Sail Back in Time – Kool Cigarette Marketing
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 the 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
Cigarette Marketing History
In 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 Styrofoam 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 a 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 daggerboard 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
Both the hull and the sail have been garage stored for over 43 years. The original sail is still in great shape as well as 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 than a true sailboat, but it does force you to learn the basics of sailing and it will never sink.