Showing posts with label People. Show all posts
Showing posts with label People. Show all posts

February 19, 2024

Herbert Dahm 1929 - 2024

Herbert Dahm left for the better World on Sunday eighteen February, just a few weeks shy of his 95th birthday in his home-town of Dusseldorf. Herbert Dahm began his storied yachting career by accident. Following World War II Herbert Dahm started by selling electronics, including radios, and later developed financial software. Sailing was a passion during his free time, however, and by the sixties, he yearned to cruise the world, and set out to find a suitable sail-yacht in 1967, choosing the Dutch shipyard Jongert. Although he didn’t end up sailing the globe, Dahm found something else, spending the next three decades as the builder’s marketing and sales representative. It simultaneously led to him building five Jongerts for his own use. The most famous of his Jongert's was s/y Inspiration from 1985, which then became Jongert's successful 2200s semi-series, and which he ultimately owned till 2020.  Designed by Ron Holland the first 2200s had a few revolutions from a transom garage with a hydraulically lowering hatch that became a swim platform, and a custom bilge tunnel stowing her racing sails, preserving the interior while permitting quick access to them when wanted. Arguably, Inspiration was the first cruiser-racer in her size range, a novel concept at the time. Even as a sailor, though, Dahm loved motoryachts, too, taking delivery of Benetti's Classic 115 My Way in 2000. The international yachting community became accustomed to seeing Dahm attend yacht shows with his Benetti and her unusual tender, True Love. True Love was a Jongert, stowing on the sundeck. Dahm further had a four-decade run as the owner of Dahm International. Under his leadership, the company expanded beyond Germany into Monaco and Spain. Additionally, it added services such as yacht management and refit management to its roster. Although he sold the business in the late 1990s, he stepped back into it in 2006 to better serve clients, selling it again in 2014, at age 85, staying on as honorary president. He finally retired for good just last year, making the announcement during the Düsseldorf boat show in 2023, a show he co-founded in 1969.  In his last parts of his life Herbart Dahm primarily took care of the “Momentum Spa”, a wellness facility in Golzheim, Dusseldorf.

February 4, 2024

Donovan Shead 1936 - 2024

Donovan 'Don' Shead left for the better World on Saturday third February, peacefully passing away at the age of 87, surrounded by his family.  Don Shead was born May six 1936, in Birmingham, Britain's most far away city to the sea.  His father Henry Shead, a mechanical engineer with passion for boats both sail and power, will pass his passions to Don at a young age, taking him to sail dinghy racing first on the lake and then at twelve years of age to Cowes, what will become his adoptive town into the years.  Both places will play an important role to Don Shead; Birmingham the UK motor city will give the passion for engines, while Cowes expands the love for the water.  Don raced his first powerboat race in 1961 with a loaned boat, and a year later purchases his own race boat.  In 1967 coming from his racing experience, and a natural design and engineering talent, Don architects his first boat, a six meter speed boat which with him on the helm will come second in the Paris six hours race.  This boat will be produced as the Avenger 21, and is followed by the Avenger 34 which will win the Round Britain race of the same year. With this Don Shead launches his career as naval architect and fast hull specialist, receiving two request for two Class Three hulls, and a Camper and Nicholson 27 meter super yacht on his first year in business.  The year of change for Don Shead comes in 1968 when his designed 25 foot single engine wood build Telstar with Tony Sopwith on the helm wins the Cowes race in rough sea conditions.  A year later in 1969 Don will present himself to Cowes with the first Miss Enfield, built of alumimium and just completed before the race starts.  Unfortunately for Miss Enfield after seventy nautical miles in first place she will retire due to engine problems.  A year later the one meter longer Miss Enfield II will win the Cowes race with Tony Sopwith again on the helm.  With Tony retiring from racing, Don will return to race helming Miss Enfield II himself, winning Cowes again, Naples and Viareggio, while a sister-boat driven by Franco Castoldi also takes line honors in Santa Margherita in 1974.  Don Shead will retire from racing in 1974 when an accident during a race will injure his back, making a one surprise come back in 1981 at Viareggio, where he places second.  Don's Italian race success in the early seventies get's the admiration of Italians Attilio Petroni and Francesco Cosentino, who will commission him a full racing boat.  This will be the 38 foot mono-hull to be build in alumimium by CUV; Cantieri Uniti Viareggio, an alloy subcontractor, and finished by long standing yacht building family Picchiotti. Fifteen of the CUV Picchiotti's are reported build, six 41's, and nine 38.  With the CUV 38 Consentino will win the Class One World Championship held in Argentina in 1978, a feat the CUV Shead hull will do two other times in 1982 and 84.  The Don Shead designed Italian build CUV was the first to break the US hulls dominion of the Class One World Championship after fourteen years from the debut of the racing formula in 1964. Unknown to many is that Don Shead also designed some sail yachts, and a windsurf which set a speed record in the mid eighties.  Miss Enfield II was also revolutionary for its signature wrap around windscreen which gave crew better safety and protection, a design feature Don Shead introduced on the Halmatic DS110 which launched in 1968 and was produced till 72 in 28 hulls.  In 1978 Don Shead will join Sunseeker debuting with the 28 Offshore model, and from their on doing all the designs from five up to 37 meters and till 2007 when he will sell his business to the Poole builder bosses Robert and John Braithwaite, remaining as a consultant until stepping down due to ill health.  Out of tens of models for Sunseeker's a note is deserved on the 34 XPS Portofino which debuted in 1983, and the Tomahawk 37 from 1987, both of these being based on the legendary CUV 38 hull, and competing in offshore racing, although without a success. Apart Sunseeker and the mentioned Avenger's, CUV, and Halmatic, Don Shead designed boats and yachts for Australian Motor Yachts, Broooke, Cammenga, Camper and Nicholson, Devonport, Feadship, Lavagna Admiral, Mefasa, Palmer Johnson, Picchiotti, Souter, Tecnomarine, and Viudes.

