Charles Chapman Award

The Charles Chapman Award honors individuals or groups within the marine industry who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of boating for the benefit of the recreational boating industry and boating public.


Contact: Rachel Harmon


View past recipients of this prestigious award.

2024: Dave Livingston, Fluid Motion

Dave Livingston

With a six-decade career spanning boat design, manufacturing, and business leadership, Dave Livingston has left a lasting impact on the industry. Dave is currently the co-owner and head of design at Fluid Motion, the builder of Ranger Tugs, Cutwater, and Solara brands.

From a young age, Dave was drawn to the water. He built his first boat at 14 years old, a 9' 8" Mustang, using plans he found in Popular Mechanics magazine. During high school, he spent summers working on Unlimited Hydroplane Racing teams, further fueling his passion. By the time he graduated, he had built a B class hydroplane, D class hydroplane, and several runabouts.

He went on to study mechanical engineering while working in design for a local firm. His study was split by four years of service in the Navy, after which he went on to work at Nickum and Spalding Naval Architecture and later Lockheed Naval Architecture. Shortly after, Dave designed and built what would become his first commercially successful vessel—the catamaran design bearing the family name, the Livingston dinghy.

After his tenure at Livingston, Dave dedicated several years to product development at Reinell. From there, he led the design and product development team for Bayliner. As head of product development throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Dave pioneered accessible designs and oversaw efficient consolidated manufacturing.

Other career milestones demonstrate Dave's inventiveness extending beyond propulsion systems into towing logistics and storage convenience for end consumers. He led the manufacturing of the L-Drive, a lighter more efficient propulsion system, collaborating with top talent in pioneering such an innovative power solution.

Dave embarked on his latest venture in the early 2000s, teaming up with his son, John, to establish Fluid Motion. Today, Fluid Motion boasts the construction of 15 models across three brands. Dave has channeled his lifelong expertise in boat design to craft some of the most versatile boats on the market. Notably, under Dave's leadership, Ranger Tugs pioneered the "pocket cruiser" trend.

Throughout the last six decades, Dave has collaborated with numerous manufacturers to innovate and enhance both new and existing products.