John (Jack) Edwards Showers, one of the industry’s legends and “all-time great” delivery captains, left port on his last passage on Dec. 9, 2022. He died at the VA Medical Center in Miami, Florida. Jack was one of the first captains to work for a yacht delivery company (Patrick Elam) in the 1960s and ’70s.
He delivered hundreds of boats over the years, both sail and power, first with Elam and then later as a free-lance captain through word-of-mouth referrals. He crossed the Atlantic 25 times, transited the Panama Canal 13 times and the Suez Canal once. He made many trips from the States to the Caribbean and back, as well as from the East Coast to the West Coast and vice versa.
He built up an incredible reputation for being an excellent seaman who always put safety first and was referred to by some as “The John Wayne of the Atlantic.” He was a well-known navigator and taught many younger crew how to use a sextant — one of his prize possessions. In his later years, Jack worked in Fort Lauderdale and environs, both as a caretaker of boats and as a sea trial and relief captain.
Although born in North Dakota (May 8, 1940), Jack spent most of his formative years in Missouri. He was first introduced to sailing in the Sea Scouts of the Boy Scouts of America. He later worked during summers while in college for the Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, Water Safety Patrol. He attended the University of Missouri and later earned a B.A. degree from Missouri Valley College. Between 1964 and 1966 he proudly served his country in the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division. He was deployed and parachuted into the Dominican Republic Civil War conflict in 1965.
Jack is survived by his two sisters, Mary L. Dutton of Waterloo, lowa, and Susan S. Mulligan of Bonita Springs, Florida, their spouses, and many beloved nieces and nephews. He will be remembered by many for his excellent offshore captaining skills, his calm and cautious demeanor, and his striking good looks and illusive behavior, especially when it came to the ladies.
Wherever his friends around the world may be on Friday, Jan. 27, please raise a “Bud” and listen to a little Jazz for Jack. Here’s to a kindred spirit and a life well-lived, much of which was at sea.
Donations in Jack’s memory may be made to The American National Red Cross (www.redcross.org), Hire Heroes USA (hireheroesusa.org), or to a charity of your choice.