author of this Irwin Web site is Gene Gammon. Years of working with Irwin
Yacht & Marine, Ted Irwin, and the love of his work led him to spend the
considerable time and effort to produce a source of information that would
hopefully benefit the thousands of Irwin owners around the world. Gene
Gammon became a source of Irwin information to original owners as well as
subsequent owners and with the popularity with the Internet, Gene Gammon ’s
name as a contact for information and data flourished. As an effort to make
data instantly available to all, he created the Irwin Yachts web site that
could answer all the basic questions and carry on the Irwin tradition. The
web site should save the owner’s searching time and phone calls to him for
the basic answers they seek, but he still likes to hear from Irwin sailors
everywhere. It keeps him updated and he loves passing on new ideas and
meeting new friends.
1972, three years after returning from the US Army and Vietnam, Gene started
his own business as Gulf Coast Catamarans in St. Petersburg, Florida. From
1972 to 1976 he sold, rented and serviced several brands of beach catamarans
including: Sol Cat, Condor, Nacra, Kona Cat, Sizzler, Prindle, Tornado, and
the G-Cat. In those 4 years he learned to sail, was three years Florida
State Open Class Multi hull Champ, and designed and build the G-Cat.
Irwin hired Gene in the spring of 1977 as their Irwin 52 Project Manager to
supervise the sales, construction, commissioning and delivery of the Irwin
52s. During his first three years at Irwin he delivered 48 Irwin 52s and
took deposits on the first 8 planned Irwin 65 models. He also learned
construction methods, the meaning of sailing in comfort, and the
competition, such as Morgan, Endeavor, Gulfstar, Pearson, CT, Cheoy Lee and
others in that size range. With the Irwin 52 he attended boat shows from
Newport to Miami. He also arranged for Irwin Yacht to sponsor Irwin 52
Rendezvous in Antigua Race Week, entries in Suncoast Race Week, Key West to
Cuba Race, and others. He had many happy owners, great memories and
After a few short assignments with Morgan Yachts as the Morgan 65 Consultant
and S. E. Manager for Lancer Yachts, Gene was commissioned in 1981 to
supervise the commissioning and get ready of an Irwin 65 for an Australian
owner. He sailed with the Irwin 65 to the Mediterranean, visiting
Gibraltar, Spain, France, Monte Carlo, Italy, Switzerland, and England. In
December he returned to Florida and Irwin Yacht & Marine Corp.
1982 Gene went to Seabrook, Texas to open Irwin Yachts Southwest. He
became Irwin’s largest dealer for a few years then a downfall of the economy
of the region brought him back to Florida. 1988 found him at Watkins-Seawolf
as National Sales Manager supervising sales for sail and powerboats. He was
then invited in 1989 to join a brokerage, an Irwin Dealer, in Ft.
Lauderdale. Gene prospered and then sailed to Vieques Island, PR in 1993
to a home he owned and commuted by sailboat to St. Thomas and Tortola where
he worked as a broker for Southern Trades Yacht Sales.
1996 Gene returned to Florida with the plans of getting the production of
the larger Irwins going again. He contacted boat factories around the world
researching potential production builders. Ted Irwin and Gene opened Irwin
Yacht International, Inc. in 1998 and contracted with a New Zealand yacht
builder for the production of the new 72’, to be followed by the Irwin 56’
and 85’ models. After several trips to Auckland and multiple breaches of
contract by the builder, Ted and Gene ended the project.
Gene continues to be an active licensed and bonded yacht broker in Florida
and continues to specialize in the resale of Irwin sailboats and other
yachts. He also maintains his 100-ton Masters License.
requests, he has supervised several refurbishments of the larger Irwins,
helping them to retain and increase in value. He has not given up the idea
of new production of larger modern sailing yachts and feels it is just a
matter of time.