In Memoriam: Wayne Rodgers

NEWPORT BEACH — Boat broker and avid sailor Wayne D. Rodgers died, May 9, a little more than one month after his 70th birthday. His daughter, Elizabeth Rodgers Horan, and son-in-law, Nicolas Horan, survive him.

Rodgers was born in Philadelphia on April 4, 1948. He most recently operated his own firm, W.D. Rodgers Co., where he serviced boat-buying clients in Orange County.

The Log received the following narrative of Rodgers’ life from Bunker Hill:

“As a young man Wayne was in the boy scouts reaching the level of Eagle Scout. He attended Arcadia High School, played trumpet and walked in the Rose Parade twice. He was a graduate of UC-Santa Barbara and spent time after graduation coaching the sailing team. Wayne was an avid sailor making the Olympic Trials, Crossing the Atlantic to Portugal and Spain, sailing through the Bermuda Triangle, Cruising through the Virgin Islands, West Indies, competing in the Honolulu race (Transpac), Cabo Race, Puerto Vallarta Race along with races on the Great Lakes and throughout Southern California.

“As a younger man Wayne worked as a youth sailing director, Boy Scout counselor at Cherry Cove in Catalina, Catalina water taxi driver, hardware salesman [and] boat builder (Star Boats).

“But known to most of us a yacht broker. He started his career selling yachts in Santa Barbara; his style, class and integrity caught the eye of crew at Ardell Yachts in Newport Beach.   “Having a successful run at Ardell, after 17 years he started his own firm, W. D. Rodgers Co., where he continued to represent his clients with a level of professionalism and integrity rarely seen in the industry.

“Wayne always enjoyed a good sea story, talking about your kids or his own, a good joke, some local gossip, but when it came to business, his focus and detail were well above the industry standard.

“Outside the marine business Wayne enjoyed music from old school rock and roll to the symphony, reading, cooking, entertaining friends and long walks around Newport Beach, Crystal Cove, Balboa Island and the Balboa Peninsula.”

A celebration of Rodgers’ life is in the works and will likely take place during the summer; details will be released from the family as soon as arrangements are made.

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3 thoughts on “In Memoriam: Wayne Rodgers

  • May 17, 2018 at 12:31 pm
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    The recreational boating community has lost a true gentleman and a top-tier broker. Wayne was the consummate professional, a worthy competitor, a friendly confidant, and an industry contributor. Wayne’s chairing of the California Yacht Brokers Association (CYBA) Annual Legal Seminars led to several year’s worth of informative, thought provoking, and instructional symposiums that benefitted brokers and salespeople, and served to raise the professionalism of the entire recreational boating industry. Wayne always had time to talk with you, and to tell a good story or two. There are few in our brokerage industry, and few in the Newport Beach community, that will be missed more than this good man. Smooth seas and fair winds, old friend.

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  • Pingback: Godspeed to SoCal’s Wayne Rodgers | SoCal Sailing News

  • May 21, 2018 at 10:02 am
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    Sailed many races with Wayne over the 40 plus years we were friends. He was a man of great integrity and a wonderful friend on land and sea .

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