January 3, 2024

Jerry Husted 1928 - 2024

Jerry Husted the Nordic Tugs founder died at 96 years old on second January 2024.  A pioneer of cruising tugs, Jerry Husted introduced the 26-foot Nordic Tug at the 1980 Seattle Boat Show, the origin boat of the cruising tugboat genre. During the energy crisis of the 1970s Husted concluded that powerboaters needed a vessel that wouldn’t cost a fortune to buy and operate, what was the company introductory statement. He built a 26-foot boat with a traditional workboat profile and introduced it as the Nordic Tug at the 1980 Seattle Boat Show. Powered by a 3-cylinder, 36-hp Volvo diesel, the boat had a range of 600 miles at 6.5 knots. The price was $29,900.  By the end of the 10-day show, Husted had sold 33 boats; by the end of the month following the event, he had orders for a total of 54 even though the price had increased to $39,900 after the show.  Nordic Tugs has since built more than 900 boats from 26 to 54 feet. Husted gave up the helm of Nordic Tugs in December 2007, although he remained with the company until three days before his eightieth birthday, in 2012. Known as a hands-on executive, he sea-trialed all but a handful of Nordic Tug models.

December 21, 2023

Frits de Voogt 1927 - 2023

Former Feadship director Frits de Voogt has left for the better World at 96 years of age in native town of Haarlem on Wednesday 20 December.  Real name Frederik, Frits was born in Haarlem on 21 August 1927.  Frits took over De Voogt naval architecture from his father Henri after he suffered a stroke in 1958, and then went on to lead the firm and Feadship for decades, and together with his team, shaping that present and the future of the renowned yacht and super yacht Dutch builder. Frits designs were unique and are still the basis of today's Feadship yachts. Even after his retirement in 1995, Frits remained involved and interested in yacht building, always astute and modest. Frits was a mentor of the current leaders of Feadship, and went on to take the Lifetime Achievement Award from Showboats International in 2016.  Frits de Voogt also competed in the four rowing disciple without a helmsman and went to represent Holland in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.  Frits was married to Luuk de Voogt-Groot, who passed away in 2011.

December 3, 2023

Roger Hewson 1933 - 2023

The founder of Sabre Yachts, Roger Douglas Hewson, of Highland Green, Topsham, passed away peacefully on Dec. 2, 2023.  Roger was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on March 2, 1933, son of Irene Elderkin and Joseph Selden Hewson.  Roger attended Westmount High School and graduated from McGill University with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1955. He married Charlotte Gulick Hewson “Charlie” in 1955 and they celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary in 2023.  Roger followed his father’s footsteps in Hewson Construction where they built industrial buildings in Montreal, including four pavilions for the 1976 World’s Fair.  The Hewsons moved to Maine in 1970 where Roger founded Sabre Yachts. Over the years Sabre built over 1600 sailboats from 28 feet to 45 feet, and later began building power boats, which Sabre continues to build today. Roger was a very competitive sailor and raced in the International 14-foot Dinghy, Dragon and Cruising Classes. He also learned to fly and had many years at the controls of his Cessna airplane.  Roger and Charlie met through skiing and they enjoyed many years skiing as a family in the Laurentians, at Pleasant Mountain, and later at Sugarloaf where he skied until his mid-80s.  Roger served on boards of several non-profit organizations including the National Sailing Association, National Marine Manufacturing Association, Business Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve of Boston, and Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce. Most recently he served as a volunteer at Maine Maritime Museum.  The Hewsons lived on Raymond Cape on Sebago Lake for fifty years in a home which Roger designed and built in 1971. In 2010 they moved to Cundy’s Harbor, and later to Highland Green in Topsham. Roger was predeceased by his sister, Joanne Hewson Rees, of Montreal, by one day.  Roger is survived by his wife, Charlie; his daughters Deborah Merrill and Evelyn King and her husband Bruce; his son, Halsey; grandchildren Seth King, Abbie Garcia-Tunon and her husband Javi, Lee King, Parker Merrill and Dana Merrill; and great-grandchildren, Javi, Lucy, and Luke Garcia-Tunon.

