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      Claiborne died this afternoon from injuries suffered in a serious motorcycle accident earlier today. He had been in surgery at UNC Hospital for several hours with doctors attempting unsuccessfully to stop internal bleeding. We ask that your prayers and thoughts go out to Claiborne’s family.

      Claiborne was Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net and like a giant tsunami, his death has left the staff adrift in a sea of unknowns. We will continue to function as best as possible until the future of SSECN can be determined.

      ADMIN NOTE TO THE SSECN COMMUNITY: If you would like to leave a comment, condolences, tribute or memory of Claiborne please click here and leave a comment or send your message to

      Comments from Cruisers (114)

      1. John J. Kettlewell -  June 16, 2014 - 9:34 am

        Thank you for letting me know. The message arrived as I was working on my boat and I just lay there onboard thinking of the many times Claiborne and I spoke and laughed together, and of the many, many times I read through his books and his website looking for great advice.
        John J. Kettlewell

        Reply to John
      2. Michael Lieberum -  June 16, 2014 - 9:32 am

        Larry, I am so sorry to hear this. My heart goes out to you and the family.
        Michael Lieberum
        Seventh Coast Guard District

        Reply to Michael
      3. Bob Todd -  June 16, 2014 - 9:23 am

        We heard the news on Cruiseheimers today. Claiborne has been our inspiration while cruising the Carolinas and beyond. We are very sad and our prayers go out to the family and friends.

        Reply to Bob
      4. Carol Geiger -  June 16, 2014 - 9:03 am

        Thank You. very sad. I met him this past year when he came to speak in Punta Gorda.
        I am a member of Punta Gorda Sailing Club and Editor of out monthly email newsletter the Jib Sheet. If I can be of any service to the Cruisers’ Net please do not hesitate to give me a call. Anything, please ask. Like you said, we must continue to be faithful stewards of their dream. My husband and I use the Net all the time during our travels aboard our sailboat.
        Blessings to all of you.
        Carol Geiger
        15 Tropicana Drive
        Punta Gorda, Fl 33950

        Reply to Carol
      5. S/v Rasselas -  June 16, 2014 - 9:00 am

        Words can not express my feelings and sadness this morning. Such a dear friend and what a legacy he has left all of us who knew him. GOD BLESS his family at this time.


        Reply to S/v
      6. Bobbi Lancaster -  June 16, 2014 - 8:46 am

        Claiborne and I had just begun a project together with finally getting marina pictures downloaded on the Salty web site. It was exciting to be helping him with this and his enthusiasm was priceless. He never ceased to tire of helping his fellow boaters. So glad his last week was spent on the water in his new boat. My sympathies to his friends and family and to his fur-child, Samson. They will all miss him very much.

        Reply to Bobbi
      7. Rick Kane -  June 16, 2014 - 8:10 am

        God bless his family and other dear ones. For all my sailing days (NC and beyond), Clairborne has been not just a voice of safety, seamanship, information, and yes indeed, where to go for food and fun, but like a spirit guide, he was right there with the deep reasons we love sailing and the sea so much in the first place. He will be missed, and remembered, his contributions to the richness of boating will carry on forever.

        Reply to Rick
      8. John Kettlewell -  June 16, 2014 - 8:09 am

        The news arrived as I was working on my boat and I could only think of the many, many times Claiborne and I discussed some Waterway development. He was a man who truly believe in what he did and always tried to make the best product possible. The boating community has suffered a great loss.

        Reply to John
      9. Mary Dickens -  June 16, 2014 - 5:59 am

        So very sorry for your loss. This is truly shocking. Prayers are going out for the family and staff.

        Reply to Mary
      10. Dotti Vaivoda -  June 16, 2014 - 5:36 am

        I am sincerely saddened to hear about Claiborne ‘s death. He was an amazing man who gave so much of himself to his passion of boating and cruising. He came to Punta Gorda several times and helped our community so much sharing his knowledge and helped us to shape our town to become more boater friendly. We all will miss him terribly. I personally appreciated all the personal advice he gave me for my new business direction. He was always open and provided such sincerity in everything he did and all the lives he touched. RIP Claiborne. You will be missed by all of us.

        Reply to Dotti
      11. Cappy Stahlman -  June 15, 2014 - 11:20 pm

        Very sorry to hear of the loss of Claiborne, I learned a lot from him over the years. I will miss his missives greatly.

