Industry mourns ‘Tin Man’ Bill Ek

Born July 31, 1936, Ek got his start working at his father’s company, Shell Lake Boats.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

William "Bill" J. Ek, who grew up in the boating business and built a career in in sales and marketing for several companies, died Aug. 1, at Indianhead Medical Center in Shell Lake, Wis. He was 79.

Born July 31, 1936, Ek got his start working at his father’s company, Shell Lake Boats, a builder of wooden boats and canoes.

Ek worked in sales and marketing for several boat companies over the years, including Fisher Aluminum Boats, before joining Outboard Marine Corp., where he would head the sterndrive division.

He worked with senior management at OMC in the purchase of several brands, including Chris-Craft, Four Winns, Hydra-Sports, Stratos, Javelin and Lowe.

Ek was appointed president of the OMC Aluminum Boat Group in Lebanon, Mo., which included the Lowe, Sea Nymph, Grumman, Suncruiser, DuraNautic, Princecraft and Roughneck brands.

During that time he was known affectionately in the company as the “Tin Man.”

After OMC’s bankruptcy, Ek served as a consultant to Irwin Jacobs and Genmar, among other companies.

Ek is survived by his wife, five sons, five grandchildren, two sisters and many nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends.

Click here for funeral information and other details.

Related

NMMA Confirms Industry Growth

NMMA president Frank Hugelmeyer said the boating business grew 12 percent last year during yesterday’s virtual State of the Boating Industry address.

Newport Show Dates Announced

Organizers are planning for an in-person Golden Anniversary edition of the show Sept. 16-19.

Quick Hits: March 5, 2021

The National Association of Manufacturers names Brunswick Corp. CFO Ryan Gwillim to its Board of Directors.

Caught Red-Handed

Two commercial fishermen were jailed for possessing an illegal haul that included 100 undersized lobster tails, which is a felony. Also, fisheries management gets new funding.

Bennington Expands Operations

The pontoon builder plans to add jobs at its new facility in Elkhart County, Ind., and increase manufacturing output.

KVH Industries Names CFO

Longtime telecom financial executive Roger A. Kuebel assumes the position that COO Brent Bruun had held in an interim capacity.