April 25, 2023

Salvatore Pollio 1934 - 2023

Salvatore Pollio, the entrepreneur from Sorrento and co-founder of Apreamare, passed away on Monday April 24, 2023, aged 89.  Beloved by all who knew him, Salvatore Pollio was for many years the heart and soul of the production and work organisation side of Apreamare, the boatyard he founded with Cataldo Aprea in 1988 and a benchmark brand today for classic Sorrento gozzo boats revisited from a modern perspective. A pragmatic and reserved man with a wealth of boatbuilding experience, Salvatore Pollio was a key figure in the company and a second father to all the craftsmen he personally supervised for many years. At work, he was straight-talking and gifted in his ability to pass on his expertise with grace, kindness and irony. When he retired from active duty in the company, he handed over the baton to his daughter Rita, today CEO, and son Tonino, yard director, but never stopped taking an interest in Apreamare and was always excited by the excellent results the company has achieved in recent years. Business partners, but above all friends, Cataldo Aprea and Salvatore Pollio had complementary personalities – the former volcanic and the latter more reserved – and treated each other with great respect and fondness, but most importantly they designed together the first ever planning Gozzo with a fibreglass hull, Smeraldo 7, the first revolutionary example of this hugely successful type of boat for which Apreamare is today known worldwide. “I like to remember Salvatore as the other half of Apreamare’s heart and soul, a reserved person who preferred to keep a low profile but who was always present and passionate about the business. Without him, our brand wouldn’t be what it is today,” said Cataldo Aprea, Apreamare chairman.

March 1, 2023

Giuseppe Taranto 1969 - 2023

Giuseppe Taranto, Vice President of The Italian Sea Group, has died after a long illness, and left for the better World on Tuesday 28 February at 53 years of age.  Giovianni Costantino CEO of the Italian Sea Group in a press release remembered Giuseppe Taranto with great affection having collaborated and worked with him for the last thirty years. Giuseppe Taranto who is from the Italian region of Apulia, was resident in Lido di Camaiore in Tuscany.  He joined Tecnomar in 2009 as a general manager, and in 2016 was appointed as Vice Chairman and a board director member of the Italian Sea Group. Giuseppe Taranto is remembered with great affection by his wife Lucia, and his two children Ludovica and Valentino, family and friends.

January 29, 2023

Jan-Eric Nyfelt 19 - 2023

On Saturday, 28 January Baltic Yachts family member, and one of the original founders, Jan-Erik “Janne” Nyfelt had passed away.  Baltic Yachts lost a person that have contributed greatly to what Baltic is today. “Jannes“ career as a boatbuilder started from a very young childhood working in his father small boatbuilding shop. Undoubtedly one of the best ways of learning the practical side of the trade. In addition to his practical yacht building skills, he also wanted to learn more about design, calculations, making line drawings and the theoretical side of creating a boat. He worked, some time, for a local ships engineer and got good insight also into the theoretical side. Janne was involved in the start of Nautor, not as owner but as boatbuilding specialist. He was also one of the five persons starting Baltic Yachts and was a very active member in management and the development of our company until his retirement. Janne legacy to the Finnish boatbuilding industry is invaluable. Janne was a person that had a never-ending energy always intensively involved in many things. Very keen on developing new materials and methods everything that could improve the product. Whatever he got himself involved in he was in with full energy. Janne was a respected member of the Baltic Yachts family over seeing for example the return of hull #one the 46 last Summer he was back at the dock.  Jan-Eric is also closely remembered by the Nyfelt’s family, including those that still work at Baltic which include his son, Kenneth Nyfelt, the sales director.

