Industry mourns ABYC chairman

Publish date:
Updated on

John “Jack” Hornor, chairman of the board of the American Boat and Yacht Council and an industry leader, died Oct. 1 of brain disease in Centreville, Md. He was 68.

Hornor was a sailor, a naval architect, a marine surveyor and the founder and owner of the Marine Survey & Design Co.

“Jack was a close friend and mentor for me personally and many of the ABYC staff,” ABYC president John Adey said in a statement. “His expertise and sage advice will certainly be missed.”

One of Hornor’s many specialties was handling damage claims. He helped salvage hundreds of boats in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and other hurricanes as part of the BoatUS Marine Insurance Catastrophe Team. He also was an expert witness in legal cases involving vessels.

“Jack was an immense contributor to the marine industry and boaters alike, helping them know about boats both as new purchases and disaster recovery,” BoatUS president Margaret Podlich said in a statement.

In addition to being an active ABYC member, Hornor was a former board member of the National Association of Marine Surveyors and a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, the Mid-Atlantic Mariners Club and the Miles River Yacht Club.

“Jack managed to make difficult things simple and coupled that with a great personality,” ABYC vice chairman Dave Marlow said in a statement. “He will be missed, but not forgotten.”

Hornor attended two years of college in Kansas on a football scholarship before he flew helicopters during the Vietnam War as part of the Army Special Forces. He received a degree in business administration from the State University of New York. After graduating from the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology, the ABYC’s educational affiliate, he managed several large marinas, worked for the city of Fort Lauderdale, and then started his own marine survey business.


The impact of a burning river

When the Cuyahoga caught fire in 1969, it set off a chain of events that led to federal action for clean water. It was a huge win for the environment and those who use the water for recreation, but our work isn’t finished.