Obituaries

The marine industry mourns the loss of people whose inventiveness and business expertise have been the foundation of its success and helped it grow and prosper.

Industry mourns death of Hostar Marine founder

Dwight Stimson Jr., the innovative founder of Hostar Marine, died May 29 at home in Norwell, Mass. He was 82. Stimson grew up in Vermont and was a graduate of the Lyndon Institute and Middlebury College. He served in the Navy during the Korean War and worked for General Electric, Texas Instruments, Factory Mutual and…more

Industry mourns noted boat designer

Frank Bethwaite, 92, a pioneer in small-boat design and research, died Saturday after a short illness, surrounded by his family. Born in 1920 in Wanganui, New Zealand, Bethwaite learned to sail on the Wanganui River, building his own boats and experimenting with rigs and hull designs. He designed a new boat in 1975 called the…more

Industry mourns longtime marine journalist

Dan Fales, a well-known and respected marine journalist for more than two decades, died Wednesday at the age of 78 after a long battle with lung cancer. “Dan was a gentleman in every way,” says Peter Janssen, former publisher and editor-in-chief at Motor Boating & Sailing, where he worked with Fales for more than 20…more

Industry mourns Owens Yacht mainstay

John B. “Jack” Owens, who had been a principal in the family-owned Owens Yacht Co. and later established a real estate firm, died Saturday of heart failure at his Naples, Fla., home. He was 96. Owens’ father established a custom boatbuilding business in 1925 on Spa Creek in Annapolis, Md., that built about 20 boats…more

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Former Brunswick executive loses cancer fight

After a three-year battle with cancer, marine industry veteran John “Jack” Clarke Swan III passed away Dec. 30 in Chattanooga, Tenn. He was 65. A graduate of Ohio State University and a sergeant in the National Guard during the Vietnam War, Swan built his career around his lifetime love of boating, his family said. He…more

Noted Lauderdale broker loses cancer battle

Richard Merritt, a longtime figure in Fort Lauderdale’s yachting industry, died on Thanksgiving Day following a bout with cancer. He was 69. Born in Fort Lauderdale, Merritt and his siblings grew up in the family’s local boating and fishing business, which was started by their grandfather, Franklin, in 1948 and was called Merritt Boat and…more

Massachusetts marine researcher remembered

Nautical researcher and sailing aficionado W. Richard Boehmer, of West Bridgewater, Mass., died Nov. 17 following a lengthy illness. He was 68. Boehmer was a prolific author who published a book and more than 100 articles for both the popular press and technical journals in the United States, Canada, England and South Africa, many of…more

C&C Yachts mourns founding partner

Erich Bruckmann, a founding partner of C&C Yachts, died Oct. 28. He was 81. He was born in 1930 in Dusseldorf, Germany, and left the country in 1956 to start a new life. Within a year of arriving in Canada, he began what would be a lifelong career as a boatbuilder. He was at the…more

Florida Sea Ray broker is remembered

Industry veteran Timothy Earl Holmes of Palm City, Fla., died Sept. 13 at his home. He was 56. Holmes owned Executive Yachts for 30 years. The Stuart, Fla.-based company bills itself as “one of the largest pre-owned Sea Ray brokerages in the country.” On the company’s website, the family thanked everyone for the “overwhelming response…more

Longtime Florida dealer is remembered

William “Pete” Loftin, who launched the Jacksonville, Fla., dealership Outboard Inc. in 1957 and operated it for 41 years, succumbed to cancer on Monday. He was 88. Born William A. Loftin Jr. in North Carolina, he was known simply as Pete by friends and colleagues. He also worked for 13 years with the Evinrude Motors…more

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