Sharing A Love For The Water


A Man With A Plan

By Bernadette Bernon
Published: August/September 2013

This boat-loving, Jaguar-driving, government-fighting 84-year-old warrior is retiring this summer. Sort of. Our editors sit down with the founder of BoatUS.

Photo of Richard Schwartz on his boat Richard Schwartz, enjoying one of his favorite places on earth.

Within four decades, Richard Schwartz has changed the face of American recreational boating. Through his efforts and those of BoatUS, the membership organization he founded in 1966, boats are built to more stringent safety standards, boaters' rights are defended from coast to coast through the BoatUS Government Affairs office, and boaters who have problems with boat and product manufacturers have an advocate, BoatUS Consumer Protection, that will go to bat for them.

He and his team also created the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation For Boating Safety and Clean Water; BoatUS Marine Insurance, one of the largest and most comprehensive marine-insurance operations in America; TowBoatUS, the on-the-water towing company with over 300 locations and 600 boats all over the U.S.; and BoatUS TRAILER ASSIST, offering unique roadside-assistance service for trailerable boats.

Photo of Richard with Warren Buffet
Richard sharing an evening with Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway.

Richard is 84 now, full of energy, and still as engaged and proud as he was 47 years ago, particularly whenever he meets BoatUS members — at boat shows, in airports, or when he and his family are out on the water. He comes into his office in the BoatUS Alexandria, Virginia, headquarters every weekday, as smartly dressed as ever, a jaunty handkerchief always in his jacket breast pocket. Recently, our BoatUS editors had fun sitting down with him for an intimate conversation, after he made the announcement that he was "retiring."

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