Thanks to the creative and inventive mind of Latham Marine’s legendary founder Bob Latham, the South Florida company has been responsible for some of the most innovative products in the offshore racing and pleasure performance boat industry for almost 50 years. Fortunately for Latham, his smart, go-getting lifetime partner, Kathy Latham, helped guide the business into a worldwide leader for a variety of engineering and component solutions, including steering systems, controls, rudders, sea strainers, trim tabs and more, for offshore racing competition as well as cruising, sport yachts, fishing boats and government vessels. At the same time, the Lathams, who also own a machine tool company that makes high-pressure coolant pump systems for other equipment manufacturers, raised two smart and independent women—Amanda and Olivia.
Amanda Latham (above) learned about the high-performance marine industry from a master—her mother, Kathy.
Today, Amanda Latham, 34, has her own business dubbed Man O’ War Marine, in which she specializes in the warranty, service and repair of Seven Marine outboards and other engine-and- drive packages domestically and internationally. Before branching out on her own in April 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic, she worked as a service manager and rigging specialist for the Germantown, Wis.-based Seven Marine, which was sold to Volvo Penta a few years ago. More recently the matriarch of the family was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell in the bone marrow called a plasma cell and can damage the bones, immune system, kidneys and red blood cell count. Thanks to support from her family, friends and colleagues, the outspoken 66 year old has remained strong and upbeat during her battle with the disease.
KATHY, HOW HAS YOUR FIGHT AGAINST CANCER CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
Kathy: I try not to think about it. Mainly I’m glad I don’t have to see another one of my family members go through this. I’ve had chemo and radiation, and I’d be open to the latest and greatest form of treatment when that’s available. The outlook overall is as good as it can be and I’m grateful that we have an amazing cancer center close through the University of Miami Health System. I’m very fortunate for that and for the people who have been unbelievably gracious to me. I’ve received so many cards and well wishes—it’s been overwhelming to be truthful.
Amanda: My mom is tough; we all know that. I’ve come to terms with it even though it’s been hard to see her go through it. She continues to live a fulfilling life, and that’s what is important. I think we should live each day like it’s our last because you never know when it will be gone. Every day we wake up we are closer to death, that’s a fact and it’s nothing to be upset about.
To enjoy the complete Amanda and Kathy Latham interview and more, subscribe to Speed On The Water digital magazine.