see ideas, themes, and even the unobtainable-and boats fit right into all those categories. We would really like the few who oppose the boats to actually take a look at them and delve into the story behind the boat and truck features. Ideas abound and come from all angles. You need ideas, and you might be narrowing your field of vision.