If you’ve visited Lynnhaven Marine this year–especially on Saturdays–you might have noticed something missing.
That would be Roy Maurer, an 18-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, who could often be found on our docks performing vessel inspections, running boat safety programs, and just being a friendly soul to our staff, our customers and our visitors.
In the wake of the Covid-19 epidemic, during which activities involving the US Coast Guard Auxiliary services have been severely cut back, Roy decided this would be a good time to hang up his epaulets and take retirement. That doesn’t mean Roy plans to disappear: he’s still got (currently) three Jack Russell terriers to keep him busy, along with de-cluttering his life and working on his autobiography.
As it turns out, Roy’s 18 years with the Coast Guard Auxiliary represents the longest period of time he spent in one place in his entire career. He lived for several years in Japan, where he worked in radio and taught English classes in schools. In this country, he lived and worked in several places around the country. He worked in civil rights, the labor movement, helped start a halfway house for ex-cons in Iowa and even designed the Equal Opportunity Housing logo for the US Department of HUD.
It’s no wonder the title of his autobiography is entitled “An Attention Deficient Life”– he didn’t stay in one place very long!
But that wasn’t the case once he landed in Virginia Beach. Over his 18 years as an auxiliarist, he became the Coast Guard’s number one vessel inspector in this district. One summer, he recalls, he inspected 164 boats! Over the years, most of the boats and boaters he worked with were pleasure boaters, but he did occasionally get called to inspect larger commercial vessels as well.
A friend who was leaving the service recommended that Roy Maurer set up inspections at Lynnhaven Marine back in 2003. Roy met Chuck Guthrie, the marina’s owner, and the two quickly developed a good working relationship.
“Chuck is a great guy,” Roy says, “An excellent manager, but also an intellectual and a great photographer. He runs a professional marina.”
In the beginning, Roy would appear on Saturdays and Sundays to offer the official Coast Guard inspection service to marina customers. He eventually cut that back to just Saturdays, as he learned the Sunday traffic were people who just wanted to get out on the water. Eventually, Lynnhaven provided Roy with an official chair and he would surround himself with his home-made signs offering advice, as well as his services.
Over the years, Roy has gotten to know many of the boaters based at Lynnhaven, as well as their kids and families. If your boat hasn’t been inspected by Roy, it’s likely you or a family member has taken one of his boating safety courses or seminars.
Roy remembers doing a boat safety presentation for one of the early sessions of the Women Making Waves program at Lynnhaven. He passed out life jackets to all the attendees…jackets still wrapped in their packaging…and then told the attendees to pretend there was a drastic emergency on board and timed them to see how long it took to unwrap, don and fit the life jackets. The point, as he told them, was the need to be prepared to act quickly in an emergency at sea, which meant life jackets should be open, pre-fitted and ready to go at a moment’s notice.
“Most people these days are finally wearing the seat belts in their cars,” he says. “Now we’ve got to get boaters into the habit of wearing life jackets automatically when at sea.”
We at Lynnhaven Marine wish Roy Maurer a healthy and happy retirement and wish to thank him, on behalf of the countless customers and friends he has helped, for his service in making boating safer and healthier for all. Most of all, we’re glad he chose to spend a lot of his attention here with us over the last 18 years.