Skip to main content

Industry mourns ‘Tin Man’ Bill Ek

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

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.



NMMA: Proposed Speed Rule an ‘Existential Threat’ to Industry

The association is calling on every marine brand, employee and boat owner to file public comment by Oct. 31 over a sweeping regulation to protect North Atlantic right whales.


Axopar and Nimbus Renew Agreement

The boatbuilders have entered an agreement whereby Nimbus Group will retain exclusive rights to sell Axopar boats on the Swedish market.


Hurricane Ian Leaves Devastation in Florida

The storm left a wide swath of destruction, heavily impacting marine interests from Tampa Bay to Marco Island.


Email Is Your Ticket to Holiday Sales

Developing an effective email campaign can bolster sales and help fill winter coffers at your dealership.


NMRA Presents Annual Awards

Edson CEO Will Keene and ComMar Sales president Tim Conroy were recognized for their contributions to the marine industry.


DEALERS: Are Interest Rates Impacting Demand?

This month’s Pulse Report survey asks dealers whether interest rate increases are causing a downturn in boat sales. Take the survey here.


EPropulsion, Mack Boring Partner with Crest

Pontoon builder Crest will use an ePropulsion Navy 3.0 Evo electric outboard motor and an E175 battery for its 2023 Current model.


Beneteau Reports Significant H122 Growth

The company reported that its revenue grew 8.6 percent and income increased by 30 percent during the first half of 2022.