November 29, 2022

Kenneth Charles Stock 1938 - 2022

It is with a heavy heart that Cruisers Yachts has announced the death of its long-time owner Kenneth Charles Stock, who passed away on November 28, 2022. Born April 6, 1938 in Oconto, Wisconsin. K.C. from a young age had a knack as an entrepreneur. He quickly progressed in business to buy his first company, a contractor yard, in 1971 and renamed it Stock Lumber, growing it to 11 yards across Wisconsin and Minnesota. Following his passion for the lumber business and the entrepreneurial spirit, he bought his hometown boat company, Cruisers Yachts. Growing up in Oconto, it was important to K.C. that the town continued to thrive and that meant keeping jobs local. He invested in the company and the Oconto community to see it flourish. Mark Pedersen, President of Cruisers Yachts, said. With K.C.’s support for over 28 years, Cruisers Yachts has enjoyed tremendous growth and is now known as one of the world’s premier manufacturers of premium yachts ranging from 33 to 60 feet. Named after his father, the Cantius series was born with the launch of the 48 Cantius in 2011. Since then, ten models, including the largest in the line-up, the 60 Cantius, have been badged with his father’s name. In 2019, Cruisers Yachts unveiled the Grand Luxury Sport series, which happens to be the initials of his loving wife Georgia. The GLS series comprises of four models, ranging from 34 to 50 feet. Wanting to continue the company’s growth, KCS International, Inc., parent company of Cruisers Yachts, significantly expanded its manufacturing and production capacity with the acquisition of the nearby Pulaski, Wisconsin facility that formerly built Carver and Marquis brand yachts. Shortly after, K.C. was looking for a new successor that would keep Cruisers Yachts rooted in Wisconsin. In May of 2021, K.C. sold the company to MarineMax, Inc., the world’s largest recreational boat and yacht retailer with the promise to keep Cruisers Yachts, the employees, and the community thriving.  K.C. always believed in giving back to the community. One of his greatest achievements was starting the K.C. Stock Foundation to help those in need. He took great pride in making a positive difference in other people’s lives. His foundation made the lead gift to start the Children’s Hospital in North-eastern Wisconsin at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay. He would encourage others to donate to one of his favourite charities, the HSHS St. Vincent’s Foundation that provides Christmas presents to all the children in the Paediatric Oncology Unit. K.C. loved to do this and bring families a bit of joy and happiness during the holiday season.

November 18, 2022

Juan Sastre Bernat 1937 - 2022

On Thursday 17th November 2022, Mr. Juan Sastre Bernat, founder of Menorquin Yachts and a reference in the nautical world for Mernorca and the Spanish yacht building community, passed away. Coming from an auto dealership empire which he founded with his brother Jose in 1960, and at some point distributing six marques, Juan Sastre Bernat founded Astilleros Menorca and created his first range of cruisers inspired by the traditional llaüt of the island of Menorca. In 1997 Juan rebrands Astilleros Mernoca to Menorquin Yachts, a proposal that made its mark in an already consolidated market. Thanks to its success, the shipyard began its expansion in the nautical sector, becoming a competitor of major brands in the world market.  The Sastre family will sell Menorquin in 2006 to a private investment firm, with son Jose Luise founding Sasga Yachts in 2010.  Juan Sastre not only founded Menorquin Yachts, he was also a visionary who brought the traditional Menorcan fishing llaüt to the forefront and to the World nautical market. This new approach to the traditional boat, together with his sacrifice, dedication and brilliant entrepreneurship, have led to his boats being recognised in international markets, today with the Sasga Yachts brand name.  Juan Sastre Bernat was married Teresa Gardés Pons and they had three children: Basilio, José Luis and Juan Francisco.

July 24, 2022

Dick Mulder 1962 - 2022

Mulder Shipyard is mourning the loss of Dirk Robert 'Dick' Mulder, who passed away on 24 July 2022 at the age of 60 surrounded by his family.  Born on 26 February 1962, Dick Mulder served in the army before taking over his father’s Dirk Mulder Senior shipyard in Voorschoten, the Netherlands, which only had one employee at the time in 1984. From the beginning, Dick built up the business to be focused on quality above all, paying attention to every single detail of the yachts that the shipyard delivered. Since then, Mulder Shipyard has delivered over 134 iconic yachts and has also been awarded three Superyacht Awards.  Dick was distinguished by his resilience, perseverance and bravery, as evident from his bold decision to build a brand new shipyard during the financial crisis. Always looking ahead, his son, Nick Mulder, joined the business twelve years ago as the next generation and represents a safe pair of hands for the business going forward. Words cannot adequately express the sadness at Dick’s passing for the whole Mulder community, and their gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. The Mulder team will honour Dick Mulder’s memory by continuing the work he loved so much and he will be deeply missed.

