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A Kool Cigarette Sailboat

Sail Back in Time – Kool Cigarette Marketing

Kool Cigarette Sailboat
The Kool Snark Fully Configured

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 Kool Sea Snark from the Kool cigarette campaign that ran in the early 1970’s

Cigarette Marketing History

Kool Cigarette Sailboat Ad

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

Kool Sea Snark
Guaranteed to float. Even in a million pieces

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

Kool Cigarette Sailboat
A Fun Kool Boat Name

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.


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Mike Hardy

Author of a fun loving and event blog covering topics of the Upper Thumb of Michigan , the wind energy capital of the Great Lakes. Offering great trove of information on Wind Energy, Cheeseburger in Caseville, Saginaw Bay, Sailing.

10 Responses

  1. my2fish says:

    My brother-in-law has a Snark but no Kool sail. Too slow for my tastes but probably a good kids learning boat. Tippy-er than an Opti though.

  2. Pam Masl says:

    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??

  3. Miles Moore says:

    Check out the Super Sea Snark Class Assoc. at superseasnark.com . Can we put your article on our site. We are compiling a history of the snark from snark owners.

  4. Names says:

    cool story bro

    saw one on craigslist and researched it, thanks.

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