A Blast From SAIL's Past: 20 Amusing Ads

I was on a hunt. A hunt through 20 years of SAIL Magazine history for some of our best ads of yesteryear. The ultimate lesson I learned from this exercise is this: consumerism during the 70s and 80s relied heavily on nearly naked women, unflattering hairstyles and killer mustaches.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Much like the former editors of SAIL pictured below, I was on a hunt: an editorial intern on a hunt through 20 years of SAIL Magazine history for some of our best ads of yesteryear.

I was transported back in time, to an era when the magazine was entirely black and white, had a section for shoreline wildlife and included "SAIL's Guaranteed Horoscope." I flipped through decades of race results, new gear and the release of some of today's most popular boat designs. Inadvertently, I may have jumpstarted my career as the first SAIL Magazine historian.

The ultimate lesson I learned from this exercise is this: consumerism during the 70s and 80s relied heavily on nearly naked women, unflattering hairstyles and killer mustaches.



October 1986

I suppose her life jacket choice is smart, but I can’t say the same for that hairdo.

May 1985

The two people in back probably showed up to game night

expecting charades or Clue…. Bummer.

February 1985

I think he took this modeling job a little too seriously.

The toilet is only for show, Jay.

January 1983

Just a good-looking crew demonstrating how to charter a sailboat with style.

March 1981

I’d only call that toll free number if I was guaranteed to reach the dashing

gentleman in cut-off jorts.

January 1979

Buffett is certainly on the return trip from Margaretville.

September 1978

This whole situation is just so bizarre:

the headline, the rigging photos, the promise of a nine-inch hologram lady.

September 1978

Most companies use scantily clad female models

but this is another artistic vision entirely.

June 1978

Sex sells…? The muttonchops don’t hurt either.

November 1976

I hope by "more ashore" they mean plenty of nicely bronzed man-thighs.

January 1975

That outfit is probably a devil Halloween costume with a kerchief to hide the horns.

January 1974

I wouldn't mind seeing more of the Nicholson fleet

but I'd rather just see more pictures of his choppy yet coiffed hair.

January 1974

“Beautiful, responsive and well-constructed”

is a compliment of the highest order, no?

But seriously, I don’t recommend comparing a woman to a boat.

That seems like a good way to end up sleeping on the couch.

September 1973

“They also fill a critical role of having someone pretty to look at

and pleasant to talk to.” Those are actually the two most critical things in my life.

June 1973

I know I feel most relaxed while donning psychedelic paisley.

March 1972

On Galleys and the Gentler Sex… where were our sailing feminists in 1971?

I hope someone somewhere burned her bra in a swanky galley (complete with crushed velvet curtains) in protest. 

September 1971

This is a boy-band music video waiting to happen.

July 1971

Before sunscreen was a summer-day essential, sunglasses were worn to protect 50% of the face.

January 1970

One of our first and, clearly, biggest fans. 

We like to think that all of our faithful readers still react like this upon the arrival of the latest SAIL.

June 1970

Related

210913-11HRT-SKIPPER-PORTRAITS-VC-122

11th Hour Christens Two IMOCAs, Hits a Snag

This week has been a big one for the American-founded, sustainability-centric ocean racing team 11th Hour Racing. In addition to christening their two new boats, the team also took them out for a quick test ride—against some of the most intense IMOCA 60 skippers in the world. ...read more

01-LEAD-DSCF3091

Clewless in the Pacific

Squalls are well known to sailors who cruise the middle Latitudes. Eventually, you become complacent to their bluster. But squalls vary in magnitude, and while crossing from Tahiti to Oahu, our 47ft Custom Stevens sloop paid the price for carrying too much canvass as we were ...read more

Nigel

SAIL’s Nigel Calder Talks Electrical Systems at Trawlerfest Baltimore

At the upcoming Trawlerfest Baltimore, set for Sept. 29-Oct. 3, SAIL magazine regular contributor Nigel Calder will give the low down on electrical systems as part of the show’s seminar series.  The talk will be Saturday, October 2 at 9am. Electrical systems are now the number ...read more

5ae5b8ce-3113-4236-927b-f795be4ae091

Bitter End Yacht Club Announces Reopening

Four years after being decimated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Bitter End Yacht Club is set to reopen for the Winter 2022 season. Hailed as one of the best anchorages in the Caribbean and built by sailors, for sailors, this island outpost in the BVI has been a favorite with ...read more

01-LEAD-'21.05.01_Jay-&-Mira

Cruising: Bluewater Pollywogs

Bluewater sailing is 25 percent actually sailing and 75 percent learning how to live on a boat at sea, in constant motion and with no chance to get off the roller coaster. I cannot over-emphasize how difficult normal daily functions become at sea, even on nice, calm days. ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_0078

Refurbishing Shirley Rose: Part 2

If you missed the first installment, click here. Thankfully, the deck and cockpit of my decades-old Santana 27, Shirley Rose, were in pretty good shape. The balsa core, in particular, was for the most part nice and solid. Nonetheless, there was still a fair bit of work to do. ...read more

orca

Orca Encounters on the Rise

This week’s confrontation between a pod of orcas and the Nauticat 44 ketch Tuuletar which left the boat rudderless is just the latest in a string of encounters with orcas off the coast of the Iberian Peninsula. In fact, over 50 of these encounters have been reported, half of ...read more

01-LEAD-Project-complete

DIY: an Antique Nav Station

Ever since the advent of GPS, I have not found much use for the chart table on my schooner Britannia. Most of our passagemaking navigation is done on a Raymarine multifunction display on the helm pod, which is then transferred to a paper chart on the saloon table roughly every ...read more