The Sea Tow Foundation honored and celebrated the life and outstanding contributions of former Sea Tow Boston franchise owner, Capt. Steve Winkler, during a special Life Jacket Loaner Station dedication ceremony held on May 26 in Winthrop, Mass.
Winkler, the franchise co-owner of Sea Tow Boston for 29 years, passed away suddenly on July 16, 2021 at the age of 73 following a lifelong career in the boating industry. Prior to establishing Sea Tow Boston with his brother Dave, he served 14 years as president of Duplin Marine, and nine years as general manager of Community Boating Inc. In addition, Winkler held a 100-ton Near Coastal Master, Captain’s License from the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Sea Tow Foundation hosted a special dedication in Winkler‘s memory at his personal boating venue of choice, the Cottage Park Yacht Club in Winthrop. Donations were submitted to the national, non-profit organization Sea Tow Foundation from members of Winkler’s local boating community as well as from friends and colleagues throughout the country as a tribute to his lifelong focus on instilling boating safety and education. The decision was made to use these funds to establish a Life Jacket Loaner Station with custom signage in his honor, and to do so at his hometown yacht club during National Safe Boating Week.
Several speakers paid tribute to Winkler including Cottage Park Yacht Club Past-Commodore Peter Towner; US Coast Guard Sector Boston Commander Joel Carse; Ray Julian of the USCG Auxiliary; Capt. Dave Winkler, brother and current franchise owner of Sea Tow Boston; and Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director of the Sea Tow Foundation. Family, friends, colleagues and community leaders along with other Sea Tow captains also attended the special gathering.
“We are so very pleased to honor the life of Capt. Steve Winkler and appreciate his countless contributions to the boating community over many decades throughout the Greater Boston area,” said Sea Tow Foundation Executive Director Gail R. Kulp. “This Life Jacket Loaner Station established in his memory will be a lasting legacy for years to come, while extending a wonderful, free service to area boaters. We are especially pleased to time our commemoration during National Safe Boating Week, as Steve was such a champion and advocate for boating safety.”
Following the ceremony, Sea Tow Boston’s new 27-foot Ameracat towing and assistance vessel was on display for the first time at the Cottage Park Yacht Club, named the Steven W. Winkler in honor of the late franchise owner.