Brewer Yacht Yards, with locations from New York to Maine, is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year.
In 1964, John Brewer Sr. bought the boatyard next to the family hardware store and invited his son, Jack, to run it. Brewer Post Road Boat Yard, in Mamaroneck, N.Y., was the first yard.
"When my father called with the idea of purchasing the boatyard next door to his business, I thought it seemed like a good opportunity," Jack Brewer said in a statement.
"When I started, I didn't have a marine industry background or a vision for expanding into multiple boatyards," he said. "I just thought it'd be nice to get Post Road up and running, making a profit as a well-run business. I had attended business school and had worked for a large commercial bank for a year. I saw the boatyard as a business challenge and wanted to do it right. I had an instinct, I think, that made me want to do everything the right way."
Gradually, Brewer grew the business, acquiring a new yard every few years. After starting with 18 slips and one yard, the Brewer group today has grown to 6,000 slips in 21 locations.