        Reply to Cappy
      12. George Barr -  June 15, 2014 - 10:38 pm

        Oh my goodness…we have lost a great, gentle man today. Long before the Cruisers Net, Claiborne was a passionate advocate for cruising and boaters and a friend to all on the water.
        There is no replacing him and the cruising community is a whole lot smaller tonight. May he rest in peaceful waters.

        Reply to George
      13. Ted and Relinda Broom -  June 15, 2014 - 10:33 pm

        It is with great sorrow we acknowledge the loss of Claiborne. I am sure his loss will greatly affect the office. We will standby and hope you are able endure the loss.
        Ted and Relinda Broom

        Reply to Ted
      14. Eddie Jones -  June 15, 2014 - 10:31 pm

        Wow, thanks for the update, Larry. Still in shock over the news.
        Eddie Jones

        Reply to Eddie
      15. Duane Ising -  June 15, 2014 - 10:28 pm

        Larry and the entire staff:
        We are so saddened by the news. He will be sorely missed. Our condolences go out to his family and all those close to him.
        Duane Ising

        Reply to Duane
      16. Barbara Kipnis, MTOA President -  June 15, 2014 - 7:32 pm

        What a horrible shock! Claiborne was a great contributor to our Rendezvous and our organization, plus being a really nice guy. His cruising knowledge helped all east coast boaters travel more easily and safely. He will be greatly missed.

        Reply to Barbara
      17. Cyndi Perkins -  June 15, 2014 - 5:36 pm

        Many many prayers going out to Claiborne’s family as we celebrate a one-of-a-kind cruiser, nautical journalist and boater advocate whose presence will remain a guiding force in cockpits around the country. May his good works continue, may we all continue to network as we share our memories and express our appreciation.
        Cyndi Perkins

        Reply to Cyndi
      18. John Y. Jackson -  June 15, 2014 - 5:15 pm

        What a tragedy! I hope the Cruiser Net will be able to continue, it has been invaluable.

        Reply to John
      19. Peggy Bjarno -  June 15, 2014 - 4:53 pm

        Such a loss for all of us! Claiborne was so full of life and joy, he shared his enthusiasm and knowledge with great generosity. He will be sorely missed by all of us in the boating community.
        Peggy and Hans

        Reply to Peggy
      20. Wally Moran -  June 15, 2014 - 4:41 pm

        Winston, I only just now heard. If there is anything I can do that will assist, please ask.
        I am so broken hearted, and I can only imagine what you and others who knew Claiborne far better than I, are feeling.
        Wally Moran

        Reply to Wally
      21. Bob and Liz Stagg -  June 15, 2014 - 3:14 pm

        We share your disbelief — and your profound grief. Claiborne has been a friend and mentor. Our boating community has lost a magnificent voice, and we will sorely miss him.
        Bob and Liz Stagg, AGLCA

        Reply to Bob
      22. Tom Conrad -  June 15, 2014 - 3:10 pm

        Again, with a heavy heart, I use this forum to share my sorry and disbelief in yesterday’s passing of Claiborne Young from a motorcycle accident. His guiding hand was always with cruisers and boaters everywhere. His voice of many words will be remembered for a long time.
        Claiborne will now join his beloved wife but we will be at a loss without him.
        Claiborne, stay safe on your final journey,
        Tom Conrad, AGLCA

        Reply to Tom
      23. Mike Ahart -  June 15, 2014 - 3:02 pm

        I am so saddened by the news. It was one of Claiborne’s seminars that helped inspire Jan & I to gain confidence and live the cruising lifestyle. I was just starting to get to know him personally, as we had some great conversations, alas too infrequently. He was truly a great man, and I have never heard said an unkind word about him, nor have I heard claiborne utter an unkind word about anyone.
        If there is anything I or WG can do to help, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
        Mike Ahart, Waterway Guide

        Reply to Mike
      24. Connie & Bruce Rosenthal -  June 15, 2014 - 2:54 pm

        What a gift Claiborne Young was! The gift endures. He helped so many of us traverse the ICW with ease due to his commitment to get important information to us in a timely manner. I never met him but feel the loss nonetheless. Praying for his family and friends. Thanks Claiborne…your life and legacy endure.

        Reply to Connie
      25. Chris -  June 15, 2014 - 11:14 am

        We only knew Caliborne by keyboard and phone. He had a generous spirit, a clever mind, and a Vision. This will take quite a while to absorb. Our prayers go out to his loved ones — he doesn’t need ours, he’s home already.

