The Triton


Former U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw dies


Former U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw, who represented South Florida in Washington, died Sept. 17 after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 74.

Mr. Shaw spent 26 years in Washington but also served in public office in Fort Lauderdale. His ties to South Florida’s marine industry were strong, as recalled by a colleague.

While it is with great sadness that I write these words, there is also an equally compelling feeling of pride. No matter what capacity you may have been introduced to him, whether it be as congressman, representative, mayor or simply by his first name, you always shook the hand of a champion, especially if you were a part of the marine industry.

For those who never had the honor of meeting E. Clay Shaw, I will highlight just a couple of his accomplishments that blessed our industry.

We all remember the devastating effects of the luxury tax placed on our industry and others. In January of 1993, Congressman Shaw introduced the Boating Industry Jobs Preservation Act of 1991. The difference in years is more than likely the result of the time it took to finally get the bill introduced with 137 co-sponsors. That bill ultimately resulted in the repeal of the tax, saving hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country.

In 1997, Congressman Shaw was responsible for the enactment of the boat show bond that allowed foreign-flagged yachts over 80 feet to defer paying duty to Customs for six months as long as they participated in South Florida’s boat shows (Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Palm Beach). Congressman Shaw understood the significance of the show and the international market it represented.

When the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) began the journey of removing the recreational marine industry from the federal jurisdiction of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act in 2001, the first meeting was with Congressman Shaw to develop a strategy. That strategy proved successful in 2009 when the amendment was signed.

In 2002, the E Clay Shaw Memorial Bridge was completed. We know it simply as the 17th Street bridge). Mr. Shaw was a critical component of the project and was instrumental in acquiring funding for the project and maintaining its status as a drawbridge even though it was raised significantly over the waterway. Imagine the boats today that would have never been able to frequent our waterways if that had been a fixed bridge.

These are only a few of the legacies Clay Shaw left behind. I encourage you to visit the web and you will see decades of help to the citizens of South Florida and across this nation. So the next time you visit Fort Lauderdale, and the South Florida region, remember all of the many gifts the marine industry was given by such a great leader.

Kristina Hebert

President, MIASF

Related Posts...
The Marine Industries Association of South Florida has cancelled Marine Read more...
Divers and anglers are invited to sign up for the Read more...
A South Florida judge has denied a yacht owner’s request Read more...
The owner of the iconic Willy T, a floating restaurant Read more...
Maritime Professional Training in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is offering a Read more...

Share This Post

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer the question below to leave a comment. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Editor’s Picks

Triton Networking nets $1,500 for injured yachtie

Triton Networking nets $1,500 for injured yachtie

More than 200 captains, crew and industry people challenged the weather to attend Triton Networking last night with global marine travel …

Judge orders Equanimity owner to forfeit yacht to US

Judge orders Equanimity owner to forfeit yacht to US

Malayasian financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, was ordered on Tuesday (May 15) to turn over his $250 million yacht, M/Y …

Grand Banks buys boatyard in Florida

Grand Banks buys boatyard in Florida

Singapore-based Grand Banks Yachts has recently bought Stuart Yard, in Stuart, Florida. The 12,000-square-foot facility, to be named …

Taking the Helm: New leaders must remember that change takes time

Taking the Helm: New leaders must remember that change takes time

Taking the Helm: by Paul Ferdais New leaders often come into their job with energy and ideas, eager to somehow make their mark. While …