Marina Spotlights

History of Brewer Yacht Yards


Brewer Yacht Yards is well known for running 24 of the largest full-service marine facilities in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic all of which are popular destinations for cruisers. It's hard to believe that it all started with Jack Brewer's great grandfather back in 1879, when he opened a hardware store in Mamaroneck, New York. While Jack was enrolled at Columbia Business School, his father called and asked him if he would be interested in running the boatyard next to the hardware store. Jack was hesitant until his father promised to let him run the boatyard entirely on his own. Besides Jack, the boatyard's only employee was a talented all-purpose worker who taught Jack a lot. In addition to bottom painting and carpentry during the day, Jack was doing the bookkeeping at night. Jack was one of the first people in the boating industry to treat his boatyard as a business, not a hobby, says Doug Domenie, Vice President and General Manager of Brewer Dauntless Shipyard. Once the yard became financially successful, Jack decided to expand and, in 1969, purchased Pilots Point Marina, in Westbrook, Conn. From there, Brewer Yacht Yards grew dramatically, expanding further in New York and Connecticut, then on into Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine.

This year, Jack Brewer decided to step down as president and asked Rives Potts to take on the position. Jack will still be involved as the company's chairman and will continue to visit each marina, though not as frequently. The company is celebrating its 50th anniversary next year and is continually looking to acquire new marinas if the right opportunity comes along.

The Brewer Yacht Yard philosophy is one thing that Jack has standardized at each location. He makes sure that facilities provide the best level of customer service by paying close attention to customers' specific needs. The company strives to ensure that all its facilities are well maintained, constantly updated and kept immaculate, while also staying stocked with the best equipment and tools. Jack Brewer gives managers at each location full authority to run the boatyards as if they were their own. The average manager has been with the organization for 22 years, indicating an extremely high employee satisfaction and loyalty. Jack says that the key to his company's success is treating the customer right and having a little bit of good luck along the way. He continues, I have been blessed with really great managers, and that has enabled us to grow into the business we are today. No matter what Brewer destination you choose, you'll know that you are in excellent hands.

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