EIGHT BELLS: HENRY MARX
Capt. Henry Marx personified the salty old-style chandlery owner — a friend to many sailors, a naval-history buff and an entrepreneur who remained a sailor’s advocate.
Many Long Island Sound sailors got to know Henry and his chandlery as the no-nonsense source for quality sailing gear. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to developing Landfall Navigation into a thriving brick-and-mortar business, Henry published an information-rich catalog and became an online vendor. Throughout, he remained a practical visionary, and his contributions to the sailing community kept pace with the growth of his business.
Henry passed away from pneumonia on June 28 in Greenwich, Connecticut. He was 77.
Henry’s version of “value added” included a commitment to safety, seamanship and youth sailing. It all began right in his own backyard when he extended a helping hand to a fledgling learn-toswim and learn-to-sail civic program that targeted underserved children. For 18 busy years, the Young Mariners program gained ground, and in 2016, Henry and other board members saw a way to grow the concept even further. They merged their Stamford, Connecticut, nonprofit with Sound Waters, a larger, hands-on environmental education program that teaches more than 25,000 students annually.
Henry also played a key role in helping to develop the US Sailing Coastal Safety at Sea program. He and his staff signed up a handful of like-minded sailors and took his safety roadshow to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut and the Mariners’ Museum in Virginia.
The Cruising Club of America and Storm Trysail Club have formally recognized Henry for his commitment to safety training. But, for those who spend time at sea, he’s most appreciated for the “Henry Marx feedback loop” — a crucial link between the industry and his customers. When Henry discovered a well-made, reliable piece of gear, he became a staunch advocate for the product. But when there were problems, Henry was the bulldog who lobbied on behalf of the sailor — always attuned to the risks and rewards of going to sea.