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R.J. de Recat dies at 81; founder of rep company

Ronald Joseph (Bud) de Recat, a longtime sales representative in the recreational marine industry, died April 25 in Marin County, Calif. He was 81.

De Recat founded the manufacturer’s representative company that bore his name in 1958 in San Francisco. The R.J. de Recat  & Co. specialized in sporting goods and marine accessory manufacturers.

In the early 1960s, he opened satellite offices in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Seattle. As the marine industry expanded, so did the company’s portfolio. R.J. de Recat & Co. was Teleflex Marine’s first sales representative in the recreational marine business. Other manufacturers such as AFI, Marinco, Guest, Wellington/Puritan, Sierra Marine and Attwood were all pioneered on the West Coast by R.J. de Recat & Co.

During the mid- to late-1970s, when larger boats from Asia became popular, de Recat became one of the first U.S.-based representatives to expand sales operation overseas, selling steering equipment to the OEM boat builders in Taipei, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

His three children entered the business in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and de Recat passed the baton to his sons Chris and Scott, in the early 1990s. In 2000, the R.J. de Recat & Co. merged with long-established East Coast representative firm Eastern Marketing & Associates to form a new sales and marketing company called Derema Group.

De Recat retired in 1998 to enjoy time with his grandchildren and to play tennis.

He will be remembered by friends and colleges as a charismatic, influential and positive force in the marine accessory business. De Recat also sat on the boards of the NMRA and BIA (Boating Industry Association) councils. He was one of the early proponents for uniting all manufacturers under one industry association. This initiative later formed the NMMA.

This article originally appeared in the June 2008 issue.

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