December 10, 2021

Robert T. Healey 1929 - 2021

Robert T. Healey Sr., the co-founder of the Viking Yacht Company who helped build the company into an industry leader and led the fight that repealed the Federal Luxury Tax on yachts in the early 1990s, passed away nine December at the age of 92.  Bob Healey Sr. and his brother Bill established Viking Yachts in 1964, and the company went on to become the largest manufacturer of sport fishing yachts in the world. But that success may have never been achieved without the determination and perseverance of Bob Healey. When a federal 10 percent luxury tax was imposed on yachts in 1991, thousands of people were laid off and hundreds of companies went out of business. Viking nearly went bankrupt, closed a plant in Florida and laid off all but 65 of its 1,500 boatbuilders.  Bob was instrumental in organizing a national, grass-roots campaign to fight the tax. He took the industry lead, organizing busloads of out-of-work boatbuilders to converge on Capitol Hill for demonstrations, and setting fire to a boat on a barge in Narragansett Bay as a highly effective symbol of protest. The tax was repealed 20 months later in 1993.  With Bill’s help, Bob privately funded the company out of his own savings, allowing Viking to tool up new models. The company came out of the gate running when the tax was finally repealed – and they never looked back.  Bob graduated from Camden Catholic High School, attended St. Joseph’s College in Philadelphia, graduating with a B.S. in Political Science, and earned a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He practiced law in Camden County, N.J., for 25 years before retiring as a senior partner in the firm of Healey, Mueller and Tyler to devote himself full time to business interests.  In the 1950s, his brother Bill joined Bob in the real-estate development business. Among other projects, the two brothers acquired and developed the Bass River Marina in New Gretna, N.J. In 1964 a small, local builder of wooden boats, Peterson-Viking, was having financial trouble, and the brothers agreed to buy the company, changed the name to Viking Yachts, and relocated the business to their property adjoining the marina. The boatbuilding business soon occupied much of their time, so the brothers sold the marina and concentrated on building yachts. Bob was the company lawyer, moneyman and Chief Executive while his brother built the boats.  Committed to their mantra to build a better boat every day, Bill and Bob pushed Viking to the pinnacle of their industry with more than 5,000 boats delivered. They successfully steered the company through the ups and downs of economic cycles. As Viking's Chairman of the Board for 57 years, Bob Healey Sr. diversified their financial interests into multifamily, industrial and commercial real estate, oil and gas exploration and development, and the financial management of the Healey family assets.  Together, Bill and Bob Healey achieved many milestones. In 1996, they founded the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA), a non-profit organization formed in 1996 to promote sustainable fisheries and a healthy marine environment. Viking has contributed well over $1 million to the RFA. In that same year, the brothers established Viking Sport Cruisers, a company that has been highly successful distributing British-built, high end cruising yachts, built to Viking's specifications, through its dealer network in North America. Bob, Bill and Pat received the Ernst and Young 1998 New Jersey Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Fifteen years later, the family would earn a second award from Ernst and Young. Ironically, the Healeys bought back Bass River Marina in 2002 and reopened it as the Viking Yachting Center.  They were inducted in 2003 into the National Marine Manufacturers Association Hall of Fame for their outstanding contributions to the marine industry.  In honor of their service and commitment to the marine industry for more than a half a century, Bill and Bob were honored with the 2019 IBI-METSTRADE Boat Builder Lifetime Achievement Award, which was accepted by his son, Bob Jr.  Bob received many more awards for his achievements, including induction into the NJ Marine Trade Association Hall of Fame and the Rowan University Milestone Award. Bob also channeled his financial success into philanthropic interests, which included building schools in impoverished areas of Mexico, and providing housing, medical assistance, education, food and clean water to the people of war-torn Sierra Leone through the Healey International Relief Foundation. A devout Catholic and product of Catholic school education, Bob brought his business skills to the challenges facing Catholic schools in the U.S. and formed the Healey Education Foundation and the Catholic Partnership Schools in Camden.  With his wife Ellen, Bob founded the Gleneayre Equestrian Program for at-risk youth. The program uses the powerful connection between horses and people to support learning, growth and healing.  For his philanthropic  efforts, Bob received the Lewis Katz Excellence in Education Award, the Beacon of Light Award, the Catholic Charities Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio Award for Leadership, an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Scranton University and the Shield of Loyola Award from St. Joseph's University.  Beloved husband of Ellen J. (nee Baldino), loving father to his seven children: Lizanne H. Jenkins (Thomas), Christine L. Healey, Caroline H. Adillon, L. Toland Sherriff (Robert), Robert T. Healey, Jr. (Bobbi), M. Alexis Iaccarino (Jonathan) and Leigh H. Hughes (Gabriel), and adored grandfather of his sixteen grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife, Louise L. (nee Lucas), and his two brothers, Patrick J. Healey and Edward J. Healey. He is survived by his brother William J. Healey, and many nieces and nephews. 

