Capt. Jack Maguire, longtime yacht captain and recent placement agent at Crewfinders International, passed away Saturday. Friends and family posted on Facebook that he had been ill for some time.
Lois Whelan, his wife of 30 years, posted: “Today, I lost my Best Friend, I lost my Captain, I lost my Comedian, I lost my Strength. I lost the bravest man I have ever known, the most honest and the most loving. … My heart is broken and I know many others are as well tonight. He was not only my Captain Jack, he belonged to all his crew, friends and family, too.”
Veteran captains, crew and industry people reacted to the news with sadness and shock.
Capt. Martyn Walker served as Capt. Maguire’s first officer 24 years ago aboard M/Y Alteza, a 135-foot Christensen.
“Cappy was one of the most honest men I ever met,” he wrote on Facebook. “He said it like it was and pandered to no one. He stood by me through good days and bad, showing me never-ending loyalty. I considered him one of my closest friends.”
Capt. Maguire’s bio on the Crewfinders website noted that he moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1979 as the senior lineman for the telephone company Bell South. In 1980, he became a partner in a local dive shop, “the only dive shop in town that not only taught fun but also had a beer and wine license.”
He got his 50-ton USCG license in 1982 and began running the dive boat and moving customer’s boats to local yards for work. In 1984, he got his 100-ton license.
In the early ’90s, Capt. Maguire and Whelan “cast off the lines and let the adventures begin,” running yachts up to 208 feet. He eventually earned his 1600/3000 ITC All Oceans Master and MCA CEC 3000-ton Master Oceans.
He joined Crewfinders in 2012 “to help others follow their dreams.”
“I invite you all to share your Captain Jack stories, his one liners, his Jack-isms,” Whelan wrote on Facebook. “He would want us to remember the good times. He would want us to laugh.”
A celebration of his life is being planned for Oct. 20 in Fort Lauderdale. More details on Capt. Maguire’s Facebook page as they become available.