The vice president of Marine Unlimited, a full-service high-performance powerboat concierge service with two locations in New Jersey, and a beloved member of the Garden State high-performance powerboating community, Tom Healey died in his sleep today of yet-to-be determined causes at his home in Beverly. He was 53 years old.
Tom Healey (left) with his friend/client Brad Benson in the 52-foot Pass Blocker MTI catamaran. Said Benson, “Tom kept us safe.”
Healey’s client list during the years included Pete Mazzo, Brad Benson, Michael Ciasulli and other well-known members of the high-performance powerboating community.
“We ran together for five years I think,” said Brad Benson, who owned the 48- and 52-foot Pass Blocker MTI catamarans. “We became the closest of friends. He was much more than a concierge. He was a true friend.
“My wife always told Tom, ‘Bring Brad and my boys back safely,’” he added. “Well, he did. Tom kept us safe.”
Ciasulli, who owns a Skater Powerboats 388 catamaran, echoed similar sentiments. With help from Healey, Ciasulli—an experienced automobile racer—stepped up from a 36-foot Nor-Tech cat with Mercury Racing 1075 engines to his current cat with Mercury Racing 1350 engines. He also described Healey as one of his closest friends.
“Tom helped me get comfortable owning an extreme boat,” said Ciasulli. “When you own a boat like this, you need some support. You can’t just do it by yourself—these are pretty complicated machines.
“Tom offered comprehensive concierge service,” he continued. “All you had to do was show up and Tom would hand you a line and say, ‘Have a nice day.’ He and his people took care of all the heavy lifting. On top of that, Tom did a couple of runs with me throttling and him driving and me driving and him throttling. He was very knowledgeable and skillful at driving a V-bottom or catamaran at a high rate of speed. Our business relationship flourished into a personal relationship—we were way more than business associates. He became friends with my friends. We literally hung out at my shore house and my buddy’s shore house every weekend.”
Dave Patnaude, the president of the New Jersey Performance Powerboat Club, described Healey as a popular figure on the local go-fast boating scene and a longtime supporter of the NJPPC. He said that Healey will be missed not just on the local front, but in the national performance boating community.
“Tom was one of the great ones, that’s for sure,” said Patnaude. “He was a hardworking guy who would bend over backward for you. He was a caring, giving person who would do anything for anyone. He had a ton of energy. And he had great luck. He won three of our poker runs and picked most of his cards right there at the dinner. He had amazing luck that way.
“Tom was a great friend,” he added. “This is a big loss to the performance boating community in New Jersey and elsewhere.”