The Story of Irwin

Jim Irwin


With a storied history, Irwin Yacht Sales can proudly say that we are the longest-running yacht and boat brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest. Founded by Jim Irwin in Portland, Oregon in 1963, Irwin Yacht Sales has served thousands of clients with the sole focus of taking care of them and their interests, which continues to be our number one priority.

Jim Irwin worked tirelessly for nearly 60 years and during that six-decade run had been a dealer for some of the world’s most recognizable brands including Ocean Alexander, Sea Ray, Tollycraft, and Carver. During that time Jim helped usher in change from wood to fiberglass hulls, the Taiwanese revolution, and the modern-day pilothouse motor yacht. His influence in the yacht and boat-building industry helped shape the boats we all enjoy to this day.

In 2000, recognizing the need for a quality yacht brokerage in Sacramento, Matt Maynard opened Sacramento Yacht Sales. With guidance and professional assistance from Jim Irwin, Matt turned Sacramento Yacht Sales into one of the largest brokerage firms in Northern California. Recognizing the oncoming downturn, in 2006 Matt and Jim entered a partnership to expand Irwin Yacht in the Pacific Northwest by opening Irwin Yacht Sales in Seattle at the Historic Vic Franck Boat Company Yard, each retaining full ownership of their Seattle and Portland companies.

For nearly a decade, Jim and Matt worked to continue to build the Irwin Yacht Sales name into one of the most recognizable yacht brokerage firms in the Pacific Northwest. In 2015, Matt purchased the remaining rights to Irwin Yacht Sales and Jim enjoyed working with select clients as a broker and continued as an advisor for the company. Until his passing in February of 2018, Jim dedicated himself to helping others and promoting integrity in the marine industry. Jim also was an avid fisherman and spent much of his free time salmon fishing along the West Coast, Alaska, and the Columbia River.

Matt has continued to give back to the marine industry as Jim had done by being heavily involved in the local marine trade associations. Jim served as the President of the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA) and was one of the founding members of the Northwest Yacht Brokers Association (NYBA). Matt served two terms as President of NYBA and sat on its board for over a decade, helping promote continuing education for yacht brokers through its membership in the Certified Professional Yacht Brokers Program.

Through all the ups and downs, recessions and booms, one thing has remained constant: Irwin Yacht Sales’ dedication to its clients. It is the hallmark of what we stand for and to this day and it’s the driving force behind everything we do. Our experienced brokerage staff consists of 5 brokers Matt Maynard, Kevin Blake, Jon Heisel, and Paul Groesbeck in our Seattle Headquarters on South Lake Union and Jim Taylor in the Portland market.