Industry mourns marine magazine publisher

Posted on

George L. “Skip” Allen Sr., of Fort Lauderdale, co-founder of Popular Boating magazine and founder of Southern Boating magazine, died Sunday. He was 84.

Robert Black, of Bob Black & Co. Inc., in Sun City Center, Fla., told Trade Only Today in an email that the industry had “lost a compadre and an innovator.” Black said he met Allen in 1964 when Allen worked with Dick Bertram at Bertram Yachts as sales vice president, where he helped the company reach record sales.

In 2005, the National Marine Manufacturers Association gave Allen the 2004 Charles F. Chapman Memorial Award, according to the Trade Only archives, citing his promotion of the industry and recreational boating for more than 40 years.

He started his marine industry career working for Charles Chapman as an ad salesman for Motorboating and Sailing.

Allen was then one of the founders of Popular Boating magazine, which later became Boating magazine.

During his time in New York he was involved in the America’s Cup campaigns, promoting the event as well as providing on-the-water services driving photography and committee boats.

In 1972, he founded Southern Boating magazine and began guiding flotillas of recreational boat owners to the Bahamas shortly thereafter.

At the time, the NMMA called Allen “one of the pioneers of recreational boating in Florida, the Bahamas and throughout the southeast U.S. and Caribbean.”

He founded the Marine Business Journal to serve as the “voice of the marine industry” and founded Mar Abierto, the first Spanish-language recreational boating magazine published in the United States. It was distributed throughout Central and South America, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries.

A member of the Cruising Club of America, Allen was instrumental in the formation of the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race.

In 2005, Allen lived aboard his trawler, Press On Regardless, splitting his time between Florida and the Bahamas.

After the hurricanes that devastated parts of the Bahamas at the time, Allen used his magazines to organize aid for the region, advising boaters about islands that had remained undamaged in an effort to promote badly needed tourism.


26 comments on “Industry mourns marine magazine publisher

  1. Michael Sciulla

    Skip was a treasure to behold and I count myself fortunate to have known one of the truly great pioneers of this industry.
    I first came to know him by way of those no-holds-barred editorials that were published under his signature in Southern Boating magazine. Skip was forever standing up and speaking out for the interests of the recreational boat owner and for that reason was awarded the first Monk Farnham Award for Editorial Excellence in the mid 1980s.
    The 1980s were also a time for great celebrations in a booming industry and Skip hosted some of the best gatherings during the Miami boat show.
    In a publishing world now filled with bean counters and corporate types, Skip Allen was a man who marched to the beat of his own drum.

  2. Jules Rutstein

    A great loss for our community, our industry and boaters everywhere. He provided balance and a keen sense of knowledge in all things marine. His perspective brought a current view with a unique approach that comes from years of experience. He will be sorely missed.

  3. Patrick Gillet

    Skip Allen, a wonderful friend and promoter of the marine industry, will always hold a special place in our hearts and in the history of boating in the USA and the Bahamas. Skip contributed immensly to the joys, safety and family- bonding experinece of boating, with his pen and the many indellible boating lifestyle improvements that he helped create and promote, as a leader and model for boating and the marine industry. All of this while also raising a family with great children: Skip, Rick (who we also miss), Cathy, Jodie and George.

  4. Mike Drinkwine

    The marine industry has lost a true giant. My heart goes out to the entire Allen family. RIP Skip…..raise a glass with our dear friend Rick as you look down from heaven.

  5. Tom Slane

    Truly saddened to hear of his passing. Was only about a year ago when he was clearing out some things in his desk and he ran across an old photo taken with my dad Willis. He was thoughful enough to call me and tell me he was sending it to me and wanted to tell me the story behind it as it related to the early days of Hatteras Yachts. I had heard many great stories about Skip from my parents as I was growing up. They were great friends and had great respect for each other. The entire industry had a great respect for Skip and he truly has left his mark in the boating community.

