Eight Bells: Skip Allen

Published on March 27th, 2014

An industry leader, mentor and treasure has left us. George Lyle “Skip” Allen passed away March 23, 2014, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was 84 years of age.

Skip was born October 24, 1929, to George and Charlotte Allen in New York City and attended schools in the Northeast. Skip was raised in Larchmont, New York, and found his love of the water and all things boating when as a child he first saw a tugboat on the Hudson River. During his years in New York, Skip was a Larchmont volunteer fireman, joined the Merchant Marines during WWII, and was involved in promoting the America’s Cup campaigns and participated by driving photography and committee boats.

Working for such legends as Charles Chapman at Motorboating and Sailing launched Skip’s lifelong career in the marine industry. Skip was also a founder of Popular Boating magazine, later known as Boating magazine. Skip relocated the family to Miami Beach, Florida, in 1967, where he worked for Bertram Yachts.

In 1972, Skip founded Southern Boating magazine and in 1980, the first U.S. Spanish-language recreational boating magazine, Mar Abierto, also widely distributed in Latin and South America. In 1986, he launched the Marine Business Journal, a trade publication. During those boom years Skip hosted numerous celebrations that many in the industry still remember. He also led flotillas of recreational boat owners to the Bahamas.

Skip was considered an icon in the marine industry and recognized with many awards including the first Monk Farnham Award, the 1987 NMMA Directors Award, the 2001 Marine Industries of South Florida Golden Anchor Award, the 2004 Charles F. Chapman Memorial Award, and the 2013 Cacique Award for International Writer of the Year presented by The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. Skip was a member of the Larchmont (New York) Yacht Club, Storm Trysail Club, Royal Nassau (Bahamas) Sailing Club, Cruising Club of America, Ocean Reef Club, SORC, and the Lauderdale (Florida) Yacht Club, including the Restless Weasels.

Skip’s greatest love was his family, and from an early age they were instilled with a love for boating. Skip’s boat “Press On Regardless” is well known throughout the Bahamas, where he spent significant time cruising. Through his example, his family all share his passion, which gave him enormous satisfaction and pride.

He is survived by Helen, wife of 14 years, son Richard John “Skip” (Michele), daughter Cathryn Allen-Zubizarreta, daughter Jody Lewis (Steve), daughter Paige Conlan (Tom), son George, and seven grandchildren: Charlotte,
Alexandra, Corey, Michael, Ashley, Christina, and Calli. His wife Joanne and son Frederick George Allen predeceased him.

A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 401 SE 15 Ave., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301, on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Bahamas Air-Sea Rescue Association (BASRA), which Skip helped form to assist yachts in emergency situations. www.basra.org

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