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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Humphrey Bogart and The Santana: A pictorial on men and the love of sailing....

Text from (a wonderful, highly recommended site)

The Santana -built in 1935-owned by Bogart 1945-57. (The pic below is of the Santana restored and under the current owners)

Bogie's Boat...."The trouble with having dames on board is you can't pee over the side."

Regardless of how many owners there have been or ever will be, Santana will always be known as "Bogie's" boat. In Stephen Bogart’s book, "In Search Of My Father," he writes, "While most people know that Bogie and Bacall had a great love affair, probably fewer know about my father’s other great love affair. It was with sailing. Specifically, it was with the Santana, a fifty-five-foot sailing yacht, which he had bought from Dick Powell and June Allyson. My father was not simply some movie star throwing money into a hole in the water. He was very serious about the boat and he was an excellent helmsman who earned the respect of the sailing fraternity, despite some well-entrenched prejudices they had about actors with boats. The sea was my father’s sanity. My father once answered a question about his devotion to sailing this way: "An actor needs something to stabilize his personality, something to nail down what he really is, not what he is currently pretending to be."

Bogart learned to sail as a child and once he had the good fortune to own his own boat he did it as often as possible. He sailed Santana between 35 and 45 weekends a year. Most of those weekends were stag, as Bogie felt that "the trouble with having dames on board is you can’t pee over the side." In addition to many weekends aboard the boat spent at Catalina, he also did a considerable amount of racing with respectable results. Bogart took first in his class in the San Clemente Island Race of 1950 and first in the 1952 Channel Islands Race.

Bogart and Santana played host to many of Hollywood’s greatest stars of the time, including Ingrid Bergman, Richard Burton, David Niven, and Frank Sinatra. In David Niven’s memoir "The Moon’s a Balloon," he tells of a weekend when he and his wife Hjordis were aboard Santana as guests of the Bogarts. Frank Sinatra and his party were on a chartered motor yacht. In the evening Sinatra’s boat tied up next to Santana, and accompanied by Jimmy Van Heusen on piano, Sinatra sang, literally, all through the night. "People from other boats rowed over in dinghies and sat in a circle around the two yachts, under a full moon, listening, until the sky began to grow light and the singing ended. Then they rowed quietly away."

During the years that Bogart owned the boat he made only one significant change, that being the addition of the drink holder that is installed around the base of the steering binnacle. Designed to fit a group of large highball glasses, this proved to be a practical and vital improvement for the competitive yachtsman Bogart was. One night after a race in which Santana coasted past another yacht, Bogart was asked, "What makes the boat go like that?" Bogie said "Scotch" and then just walked away. Clearly Bogart put that drink holder to good use both on and off the race course.

When Bogart wasn’t sailing, he still had Santana on his mind. When he formed his own production company in 1947, he called it "Santana Productions." Bogie starred with Bacall and Edward G. Robinson in the movie Key Largo, and his boat in the film had "Santana" on the stern. He also had a complete model of Santana on display in his home inside a glass case. Above that case sat his two Academy Awards. If asked what was more important--the Oscars or the boat--no doubt he would have replied "The Boat." When Bogart died, they eulogized the actor, the husband and the father, but it was the model of Santana, his love, that stood along side the pulpit.

Bogart certainly had a love affair with Santana. While some think of her as being special just because she was "Bogie’s Boat", in fact quite the opposite was the truth. Bogart had been a life-long sailor and he knew a good boat when he saw one. It was Santana’s indescribable virtues that attracted him. It just happened that he was also extraordinarily well-known, and this only furthered her notoriety.
The is much more history at the site this text is quoted from, including all of the owners, design and history, and also of it's sinking and restoration....VERY RECOMMENDED.

On to a few Bogart pics....

 A few later pics


  1. And I never thought Bogey looked comfortable or convincing at the helm of the African Queen.


    Nice post Babs! :o)

  2. Just some fun....I was reading the site about The Santana's current owners, and the history of the boat....felt it deserved a post :)

  3. Nice to see all the pic of "the man and that girl" and his boat.
    Year of the B/W pic. ???


  4. All of the black and white pics? hmmm.....the boat was under Bogart's ownership 1945 until his death I believe

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