After years of ownership under the Pape family, Mattituck Inlet Marina has been purchased by Strong’s Marine, which has already folded the shipyard into its brand.
In an interview this week, Strong’s owner Jeff Strong said the newly redubbed Strong’s Yacht Center will be upgraded and refurbished in order to restore the once-bustling yacht repair center to its heyday.
The 16-acre shipyard was founded in 1961 and features 70,000 square feet of indoor storage space. Mr. Strong said the yacht center will become part of Strong’s group of locations on Mattituck Inlet, including Strong’s Water Club, which was purchased 3 1/2 years ago.
Strong’s other locations in Southampton and Port Washington will feed customers to the Mattituck site, where Mr. Strong has promised the continuation of “old-world quality and workmanship.”
Mr. Strong said the water club will continue to expand beyond offerings of summer music, pool access and more. Strong’s Yacht Center will be the home of the company’s commercial enterprises on the inlet, offering up two brands of yacht for sale and making customized repairs and upgrades to clients’ vessels.
“It’s exciting to offer that one-stop shopping,” he said.
Mr. Strong said it was important to retain the knowledge of those who had previously worked at Mattituck Inlet Marina under the Papes. Four of the five employees have at least 25 years experience in yacht sales and repair and all will remain with the dockyard.
Sal Messina of Riverhead, a friend of the Strong family from their church with more than 20 years experience in marine contracting, now heads the Mattituck yacht center.
“For us, the success of any one of our businesses is only as good as the people we have,” Mr. Strong said.
Mr. Strong said he also wanted to honor the Papes’ legacy, inviting them and longtime manager John Hallaman back to the marina after it was purchased late last month to get their blessings.
“They’ve been nothing but honorable and a pleasure to deal with, not just with the purchase and sale of the facility but with the transition,” Mr. Strong said.
Photo caption: The former Mattituck Inlet Marina, now Strong’s Yacht Center, in a recent aerial photo. (Courtesy: Strong’s Marine)