South Florida marine stalwart loses cancer battle

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allen0717Frederick “Rick” Allen, a fixture in the South Florida marine industry in a number of roles through three decades, died July 11 at the age of 60 after a battle with cancer.

“Rick contributed significantly to the growth of South Florida’s marine industry, as well as to the successes of the Marine Industry Association of South Florida as its president for two terms,” Dean Travis Clarke of DTC Marine Multimedia, who counts Allen as a friend since kindergarten, told Soundings Trade Only.

“Rick had a unique gift to recognize faces and remember names,” longtime friend Tony D’Ippolito, of Magic Tilt Trailers, told Soundings Trade Only. “I have had several people comment to me that he had only met them once previously, yet he would remember their name and always stop to say hello, not only owners and managers, but everyone. He loved people. I witnessed this many times walking the aisles of boat shows with him. He acknowledged everyone with the same importance.”

Born in 1952, Allen moved with his family from Larchmont, N.Y., to Miami Beach in 1967. There Rick’s father, Skip, started Southern Boating magazine.

His love of the water was a lifelong affair, family and friends say — from childhood summers at the Larchmont Yacht Club to learning to sail to getting his first Whaler. He became a national champion boat racer in 1976 and also raced karts on the track. He was a licensed pilot, a scuba diver and an avid saltwater angler.

“In the short time Rick was with us he moved fast and enjoyed life to the fullest,” reads his obituary.

“The eldest of six children, Allen worked in the family business for many years until deciding to strike out on his own,” Clarke said.

Allen was a member of the Coral Reef Yacht Club and the Marine Industry Association of the Treasure Coast and past president and a member of the Marine Industry Association of South Florida and the South Florida Outboard Club. He produced the Stuart Boat Show, and previously the Charleston Boat Show, as president of AllSports Productions.

“Although I have known him for 40 years, the last 20 have been the years we bonded and solidified our friendship through our passions for adventure, fishing, anything that went fast and made noise, to afternoons in a beach chair in the shallows on Highborne Cay in the Exumas with a pitcher of Bloody Marys,” D’Ippolito said. “He was my partner in crime and my captain for adventure.”

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Church by the Sea in Fort Lauderdale, followed by a celebration of Allen’s life at the Lauderdale Yacht Club.

— Rich Armstrong



10 comments on “South Florida marine stalwart loses cancer battle

  1. Kevin Mahoney

    Thoughts and prayers go out to the Allen family. The industry lost one of it’s good guys.

  2. paulette skidmore

    Rick was a fantastic person. I am blessed to have known him. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

  3. Chuck Baier

    Susan and I can only say how sorry we are to hear this news. We too send out thoughts and prayers to Rick’s friends and family. Chuck Baier and Susan Landry

  4. Kevin Carter

    RIP Rick. I remember Rick from OPC racing in the early ’70’s and the SFOC. Gone too soon.

  5. Don Jones

    God speed big guy. Just one hell of a nice person to have known. My prayers to the family.

  6. Louisa Beckett

    I was so impressed the first time we went to the Stuart Boat Show — Rick did an incredible job of organizing and growing that show. He greeted every single exhibitor and attendee with a huge smile. We are very sad he never had the chance to move here to the Stuart area as he had planned.

  7. Tom K

    Very sad news. Rick worked tirelessly for the marine industry right till the end. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

  8. Bob Black

    I’ve known Rick almost as long as I’ve known Skip Senior, I think and that is a long, long time. A gentleman and a delightful friend. The world is poorer for his passing.

  9. Mikell Cary

    I was looking to find rick allen to inform him that my brother jim cary passed away this early june. It appears jimmy beat rick. Sorry to hear.

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