Love Letters From Andy, It’s Not What You Think.

Pelican Marine 004Recently we got this wonderful story from fellow Woody Boater Andy from PA. It involves Craigslist if that entices you to read on. I used to do the same thing with car companies. Poor sales guys. These were not form letters and some poor lady named Betty had to type them. For the record we love stories like this here at Woody Boater and encourage you to share like Andy did! Thanks Andy. Take it away, the floor is yours.

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Heya Matt,
My brother and father are into boats as well, and this past summer, my brother traveled out to the eastern reaches of Pennsylvania to pick up a Craigslist 15 hp Johnson Seahorse and two Evinrude Big Twins of a nice gentleman. He had been into boats and motors since he was young, and after talking to my brother and selling him the motors (he was clearing out the last of his stash) he invited him into the house for dinner (because everyone you buy from on Craigslist is this nice). After the dinner he said “wait right here, since you like old motors and boats, I have something else for you” Well, he came back and handed an old yellow envelope to my brother, saying that when he was a teenager in the 1950’s he really liked boats, and quickly learned that if you wrote the manufacturers or dealerships, they had no clue how old you were and would send back literature and a letter, treating you like a potential customer. Pelican Marine 006As a result, he gathered together a nice collections of letters, pamphlets, and mailers touting the latest and greatest they had to offer. Inside that envelope, kept all these years was the small but complete collection, which he gave to my brother, that he would appreciate them, and save them for future boaters. With that, my brother was off, with three motors, a unique collection of vintage boat literature and a full stomach! You can’t beat that!

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My brother certainly does appreciate the literature collection, and has shared it with my father and I. But what fun are cool things and stories like this if you can’t share them with others? So, my brother has allowed me to scan and share these artifacts with you. We have scratched out the names to protect the innocent (We’ll call the young lad G.L.), but that certainly does not take away from the advertisements and stationary. If you like this, let me know, we have some more sets to share.

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This first installment comes from 1953 by way of the Pelican Marine Sales Co. from Malvern, PA… a Mercury and Trojan Boat dealership. I really dig the stationary!



Middletown, PA

Thanks Andy from PA, keep’m coming!

16 replies
  1. Mr. Andreas Jordahl Rhude
    Mr. Andreas Jordahl Rhude says:

    What great pieces of history! Wonderful that you shared them with us.

    May I recommend you take it a step further? At the fantastic website they have a “Glassic Library” of items such as these. It is not just for fiberglass watercraft. They have a great collection of aluminum and wooden boat literature also. And sections for boat trailers, outboard motors, inboard/outboard motors, and all sorts of fun boaty things.

    In the discussion forum there is a tab for LIBRARY. You can upload/download (whatever the correct term is) items to that section and the moderators will add them to the appropriate library section.

    It is a great place to share boat related brochures and correspondence that will give the whole world access to them.

    I have spent hours and hours and hours scanning boat brochures, etc… and getting them posted to to share with the world.

    I hope you do too!


    • Andy
      Andy says:


      Thank you, I will do when I find the time… I am well acquainted with Fiberglassics… I go by Retro54 over there… I agree, the website is a great source of information related to all boats.. between WoodyBoater and Fiberglassics, I think the vintage boating community is covered pretty darn well.

    • John Baas
      John Baas says:

      I love those old letters and brochures. What a time capsule. Andreas is right on! You can get lost in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s with the stuff you find in the Fiberglassics Library section. Old outboards are an inexpensive and fun way to extend the woody boating life style. They look great spiffed up on a stand in your den.

  2. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    WARNING visiting Fiberglassics can be highly addictive, leading to uncontrolled spending and interference in your marriage and other relationships.

    I love old outboards on other peoples boats, but I am always too afraid of maintenance issues to pull the trigger on my own. Maybe I’ll get over that in 2015.

  3. William Hammond
    William Hammond says:

    Way cool find!! This kind of stuff I love! It’s great for those Winter days when you can’t work on your boat but still need that fix! I’ll bet they didn’t sell many of those too nicely proportioned Cruisers with only 5’5″ of headroom. It’s one thing to crawl into the V-Berth to sleep but I can’t imagine trying to prepare a meal hunched over like that. Can’t wait to see what Andy’s got next!!

  4. Warren
    Warren says:

    I did the same thing when I was a kid back in the ’60’s !!! I had literature from all the Chris Craft lines, Luger and Glen-L kit boats and Early Donzi stuff as well as others.

    Wish I still had that stuff

  5. Joe Williams
    Joe Williams says:

    Matt, Thanks to you and Andy for the great letter/info. It takes me back in time when I lived in the Philadelphia /Oreland area and was working for a small sailboat company building racing sailboats. I remember Pelican Marine very well as they were a Mercury outboard and Trojan boat dealer in the Philadelphia area for many years. Please keep all this old boating history coming as it is very interesting and informative. Thanks ! Joe Williams in NH

  6. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    I used to come across stuff like that when managing the Chris Craft Club….It was always interesting to see what dealers were thinking and saying back in the ’50s.

  7. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    John Baas is right on, Antique Outboard Motors are getting more and more popular. I just joined the AOMC (Antique Outboard Motor Club) last year and went to a couple of their local events. While looking for a good source to repair my 1959 Mercury 35 hp, I met a neighbor who lives a 1/2 down the street, who is a collector of old motors. When I went over to his house, we went in the basement and I thought I walked into a museum! Turns out Roger is a national hydroplane racing champion from the 56’s and 60’s. Now in his late 70’s, he crews for his grand daughter, 14, and she wins most of her races. You see Roger still putts around hopping up those old race engines.
    Here are some pictures I took in Rogers basement last fall.

  8. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    Last year Roger brought out several of his antique motors along with his grand daughters hydroplane, to our Spring Lake Wooden Boat Show in May. The crowd kept asking them to fire up some engines or put the boat in the water and do a pass or two.
    They were not set up with gas and other gear to do it, BUT Roger was encouraged enough that he told me over the holidays, they are going to make several “fly-bys” and have a couple of historic race engines also fire up!
    Mark your calendars for May 30th in Spring Lake, Mi.

  9. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Somewhere I have a pretty good collection of literature from the Bryant Corporation, Seattle, WA – in the ’50’s one of the largest Chris Craft dealers in the country and the Evinrude distributor for the NW and Alaska. They had their own line of boats, designed and built largely by the Morris Brothers in Everett, WA.
    Our first family boat was a 1954 20′ Bryant Voyager, purchased by my dad when I was three months old. We still have the silver service and dishes Mom went out and bought in “retaliation” a few days later… The picture is Mom and Dad on the foredeck of the original “Thisuldu” in about 1956.

  10. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Love those vintage sales brochures. That’s a lot of work typing up all those sales prices, lining up decimal points, indents, what a chore. Thank goodness for guys like this and Bob Speltz to document our hobby. Thanks for taking the time to write it up.

Comments are closed.