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 windsurfing pioneer

Jim Drake, an aeronautical engineer credited with inventing windsurfing in the late 1960s, died Tuesday of complications of emphysema at his home in Pfafftown, N.C., at the age of 83. “He led an incredible, incredible life,” longtime friend Bill Mai told the Winston-Salem Journal. “He was a generous man. He never held a grudge against…more

Industry mourns longtime Rhode Island yacht broker

Bruce Brakenhoff Sr., co-founder of the Bartram & Brakenhoff Yacht Brokerage, died at the age of 80 after a heart attack June 15 at his home in Jamestown, R.I. Brakenhoff started his career more than 50 years ago with Orienta Marine, was a vice president at Northrop & Johnson and co-founded Newport, R.I.-based Bartram &…more

Industry mourns famed yachting artist

Willard Bond, best known for his original sailing action paintings, died May 19 at age 85 in Yountville, Calif., of congestive heart failure. Bond recently moved to California to be closer to his daughter, Gretchen Bond de Limur, the New York Times said in an obituary. His work, inspired by the constant action of sailboats…more

Co-founder of Turkish boatbuilder found dead

A founding partner of Proteksan Turquoise, the superyacht builder based in Turkey, died suddenly on Monday. Hayati Kamhi was found in his home in Istanbul with a gunshot wound to his head, according to published reports. The incident is still being investigated, but police are calling the death a suicide, according to reports. Kamhi, 62,…more

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

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