Red material in the wiring harness

First its winter so we are literally feeding from the bottom of the barrel back, or in this case, a U22. Alan at Katz’s Marina was digging through yet another U22 and found Red Leather/vinyl, on a strap for all wiring in the bilge area. But the boat had a blue interior.  Both original. So here is the question. Was red leather or vinyl used to hold wires regardless of interior color on U22’s? Was the red used because it matched the closest to the bilge color?


Now we do have reports that other colors are used. Even Katz’s has seen this in some cases on other models. So maybe it was tied to a certain model or year?

More red

One thought that always comes up is, ya they used scraps of what ever was around. Left over interior material. From a cost saving situation, one can sure see that. No waste.

Way in the back there

but on the other side, this was a factory and everything is documented, and planned. because of mass production there had to be a system in place. Red may have been the most used at one point, and so lots of red left over. I do recall in Sylvia the straps were Aqua marine leather like the interior. But was that the big color then?

It’s Red in Wecatchem, and those engine mounts are post war Blue. Thats was last years bottom of the barrel conversation





So that’s today’s mushy topic. Does someone have any documents on the topic.

Here is the story on Engine Mounts. Sorry! Hey there is bacon!

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21 Responses to “Is It A Red Leather Day? Red Vinyl?”
  1. Chad

    My 1952 U18 shipped with blue vinyl interior but had scraps of red vinyl in the bilge to secure wiring, cables, etc. I don’t think they put much thought to what color was used in the bilge. Just scraps from other boats.

  2. Scott D

    I restored a U22 a few years ago that had both auqablue and red. I really don’t think there was any rhyme or reason. I’m betting there was big box in the upholstery room and they just cut the pieces and threw them in.

  3. Rick

    I’m going with the scraps crowd on this one. This did bring a smile to me today though. Definitely digging deep today. Love it.

    • Jerome

      I will also join the scraps box group! Red was found in most of the boats I did with very few in blue. Thanks for the subject!

  4. Briant


    Out of the dustbin of stories, today we get a scrap.

    About scraps!

    Our 1930 boat has no scraps, only many of those rubber types like in the header photo. I wonder when those were actually invented?

  5. NorthCountry

    One of our 1939 Deluxe Utilities 21′ has green russaloid on the hull card, we found red and blue russaloid straps throughout.

  6. Andy C

    I know that in a century that I once went through, the gas tank straps were padded with scrap upholstery that was a different color that yhe interior.

  7. Dick Dow

    Why is it I’m expecting Troy to come up with some sort of strapless comment and photo… ? 😉

    • Mike U

      Dick, don’t forget about the whole leather aspect as well. I’m sure Troy will respond appropriately.

  8. Steve Anderson in Michigan

    KW, I have 2 original Nauga’s! My dad worked for Uniroyal back in the day and helped develop Naugahyde. They gave out the Nauga’s as promotional items.

  9. WoodyGal

    So lotsa red vinyl scraps. But what shade of red? Flame Red? Dark red?

  10. Briant

    Troy is probably out on his new boat which is why we haven’t seen a post from him….

    Yes, that is a stripper pole on the front bit.

  11. Mike in Michigan

    In the 1930s there was a study done which investigated which colors were most appealing to mice and rats. In a randomized trial, different color leathers were put in cages to see which were consumed first. The red hues were consumed last. Subsequent studies indicated that rats/mice can’t see effectively in the red spectrum. The study, sponsored by Century, Chris Craft and Higgins, set an industry standard for red leather/vinyl as the material of choice for fastenings in order to protect them. No, wait a minute …. I’m reading the wrong study ….. everyone else is right, the reason is that scrap box thing ….. 🙂

  12. RK

    While deconstructing our 48’ CC Custom, we came across several bilge attachment points made of what appeared to be red vinyl. The original upholstery was red.

  13. Mike "ziggy" zadigian

    Why not ask ” The Man ” himself….Chris Smith. He may be in his early nineties now but is still sharp as a tack. He was there when the boats were built. Once he’s gone , so is all this valuable information. Ziggy

  14. Art

    My 1939 24 ft Deluxe Utility, Molly-O , came with red interior and red thinginies blow decks.