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In Memoriam: Jim Irwin

by Evin Moore

Jim Irwin

Jim Irwin, seen with his wife, Cherry.

Jim Irwin, a highly influential member of our boating community, passed away on February 27, 2018. Irwin, who helped train some of the industry’s current leaders, ushered in both the fiberglass era of boating and the Taiwanese revolution, and most importantly, contributed to the growth of the marine industry, even in lean times.

His life is remembered by his fellow brokers at his family business Irwin Yacht Sales; the Northwest Yacht Brokers Association (NYBA), that he helped found, the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA) where he was once president; and many other communities far and wide.

His unyielding dedication to the yachting community began at a young age. Since starting his Portland marine business in 1963, he continued his boat sales profession as a dealer for some of the most well-known brands such as Ocean Alexander, Tollycraft, Sea Ray, Carver, and Wellcraft, becoming one of the longest-running yacht brokers in the United States. Irwin took over management of Irwin Marine following the passing of his father in 1966. His quick wit, sense of humor, honesty, and compassion survive him; his pranks brought a smile to everyone’s faces.

Friends and family gathered together on March 14 to celebrate the life of Jim Irwin at Seattle Yacht Club; attendees shared their happy memories of Jim. The industry wouldn’t have been the same without him.

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