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Mike Perkins, captain and engineering executive, dies of lung cancer

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Mike Perkins, a long-time sales engineer with Quantum and Palladium Technologies, died after a year-long bout with lung cancer. He was 68 years old.

Mr. Perkins spent 13 years with Quantum Marine Engineering in Florida, manufacturers of Quantum stabilizers. When he retired in the summer of 2012, he was vice president and director of worldwide sales for new builds. He also led the company’s marketing program.

“Like many of you I have been fortunate to have been involved in this rather unique industry for quite some time,” Mr. Perkins said at the time of his retirement. “From the time of my early days as a yacht captain some 40-plus years ago, it has been both exciting and rewarding to have been associated with professionals engaged in designing, building, managing and supporting large yachts for those who are fortunate enough to be able to afford them.”

Beginning in 1970, Mr. Perkins served as captain of several large, ocean-going private yachts during 20 years at sea. In 1989, he joined Vosper Thornycroft UK where he served as sales and marketing manager for North and South America.

Mike Perkins (left) of Quantum Marine Engineering with friend Mike Blake of Palladium Technologies. PHOTO PROVIDED

Mike Perkins (left) of Quantum Marine Engineering with friend Mike Blake of Palladium Technologies. PHOTO PROVIDED

In 1999 he was hired by Quantum and charged with establishing the company as an OEM in the field of stabilizer design, construction and support. The company brought several innovations to the industry including the first successful fin stabilizer system for stabilizing roll motions both when the vessel is sailing as well as when the vessel was at anchor, now known as ZeroSpeed. The company also developed and patented its proprietary MagLift (rotating cylinder type stabilizer) and, more recently, the patented XT (variable geometry) fin systems.

“I’ve had the privilege of working with Mike Perkins for over 25 years, and he has been a valued colleague and friend,” Quantum President John Allen said at the time of his retirement. “The entire company has benefited greatly from his values, judgment, and integrity, and his ability to identify and develop the best stabilization company in the superyacht industry.”

A few months into his retirement, he was contacts by friend Mike Blake of Palladium Technologies, which had developed software and electronics for some of Quantum’s systems. Blake hired him as senior business development manager in Europe, where Mr. Perkins had a home. In addition, he was elected to serve on Palladium’s board of directors.

“Mike turned to him for his expertise and connections; he knew everyone in the shipyards all over the world and had the capability to get into yards in Europe when other people couldn’t,” said Karen Dudden-Blake, vice president at Palladium. “He spoke multiple languages and knew so many people that he was like a rock star in our industry.

“We was larger than life, that guy,” she said. “I never saw him in a bad mood.”

Mr. Perkins was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer the first part of 2014. He died Aug. 27 at home with his family. A toast was lifted in his honor at the Monaco Yacht Show in September, as well as in Ft. Lauderdale and Viareggio.

He leaves behind his wife, Sunny, and son, Connor.

Lucy Chabot Reed is editor of The Triton. Comments are welcome at lucy@the-triton.com.

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