October 25, 2021

Victor B Porter 1931 - 2021

Victor B. Porter, Chairman Emeritus of Formula Boats/Thunderbird Products, Decatur, Indiana, passed away Sunday, October 24, 2021. He was born February 3, 1931, and on June 1, 1950, he married Kristine Striker, his bride of 71 years. Vic Porter spent over sixty years in the boating industry. From small-town beginnings to larger-than-life reality, Vic’s story is truly the American dream.  Vic Porter’s early career ventures included mobile homes sales, real estate, and his own business, Vic’s Frozen Food Center and Center Ice Cream. An entrepreneur at heart, Vic felt the urge to start down a new path, and in 1958, that decision led him to his place in the marine industry today. Interesting developments followed each move Vic made throughout the past 60-plus years.  In 1958, Vic started a boat company, Duo, Inc., to manufacture fiberglass boats in his converted ice cream plant with three employees. His first model, the Volare, was a catamaran equipped with two outboard motors. In 1959, the hundredth boat was built, and the Hepcat, a trimaran, was introduced. Vic was president, and also doubled as sales manager. The following three years, Vic developed the Catfish and monohull runabout design X-Series and F-Series boats. By 1962, Duo Inc. was booming. Vic now had 30 employees who built 20 boats per week. Business continued to expand in a new 18,000-square-foot facility with plans to double capacity. In 1962, Vic developed a V-hull boat series for a better ride. 1964 marked Vic’s first million-dollar year, and in 1965 the plant grew to 100,000 square feet and employed 185 people. 1966 was a whirlwind year and Vic travelled nonstop for a month, visiting 21 cities and numerous dealers to promote and sell his product. Duo, Inc. caught the eye of Starcraft Corporation, a larger, regional boat company, and in 1966 Vic sold Duo, remaining for a time as president. Vic’s entrepreneurial urge surfaced again, and he decided to captain a new ship in 1970.  Signa Corporation was the next step in Vic’s developing career. Manufacturing tri-hull boats in a 20,000-square-foot facility with 50 employees, it wasn’t long before Vic’s second successful boat company attracted the attention of investors. In 1973, Fuqua Industries purchased Signa Corporation. Fuqua had previously purchased Thunderbird Products and Formula Boats in 1969. Vic was named chairman of the small boat group, with $3 million in sales reported that year. Fuqua Industries manufactured the three small boat lines, including both Signa tri-hulls and Formula deep-V hull boats, through 1975.  Once again, Vic felt the need to head up a company all his own, and took advantage of the opportunity created by an energy crisis. In 1976, Vic purchased the small boat group from Fuqua Industries. Vic continued the company as Thunderbird Products, manufacturing the Signa and Formula boat lines. In 1979, Signa tri-hull production was ended, as market advancement indicated heavy preference for the deep-V hull Formula boats. The same year marked Thunderbird Products’ introduction of the Formula 302, a special edition offshore performance boat. In every direction, Vic led the company, creativity prevailed and successful innovation followed.  Vic made it a point during his boating career to be involved in the best interests of the industry. He was active in the BIA when it merged with the NAEBM to become the NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association) in 1979. During his years at Signa and at Thunderbird/Formula, Vic served both the BIA and the NMMA in various board positions.  In 1980, integrated, continuous cockpit liners improved both structure and design flow. 1982 marked Formula’s first use of Imron® hull graphics. In 1984, as an industry first, Thunderbird Products innovated and installed curved, tempered glass windshields. Also that year, the Silent Thunder exhaust system was introduced. In 1988, a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility was completed — 345,000 square feet to manufacture the highest quality powerboats possible with a dedicated workforce of 600 employees. From facility additions to the development of new boat lines – Sun Sports in 1994, FAS³Techs in 1997, Super Sports in 1999, Yachts in 2002, Crossovers in 2012, and the Flagship of the Formula lineup, the 500 Super Sport Crossover in 2021 Vic led the company with imagination and integrity into a model business manufacturing today’s prestigious Formula Boats. Vic was often seen in the manufacturing area and in the office. Vic’s entrepreneurial spirit took him, his family and his business to places he only imagined.  Vic remained happily married to his wife of 71 years, Kristine. Together they have six children, five of whom are actively involved in the Formula Boats business. Vic and Kris have 17 grandchildren, and over the years have seen interest in the company flow into the third generation; six grandchildren full time and a fourth generation employed as summer help. Vic and Kris have also been blessed with 19 great-grandchildren.  Vic appreciated the support of his community, family and employees throughout his life, and responded with personal involvement. Over the years he served with a number of organizations in various capacities such as the local Chamber of Commerce, including serving as president, in many areas with his church, area Boy Scouts, and helping spearhead the development and funding of Decatur’s Industrial Park. Vic was Adams County’s Republican Party chairman from 1973-1975, and was on the board of directors of the county hospital. In earlier years he was a volunteer fireman and helped coordinate a high school drug awareness program. He also served on the board of directors of Indiana Central College, the Cole Foundation Board and on various committees of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. The Porter Family Foundation provides philanthropic funding to local schools, churches and charities and provided the seed money for the formation of Woodcrest, a local not-for-profit retirement community. The Foundation donated the land for the new hospital in Decatur, as well as aiding substantially in funding an oncology center. He and Kristine also established an ongoing fund through the Adams County Community Foundation to benefit community projects. Over the years, Vic Porter’s service and entrepreneurial spirit gained recognition. In 1964, Vic received the Outstanding Young Businessman Award from the Decatur Chamber of Commerce, and in 1990, Vic was a finalist for the Indiana Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was that year’s recipient of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award, recognizing his outstanding involvement and contributions in his community and state. In 1994, the board of directors of Woodcrest chose the Porter name for the auditorium there, and in 1997, Vic was awarded the Stephen Decatur Community Service Award. In 2000, Thunderbird earned the Large Business of the Year Award. In 2012, Vic was inducted into Junior Achievement's Greater Fort Wayne Business Hall of Fame.  2016 marked the celebration of Indiana's 200th birthday. Vic was honored for his community involvement and contributions and was asked to participate in the monumental event. He was chosen to be a torchbearer for the Indiana Bicentenial Torch Relay, was held from September 9 through October 15. 2,200 torchbearers represented all 92 Indiana counties. Vic carried the torch by boat for 1/3 mile through Decatur.  October 16, 2016 marked Vic's induction to the NMMA Hall of Fame. The National Marine Manufacturers Association Hall of Fame was established in 1988 to recognize and honor individuals who have made or continue to make substantial contributions towards the advancement of the marine Industry. One has to be nominated and meet criteria that take many decades of dedication, effort and passion for the industry. Vic had clearly demonstrated a lifetime love for boating and striving to advance the industry.  As gratifying as all this is, his greatest satisfaction surely was that his family is carrying on in full accord with his example of living and giving, as well as continuing the business with the same values and goals he established.   His goal was to build a viable, Decatur-based, boat manufacturing company, and from the looks of it, mission accomplished. From small-town beginnings to the personally fulfilling present, Vic spent his time well, as proven by his business success and family following.

