The Triton


Charter, hydrofoil and yacht captain Hartman dies


Editor’s note: Friends are invited to a Celebration of Life for Capt. Bob Hartman on Fri., Sept 2 at the Quarter Deck on the Beach Las Olas in Ft. Lauderdale from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

By Dorie Cox

Capt. Bob Hartman died of pancreatic cancer yesterday (Aug. 24) in Ft. Lauderdale. He was 64.

Capt. Hartman and his wife Sandy owned a charter boat company in Virgin Gorda running day and resort sails for 16 years starting in the 1980s. He then was head captain for a fleet of five hydrofoil boats in St. Thomas, USVI for three years.

The couple settled down in Ft. Lauderdale where they often worked together on yachts including M/Y Bottom Line and M/Y Big Don Carlos, a Trinity.

Capt. Hartman in front of Virgin Hydrofoil Katrin II in St. Thomas, USVI. PHOTO PROVIDED

Capt. Hartman in front of Virgin Hydrofoil Katrin II in St. Thomas, USVI. PHOTO PROVIDED

He was instrumental in creating a maritime assistance network for boaters in the Virgin Islands, said his wife.

“There was no coast guard there,” Sandy Hartman said. “But all these boaters and charters would go on a reef or need help. We would go out and get them.”

“Bob and the guys got in big inflatables, timing waves, to get them off safely and transfer them to bigger boats,” she said. “The reef was not marked or lit, so they would pick people off at night, especially when the north swell came in.”
“They were a group of guys that just decided to do it and then it grew into VISAR,” she said of the Virgin Islands Search And Rescue.

Capt. Hartman in Key West. PHOTO PROVIDED

Capt. Hartman in Key West. PHOTO PROVIDED

She said Capt. Hartman was one of three founders of Moor Seacure.

“They got the government to agree to placing moorings as a way to preserve the environment for tourism in the islands,” she said. “They put them in from of restaurants and hotels.”

To see photos and more of the Hartman’s careers in yachting visit

A memorial is being planned. Stay tuned to for details as they become available. Please contact Triton Editor Dorie Cox ( to share memories of Capt. Hartman.

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About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

View all posts by Dorie Cox →

10 thoughts on “Charter, hydrofoil and yacht captain Hartman dies

  1. Bill Mahoney

    Bob Hartman captained the Bottom Line for three years + and did an excellent job! Professional, hard working and guest safety his number one priority!

    A loss to both the yachting world and the boating industry!!!

    Bill Mahoney
    Owner, M/Y Bottom Line

  2. Gail Murphy

    I worked for Bob and his wife Sandy as Chef on several boats. He was one of the safest and most professional Captains ive worked for and they became my best friends. He was a very generous, kind and funny man. He is going to be missed very much by the many people whos hearts he touched.

  3. Julianne Hammonf

    Met Bob and Sandy when we worked at Broward… He did captain relief work. He was a fine man.

  4. DJ Parker

    I got to know Sandy and Bobby in the 80s. As a charter yacht captain in need of a dive instructor or SCUBA support, Bobby and Sandy were often called upon for assistance.
    Bobby’s contribution to the yachting industry above and below the sea will be sorely missed and gratefully remembered by a multitude of us.

  5. Kathy Phillips

    John and I met Bobby and Sandy in the Virgin Islands during the 80’s. He was fun and full of life ; he lived his life to the fullest. We will remember him as a true professional and good friend. Our deepest sympathy to Sandy and his family

  6. Capt Sam Wilson

    Bob and I knew of each other in the VI’s and BVI’s in the 80s running in the same circles, Both Ferry boat Captains. (I brought down and ran the Atlantic Express for St. Croix to St. Thomas) Also sailing charter boat captions. This past year Bobby and I would ride our motorcycles together in Lauderdale, on the weekends when we could. He was a very generous man. He is missed.

  7. Roland Salerno

    I saw Bobby and Sandy riding his motorcycle about 5 weeks ago on SW 4th Avenue and he shouted Hey Roland…!!!! and gave me a big smile as he passed me by.
    In the past 30 years we dove on many of the vessels that he was Captain or Vessel Master.
    A consummate professional that had a very meticulous approach at running a Motor Yacht.
    He will be missed as one of the best gentleman captains we have met and had the privilege to serve. God bless his soul. Our deepest sympathy to Sandy and his family.

  8. Sandy Hartman

    There will be a Celebration of Life at the Quarter Deck on the beach at Las Olas, 6 PM this Friday Sept 2nd.

    Please come!. There will be Food and cash bar. Love to see everyone!

  9. Mike Prado

    I met Bob and Sandy when they were running Big Don Carlos and they needed help with the ShorPOWER system onboard, they were both super nice and I remember they love to ride their motor cycle everywhere.
    My condolences

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