Chris, that is really a tragic growing up episode. I am sorry to hear this. After I asked my question, I was reviewing your writings and saw that had it not been from Julie you would have run away from your father. All these memories and feelings about events in your life centered around your mother's schizophrenia and your dad's temper fit together perfectly to add up to big time trouble for you to deal with. Your reaction to all this is very normal given everything. Your fleeing your dad in the sailboat incident brought up all those past violent memories compounded by having to deal with your mother's situation and what you were going to have to do to survive all this, not only figuratively but literally!
You have mentioned the supportive people in your life who made all the difference in your life. Imagine, had your dad's temper been one of more compassion, how much a difference that would have made for everyone dealing with your family situation. It is very common for victims of abuse to want to please those that inflict the pain.
I am guessing your father grew up in an era "when men were men", "spare the rod spoil the child" and "men don't cry" era. In the mid 1950s, Jackie Gleason's The Honeymooners portrayed man's potential for violence toward family members. "One of these days! One of these days! To the moon, Alice!" was Ralph Kramden's (Gleason) humorous threat for physical violence. Humorous because it never happened because he believed "Alice, you're the greatest"! The dark reality is men sometimes do inflict physical violence on family members.
Your photo of your mother and dad reminds me of what a promotional photo of two movie stars of that era looks like . Your mom reminds me of the actress Claudette Colbert and your dad, a dashing military hero who apparently could paint! They do look happy!