Jim Bohart, a marine industry veteran for nearly 30 years who worked at a dealer in Marina del Rey, has died. He was 57.

Bohart passed away July 13 with his wife, Karen, at his side.

Always quick with a joke or a story to tell, Bohart was beloved in the marine industry, in which he spent the majority of his career, friends said.

He grew up in Florida, learning to fish, dive and sail and even spent time working on the Atocha, with famed treasure hunter Mel Fisher. After leaving the U.S. Navy in 1985, Bohart joined the Naval Reserves and served six more years.

In 1991, Bohart joined Hunter Marine as regional sales manager. During his time with Hunter Marine, he covered the entire U.S. and Canada, setting up new and maintaining current dealers.

In 2000, his relationships in the industry and his experience brought Bohart and his wife to Marina del Rey to work for one of the local dealers. He later joined and was instrumental in the rebuilding of Sailboats Inc.

Bohart’s love and passion for sailing was infectious, with many owners crediting him as the inspiration for their newfound love of the sport, friends said. Under his leadership, Bohart and his team grew Sailboats Inc. into one of the top 10 dealers for Beneteau USA, receiving the Top Gun Award, and later, the President’s Award.

During his career, Bohart sailed all over the world from the Eastern Seaboard, to the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Tahitian Islands, California, Mexico and Pacific Northwest, to the Great Lakes and smaller lakes throughout the U.S.

While living in California, Bohart became an avid fly-fisherman and hunter, but his heart always remained in Florida, friends said. In 2010, the couple returned to the Gainesville, Fla. area, where Bohart briefly re-joined Hunter Marine. Happy to have returned, he and his many friends enjoyed fishing, hunting and boating.

In addition to his wife, Karen, Bohart is survived by his son, Clayton, 23.

To all who knew him and loved him, Bohart will live forever in their hearts as a sailor and friend.

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