October 2, 2021

Stefano Righini 1951 - 2021

Stefano Righini left for the better World on Saturday second October.  Born in Rimini 1951 Righini will become one of the most important yacht designers of the past three decades, inventing and introducing together with Azimut-Benetti Group Research and Design important novelties in yachting which today have become a standard in yacht design.  From the large hull cabin windows first with profile and then without a profile, large glazing on the main deck, he will also change how the large open sport yacht above fifteen meter in size look and function with the Azimut S series introduced in 2003. Righini started his career in the seventies, with a bit of luck when his father who was a beach guardian, becomes a shipyard guardian due to the purchase of an area by Lavagna Admiral.  He will enter Admiral in 1971 and stay till 1979, then an ownership change happens and he moves to Viareggio.  Here he works with Tecnomarine, Falcon, and Overmarine Mangusta of which he will design all its yachts from 1986 till his retirement in 2017.  With Mangusta Righini will subsequently break the record for the largest open sport yacht ever build every other year till we arrive to the Mangusta 165 in 2008.  With Falcon, Righini will have the same rapport he had with Mangusta designing all there yachts from the late eighties when founded till the yacht builder closes its doors in 2015.  He will also work with Baglietto in the eighties doing three custom yachts for them, and also for Castagnola in the nineties doing two custom designs.  In the early nineties Righini will possibly mark his most important move when he starts to work with Azimut.  His first model is the 78 Ultra launched in 1993, and is followed by the AZ54 CinquantaQuattro in 94, with both yacht models changing how motor yachts in there respective sizes look and function.  From there onwards Stefano Righini will take full design duties at Azimut, designing after that date all the boats and yachts with the exception of the Magellano line introduced in 2009. In the end nineties the Azimut-Benetti Group also gives Righini design duties for the semi-custom less to 45 meters Benetti super yachts.  He starts first with the 35 Classic introduced in 1999, and eventually this line will become known as the Class line.  Righini will also design most of the Azimut-Benetti Group entry level Atlantis range models from 2003 to 2008.  Today Stefano Righini has to his credit over six thousand produced boats featuring his design, most of these being production Azimut yachts.

January 16, 2021

Cataldo Aprea 1949 - 2021

On Friday January 15, Cataldo Aprea of the boat builder Fratelli Aprea from Sorrento left for the better World.  Aged 71 years, Cataldo Aprea was a family born shipwright and is another of the nautical industry pillars to succumb to the Covid-19 virus.  The news of Cataldo's death was announced on the Fratelli Aprea Facebook page on Friday January 15 at 1200 hours.  Cataldo was the elder brother of six Aprea's; Giovanni, Gaetano, Antonio, Anna, and Lucia, representing the fourth generation of a boat building family which was founded in 1890.  Cataldo managed and run the Fratelli Aprea shipyard from Sorrento with his brothers which builds traditional Sorrento Gozzo from seven to fifteen meters in size.

November 9, 2020

Giancarlo Ragnetti 1946 - 2020

Giancarlo Ragnetti former Perini Navi CEO and founder left to the better World on November 8 in Viareggio, Italy.  Born in the Marche region on the Adriatic East Coast of Italy in 1946 Giancarlo Ragnetti entered in the maritime industry, first working in 1960 with Cantiere Navale Mario Morini in Ancona which build commercial ships.  In seventies Giancarlo Ragnetti started to work with RINA, and in the mid seventies he returned to boat building, joining Ortona Navi.  While at RINA and Ortona Navi, Giancarlo met Fabio Perini in 1978, and from there on the two went on to open Perini Navi in 1983, with Ragnetti as managing director.  Perini Navi eventually grew without limits from there onwards, becoming possibly the most important sailing superyacht builder of the past three decades.  Along with various prizes for Perini Navi, Giancarlo Ragnetti won himself the Leadership Award in 2013 bestowed to him by the International Superyacht Society.  Other hallmarks for Giancarlo Ragnetti was him overseeing the launch of Picchiotti in 2007 which Perini acquired previously.  Retiring from Perini in 2014, but keeping his post as Director Giancarlo Ragnetti latest duty was as director for UCINA from 2011 to 2015.  Giancarlo Ragentti leaves behind his wife Raffaella, daughter Francesca and son Simone.

