By Buttons Padin
People who enjoy sailing and powerboating recognize the role marine service companies play in enabling fun and safe boating. Some of these service providers help you buy or sell the right boat; others help keep those boats in proper working condition. It is the rare company, however, that offers both brokerage and service, and even fewer that have been doing it for over eight decades.
For 88 years, McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers has been on the forefront of yacht sales and marine service up and down Long Island Sound and into New England. McMichael has consistently matched sailors and powerboaters with boats that meet and usually exceed the buyers’ expectations. And, with their two service yards in Mamaroneck, NY, and their new Mobile Marine Service, McMichael helps owners maintain, repair, and store their boats. The company’s longevity reflects the high level of customer satisfaction and loyalty that has been earned over the years.
Realizing that the customer relationship is a two-way street, McMichael has been a supporter of a range of events ranging from The Newport to Bermuda Race, Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race, bi-annual Block Island Race Week, and Hands-on Safety-at-Sea Seminars to the Can One Evening Racing Association and American Yacht Club’s Spring and Fall Series. “The sailors in those events have been integral to McMichael’s success, and we view these sponsorships as us saying thanks to our customers...paying it back as it were,” noted Steve Leicht, McMichael President and CEO. “And, in addition to these adult-oriented regattas and events, we also are paying it forward by supporting some junior sailing programs, too,” Leicht continued.
McMichael underwrites the Junior Safety-at-Sea Seminar (conducted by STC and held at Larchmont Yacht Club every July) and the STC/LYC Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta sailed every October. Over the years, the Jr. SAS program has taught thousands of teen sailors the importance of safety and proper racer/cruiser boat handling. Participation in that course is a requirement for juniors to participate in the Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound Dorade Trophy day and overnight races. The IOR, on the other hand, is the country’s largest collegiate regatta where as many as 50 teams from colleges and universities across North America race big boats. The organizers’ goal is to develop an appreciation of sailing post-420s to help maintain interest in sailing post-graduation.
“If we didn’t have lasting, loyal sponsors like McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers, we wouldn’t be able to hold our many regattas and seminars,” said STC Commodore Ray Redniss. “Helping us deliver quality competition, education, and fun for sailors and boaters of all ages is what’s keeping our sport alive.”
Paying it back and paying it forward. That’s what has helped sustain yachting and McMichael for all those decades.