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Boating consumer affairs director retires

After 26 years of fighting for boaters' consumer rights, BoatUS Consumer Affairs Department director Caroline Ajootian announced her retirement.

The boating organization’s Seaworthy Magazine editor Charles Fort will assume the helm of the BoatUS Consumer Protection Bureau, the only consumer advocacy program dedicated solely to boaters seeking redress from manufacturers, suppliers or businesses, BoatUS said.

The bureau also offers the only online database of consumer complaints and safety information, as well as a free online Recall Safety Alert Registry.

Ajootian sailed on Long Island Sound and the New England coast as a child growing up in New York. She later worked at her family's wooden-boat workshop and was a newspaper reporter and photographer before she joined BoatUS in 1986.

Many BoatUS members will recognize her name for her consumer-driven stories in BoatUS Magazine, and she was fondly known among users of BoatUS online chat boards as the helpful "Ask Caroline" moderator. She also managed the BoatUS Salvage Arbitration Program.

"Almost everything else we know today about recreational boating and the businesses that produce, sell and service boats is completely different from what it was 25 years ago," Ajootian said in a statement.

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