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.

2011: Ralph Lambrecht

Ralph Lambrecht

Ralph Lambrecht started racing boats in 1948. After graduating from Purdue University with a Mechanical Engineering BS in 1951 he began his career with OMC. However, due to company policy, Ralph was forced to give up his boat racing endeavors. Throughout his career at OMC, Ralph developed an enduring attraction to the marine industry and had numerous accomplishments. A few highlights during his successful career includes many patents on boats and marine engines, developing the P-250 Fire Pump for the US Navy (over 20,000 built and on virtually all naval vessels), building two world record speed boats (StarFlight II and Starflight III in 1959 and 1960), authoring SAE technical papers and serving as ABYC Technical Vice President and President of ABYC (1975-1976). One of Ralph’s major accomplishments with ABYC was restructuring the technical committees from over 50 to 17. The structure for the PTC’s that Ralph pioneered is still in place today. Ralph retired from OMC as Director of Service in 1987 after having
worked on outboards, stern drives, boats and special projects. Most people would be quite happy with a distinguished career spanning 36 years…but that simply is not Ralph’s style.

After Ralph retired from OMC in 1987 he started on his second marine industry career including boat racing again (antique outboards this time which he did until 2005).  From 1988 to 2008, Ralph wrote articles for Boat & Motor Dealer magazine where he took current hot industry topics and explained their significance to the boating industry. These topics were often very technical in nature but Ralph’s articles were known to be thorough and easy to understand. He was selected to represent the United States in the International Standards Organization.  He was an ISO convener for 7 working groups (the most by any single person) and was responsible for the development of over 15 ISO standards over a 20 + year period. He has remained active in ABYC and was recently given the distinction of being one of the first persons appointed to the ABYC Technical Board Emeritus. He also authored an article chronicling the development of the outboard motor for the Wisconsin Magazine of History which was published in Volume 89,
umber 3 Spring 2006 Issue.

Ralph Lambrecht is an author, historian and a renowned expert on boats, marine engines and safety standards.  Ralph has dedicated his entire professional life of 62 years to the advancement of the marine industry, improving products and safety standards and promoting the joy of the boating lifestyle.