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Old 10-02-2015, 13:59   #1
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Ted Irwin dies at 74

Yacht and sailboat builder Ted Irwin dies from cancer | Tampa Bay Times

Yacht and sailboat builder Ted Irwin dies from cancer
Katie Mettler, Times Staff Writer
Monday, February 9, 2015 10:10pm

Ted Irwin, 74, died last week in Arkansas, four years after learning that he had cancer.


The well-known owner of a former St. Petersburg yacht and sailboat building business died last week in Little Rock, Ark., where he was receiving cancer treatments.
Ted Irwin, 74, the face of Irwin Yachts, had been battling multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood cells, since his diagnosis four years ago.
"He just decided to attack it with a vengeance, like he does everything else," said his eldest daughter, Michelle Payne, 48.‎
Irwin grew up building boats in Pinellas County and made millions through his enterprise, which at its peak was known as one of the largest independent yacht builders in the United States.
The business opened in 1965, the same year Irwin married Payne's mother. The couple had two children, whom they raised on the water.
Within a year of the opening, the business moved to a larger space in St. Petersburg and quickly grew to more than 300 employees. But by the 1980s, around the time of her parents' divorce, Irwin Yachts began to crumble, Payne said. In early 1990, the business built its last boat.
"It was a passion and love of my father's, and he didn't do it to make money," Payne said.
Even after Irwin Yachts folded, Payne said her father continued to build boats. Recently, he enjoyed watched his 12-year-old grandson sail for the junior team at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, where he began sailing himself.
Irwin is survived by his first wife, Jean DeRosay Irwin, and their two children. He has two grandchildren. In the late 1980s, Irwin married Karen Pilcher. The couple had two children. The marriage ended in divorce but drew news media attention when the settlement dragged on for more than five years, an ugly and expensive court battle that was one of the longest in the area's history.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been organized, but the family plans to have a celebration of life service in the coming weeks.



Born: June 28, 1940
Died: February 5, 2015
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Old 21-02-2015, 07:22   #2
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Re: Ted Irwin dies at 74

Sad to see. We probably won't see many more individuals that actually build boats... most will be corporations where the passion these individuals had will be missing.
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Old 23-02-2015, 16:02   #3
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Re: Ted Irwin dies at 74

He not only built them, he designed them, and sailed them. A true artist, innovator and icon in the sailing industry. You will not see a legacy in the industry equal to his again in this country.
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Old 23-02-2015, 17:19   #4
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Re: Ted Irwin dies at 74

R.I.P. Ted!
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Old 18-07-2015, 05:50   #5
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Re: Ted Irwin dies at 74

The sailing world will certainly miss Ted. My wife and I owned an Irwin 37 ketch and sailed it for over twenty years. I remember needing to replace my main mast spreaders and calling Ted. We had them very quickly and at an honest price, you could always depend on him to provide what you needed, and when you called you always spoke driectly to Ted! Try that with todays boats!
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