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RED BANK: 139-YEAR-OLD MARINA SOLD

red-bank-irwin-marine-031623-500x375-9152906Riverview Medical Center looms over one of two Irwin Marine properties flanking Marine Park. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot-topic_03-220x138-2130637Irwin Marine, a boating business with pilings sunk deep into the red clay waterfront that gave Red Bank its name, has been sold by the family that’s owned it throughout its 139-year existence.

red-bank-irwin-marine-032023-500x410-7155446Red stars on Google Map, above, indicate the marina’s two sites. Below, Channing Irwin at a presentation on proposed changes to Marine Park in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

channing-irwin-040918-220x165-1241477The 145-slip business, with two Navesink River properties on either side of Marine Park, sold for $5.13 million, according to a deed signed March 2.

The buyer was Sagamore Blue, a Maryland-based owner of two marinas in its home state that is making its first foray into the New Jersey market, said Tim Ryan, who’s now general manager of the Irwin property.

Seller Channing ‘Chan’ Irwin, the third-generation owner, did not respond to redbankgreen requests for comment.

A March 2 post on the marina’s Facebook page announced the sale and offered thanks to employees, “most of who have been with us for decades,” it said.

A reason for the sale was not specified. But the post said that with the approach of Chan’s 60th summer working at the marina, and his wife, Christine’s, 41st, their son, Brian, “has decided to follow a career within the medical industry and specifically in nursing. He now works at Riverview Hospital creating his new career path.”

Decades older than both its neighbors – Riverview Medical Center and the borough-owned park – the marina has been a waterfront presence since 1884, when “Chester Arthur was president,” its website says. Founder Charles P. Irwin “grew the marina from a dock and a shack to a yard capable of servicing 35 to 40 boats,” it states.

The business now includes 145 slips for boats and yachts, plus 75 for personal watercraft, said Ryan. The business also offers boat sales and shared leases; in-water an on-land vessel storage; and vessel maintenance operations.

Ryan said Sagamore Blue plans to bring back Irwin’s seasonal employees for the slip rental season that begins May 15, and has made only a small change: the business is now called Irwin Marine Center, he said.

The business website claimed the marina was “the oldest family owned and operated marina in the United States,” but that may be disputed. On an internet site listing boating resources, the Lotteryville Marina in Westerly, Rhode Island claims to be “the oldest, family owned, marina in the United States. Established February 27, 1749 by Colonel Joseph Pendelton, the marina has been handed down through our family nine (9) generations.”

Boondocks Fishery, a seasonal lobster restaurant that operates out of a red shack on the easterly site, is unaffected by the sale and plans to reopen May 23, owner Kelly Ryan posted on Facebook.

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