• Contact Claims: 1-800-937-1937
  • Get a Free Quote: 1-800-283-2883
  • 1-800-245-2628
  • 9AM - 5PM EST
  • 1-800-365-5636
Viewing Blog

View All Blogs | View Blogs by Membership | View Blogs in Membership

<- Previous Blog by Membership | Next Blog by Membership ->

Happy Birthday to Richard Schwartz!

By Membership - Published August 19, 2009 - Viewed 28899 times

As the Chairman and Founder of BoatUS Richard Schwartz turns 80 this month, please take this opportunity to wish Richard a very Happy Birthday! Share your memories of meeting Richard, post pictures, share old boating stories, or just drop him a note.

To comment and share in our celebration of Richard's 80th birthday, send your thoughts and pictures to eLine@BoatUS.com, and put in the Subject Line "Happy Birthday." Be sure to include your Membership number and we will post some of your comments below.

A brief history of BoatUS and Richard's hard working efforts to make boating better, safer and more fun:

1964: BoatUS founder Richard Schwartz registers the “BoatUS” and “Boat Owners Association of The United States” names in Washington, D.C.
1966: BoatUS officially begins accepting Members. Membership totals 1,000.
1967: Schwartz testifies before Congress in an attempt to make manufacturers of recreational boats more responsible for boat safety.  This set the stage for the passage of The Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971, which “[gave] the Coast Guard authority to set uniform safety standards for recreational boats.”
1970: The BoatUS Consumer Protection Bureau, a dispute resolution arm of BoatUS was begun to help members settle individual disputes with retailers and/or manufacturers .
1977: First BoatUS retail store opens in Alexandria, Virginia. Membership reaches 30,000.  
1979: Schwartz appointed to the National Boating Safety Advisory Council by the U.S. Coast Guard Commandant.  
1980: BoatUS hires its first Director of Government and Public Affairs to lobby Congress on behalf of recreational boaters.  
1981: BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety forms.
1983: First BoatUS Catastrophe Team established to “assist Members in [insurance-related] post-hurricane recovery efforts.”
1992: BoatUS Foundation completes a 2 1⁄2 year study of inflatable life jackets, leading to the U.S. Coast Guard approving their use.
1994: BoatUS Towing institutes the country’s first 24-hour toll-free service. The service instituted unique technology that located the nearest towboat and teleconferencing boater and towboat.  
1995: BoatUS Foundation establishes a safety program that rents Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) to boaters going offshore.   
1998: The TRAILER ASSIST program launches, providing roadside assistance to boaters trailering their boats.
2005: BoatUS Foundation’s online tutorial on Digital Selective Calling, a new way for recreational boaters in distress to call for assistance on the water.
2007: BoatUS ANGLER program launched, to provide BoatUS benefits geared to fishermen.
2008: BoatUS and NMMA get "The Clean Boating Act of 2008" passed, preventing all recreational boaters from having to obtain a discharge permit to operate their boat.


Blog Comments

There are 23 blog comments.

Comment by Membership | Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 at 4:53:04 PM

Sir, I pray you have many blessings on your birthday. Its people like you, who make positive difference in the world. Thank you for everything you do, and for many more birthdays!!!! -Mikey

Comment by Membership | Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 11:39:06 AM


Wishing you a Happy Birthday, lets see... you were 41 when I joined BOAT US in 1970.
                                            Best regards, G.Gerber

Comment by Membership | Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 11:39:40 AM

Happy Birthday Richard!  As a boater for close to 55 years, I appreciate all your work and what you have done for our sport!  Again have a great birthday!
Bobby G.

Comment by Membership | Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 11:40:05 AM

Just a short note to THANK YOU for all you do and have done for the boating comunnity in the past 40 plus years.
Have a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY and many moore.
Capt R.J.Sinnigen

Comment by Membership | Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 11:41:04 AM

Dear Richard,

Best wishes for many years of continued boating activities! Our son got married this August in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and we had a wonderful boating tour of Jackson Lake. We usually are on the Barnegat Bay in New Jersey. At over 400 feet in depth, Jackson Lake was a far cry from the 6 foot depths we usually encounter.
Happy Birthday!

Comment by Membership | Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 11:41:36 AM

Eighty sounded pretty daggon old....until I realized that I'll be eighty in about 2 years. My Family began sailing on the Chesapeake Bay in the 1800's, and we continue to do so. We do  so with added safety and enjoyment thanks to your expertise. That's thanks from my extended Family.  M. Levy

Comment by Membership | Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 11:42:43 AM

I just wanted to wish Richard a Happy 80th Birthday.  I spoke to Richard about a year ago  and the conversation quickly turned to our mutual boating interests and how our paths had recently crossed at Fairview Beach.  It struck me how boating and the protection of the relaxed easy lifestyle that comes from being out with friends and family on the water was his true passion.  His sincere invitation to introduce myself (now that I had seen his picture on the website) the next time our paths crossed at one of the Potomac River's waterside restaurants was as genuine as they come, perfectly inline with promoting his passion.  Happy Birthday!
D. Stoudt

Comment by Membership | Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 11:43:30 AM

Happy Birthday to you!

Been involved with you all for awhile-     Matthew :( james Bliss Rowes wharf  Boston, Harbor)

Comment by Membership | Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 11:44:32 AM

Good on ye. Just turned 80 myself a few weeks ago. I must say you have retained a lot more hair than I.
 Thanks for all the good work you have done through BOAT/US over the many years. Happy birthday and many more.


