Harken­ing back to the "fast" times of boat­ing.


Power & Motor Yacht - - CONTENTS - BY MICHAEL PETERS

Sex cer­tainly doesn’t come new to boat­ing. His­tory tells us that Mark Antony was set­ting the rhythm for the oars­men aboard Cleopa­tra’s barge as far back as 41 B.C. By the 1930s, Hol­ly­wood bad boys like Er­rol Flynn were hav­ing trysts aboard his yacht Sirocco and Howard Hughes was bed­ding young star­lets off­shore aboard his yacht South­ern Cross.

Boat­ing as a na­tional sport didn’t re­ally go through pu­berty un­til Hugh Hefner’s in­tro­duc­tion of Play­boy mag­a­zine in 1953. The great ap­peal of a boat as a sex­ual venue wasn’t openly re­al­ized un­til the sex­ual rev­o­lu­tion of the 1960s. By the time that decade rolled along hot boats were be­ing pro­moted by busty, bikini-clad girls on the cover of West Coast boat­ing mag­a­zines and Don Aronow had in­tro­duced his aptly named 35-foot Ci­garette Mistress in Mi­ami. By the mid-1970s, even Riva cat­a­logs fea­tured naked women.

When I started de­sign­ing for Ci­garette in the late 1970s, my 50-year-old boss’s wife would lean over my draft­ing ta­ble with her am­ple bo­som and say, “Re­mem­ber, think sex.” A cougar if ever there was one, she knew what the boats were all about. Dur­ing the same time pe­riod our Mi­ami-based ad­ver­tis­ing agency came up with a mag­a­zine ad show­ing a sexy young woman dressed in a man’s night shirt whis­per­ing, “Does this mean I get to ride in your Ci­garette?” The in­nu­endo-laced slo­gan re­ceived sev­eral ad­ver­tis­ing awards and helped usher in an era of sexy, fast boats as part of the play­boy life­style.

The long, lean, and fast Ci­garette boats were the epit­ome of the boat­ing phal­lic sym­bol and there was no pre­tend­ing what they were seek­ing. With small for­ward beds that no one was in­tended to sleep on, known as “stab­bin’ cab­ins,” and more point­edly named aft cush­ions called “sex pads,” boat­ing had reached full sex­ual ma­tu­rity and there was no hid­ing it. These boats were meant to at­tract half-naked girls and lots of them.

The fol­low­ing sev­eral decades gave us fast boats over­flow­ing with ‘T’ backs and fake boobs. A re­ally classy pe­riod of yacht­ing that will per­haps be re­mem­bered as a low point for our in­dus­try, but it was fun! The boat as phal­lic sym­bol strug­gles on in a few hot-boat cir­cles to­day, but over­all the genre has died a slow, timely death.

Gone for the most part are the Ci­garettes, Mag­nums, and Foun­tains, as the play­boys of the 1980s and 1990s have grown up, mar­ried and had kids, while join­ing a more PC world. Much of the pop­u­lar­ity of these boats fell at the same time the Play­boy em­pire it­self col­lapsed and be­came ir­rel­e­vant. As goes so­ci­ety, so go the for­tunes of the boat­ing in­dus­try. Over the top, brag about it, yell it from the deck of your boat sex is out; just look at to­day’s head­lines.

The re­cent pass­ing of Hugh Hefner marked the end of an era whose time had al­ready run out, but as Jimmy Kim­mel said, “Hefner was the first per­son ever dis­ap­pointed by heaven.” He re­ally wasn’t a bad guy, just a guy who liked women more than most of us. Not to say we didn’t try to keep up with him aboard our fast, sleek, wa­ter­borne sex ma­chines—at the height of the sex­ual rev­o­lu­tion—but no­body got lucky more of­ten than Hef, with or with­out a boat.

We MIGHT have en­joyed the fast years of boat­ing, maybe.

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