VINTAGE TROJAN ADVERTISING
Those were the days.
People dressed up for air travel.
Beatlemania was slowing giving way to an obsession with Elvis.
Saturday Night Fever was causing Disco Fever across the land.
Ahh, the 1960s and 1970s.
Women were objects in the workplace.
Men smoked until lung cancer caught up with them.
The oil crisis was coming.
Okay - maybe not every single thing about the last century were good.
But the advertising... the advertising was amazing.
I've always been a sucker for vintage advertising.
I've seen every episode of Mad Men - many more than once.
I love old diners as much for the decor as for the food.
And I'm the guy thumbing through old magazines at the flea market, skipping the articles and searching out those advertisements.
Sometimes I get lucky and find something related to my boat.
Mostly, there's eBay.
And thanks to eBay sellers and friends with sharp eyes, M/V 'WIN' is beginning to look like a museum of vintage Trojan Yacht - or, in some years, Trojan Yachts - ads.
Since it’s not possible for me to invite each and every one of you to tour the boat, I invite you to enjoy some of my collection on this page.
This page is a work in progress.
I routinely scour eBay and other websites in search of vintage Trojan ads - ads for the Tri-Cabin or, really, for any of their boats from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. I'm amassing a nice little collection on the boat, but I'd like to share it with more than the occasional visitor to the marina. I'd especially like to share it with anyone with similar interests in Trojan boats, since my non-boating friends often don't... get it.
In the future you’ll see many of the ads I’ve acquired posted here.
If you have any vintage Trojan Yacht advertising that you would like to share or sell, or photographs/lithographs of the same, please contact me via email:
Or mail to:
PO Box 4 Geneva, NY 14456
Likewise, if you have personal knowledge of the Trojan company, either as a former Trojan owner or a factory employee, please get in touch - I'd love to hear old stories and the like.
This ad is my first Tri-Cabin ad. There are a ton of Trojan Yachts (and, in some years, Trojan Yacht) ads out there, but only a few for the Tri-Cabin, which was manufactured from 1971 until 1985. The ad here tells of the Trojan vs. Chris-Craft story - their version of David vs. Goliath - because Chris-Craft made a tri-cabin boat that was a very popular seller around the same time.
Our 36’ Tri-Cabin is about to give Goliath another headache.
My first boat was a 26’ Chris-Craft Pawnee sailboat - manufactured in Taiwan - and you’d better believe that I collected vintage Chris-Craft advertising then, too. One day I lucked out: the original art director for the advertising for the Pawnee came by my then-marina in Watkins Glen. He made a habit of wandering marinas looking for that boat, one of very few remaining 35 years later, and he’d finally found one. He asked me if I’d like to have the original ads from his campaign - and they looked amazing! One was a helicopter shot taken of the entire Chris-Craft sailing fleet taken from above, and he shared the story with me: the helicopter pilot had refused to fly directly over the boats for fear of destroying a tremendous amount of value were something to go wrong, so their best shot was from an angle that angered the entire ad team. To me, though, it would have been amazing then, and was an amazing addition to my boat.
This ad for the Tri-Cabin should have been mine. I purchased it from a website not realizing that somehow my former Florida address would be defaulted as the shipping address. I tried to contact the seller, but never heard back. Never received the ad, either.
UPDATE! I missed out on this ad in 2016. In 2019, I found it again. It’s now mine - see if you can spot it in the boat photos.
And since Trojan dealers are such pushovers, chances are pretty good you'll end up paying less for this 36-footer than you would for somebody else's 34'.
Trojan Yacht appears to have taken pleasure in poking the bear, regularly calling out their competition in their advertising. Often this was in the form of digs at Chris-Craft where the company wasn't specifically named; in the ad at right, they took a different tact...
At some point Trojan's advertising department appears to have decided their target market was the rugged, independent male - "tough customers like you." Several ads showed men warning their yacht broker not to fuck with them, like the one to the left. Tagline:
"Don't sell me Chocolate, Vanilla or Strawberry. I want a small cruiser that handles like a Porsche, looks like a million, and can sleep my family."
That's one tough customer. LOL.
Another ad I missed out on uses the same strategy, but features a wealthy yacht owner with a motor yacht in the 44' range - I hope to locate a copy and include it here soon - see it below.
"So Carol, Alice and Sheila won't break their pretty necks getting to the hors d'oeuvres."
This one reads like an episode of Mad Men.
In the 1970s it was okay to run a line like this in an ad.
These days you'd better believe that Bob, Ted, Al are just as capable of serving the hors d'oeuvres.
And Carol might just be the captain these days!
But in the ads of the 1960s and 1970s, as with life… Carol Alice and Sheila had pretty necks, and it was still acceptable to point it out in the advertising.
Under $10,000. Honest.
I saw one of these boats on sale for $9,999 on Craigslist, and I had to laugh. The inflation rate has risen 396.5% since 1974. This purchase would have been worth - well, under $49,647.37 in 2017 dollars.
Today a combination of inflation and depreciation has them valued at just under $10K - again.
Check around. Take a look at every different cruiser in the book. Then take a look at Trojan...
NOTE: I sold this ad to someone on the Trojan Boat Owners Facebook group. This is the boat that he has, and I had another Tri-Cabin ad on the way and needed the shelf space. This is one of my favorite ads Trojan made, but on my boat it would always be relegated to the ‘museum’ in the head, and I felt like on his boat it would probably be the centerpiece of the salon. He can have it. I’ll take any of the money I didn’t put toward shipping it to him and purchase another Trojan ad.
This one is still on its way. I’d seen it for sale when I bought the boat in 2016, but it too was a victim of my eBay password being compromised.
The copy in this one is so blurry I can’t even tell what it says. I’ll update this once it arrives. But I am guessing it discusses the addition of A/C to the boat - something I wish the original owners of my Trojan had opted for. Or maybe it discusses some other features that keep it warm in cold weather? We’ll wait and see…
I'd love to have a copy of the original marketing materials for the Tri-Cabin. These aren't in my collection on the boat (yet), but you can see what they look like by scrolling through the photos below. Everything about these photos screams "seventies!" I love it...
What the Trojan Tri-Cabin looked like in 1977. I kind of like the retro plaids - can do without the shag carpet and that old console TV, though.
Have any vintage Trojan Yacht advertising you'd like to contribute to this effort?
Originals are appreciated for my collection on WIN, and photos/scans for the blogpage are appreciated, as well.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write: PO Box 4 Geneva, NY 14456
DOES ANYONE HAVE THIS ARTICLE OR KNOW WHERE IT’S FROM? IF SO, GET IN TOUCH!
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SPRINKLED IN AMONGST THE TROJAN HISTORY IN MY FORWARD HEAD MUSEUM IS MY OWN BOATING HISTORY. That’s my grandfather standing proudly on the dock in his military uniform before he left for WWII - and his dog sitting on the dock in front of the cottage he built when he returned. The toddler driving the motorboats is my father, who was also raised with a love for the water. And the little kid driving the motorboat in the photo to the right of the sink? That’s me.
(Also a work in progress…)