Obituary: Bob Henry

Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Bob Henry (age 61), vice president and founder of Bay Marine, Inc. died December 18, 2003. Although Henry suffered from heart disease for years and more recently, from Parkinson’s disease, he battled back and was working nearly full time. Henry, a boat builder from a young age, completed his first at age 11. At 16, he built his own boat and cruised from Essex, Conn. to Lake Champlain. After graduating from the Webb Institute, Henry worked for Gladding Hearn Shipbuilding and Jack Gilbert before landing a job managing the Matton Shipyard in Cohoes, NY at the eastern end of the Erie Canal. In the early 70’s, he moved to Rhode Island with his wife Kathy and two young sons, Shawn and Seth where he went on to manage the Blount shipyard. In 1975, he started Bay Marine, Inc. with the design of a 72-ft. offshore Lobsterboat, the Mark Darren. With only a brief hiatus during which he was involved in the beginning of Freedom Yachts – Henry continued with Bay Marine until his death. Since its founding, Bay Marine has produced 72 vessel designs, of which 42 have been built. These include a series of nine offshore lobsterboats and two similar longliners, other fishing vessels (clammers, gillnetters, trap boats, skiffs, scallopers and a dragger), oil skimmers, barges, push boats, pilot boats, passenger boats, research vessels, a 108 ft. reproduction sailing vessel and one tug. In addition, Bay Marine has done over 200 consulting jobs. Some of the more interesting included an automated crabbing vessel, and in-water rudder repair jig for the USS BOBO class MPS ships, and a beach building barge unloader for Weeks Marine. Henry was also a busy man outside Bay Marine: he was a volunteer for teen programs in his town of Barrington and served on the school committee; he was an advocate for better elder care and the founder of the RI Association of Assisted Living residences; and he was the former owner of two small assisted living residences. Bob was an avid boater, outdoorsman and especially …a fisherman. In addition to his wife and children, Bob leaves his first granddaughter, his mother and five siblings. At Bay Marine, Henry is survived by his partner Dave Bonney and their employee, Jared Boyd. Bay Marine will continue as a full service naval architecture firm as Bob would have wanted. Donations are being accepted in memory of Bob at the Parkinsons Diesease Research Foundation, attn: Dr. Joseph Friedman, Memorial Hospital, 111 Brewster St., Pawtucket, RI 02860.

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