ShowBoats International, a US-based superyacht magazine that has been struggling with diminishing page counts in recent months, has been acquired by Boat International Media, which plans to merge its own Boat International USA title with that of ShowBoats in what industry insiders have described as the only way either magazine could survive.

Boat International USA has been on a slimming diet in recent months. The July 2009 edition was only able to support 130 pages, compared to 168 pages in July 2008.

With the merger, Boat International USA will join ShowBoats International ensuring that the ShowBoats brand, originally published by the Hachette Filipacchi group, continues. An announcement on the company’s website says “We expect to launch new events and web businesses for the US superyacht market without delay.”

CurtCo, the magazine’s current publisher, also publishes The Robb Report, Sports & Luxury Automobile, Art & Antiques, Vacation Homes and some regional lifestyle magazines.

Jill Bobrow, editor in chief, and executive editor Kenny Wooton, knew nothing of the deal until it was concluded. Both will lose their positions at Showboats with Boat International USA editor Rebecca Cahilly being appointed editor of the merged title with immediate effect. European editor Justin Ratcliffe leaves to join the Yacht Report in the UK where he has been appointed associate editor.