Kool Sailboat

A Kool Little Sailboat

Sail Back in Time

Kool Sailboat

It’s not often that you can step back in time and share a bit of your childhood that your adult children think is a riot. My dad was clearing out the garage when he asked if I would take the sailboats that he was storing. To tell the truth I almost forgot he had both of these boats acquired in early 1970’s and 80’s. One was a large Sea Chaser and one was a little Snark from the Kool cigarette campaign that ran in the early 1970’s

Marketing History

Kool SailboatIn 1971 Kool Cigarettes ran an interesting marketing campaign. Magazines around the country ran an ad that if you sent in $88 and one box end from a carton of  Kool cigarettes that this fully functional sailboat would be shipped to your door. My dad and mom both smoked at that time, (Jeez, who didn’t), but they did not smoke Kools. However dad managed to snag an empty carton from the drug store he owned. Snark industries supposedly produced a fleet of over 18,000 of these little sailboats has part of their Kool cigarette marketing campaign.

A Stout Little Sailboat

Kool Sailboat

The boat arrived a few weeks later in a large box. Dad propped the boat on a set of saw horses and we proceeded to sand and fiberglass the hull. The Styrofoam had these little round edges all over the hull and it was my job to sand and smoothed the entire hull. As an 9 year old I thought the chore would never end. But I was excited about the prospect of sailing this little boat. The snark has a total length of about 11 feet with a beam just over 3 feet. Officially the draft is listed an incredibly small 2/10ths of a foot. It practically sits on top of the water. There is a small dagger board and Lateen rig with 45 square feet of sail. With a sense of humor they placed the name of the boat on the bow named “This Side Up”

Still Kool After 40 Years of Storage

This side up - Kool Sailboat

Both the hull and the sail have been garage stored for over 43 years. The original sail is still in great shape as well has the hull. At about 50 lbs. one person can take it down to the beach. Two people can sail around in it and there is usually water bubbling up from the daggerboard slot. It’s more of a toy then a true sailboat, but it does force you to learn the basics of sailing and it will never sink.



7 thoughts on “A Kool Little Sailboat”

  1. Had fun in one of these one summer in Minnesota. Now an avid fan of the UP. I vacation in St Ignace every July. I would love to have one of those boats. Do you know of one for sale??

    Liked by 1 person

      1. ThumbWind do you have any scans/pics of Snark advertisements, such as the one in your article. We are trying to locate as many as possible to put in the history section of the website. Hopefully the pics are a good quality to print, if not then we will have an artist reproduce them. Issue we are having it’s hard to read the words on some ads due to poor quality.


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