Chairman and Founder of BoatUS to Retire on July 1

Richard Schwartz, Chairman and Founder of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS,) has announced his retirement. Schwartz ran BoatUS for 47 years and will leave the association in the hands of BoatUS president Margaret Bonds Podlich.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Richard Schwartz, Chairman and Founder of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS,) has announced his retirement. Schwartz ran BoatUS for 47 years and will leave the association in the hands of BoatUS president Margaret Bonds Podlich. He plans to stay on as Chairman of the BoatUS Board of Directors and Chairman of the BoatUS National Advisory Council.

As Schwartz shoves off into the sea of retirement, the 83-year-old leave his length legacy to continue growing on shore. He was inspired to change the boating industry in the 1960s, after what began as a day of recreational boating with a friend. His friend was issued a ticket for improper engine compartment ventilation, which turned out to be a problem with the boat’s construction. Schwartz was just starting out as an anti-trust attorney but he saw a need for boater legal representation. Hence, BoatUS was born and Schwartz was determined to bolster support in "service, savings and representation” for recreational boaters.

His influence didn't stop there. Created in 1967, the BoatUS Marine Insurance Program provided boat policies for recreational boaters, a first in the industry. The program is based on Schwartz’s translation of boat policy from the then-standard outdated language to clear terms. From that program came Seaworthy, a publication for advice on avoiding claims and injuries. Today, BoatUS has a magazine also, called BoatUS Magazine.

Schwartz helped shape the Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971, which allows the US Coast Guard to penalize boat manufacturers when boats don’t meet certain safety standards. The legislation created the US Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety as well. Throughout the 1970s, Schwartz created the only Consumer Protection Bureau to help boaters seek redress against manufacturers and businesses, including a Dispute Mediation Program.

By the early 1990s, BoatUS expanded to various sectors of the boating world, including a chain of 62 retail stores under the same name. In time, Schwartz formed the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, a nonprofit foundation that provides online boating safety courses and lifejackets for children. In the 1980s, Schwartz added BoatUS Towing Services to the association.

For his crucial contributions to the industy Schwartz won several awards including the Council's Hall of Fame Award (1995); the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators' Annual Award (1983) and Lifetime Achievement Award (1999); the US Coast Guard's Distinguished Public Service Commendation (2000); the US Power Squadron's Raymond A. Finlay Sea Scout Service Award (2005); and the National Marine Manufacturers Association's Charles S. Chapman Award (2006).

Related

01-LEAD-IMG20210409160620-copy

Cruising: La Soufrière Volcano Eruption

This past spring my family and I were at anchor aboard our 50ft steel-hulled cutter, Atea, off Bequia, a small island five miles south of St. Vincent in the Southern Antilles. Bequia’s large, protected bay is lined by a collection of beach bars, restaurants and hotels, and is a ...read more

01-LEAD-GMR_ISLA_0415-1

Electric Multihulls

Witnessing the proliferation of Tesla automobiles you would have no doubt that the revolution in electromobility is well underway. Turn your gaze to the cruising world, though, and you might well wonder what went wrong. Where are all the electric boats? And as for electric ...read more

Lee-Cloths-Lee-Boards-and-single-bunks-on-ISBJORN_by-Andy-Schell_Trans-Atlantic-2019

The Perfect Offshore Boat: Part 2

November, 2009: Mia and I were sailing our 1966 Allied Seabreeze yawl, Arcturus, on our first-ever offshore passage together, a short hop from Wilmington, North Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida. Our second night out, the brisk northwesterly wind shut down, but the sea state ...read more

210727_JR_SE_Tokyo20_186871368

Tune in for Olympic Sailing

Today marks the start of 470 and NARCA 17 racing on Enoshima Bay, and racing in the other seven fleets is already underway. A few of the American sailors are already off to an impressive start, with Maggie Shea and Stephanie Roble currently in second place in the 49er FX, Luke ...read more

Happy-Cat

Boat Review: Happy Cat Hurricane

I’m not sure what I expected from my daysail on the Happy Cat Hurricane. One thing I do know is that the day didn’t go as planned. The SAIL staff was invited by Alex Caslow from Redbeard Sailing to Gunpowder State Park on Chesapeake Bay near Baltimore. We were to test several ...read more

210722_PM_Tokyo20_4910_5979-2048x

Olympic Sailing Guide

The Opening Ceremony for the Tokyo Games is finally here. From July 24 to August 4, sailors from across the world will be gathering on six courses on Enoshima Bay to race for gold. Ten classes will take part in the event: RS:X (men), RS:X (women), Laser Full Rig, Laser Radial, ...read more

01-LEAD-TobagoCaysHorseshoeColors

Chartering: Voltage is King

For some time now, both in the pages of this magazine and with individual charterers, I’ve talked about how important it is to pay close attention during a charter checkout. The idea is to listen “between the lines,” as it were, to be sure you aren’t missing any hidden red flags ...read more

AC75-No.-1

ETNZ May Abandon New Zealand

Remember when the Kiwis were the young, underfunded upstarts of the America’s Cup world, with right on their side as they took on the Big Bad Americans? Remember the withering criticism leveled at Larry Ellison when, in the wake of “The Comeback” on San Francisco Bay, arguably ...read more