Charles B. Husick - 1933-2010

BoatUS Advisory Council Member and BoatUS Magazine Columnist

Charles B. (Chuck) Husick, BoatUS Advisory board member, BoatUS Magazine columnist and online boating resource, died September 13, 2010 at home in St. Petersburg, FL, after a nine-month illness. He was 77.

Husick served as a volunteer on the BoatUS National Advisory Council for 15 years. The Advisory Council is comprised of leaders in recreational boating who focus on a wide range of issues affecting boating and our waterways. His valuable and thoughtful participation over the years helped the leaders of BoatUS tackle the issues of the day. He represented BoatUS and boaters’ interests on a variety of committees, including the board of directors of The Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services and the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System Task Force (Rescue 21). Chuck’s technical expertise was instrumental in assuring standards for products such as VHF radios, AIS receivers, nautical charts and GPS receivers would be safe and practical for public consumption. He was tireless in his efforts to have the FCC radio license requirement lifted for Americans cruising to Canada and the Bahamas, as well as updated EPA standards and regulations for marine sanitation devices. As testament to his expertise, Husick had recently been named the new editor of Chapman Piloting and Seamanship, 66th edition.

The manner in which Husick first interacted with BoatUS in the 1980s underscores his commitment to consumer fairness in an era when boat owners were normally at the mercy of manufacturers when faced with boat defects. In 1988, the BoatUS Consumer Protection Bureau received over 166 reports of hull cracks in certain models of Chris-Craft boats and reported on them in BoatUS Reports. Some involved boats taking on water while underway; the Coast Guard declined to issue a recall; the then head of Murray-Chris Craft downplayed the reports. However, in July 1988, Chuck Husick took over as president of the company and immediately came to BoatUS Headquarters for meetings on the hull problems. Quickly, the company initiated its own voluntary recall of 166 Amerosport boats, offering inspections and repairs to owners, and corrected the production problem on all new boats.

Husick was instrumental to helping BoatUS reach boaters and its members on a variety of topics. Chuck’s knowledge (and love) of boating and his electronic expertise made him an excellent source for information on just about everything marine. His series of articles on complex communication issues, boat handling and navigation – to name a few – made him an invaluable resource to boaters everywhere. Through his magazine articles, “Tech Connection” column, and “Ask the Experts” online series thousands of boaters young and old benefited from his advice.

In 2005, he helped the BoatUS Foundation develop an interactive CD tutorial on marine radio communications and how to use new VHF-DSC technology. Hundreds of thousands of these educational CDs have been distributed, stressing the importance of knowing how to use a marine radio with actual simulation and sample calls.

The unflagging time and effort that Chuck gave freely to the boating community will be difficult to replace but his legacy will be the safer boats, array of affordable equipment and safety practices he brought to boating.

As requested by the family, donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water

Charles Husick
Aviation and Marine Expert

Charles Husick, of St. Petersburg, Florida, an internationally-known expert on the aviation and marine industries, died September 13, 2010 after 76 active years and a 9 month illness. He was 77.

Husick, an electrical engineer, started his career as a lieutenant in the United States Army Corps of Engineers, where he served in Southern France. Upon returning from active duty, he worked designing analog computer systems, as well as telemetry systems used in NASA’s Project Gemini. After a brief stint working as a general manager for an industrial X-ray company, Husick translated his love of flying and sailing into positions in companies in the aviation and marine industries.

A long-time pilot and flight instructor, with over 6,000 flight hours in a wide variety of aircraft, he worked as President of Narco Avionics and Konel Marine Electronics, and Vice President of Narco Scientific, Executive Vice President of Cessna Aircraft Company. and Senior Vice President of Fairchild Industries. He also served as chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturer’s Association, where he worked tirelessly to support general aviation’s development.

