See it? You will.

I saw this photo in a 1950 Chris Craft catalog and thought. Mmm that’s a cute woman. Okay, wait, honestly and sadly,  I liked the hat first and then noticed her. Yes, maybe it’s my age, or a BW art photo thing, or maybe on some level it was the torpedo bra. But no, it’s more subtle than that. See it yet? No? You think that flag mast is just there? Subliminal?  Mmmm? Really, with retouching and all that’s possible, that mast is there and it’s on purpose. And you start looking around, And mmmm, there are sure a lot of tube shaped things in old photos. Hey! Again, I did not take these or draw them.

Right. Lets park the boat, and roast some wieners.

But I can tell you as an Art Director in Advertising for 36 years, EVERYTHING in a reproduced photo is thought through. EVERYTHING! So, there ya have it. There is even an old book on the topic. Yeah, its kinda nuts, but there is some truth to it all.

Yes. men bought boats, and they bought them thinking that to they attract women, or impress their wives. But, even if you have been married for years with a station wagon full of snot nose brats wanting a Stuckys Pecan log.

Well, you can at least dream of that boat babe, and your large mast. Hey! Once again, I am just reporting on this, you’re brain see’s it on an unconscious level.

That flag pole sure gets a workout

I ain’t saying nothing, she is just holding a wheel

A very popular photo for Chris Craft. It must have been cold out. That’s why they had hats on. Right?

Go Riva! See, we just took a photo of a boater, with arched back standing on some seats, in a marsh..

And then there is the just “never gonna happen” shots.

High heels and not looking to comfortable.

What is that she is sitting on? Michigan?

Proof that Plaid can be sexy!

If you own a 25 Sportsman, you are the man!

Proof! Wait, that’s Jimmy, not me. Damit!

Oh… SCREETCH! Okay, maybe we are just reading too much into this. That’s just Grandpa Vern fishing..right, that’s all it is? I mean the fishing pole is just a pole, right? not a metaphor? Ahhhhhhh.


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56 Responses to “Being Seduced Is Part Of Classic Boat History.”
  1. Jack Schneiberg

    Well………..poof!!!!. Now we know what has been breeding all the shenanigans going on DC and Hollywood over the last few decades.

  2. Rick

    Pretty early in the non-boating season to have spiraled down this far already. That said, what no Donzi girls?

  3. Les Best

    Those aren’t just hats…..those say Chris Craft. Where do you get those today? Not so subliminal, but a detail of authenticity.

  4. Les Best

    Those aren’t just hats…..those say Chris Craft. Where do you get those today? Not so subliminal, but a detail of authenticity. Same girl in both pictures too.

    • Wilson

      Young Chris Smith says they just used girls that worked in the office for models, so most likely the same girl(s) showed up in multiple ads.

  5. Don Vogt

    Be careful, Matt, timing is not good. a new wave of paranoid puritanism is sweeping across the country. The thought police will be ringing your doorbell any moment.

    On a wholly-unrelated topic, anyone hear from tim or brian robinson? I think they are out in the fallbrook, ca. where the new fires are?

  6. Don Vogt

    One other comment, re fishing pole. I believe sigmund freud once said, sometimes a cigar is just a smoke!

    • Troy in ANE

      And then again a cigar by any other name would smell as sweet.

      Love this new two picture feature.
      Second photo is for those who don’t know who the first picture is.

  7. Michael M

    Nice article, Matt!

    Advertising, brand identity, and their desired result… brand LOYALTY… are all such powerful elements of our culture. Just look at the way we try to identify with any given football team, political party, etc…

    But, back to boats. Just as with the boats themselves, there is beauty and artistry in much of these iconic advertising images, also. I wanted to add to the collection here, my favorite image from Riva…

  8. John Rothert

    I fast scrolled past all comments looking for Troy’s…..
    nothing yet….he must be working on a killer post! While I admit to having had too many woodies….those pics failed to give me another….old age I guess…..
    snow in Va not going boating….
    John in Va.

  9. Matt

    HA, you will unknowingly feel compelled to buy a boat in the next 60 days…

  10. Matt

    Here is an interesting tidbit. Today by 10:30 readership is beyond any day last week. All that gift giving stuff, and on a Saturday that is a dead reader day, readership is up! mmmmm. We are all so predictable. Even Troy, who is clearly not opened Woody Boater yet. What will he post? Now it should be a contest?

  11. chuckie

    youthfull imagination at an advance age none of that has any effect boats only

  12. Floyd r turbo

    Al Franken must have been viewing too many CC ads or reading Troy’s responses back in the day.

  13. Ron Y.

    Wow ….. Nice shots, Guys ….Lots of fires here in Socal…. Be safe, everybody …..

    But in all honesty, Pin Up Icon Betty Paige takes the prize for showing us all just how big that pole can get in a subliminal photo.

  14. Red Fenders

    Some might think those railings are for safety…. oh wait, they are!

    • Ron Y.

      Boats are safer when they have Personal Flotation Devices on board…..! …. ?

  15. Red Fenders

    And sometimes, it’s just someone taking a picture… get yer mind out of the bilge!

  16. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da UP]

    I wish I could come up with something clever. I think that it has all been said or posted. I too have been waiting for Troys post. He will present us with a true “American Beauty”. A great way to spend a cold Sat. in December. Keep up the good work Matt.

    • Ron y.


      It’s 85 degrees here in huntington beach…..!…actually TOO hot!

  17. Jim Staib

    Anybody know how to get a hold of Troy? No comments yet. Something must be wrong. better check on him. If he is just trying to be good it’s too late!

    • MikeM

      I texted him this morning to let him know he was being summoned. He replied to me so I know he’s ok.

      I think he prefers the political BS talk now

  18. Briant

    Regarding the CC photo with the dude and two lovelies….I would just like to quadruply “point” out that that windscreen is very cool and a work of engineering genius. I wish our windscreen folded down like that as sometimes it just magnifies the beautiful views.

  19. Chug-A-Lug

    Makes me want to find the movie with nurse Diesel in it(Mel Brooks-High Anxiety

  20. Troy in ANE

    Then again some are not so subliminal.

    The “Bottoms Up” campaign by Heineken brings new meaning to the term lets have a Heiny.

  21. Troy in ANE

    And what are we doing to our Kids?

    Actually that Mickey mouse one is old enough that the question maybe should be “What did our parents do to us?

  22. Troy in ANE

    This cartoon pretty well sums it up.

    This is one of my all time favorite ads.

  23. Matt

    WHAT THE? DEAR GOD. We all knew it was coming, but dang! I feel so G rated.. MICKY!

  24. frank

    Thanks troy for that lesson in subtlety and subliminal messages ..that are in advertising; a great lesson in understanding the politics of boating

  25. John Rothert

    Did you all notice that Troy managed to get Monica in there while we all still had him as AWOL? Nice trick by the trickster himself!

    John in Va.

  26. Miles Kapper

    The reoccurring model that started to appear in Thompson catalogs in 1973. Never was able to figure out if she was an option or standard equipment.

  27. Troy in ANE

    So last night while watching some “Boob Tube” there was an ad (or is it add. Doesn’t matter this is WoodyBoater) for Hershey Layers. The final statement in the ad was “Get Layered!”. What are they trying to say?

  28. Capt. Cranky

    Thank you. The weather here in NY suuuuucks and you have warmed the cockles of my fogged carburetors.