July 28, 2020

Bob Roscioli 1942 - 2020

Bob Roscioli owner of one of South Florida's most well-known shipyards, died Monday 27 July 2020 from Covid-19 complications.  Bob Roscioli was 78 years old, founder of namesake Fort Lauderdale boating businesses Roscioli Yachting Center and Roscioli Donzi Yachts which produces custom sportfish yachts from 58 to 92 feet in an offer of thirteen models.  Bob Roscioli was hospitalized for more than a week before his death. He was a decades-long presence in the marine industry after launching his career as an apprentice in 1962.  Roscioli was known to offer opportunities to anyone ready for hard work, and would often hire veterans and former prisoners.  Roscioli began his career as a painter, using brushes to painstakingly color entire vessels before developing a novel spray-painting technique. When he was 20, he was fired for asking his employer for a raise, but this was a catalyst for his career and instead of quitting the marine business, he kept working on his own and eventually secured a few big clients. Eventually, he brokered a deal to lease space for his own business.  Bob Roscioli is survived by Sharon, his wife of 51 years; his children, Robert and Heather; and three grandchildren.

June 17, 2020

Howard Arneson 1921 - 2020

Howard Arneson has passed away at the age of 99, on June 16 at 2200 hours. His today world famous Arneson surface drives were first developed in offshore racing in 1980. The system allows the propeller to run partially above the the water line which in turn creates less drag.  Unlike previous invented surface drives the Arneson Surface Drive could also steer and trim, with previous similar inventions being fixed units and with rudders. After first testing the drives on an 18 Arena Craft, Arneson purchased a 38 wooden Cougar Cat to prove their worth.  Arneson driven by Tony Garcia, won nine races and two World Championships.  The system was also used on fast sport cruisers and yachts, with the first builders to commercial use the system being Italian builder Baia and American Magnum.  In 1992 Twin Disc acquired the rights to distribute and manufacture the Arneson Surface Drvies.  Arneson held eighteen patents for his various inventions, his most commercially successful was the Arneson Pool Sweep.  Legendary golfer Arnold Palmer promoted the product in the 1970’s.  Arneson was born May 25 1921 in Benicia, California, he died June 16 2020 in San Rafael, California.  Howard Arneson died of natural causes.

April 20, 2020

Ambrogio Carnevali 1933 - 2020

Ambrogio Carnevali went to the better World on Sunday 19th April at the age of 87 years old.  Ambrogio Carnevali leaves behind his wife Fernanda, his son Angelo, sister Anita and nephews.  Ambrogio Carnevali enters boat building in 1960 with Giancarlo Dellapasqua forming the Dellapasqua and Carnevali DC brand.  They where among the first in Italy to inspire themselves to the Hunt deep-v hull shape, and the use of a stern drive propulsion set up.  The success is immediate and they sell seventeen boats in the first year.  In 1992 Ambrogio Carnevali part ways with Dellpasqua and forms the Carnevali company with his son Angelo, who will take over complete management in 2005.  Carnevali is immediately a success from the launch of the first 36 model, up till the 2008 recession.  Carnevali has over the years and up till today made a total of seventeen different models from 30 feet up to a 72 flagship motor yacht.  It major sales come in the flybridge motor cruisers and yacht of thirteen to sixteen meter in size.

April 10, 2020

Tullio Abbate 1944 - 2020

Tullio Abbate founder of the same boat building name and famous powerboat racer for both inshore and offshore races passed to the better World this morning ninth April at ten o'clock, 2020.  Aged 75 Tullio Abbate was hospitalized at San Raffaele hospital in Milan since Saturday due to Covid-19 complications, and  lost the battle with the deadly virus this morning.  Tullio Abbate founded his boat yard on Lake Como in 1969, in-front of his father Guido, Abbate premises.  The Abbate family name has been building boats since 1873, and eventually the company splits in two separate names with Tullio and Bruno in the mid late seventies.  As a boat builder Tullio has build over eight thousand boats in over fifty years from smaller five meters speed boats, up to ninety feet plus sport yachts.  As a racer Tullio was a competitor and winner in both inshore and offshore races with his biggest success coming at the legendary One Hundred miles Centomiglia Lario race which he won eleven times with a self built boat.  Tullio Abbate was loved and respected by celebrities with various sport and Formula One racers not only becoming his customers over the years but also friends.  Tullio was one of the few who still followed the Italian power-boating tradition of putting high performance car engines from Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche into powerboats.  Tullio Abbate leaves behind his wife and five children.