        Reply to Chris
      26. Chris & Alyse Caldwell -  June 15, 2014 - 10:48 am

        Claiborne was a true friend and a southern gentleman. Alyse and I first met Claiborne in New Orleans is the early 90’s when he was presenting a seminar on cruising the gulfcoast. Later we crossed courses at many boat shows and other speaking engagements. We remember his smile, welcoming attitude and of course our first impression, his hush puppy shoes. He gave inspiration to the novice cruiser and well researched guidance to those out upon the waterways and we are so grateful to have known him.
        Goodbye Claiborne we will miss you,
        Chris & Alyse Caldwell

        Reply to Chris
      27. Chase -  June 15, 2014 - 10:15 am

        This is very sad news. I really like that guy, and his words have guided many a memorable adventure for some of us. He lived his life fully, I think, right up to the end. My sincerest condolences to his family, whom I hope realize the appreciation that many of us have for his work, and his joviality. There has always been something familiar about his words, over the many years of using his books and website, and they will live on.
        I hope that there is some way this [SSECN] can continue.

        Reply to Chase
      28. Julie -  June 15, 2014 - 10:13 am

        Claiborne had a life with meaning. His publications, website, and talks have inspired boaters to get out there and enjoy the water, and have given us the information we need to do so successfully. His death is a tremendous loss to the boating community.

        Reply to Julie
      29. David Schultz -  June 15, 2014 - 9:54 am

        As a past commander of the Greensboro Power Squadron I have had the chance to talk with Claiborne on several occasions in fact we just had him as our speaker at our May meeting. We all loved Claiborn’s wit, kindness and above all his strong devotion to recreational boating and boat safety. We at the Greensboro Power Squadron wish to send out our most sincere condolences to all of Claiborne’s friends and family.

        Reply to David
      30. Penny and John Holmes -  June 15, 2014 - 9:40 am

        Larry, we are so sad to hear of this great loss to Claiborne’s family and the boating community. We have gotten to know Claiborne as he has made his annual tours to share his great knowledge in a most entertaining and informative fashion. He is with Karen and will forever sail the seas of the here after. Our condolences also go out to the staff of Cruisers Net.

        Reply to Penny
      31. Chase -  June 15, 2014 - 9:34 am

        Andy, you are so right. I have always valued his work, he will be missed sorely by all of us.


        Reply to Chase
      32. AGLCA -  June 15, 2014 - 9:10 am

        America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association shares in the boating community’s loss. Claiborne devoted his life to making boating a better experience for everyone who knew him or read his guides.
        With sadness,
        Janice Kromer
        Executive Director

        Kim Russo
        Strategic Development

        Reply to AGLCA
      33. Carl & Debbie Gaines, s/v Diva -  June 15, 2014 - 9:06 am

        Debbie & I are shocked and full of sadness. Our sincere condolences to the Salty Southeast family and to Claiborne’s family and friends. We had the great fortune to meet Claiborne at at New Bern cruisers’ gam about seven years ago. He was a true southern gentleman and a monumental friend of cruisers. I was just about to pen a big compliment and thank you for the website’s help in our locating anchorages and marinas in our new cruising home, west coast of Florida. I am amazed at the quality and helpfulness of the website which mirrors Claiborne’s personal qualities. We will miss him as a trusted, congenial member of the cruising family.

        Reply to Carl
      34. Mark Phelps -  June 15, 2014 - 8:56 am

        Claiborne was one of our oldest and dearest friends. We got the call from his friend Don Braxton, about 1:35 PM Saturday. Claiborne and Don had been out on a beautiful day for a scenic Bike ride on a country road. A car swerved over into his lane and Claiborne had to lay the bike down at speed and still the car collided with him. We rushed to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill, NC and were the first to arrive and were joined later by Karen’s parents Bud and Shirley Williams and several members of Karen’s family, and friends, along with Don Braxton, who were all distraught as you could imagine. We all stayed there and were with Claiborne at his bedside when he went to join Karen in Heaven. My wife Betty and I have been friends with Karen and Claiborne for 35 years and have been on many adventures with the years. For 8 years in a row we spent a week together on Peaks Island in Portland, Maine and will cherish those memories forever. Once again Karen is his “First Rate First Mate” and they will sail the seas of the hereafter together forever.

