Hey, look, I'm not a lawyer either, and questions of copyright come up all the time in my profession (photographer), generally, identifiable landmarks, buildings, people, cars, etc., etc. are copyrighted by the creator of that work. Note the key word is identifiable.. Consequently, should I take a picture of a vintage auto, I could not identify it as let's say in the case of a car as a Ford, rather a "vintage auto," and all identifying marks, trademarks etc would have to be removed. In your case, if you had a representative photo of your or a similar boat, and photoshopped out the logos, and sail numbers, you could use it and caption it with the boats name. In the text of your message which is now editorial, you can identify it as a Beneteau 393. Lets face it, go through any sailing magazine and look at all the ads in the back, the brokers didn't get copyright permission for all their ads, and Beneteau wouldn't have enough lawyers to pursue all infringements.
In the case of the owner of the photograph itself, that is a different question. The copyright of the photo belongs to the taker of that picture. Suggest you try some of the stock sites, shutterstock.com, or others, and you can buy royalty free photographs for a couple bucks.
Hope that can help you out, again, there's a lot of gray area in the copyright laws, but it's always best to be safe.
Last edited by ianhlnd; 12-04-2006 at 07:29 AM.