The sudden passing of Larry Goldman, a respected member of the high-performance marine community and principal of Xtreme Powerboats, which was based out of the recently opened Haulover Marine Center in Miami, sent his longtime colleagues and friends in the industry reeling. A joyful and enthusiastic personality, Goldman, 57, died yesterday reportedly following a stroke in a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., area hospital. He is survived by his wife, Jodi, and their children Jake and Jillan.
Both nationally and internationally, Larry Goldman made quite a name for himself in the boat industry.
Ranging from shock to sorrow, the reactions have been widespread to the loss Goldman, an MTI performance-boat dealer who was well known for his work with his close friend and client, Gino Gargiulo, on the well-known go-fast boat owner’s high-performance V-bottoms and catamarans during the years.
“Everybody loved Larry—he was just one of those guys,” said Gargiulo. “Anytime anyone had a problem with their boat on the water, he was the first person to help. I can’t tell you how many times we were on a poker run and we’d stop at Gilbert’s and he’d say, ‘Come on, we’ve got to go’ because someone had broken down. He would fix the person’s boat. If he couldn’t, he’d introduce the person to someone else on the run and get him a ride and say, ‘I’ll bring your boat down when it’s fixed.’ It was never for money. He just couldn’t stand to see someone broken down.
“Larry was the guy who would never answer his phone, and he would piss me off enormously,” he continued, then laughed. “Nobody in my world pissed me off more than Larry on a daily and weekly basis. But he had such a good heart I could never stay mad at him for more than a few minutes.”
An early dealer in the history of MTI, Goldman became close friends with Randy Scism, the founder and owner of MTI in Wentzville, Mo.
“He was a great guy,” Scism said. “He was always good to me. Always. He was family. He was part of our family.
“Larry would do anything for you,” he continued. “He is going to be missed terribly in the powerboat world. He did a lot for a lot of people. My phone has been blowing up with calls and texts from his customers and friends. They’re just shocked. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. He and Jodi raised some really good kids.”
For images of Goldman doing what he enjoyed most—boating—check out the slideshow above.
John Tomlinson, who co-owns TNT Custom Marine in Miami with Mike Thomas, said he first met Goldman—a former offshore racer—approximately 25 years ago.
“I got to know Larry through the business,” he said. “He supported his customers. He worked his tail off, was always involved and was always trying to please and take care of anyone. He cared about his customers and did his best to take care of them. He was a good guy, and he always had great intentions.”
Stu Jones, the founder and owner of the Florida Powerboat Club, credited Goldman with helping him get the club started. What’s more, he gave Jones a place to live long before his then-fledgling enterprise started providing him with income.
“Larry was a big part of the beginning of the Florida Powerboat Club,” said Jones, who currently is with an FPC group on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. “We were working out of Sunny Isles Marina in 1991, and we decided to do a poker run to get people coming to the marina. I ran the poker run right out of Larry’s shop. I can remember sitting at his parts counter helping people fill out registration forms. That’s where the first seed was planted—at Sunny Isles Marina in 1991—and that’s how far back we go.
“In the beginning, I was destitute,” Jones continued. “I had just moved to Florida from Canada. I didn’t have a pot to piss in. He saw the opportunity and said I could move into the in-law cottage in the back of his house in Hollywood (Fla.). He was racing with the Cobra Power boat, a 47-foot Apache called Sweet Revenge, and I was helping out. He said, ‘Don’t worry, I have a place for you. But you’re going to have to work hard.’ And that’s the thing. Larry was one of the hardest working—if not the hardest working—guys in the industry. He was tireless and relentless as a business owner in terms of his commitment to getting the job done. He never gave up—he wasn’t a quitter. And nobody could multi-task like Larry, nobody could juggle like him. Above all, he was one of the most honest people I know. I would trust him with anything. I would trust him with my kids.”
Editor’s note: Speedonthewater.com expresses its condolences to the entire Goldman family. Look for an update with service information as soon as it’s available.
Gargiulo’s New Lamborghini-Themed MTI Cat Boasts Next-Level Detail
Haulover Marine Going Xtreme
The Gold Standard: Goldman Off to Spain to Deliver MTI
Slideshow of the Week: Raging Bull MTI Conquers Spain