A beautiful gas cap!

After visiting The Glisenti Bros and seeing what they do, and the quote about when I asked about the fins on the ASSO model. I asked do they have a function, the answer was ” They look good” As in that was there function. I thought it was a funny comment, but the more I thought on it, the more serious the answer became.

Amazing fins by Glisenti Boats – Lake Como, Italy

Why is it that beauty is not a function of design? The Italians see beauty as a function and so do we, but we wont admit it.

The checkered interior and choice of textures is pure art and beauty. Whats so different about the plaid in the Plaid Rocket? NOTHING. its all about beauty and the joy of art.

It’s all about the function of art!

Now, we are not alone in our need to justify art. I recall asking a designer at BMW after he said every part of a BMW has a purpose. I thought I was being clever and asked about the hood ornament. He stood up, and put his palm on the hood ornament and pushed the hood down. Yes, that logo, emblem is where you put your hand to push the hood down without touching the paint.

BMW hoods hinge at the front, and need to be pushed into place

Yes this hit me as genus, but because beauty is subjective, it makes it harder to defend. Why does it need to be defended? Why can’t a fin on your 1961 Chris Craft be just cool. And that’s the only reason it is there.

It’s also what life and joy is all about. Lets admit, we may be to serious here in North America to admit that beauty is a motivator, but it is. After all, we could all go boating in a plastic tub. We don’t, we have chosen, wood, design, textures and even the music of exhaust.

There is not one part on a Barrel back that is not beautiful. Even the copper exhaust is amazing

And that’s important. People smile, feel joy and are reminded that life is good! So the next time you are out on your beauty, know that you are part of the fabric of making the planet a more beautiful place. And that is a very important thing, Which I suppose is the function of beauty! It’s Friday, and there are not many weekends left, GET OUT THERE, and take some fantastic photos for all of us to be reminded this winter of the beauty of summer!

American Beauty is important

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12 Responses to “The Importance Of Beauty In Our Lives!”
  1. m-fine

    I admire your persistence in trying to justify the ugly rocket restoration, but it is a hopeless campaign. How can you compare the tasteful application of checkerboard and red with CC’s entire seat covered in that hideous woven plaid?

    Notice how the Italians didn’t just slap a bunch of checkerboard in there. It is carefully bordered and applied in shapes and areas that fit and compliment the overall design. Maybe they could have used some of that plaid in a creative way that would look good, but they didn’t, and neither did CC.

    Yes, it is factory original and yes it is rare/unique, but no matter how you twist it and try to justify it, that plaid CC will never be attractive.

    Reply
    • Lee Wangstad

      What I think that we all need to do is put our heads back into the context of the time when this Rocket arrived on the scene. Consider this: post-war America and the industrial designers were bringing us into the true index of style placed before practical function. Style sold product. Marketing was being directed with both women and men as a decision making team. Maybe for the first time. The man might want the boat, but when it came down to what boat, his wasn’t the only input as to what the final product might be. If it was a maybe, maybe he can afford a boat, maybe he can convince his wife that the need is really there, perhaps letting her help in the decision might make it just a little easier to push forward. Maybe put that Kirby or Iron-Rite on hold for a while.

      Color as a styling influence was just on the horizon as this boat was produced. Plaid was everywhere. Colors were coming into vogue. One of the things that fiberglass production really brought to the market was color. People were clamoring for it. They couldn’t get enough of it. Bright colors, pastel colors, strange colors, and even weird combinations came into play. In hindsight, some of these style things may seem in bad taste, but our tastes and influences have moved on since 1953. For some of us, not so much. But trends seem to be a harbinger for bringing about permanent change.

      Now, with that out of the way, and I’m sure that I’ve lost most of you by now, there are some plaids that are more attractive than others. Is this the most attractive plaid that will fit seamlessly into a 1953 Chris-Craft Rocket and really make it pop? If I went to a show and there were 12 similar wood boats lined up, side-by-side, which one would I remember when I went home? I mean, hey, you’ve been there, haven’t you? Which one will you carry with you in your memory files after you’ve left the show? That was the appeal of this combination when it was new. When you pulled into the yacht club, everyone knew you were “with it.” And you weren’t afraid to show it. Yes, it was a bold statement, a statement that not many had the intestinal fortitude to claim.

      But hey, no, in fact it’s not my favorite plaid, but I do have a deep respect for the Chris-Craft design team from this era, and their choice of this plaid was certainly based on their insight into the market at that time. Would I put something else in, perhaps a nice aqua or red naugahyde? Only if I was also going to install a wrap-around windshield and maybe some big fins with tail lights. Hey, just kidding. But no, I’m glad to see that they are sticking to the original finish.