        Reply to Mark
      35. Paula Spence, M/Y Sea Eagle -  June 15, 2014 - 8:37 am

        Jim and I are shocked and saddened to hear this news. What a terrible loss for his family and for the cruising community. Rest in peace, Claiborne, and thank you.

        Reply to Paula
      36. Stephanie Wakelin -  June 15, 2014 - 8:33 am

        Very sad news, indeed. Claiborne’s books were cruising companions for many years. He will be greatly missed by the cruising community. Our prayers are with his family and friends.

        Reply to Stephanie
      37. Hank Pomeranz -  June 15, 2014 - 7:52 am

        We are extremely saddened. Claiborne was a guest in our home a few short weeks ago and we got to know him a little beyond his SSECN persona. Claiborne’s death is a great loss to the cruising community. Our thoughts and prayers are with family and friends. Larry, if there’s anything we can do, don’t hesitate to ask. Hank and Lisa Pomeranz.

        Reply to Hank
      38. Peggy (and Jay) Bliss in St Augustine -  June 15, 2014 - 7:41 am

        We will forever miss you Claiborne!
        Claiborne brought enormous awareness to the water community of the ups and downs (mostly downs) of the Pilot Program when being initiated here in Florida. We got to know him over the following years! We loved that southern charm and his unsurpassed wit and grin. We will miss sharing a good glass of rum and the never ending tales as only Claiborne can re-tell them. I know he’ll sure be glad to be with Karen now. His free spirit and karma gets to stay here with us! Our love and prayers are with his family during this unsettling time.

        Reply to Peggy
      39. Mike & Jan Ahart -  June 15, 2014 - 7:01 am

        Such sad news – he was an inspiration, and the waterways will not be the same without him. Our condolences to his family and to the cruising community.

        Reply to Mike
      40. Alyse Caldwell -  June 15, 2014 - 6:16 am

        Claiborne’s guides about the coast of the gulf south and up through the Carolinas gave fuel to our passion for cruising. What a legacy he leaves with all of us. A true southern gentleman whose life impacted us in more ways than most will ever know. We are blessed to have known him. Chris & Alyse Caldwell

        Reply to Alyse
      41. Stan jones -  June 15, 2014 - 12:45 am

        The cruising world lost an icon. I’m happy he is with his first Mate.

        Reply to Stan
      42. Susan Sorensen -  June 14, 2014 - 11:52 pm

        Just read this terribly sad news on a friends post.
        I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Claiborne back in the mid 80’s when we owned a boatyard in St Augustine and he was researching the area for his book. We remained in touch off and on through the years; a gracious and good man who will be missed by many in the cruising world as well as all those whose lives he touched.
        Fair winds my old friend. Godspeed.

        Reply to Susan
      43. Andy denmark -  June 14, 2014 - 11:32 pm

        Tragic news. Claiborne was a gift to the waterway cruisers. He will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to all.

        Reply to Andy
      44. Charmaine Smith Ladd -  June 14, 2014 - 9:52 pm

        R.I.P. sweet Claiborne. Got an email from you yesterday with the news you were excited and very busy about moving your recently purchased trawler. From such a high to the lowest of lows we can traverse so quickly. Smooth seas my friend, smooth seas. To all who knew and loved you…you will never be forgotten. Much Love, Charmaine

        Reply to Charmaine
      45. Chuck Baier -  June 14, 2014 - 9:48 pm

        Larry, We are so shocked I can’t put it into words. This is a tragedy.
        Chuck Baier

        Reply to Chuck
      46. Kathrin & Ron Sagaert -  June 14, 2014 - 9:42 pm

        Our prayers are with your family. We have been cruising for years and Claiborne’s input to the boating community has been insightful, beneficial and very reassuring.
        Kathrin & Ron

        Reply to Kathrin
      47. Chuck baier -  June 14, 2014 - 9:34 pm

        Larry, We have lost a good friend today and the boating community has suffered a great loss. This is such a shock and such sad news. Please let us know if there is anything we can do. Chuck and Susan

        Reply to Chuck
      48. doug jacoby -  June 14, 2014 - 9:23 pm

        So very sad… a true loss to family, friends and cruisers. Personally and professionally , greatly missed. What a contribution and legacy.

        Reply to doug
      49. Suasn Leaf -  June 14, 2014 - 9:13 pm

        Our condolences to his family. He will be greatly missed!

        Reply to Suasn
      50. sonny reeves -  June 14, 2014 - 8:12 pm

        So sad for the loss. My prayers are

        for the family

        Reply to sonny
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