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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.

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

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