Cruising World - - Underway - —Ralph Naranjo

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.

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