  6. Carl Mischka

    The boating industry lost another giant on Sunday; what a charecter who pioneered so many innovative and productive ideas in the world of boating and boating industry publishing. Prayers for his family, RIP Captain!

  7. Daniel M. Loh

    Words cannot express how sad we are to learn of Skip’s passing. One of the great guys in the boating industry who was always there and willing when you needed him. He and the family also had some fantastic parties on Friday night of the old Miami Boat Shows, Taxis only please.

    Will miss him. Regards to the Family.

    The Loh Family

  8. Loren Schweizer

    He was a special character in our business who always had time for the little guy. He’ll be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure to meet him.
    God Bless.

  9. Todd Romig

    I had the pleasure of sitting next to Skip during a family style dinner at Sampson Cay many moons ago. During our discussion regarding the Bahamas I mentioned a magazine I enjoyed which routinely published articles about the Bahamas. Yes, you guessed it correctly, Southern Boating. And that is when I learned his name and vocation! What a gem. God Bless you sir.

  10. Chuck Baier

    Skip will indeed be missed. He gave us a break and got us started as freelance writers for Southern Boating in the late 90s. He was a true great, the marine industry will mourn his passing and celebrate his life.

  11. Frank Herhold

    Great man, great family, great loss…truly an industry icon.
    Skip, we will “Press On Regardless” as you (and Rick) watch over us…

  12. John-Henry Falk

    A mentor in the industry. The Marine Industry was a love and passion to him, and he was a true friend to the Yachtsman. He will be missed by all that new him.

  13. Dean Travis Clarke

    I have known Skip for more than 50 years. He always treated me like yet another son. He was curmudgeonly, savvy and very funny. But above all, in both his career(s) and life, he was an intrepid adventurer. He lived a full and marvelous life. And for those of us who believe that the human soul is immortal, Skip has now embarked on what may well be life’s grandest adventure! He and I have always subscribed to the same philosophy for success (often attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson but actually by Bessie A. Stanley in 1904):

    To laugh often and much;
    To win the respect of intelligent people
    and the affection of children;
    To earn the appreciation of honest critics
    and endure the betrayal of false friends;
    To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
    To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
    a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
    To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
    This is to have succeeded.

    Pax vobis, my dear friend.

  14. Bill Sandberg

    I have been honored to call Skip a good friend for nearly 40 years. He was a one of a kind and they truly threw the mold away after him. He was the consummate host, husband and father, and can now join Rick in a better place. I’ll miss you Skip.

  15. Roger Field

    Skip contributed much to the growth of boating throughout Florida and the Southeastern USA. He joins his son Rick with whom he will help the Lord watch over those who travel the seas. They will be missed by all who knew them
    here on Earth.

  16. Gordon Connell

    Skip Allen was a no-nonsense, speak it as he saw it and overall great friend to me and to the marine industry. I was a neophyte in the marine industry when I got started and he gave words of wisdom and encouragement every time we met, or would call to light a fire under me if he was so moved. He and all the Allen family have always been voices of support for me, and for that I truly grateful. Rest well Skip.

  17. April Price

    Sad news, but feel very fortunate to have known Skip. A true industry leader. To Skip & Rick, Happy Boating my friends….

  18. Vicky Miller

    You teated us like family and we felt like family. We respected you and your thoughts on the right way to get things done especially in regards to boating and cruising . You will be missed by all.. May the lord keep you safe and hopefully you will always keep the winds in our favor… All our Love to you and your family!



  20. Michael Shanley

    I am saddened by the loss of Skip, but grateful for all he has done for our industry and am proud to have met him and known of his accomplishments and contributions. I offer my deepest and most sincere condolences to his family and close friends. Press on Regardless, he wouldn’t have it any other way!

  21. Conrad Webber

    I have know Skip and his great family since the 70’s. They, all the Allen’s, have worked hard for our industry, the marine industry. May Skip rest in peace and my his legacy live forever.
    My condolences to Skip’s family.
    Good bye and good night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments Policy.

Vote Today

What's your favorite month on the water?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Login to Trade Only Today

Lost Password