George L. “Skip” Allen Sr., of Fort Lauderdale, co-founder of Popular Boating magazine and founder of Southern Boating magazine, died Sunday. He was 84.
Robert Black, of Bob Black & Co. Inc., in Sun City Center, Fla., told Trade Only Today in an email that the industry had “lost a compadre and an innovator.” Black said he met Allen in 1964 when Allen worked with Dick Bertram at Bertram Yachts as sales vice president, where he helped the company reach record sales.
In 2005, the National Marine Manufacturers Association gave Allen the 2004 Charles F. Chapman Memorial Award, according to the Trade Only archives, citing his promotion of the industry and recreational boating for more than 40 years.
He started his marine industry career working for Charles Chapman as an ad salesman for Motorboating and Sailing.
Allen was then one of the founders of Popular Boating magazine, which later became Boating magazine.
During his time in New York he was involved in the America’s Cup campaigns, promoting the event as well as providing on-the-water services driving photography and committee boats.
In 1972, he founded Southern Boating magazine and began guiding flotillas of recreational boat owners to the Bahamas shortly thereafter.
At the time, the NMMA called Allen “one of the pioneers of recreational boating in Florida, the Bahamas and throughout the southeast U.S. and Caribbean.”
He founded the Marine Business Journal to serve as the “voice of the marine industry” and founded Mar Abierto, the first Spanish-language recreational boating magazine published in the United States. It was distributed throughout Central and South America, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries.
A member of the Cruising Club of America, Allen was instrumental in the formation of the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race.
In 2005, Allen lived aboard his trawler, Press On Regardless, splitting his time between Florida and the Bahamas.
After the hurricanes that devastated parts of the Bahamas at the time, Allen used his magazines to organize aid for the region, advising boaters about islands that had remained undamaged in an effort to promote badly needed tourism.