As a mariner, Husick, former chairman of Chris-Craft Yachts, held a Coast Guard Master’s License, served on the Advisory Committee of BoatUS, the Radio-Technical Commission for Maritime Services, and was the editor of Chapman’s Piloting and Seamanship, 66th Ed., long-known as the bible of boating information. He has published technical articles in yachting magazines for over twenty years. His April 1st features, many co-written with his son, have become legendary, spoofing innovations in the boating field, and in 2001, even earned him an award from Boating Writers International. He was an accomplished long-distance sailor, imparting a love for that activity to his sons and grandchildren.

A life-long engineer, he took great pleasure in teaching by sketching on restaurant napkins during meals, as well as in formal classrooms. He held several patents, and invented constantly. He was very fond of the comedy of Monty Python and the music of Gilbert and Sullivan, “treating” his family to regular Sunday “concerts” of HMS Pinafore and The Mikado. He was an avid bicyclist, often riding for 20 or more miles well beyond his 76th birthday.

Husick was born in Brooklyn, New York and graduated from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. He moved to St. Petersburg in the late 1980s upon his appointment to run Chris-Craft. He served as Commodore of the Pass a Grille Yacht Club in 2000 and had an inexplicable fondness for yacht club cuisine, with a side of very bad jokes.

In addition to Louisa, his wife of 17 years, Husick is survived by his sister, two sons, four grandchildren, two nephews, three great-nieces, and a great nephew. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water.

Written by Charles's son Lawrence Husick


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Posted By: Dave Rogers on
Chuck and I exchanged many Emails as I began and finished the development of a new system for protecting recreational boater from death and serious injuries. His comments were invalualble. Most memorable, Chuck, in addition to point-out the favorable features of equipment and practices, Chuck did not hold back on stating limitations and how things may be improved. He was always noticably kind in all his words, and that commanded, from me, one heck of a lot of respect for him. We were born the same year 1933 so I very deeply hope that coincidence will cause some of his generosity, kindness and encouragement will 'rub-off' on me. We still have a big job to do out there.....
Posted By: RALPH BRADY on
Posted By: Capt. A.P."Sandy" Smith on
Chuck's tireless efforts to educate, and support the marine community, will be missed greatly. As a long time member of Boat US, and Coast Guard Master Mariner, I have read his articles for years. It was always quite apparent, that he lived his life, with total commitment to whatever he decided to undertake. My deepest sympathies to all his family, and friends. Capt. A.P."Sandy" Smith--Retreat, Orlando, Florida.
Posted By: Daniel on
Very sad news. I have a library of Mr. Husick's work and have implemented a few of his articles. Warmest sentiments to his family. Thank you Chuck for all your articles.
Posted By: Ron on
Chuck was an icon in the boating world. I'll miss all his informative advice and articles.
Posted By: Frankie Bianco jr on
Lawrence,Want to say I'm sorry to hear of your Dad's passing away. frankie Massachusetts
Posted By: Steve Penk on
I always looked forward to Chuck's column. They were very helpful to a novice boater like myself. Rest in Peace as you embark on your Final Journey.
Posted By: Sam Barkdoll on
I loved this guy... He was a man among men. God Bless his soul for sharing so much of his knowledge with me all these years. I salute you good friend.
Posted By: George McGuire on
I have been a long time member of BoatUS, mainly because of the knowledge of Chuck Husick! I teach a boating safety and Seamanship course, and he is quoted regularly in my class. We'll be hard pressed to find another! Thanks, Chuck!
Posted By: Tom Neale on
We are all going to miss Chuck Husick more than we can ever imagine. We owe him so much. And beyond that, he was such a great guy. It's impossible for me to express my feeling of loss for our friend. Tom Neale
Posted By: Lawrence Husick on
Thanks to all of our friends at BoatUS. My Father valued your friendship and the work that you do for all those who love boating. Your work for safer and cleaner waterways is a testament to his life's work. Lawrence
Posted By: Capt Jeff Sweetland on
Though I never had the honor of meeting Chuck Husick, I feel like I knew him well from his tremendous advice to boaters everywhere. The boating knowledge gained from reading his articles can never be replaced. He will be missed. May the wind be at your back with following seas.