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    Thursday, February 02, 2023

    Noank Shipyard is sold

    Groton ― The owners of Noank Shipyard announced Wednesday that they have sold the popular 155-slip marina to Delaware-based Epum Holdings, which owns shoreline marinas in Mystic and Clinton.

    Harry Boardsen, general manager of Seaport Marine/Noank Shipyard, said the all-cash sale to Epum took place Tuesday. Boardsen’s wife Abbey’s family — the Holsteins — have owned the marina at the mouth of the Mystic River since 1980. Boardsen declined to disclose the sale price.

    Boardsen said he and his family will continue to own and operate the 122-slip Seaport Marine off Washington Street in Mystic and Bridgeport Boatworks.

    Boardsen categorized the decision to sell Noank Shipyard after more than four decades as a “family decision,” but called this week a very emotional one for them.

    “It was the right time for the family after having owned it for 42 years,” he said, adding the timing was right with the market and its desire to focus on its other enterprises.

    In an email announcement of the sale, Boardsen and Abby Holstein wrote, “But as one chapter ends a new one begins. Epum Holdings, also a family-owned enterprise, will be taking the reins of one of the most recognizable properties on the Mystic River and in southeastern Connecticut. Epum’s culture and vision for the property, and others they have previously acquired in the area, give us great faith that they will continue the wonderful legacy of Noank Shipyard.”

    They thanked their customers for their business and said it has been a pleasure serving them over the four decades.

    “From slip holders to fuel dock patrons and everyone in between, it has been a beautiful experience to watch the seasons come and go and familiar faces enjoy their boats and the wonderful landscape of Fisher’s Island Sound and the Mystic River. Without you, it would not have been possible,” they wrote, adding that for customers who use both Seaport Marine and Noank Shipyard, their “contracts are intact and all services, pricing, and relationships with Epum Holdings will proceed with no changes.”

    They also thanked their past and present shipyard employees for their work and said they will miss “their friendship and camaraderie.”

    “The skill and craftsmanship that has been displayed by you over the years is truly a testament to your abilities. From breakdowns to groundings, custom paint work to stuck masts, storage and seasonal service and everything else these things called boats dole out; you have taken these jobs on and tackled them with skilled acumen and professionalism. It has been a pleasure working with you in the good times and the more frustrating times…” they wrote.

    Boardsen said Epum Holdings is a family-owned business much like his. It’s website shows a portfolio that include 13 self-storage facilities mostly in Maryland and marinas in South Glastonbury, Clinton, Essex, Maryland and Mystic Point Marina on Dubois Drive in Mystic. It lists 11 self storage projects in development in five states, including five projects in Florida.

    "We are grateful to have the opportunity to work with the Holsteins to acquire such a well-run historical boatyard and we plan to invest heavily into modernizing the marina for the next generation," said Epum Holdings partner Royden Cooper in the announcement released by Boarden and Holstein.

    As for the the future Boarden said he and the Holsteins are looking forward to the further development of the Seaport Marine property as well as his four-year-old Bridgeport Boatworks facility which he said is “going gangbusters.”

    In 2019, the family proposed a major redevelopment of the11-acre Seaport Marine property, called Smiler’s Wharf, that included 120 more slips, a 45-room hotel, a marine services building, a second restaurant, a public park and walkway and housing, but withdrew it in the face of opposition.


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