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 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

Connecticut charterboat captain is remembered

Industry veteran Capt. Benjamin F. Rathbun of Noank, Conn., died July 31 following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 83. Rathbun ran the charterboat Anna R for more than 30 years. During winters, he worked as a carpenter, delivered boats to various ports, worked aboard the Cross Sound Ferry and built two sportfishing…more

Industry mourns noted yacht designer

Andre J. Bauwens, former chief naval architect of J.B. Hargrave Naval Architects, died June 29. He was 82. In making the announcement, Michael Joyce, chief executive officer of J.B. Hargrave Corp., called Bauwens “one of the key people responsible for building the company’s outstanding reputation in yacht design and engineering.” Born in Brussels, Bauwens moved…more

Former Hunter Marine executive mourned

Jim Bohart, a marine industry veteran of nearly 30 years, died July 13. He was 57. Bohart grew up in Florida, learning to fish, dive and sail. After leaving the Navy in 1985, he joined the Naval Reserves and served six more years. In 1991, Bohart joined Hunter Marine as regional sales manager, and at…more

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