When he started working at BoatUS in 1977 as an eager warehouse worker, technical director editor Bob Adriance didn’t fathom the impact he would have on the thousands of recreational boaters he has helped through the years.
Adriance found his niche with growing and improving the marine industry’s only boat damage-avoidance BoatUS publication, Seaworthy magazine.
“Having the claims files allowed me to drill down and look for solutions,” Adriance said in a BoatUS statement.
Now, after three decades and authoring more than 500 articles for Seaworthy, Adriance is stepping down to retire. BoatUS technical services director Beth Leonard will take over for him.
After a short stint in the BoatUS product warehouse, he was soon recognized for his writing abilities and initially wrote copy for the BoatUS Marine Products Catalog. He began writing for Seaworthy in 1985. In his typical self-deprecating and understated style, Adriance says, “Somehow, I wound up in the only job at BoatUS I had some talent for.”
Adriance was appointed director of BoatUS Technical Services in 1996, where he helped the boating world learn from others’ mistakes. His proudest achievements were a significant body of work on hurricane damage prevention, fighting the misguided movement toward the “designated skipper” concept that gave boaters a false sense of security and more recent efforts to prevent electric shock drowning fatalities from poorly maintained boat docks.
An accomplished sailor who sails out of Galesville, Md., Adriance also was the editor of BoatUS’s Technical Information Exchange for marine professionals and author of the book “Seaworthy, The Essential Lessons from BoatUS’ Case File of Things Gone Wrong.”
Writing about the serious issues of boating safety and boat damage is potentially a dry and uninviting subject, but Adriance’s voice, laced with a subtle humor and the friendly tone of your dock mate or boating buddy, made the information interesting and teachable.
He will remain a member of BoatUS’s board of directors, the BoatUS National Advisory Council and the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety, and a consultant to BoatUS. His immediate plans are to sail around Cape Horn, South America, a lifelong dream.