Comment by Membership | Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 11:45:57 AM

You are a true hero to the boating world!  On behalf of my entire squadron,  a very happy birthday and a fervent desire to continue to see you at United States Power Squadron events in the future. 
Andy P.,
Lake Mohave Power Squadron 

Comment by Membership | Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 1:18:31 PM

We've never had the pleasure of meeting Mr Schwartz but would like to wish him a very happy birthday. Boat US has given us peace of mind, as we have a wooden ex fishery patrol boat built in 1941 and had occasion to call and ask for assistance last March. Vessel Assist came to our rescue.We definitely recommend Boat US to all boaters we meet.

Again, happy birthday and thank you. N. & B. Brook.

Comment by Membership | Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 1:20:55 PM

At 84 we have been together on this journey. Thank you for all you have done for us boaters and you are young enough to still lead us on until the very end.

                                                As Always Capt. Andy

Comment by Membership | Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 1:23:16 PM

Yeah, welcome to the eighties.  I'm eighty five and boating all our adult life.  I do believe that I must have been one of the earliest to join BOAT US way back then.  Thanks for your energy and efforts on behalf of all who boat. 
-J. Altshuler

Comment by Membership | Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 1:24:55 PM

I want to wish you a very Happy Birthday. I have been a member of BoatUS for many years and appreciate all you have done for the boating public.
A. Johnson

Comment by gcameron | Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 2:17:39 PM



When I joined you were only 45. I've brought in a lot of individual members and the whole Grosse Pointe Sail Club. Good Luck in the future.

Com. L. G. Cotter


Comment by Membership | Posted on Friday, August 21, 2009 at 9:57:57 AM


Comment by Membership | Posted on Friday, August 21, 2009 at 10:02:53 AM

I am pleased that you have reached the octogenarian stage of your life and it has been a very productive one at that.  You truly have made a difference in the boating world and it has been my distinct pleasure to work with you and the fine people at BoatUS as we both have encountered many challenges.  Here in California BoatUS has continued to support the work of the Recreational Boaters of California of which I am a Past President. I have attached a photo taken a few years ago in which you are included.

Happy Birthday My friend and may we both continue to  have many more.

R. Robinson
Past President and Ex-Officio member of the Board of Directors
Recreational Boaters of California

Comment by Membership | Posted on Friday, August 21, 2009 at 4:07:23 PM

I met our Chairman at a National Safe Boating Committee meeting in Tampa many years ago. Since then he has gone on to other successes, and I certainly wish him well.

H. Nygren, Rear Admiral NOAA (Retired)

Comment by Membership | Posted on Friday, August 21, 2009 at 4:08:39 PM

This is J. Rose, your classmate in the Princeton Class of 1951 congratulating you on your 80th Birthday.  I had my 82nd Birthday a few days ago.  It was such a pleasure to meet you during our Princeton 51 Mini Reunion here in Washington a few years ago.  I still enjoy my 17 foot Boston Whaler which I have near our summer home at Prouts Neck, Maine from which I just returned.  Enjoy yourself and savor the pleasure of looking back on all the great things you have accomplished.

Comment by Membership | Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 at 1:51:04 PM

Mr. Schwartz--

Boat US is a fine organization that I have benefited from for many years--insurance, tows and information in the magazine and "Seaworthy."

Each time I see your picture, I wonder if you are the same Richard Schwartz that I sailed with in 1977 on a singles cruise on a rented sloop out of Hartge's in Galesville, MD. A strong storm blew up when we were north of the Bay Bridge and that Richard Scwartz expertly handled an unfamiliar craft with a largely novice crew and got us back safely to Galesville, Hartge's and Pirates Cove for dinner.

Have pictures of that day, which was quite pleasant until the storm broke in the afternoon.

In any event--thanks for founding Boat US and have a very happy 80th birthday.

R. G. Hunt

Comment by Membership | Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 at 1:51:40 PM

Happy Birthday Mr. Schwartz.  I hope you have a great one, and thanks for your many contributions to boating and boating safety.
Take care & enjoy your birthday!!

Comment by Membership | Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 at 1:52:51 PM

Please convey my "Happy Birthday" wishes to Richard Schwartz with best wishes for many more healthy, productive years.

Chronologically, I am two years his senior, but in terms of achievement I think he is tops in creating interest in recreational boating, creating awareness of the importance of the industry and influencing legislation benefitting boaters.

I have been a BOAT U.S. member since 1978, USPS member since 1974, and remember sitting next to Richard during a USPS Governing Board Liaison Committee luncheon in 1995 in Miami Beach. We had an animated discusssion about his  founding of BOAT U.S., WW ll, etc. I realized quickly he had a great grasp of developing situations with the ability to get to the heart of a problem quickly.

As you might surmise, I have been an admirer of Richard Schwartz for a long time and I thank him for his many contributions to the sport we love.

P/Stf/C F. C. Sellenraad, SN
Liaison/HS Coordinator, GPRCom, USPS

Comment by Membership | Posted on Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 4:38:47 PM

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I am glad you are still getting more “life Experienced”!
I have belonged to BOAT/US since 1978 when I first went to a “Veteran’s Day Sale” down on Pickett Street and I am SO glad I joined!  I lived in Rockville and used to drive down “Shirley Highway” at lunch time to “shop”.
You have served the American and Canadian boating communities superbly and I personally appreciate how much your involvement has helped promote safety, more sane governmental regulation at all levels of government and benefits (TowBOAT/US, etc.) I otherwise might not have thought of or afforded!!  You ARE a real hero for this industry and activity!

God Bless YOU and YOURS!  Again, a Joyous Birthday to you and MANY more!

Sincerely, M. L. Heiges, Jr.

Post Blog Comments

Sorry but you must be logged in to submit comments.