Kevin Ritz has been involved with boats in many roles over his lifetime. He founded a business that prepared vessels for cruising, he served as Vice President and Applications Engineer for a Marine Corrosion Control company, he taught nationally for the American Boat and Yacht Council, he has provided consulting to Coast Guard and Navy personnel, and most recently co-founded the Marine Systems program at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding. Kevin is a regular speaker at regional and national seminars and conferences.
In 1999 Kevin’s focus shifted to vessel safety with a particular emphasis on marine electrical. He earned certification as an American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) Master Technician after successfully completing six certifications, including: Marine Electrical, Marine Corrosion, Marine Standards, Marine Master Technician, Marine Gasoline Engine, Marine Systems Certification. Subsequently Kevin was hired to teach many of these classes for the ABYC and over time became the Lead Instructor and received their Life Service Award in 2015.
Kevin has performed investigations and consulting to government agencies across the country, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy, and fire departments with vessels. His consulting has ranged from corrosion analysis to marine fatality investigation relating to electricity. He has also consulted with commercial marine fleets, marinas, boat builders and private yachts on corrosion and electrical issues.
Kevin and his wife Sheryl have a personal reason for his commitment to boating safety. In 1999 their 8-year old son was killed by a boat leaking electricity in a marina as he swam in his life jacket with his mom watching from the dock. That life event shifted Kevin’s focus from cruising with his family to an intense focus on learning all he could about marine electrical and electric shock drowning. He founded a national organization, the Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Association, that provides education on this widespread problem.
Kevin’s passion for boating and being on the water continues as he and Sheryl live aboard their custom Monk 38 yacht moored in Port Ludlow.