Charles William WELLINGTON
August 6, 1928 – June 18, 2020
Charles William (“Bill”) Wellington passed away on June 18, 2020 at age 91. Born in Jacksonville, Florida to Charles Laurence (“Pop”) and Thelma Fanilee Wellington, Bill was predeceased in death by his beloved wife, Marjorie LeCompte (“Boltie”) Wellington and stepson, Christopher LeCompte.
Bill, an Eagle Scout and alumnus of Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, served as a submariner in the US Navy. Bill was self-taught and highly accomplished as a skilled sailor, innovator and marine engineer, well-known naval architect and successful business owner. Bill developed his skills and knowledge from his early days building a kayak with his father and learning to sail and work on boats on the Ortega River; then building and racing hydroplanes in Miami and captaining fine yachts along the Atlantic Coast and in the Bahamas.
Together, he and Boltie formed Wellington Boats, Inc. and built custom sail and power yachts for clients across the U.S. and abroad. Aboard Rebel Venture, their personal 57’ Wellington motorsailer, the couple made three trans-Atlantic crossings, cruising Europe and the Mediterranean and at one point losing a mast in a storm three days out of Gibraltar. Articles about their travels and Wellington Boats were featured in magazines such as Yachting, Motor Boating & Sailing and Sail.
Bill was a member of the prestigious Cruising Club of America, the Florida Yacht Club and a 1985 inductee into the international Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. At age 88, with the help of his longtime foreman Kenny Lowe and close friend Joe Abood, Bill designed and constructed his last vessel, a light and fast Wellington 30 power boat that was launched in 2016.
Bill’s passing leaves his sister, Mrs. Robert Knipe (nee Fanilee Wellington), niece Laura Knipe, daughter Sandra Wellington Schwartz (Brad), stepdaughter Melissa LeCompte Rehfus, grandchildren Ellen, Emily, Joseph and Alison, and great-grandson Asher. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends.