Florida boatyard manager remembered

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Michael Robertson, longtime service manager at Sailor's Wharf Yacht Yard in St. Petersburg, Fla., died Dec. 26. He was 59.

123010robertson

Robertson started working for Sailor's Wharf as a rigger in October 1998 and was service manager for the last eight years. He left the company in March.

An accomplished sailor, Robertson logged two successful trans-Atlantic voyages. He lived in Holland for two years, running a sail loft, and ran his own sail loft in St. Petersburg before joining Sailor's Wharf.

"I have known Michael since he was 17 years old, and I was once trying to pass him in a sailboat race," Sailor's Wharf co-owner Johannes "Jopie" Helsen said in an e-mail. "He would not let me pass him to windward and lectured me that my boat was much faster and I should have been ahead of him anyway."

Helsen, who owns Sailor's Wharf with her sister Sandy, said Robertson was known throughout the marine industry on a first-name basis.

"We all have stories to tell about Michael, and while he could be a pain in the butt - he had certain ways of doing things that drove you crazy - we will all miss him greatly," Jopie Helsen said.

Related

The Calm Before the Storm?

Although key measures continued on an upward trajectory and unemployment numbers have fallen, the overall outlook for 2020 remains volatile.