A familiar and friendly face on the West Coast Custom powerboat and high-speed waterski-racing scenes for decades, Lonnie Fluent, who for many years was the public and primary sales face of Nordic Boats until 2007, died earlier today. Fluent, who reportedly suffered from heart disease, was recovering from open-heart bypass surgery he underwent last week. He was 64 years old.
A much-beloved figure in the West Coast custom go-fast boat world, Lonnie Fluent (right) pictured here with his son, Aaron, will be sorely missed.
Fluent’s son, Aaron, confirmed his father’s death on his own Facebook page earlier today. Aaron Fluent, who followed in his father’s go-fast powerboat industry footsteps with Absolute Speed and Marine in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., could not be reached for comment when this story went live.
An official cause of death for Fluent has not been released.
“Lonnie was a super-nice, super-amiable guy,” said Jeff Johnston of Hering Propellers, who as a former advertising salesman for Powerboat magazine got to know Fluent and worked with him frequently on ad campagins during his tenure at Nordic. “He always had a smile on this face, and he always put a smile on your face.”
Editor’s note: Look for a more in-depth story on Lonnie Fluent on speedonthewater.com in the coming weeks.