      Reply
  2. Brightworks, Inc.

    We work on many boats along side mechanics and others performing functional services. They claim their work to be more important than ours (varnishing), because they allow owners to use their boats. I always say that our work makes them WANT to.

    Reply
    • Matt

      Yes, these boats would not be still in use if not for their beauty. So the mechanic is no longer a mecahnic at this point but a preservationist

      Reply
  3. Greg Lewandowski

    Wow, that makes me feel better. I always thought I was out there making a lot of noise and spewing raw hydrocarbons into the atmosphere. Now I have even more reason to have that big smile in my face!

    Reply
  4. Cottagesnorth

    The other day, an old friend asked me why I have always had a stable of “old stuff”.
    “Lot of time and money you’ve spent on all these damn antiques. You could have just bought something new and made it easier.”
    I had to think about my response for a second, but could only agree with what Charles Runyan, who owns The Roadster Factory, had to say: “We keep these things with us to remember that glory still exists.” When form and function successfully come together in one place, then yes, beauty has a very good reason to exist alongside too.

    Reply
  5. Dennis J Mykols

    All my life, I have been at the mercy of good style, it first began with cars during my childhood in the 50’s and then in the 60’s, considered THE best of car Styling ever. It also comes into play till this day, in my choice of cars, boats, even the style of our house.
    I have bought boats without sea trials just because I wanted it so bad, just because it LOOKED so dam good!
    It is also the reason I have had 42 cars and just bought my 33rd boat! STYLE is a sickness, just ask my ex wife.
    I even have named four of my boats “STYLE”…

    Reply
  6. Dennis J Mykols

    As I mentioned, I named several boats “STYLE” over the years, even had a custom plate on my 1971 Thunderbird “STYLE 71”. What reinforced my love of the word, was when I saw the comedian Gallagher, do a skit called. “…You gotta have STYLE”…
    He came out on roller skates and rolled across the stage yelling ” You gotta have Style…”
    I tried to find that skit, but could only find this another skit, but listen to the way he says “Style”, and you get my point, funny stuff, sure miss him and George Carlin
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEItc7u_U1I

    Reply
  7. Lee Wangstad

    What I think that we all need to do is put our heads back into the context of the time when this Rocket arrived on the scene. Consider this: post-war America and the industrial designers were bringing us into the true index of style placed before practical function. Style sold product. Marketing was being directed with both women and men as a decision making team. Maybe for the first time. The man might want the boat, but when it came down to what boat, his wasn’t the only input as to what the final product might be. If it was a maybe, maybe he can afford a boat, maybe he can convince his wife that the need is really there, perhaps letting her help in the decision might make it just a little easier to push forward. Maybe put that Kirby or Iron-Rite on hold for a while.

    Color as a styling influence was just on the horizon as this boat was produced. Plaid was everywhere. Colors were coming into vogue. One of the things that fiberglass production really brought to the market was color. People were clamoring for it. They couldn’t get enough of it. Bright colors, pastel colors, strange colors, and even weird combinations came into play. In hindsight, some of these style things may seem in bad taste, but our tastes and influences have moved on since 1953. For some of us, not so much. But trends seem to be a harbinger for bringing about permanent change.

    Now, with that out of the way, and I’m sure that I’ve lost most of you by now, there are some plaids that are more attractive than others. Is this the most attractive plaid that will fit seamlessly into a 1953 Chris-Craft Rocket and really make it pop? If I went to a show and there were 12 similar wood boats lined up, side-by-side, which one would I remember when I went home? I mean, hey, you’ve been there, haven’t you? Which one will you carry with you in your memory files after you’ve left the show? That was the appeal of this combination when it was new. When you pulled into the yacht club, everyone knew you were “with it.” And you weren’t afraid to show it. Yes, it was a bold statement, a statement that not many had the intestinal fortitude to claim.

    But hey, no, in fact it’s not my favorite plaid, but I do have a deep respect for the Chris-Craft design team from this era, and their choice of this plaid was certainly based on their insight into the market at that time. Would I put something else in, perhaps a nice aqua or red naugahyde? Only if I was also going to install a wrap-around windshield and maybe some big fins with tail lights. But no, I’m glad to see that they are sticking to the original finish.

    Reply
  8. Bruce

    What Lee said. And just to prove Italians are subject to the same style trends as we are …
    … so much for subtle and complimentary.

    Reply
  9. Troy in ANE

    Thanks for the cleaned up version of American Beauty!

    She is still in the stable and we are hoping to have her in the water next summer.

    Here is the original pic just so all can see what a Photo Shop master you really are.

    Reply

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