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One hundred years ago, on the city streets of Newark, New Jersey, a 500-square-foot machine shop catering to local businesses opened its doors for the first time. A century later, that machine shop has grown into an internationally recognized and respected engine distributor, boasting partnerships with companies such as Yanmar, Scania, and OXE.
This year, Mack Boring and Parts company proudly celebrates its 100th year of business, a monumental achievement for any company, but even more so for one that has remained family owned and operated. Ed “Mack” McGovern Sr. founded the business shortly after returning from World War I. Four generations of McGoverns have worked at the company, including its current president, Patrick McGovern.
While pursuing his college degree at Boston College, Patrick spent summers working in the service department. There, he worked with his hands, learning the ins and outs of diesel engine repair and customer service. “I was able to see Mack Boring through the eyes of an employee,” says McGovern. “It was a great way for me to really learn the business from the bottom up.”
At the time, McGovern was not yet sure whether he wanted to join the family business. “I had a lot of excitement about the opportunity, but there was a lot of pressure too,” explains McGovern. “I was working with family and with that came great demands for always setting a positive example.” As it turns out, those very demands would eventually inspire McGovern to join the team permanently.
The company was built upon a culture of strong principles and values, placing great stock in hard work and integrity. Several years ago, the cost of an engine was misquoted to a customer. Although Mack Boring and Parts would take a loss on the deal, McGovern’s father stood by the incorrect quote. “The company culture really reflects our values,” says McGovern. “We always stand by our word and follow through.”
Such principles require the support of a stellar team. Mack Boring and Parts now has 65 employees who work extremely hard to uphold those values. “We strive for excellence continuously, which puts a lot of pressure on the team,” says McGovern. “We work hard and push hard, so we look for people who are attracted to that. We need the best to give the best.”
To survive the likes of the Great Depression, World War II, and, more recently, a global pandemic, Mack Boring and Parts undoubtedly had to always offer their best to their partners and customers. Such a triumph speaks volumes to the quality of their team and how they stand behind their products. “We’ve been through a lot, but we always overcome,” says McGovern. “I’m very proud and humbled to celebrate 100 years of business. Maybe those two words don’t sit side by side too often, but that’s how I feel. It certainly hasn’t been easy, but we’ve always kept the big picture perspective.”
That long term perspective has kept the company, which now manages roughly 300 dealers across 26 states, on a steady course as folks look ahead to jaw-dropping technological advancements in the marine industry. Through various partnerships, the company has been involved in product development and launches. Over time, Mack Boring and Parts has built a reputation of being on the front end of this innovation.
Such innovation requires boots on the ground. In the case of the marine diesel engine industry, that usually means it’s time to go fishing. The company has a long history of demo projects, but their most recent one takes the form of a 46-foot Viking, Mack 900, powered by Scania’s new DI13-900 diesel engines.
“Scania is relatively new to the recreational marine market, but we felt that this engine would be a winner,” McGovern says. “When considering the demo project, we wanted to partner with a well-known company. Simply put, we wanted our product in the best possible platform. Like us, Viking Yacht Company is based in New Jersey and their mission is to ‘build a better boat each day’. As a result, we felt that a partnership with them would work out well.”
Mack 900 has gone on to fish several tournaments this year, including the 54th Annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament where the team boated a fish and took third place in the heaviest blue marlin category. “Being on the docks makes for such good discussion,” says McGovern. “We’re living with our customer peer to peer. You can’t buy ads like that.”
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The demo boat will continue to attend boat shows and participate in tournaments. Meanwhile, Mack Boring and Parts has several other demo projects in the works as well. They recently just installed a Yanmar Smartgyro in Mack 900 and have plans underway for Macked Out, a boat powered by an OXE diesel outboard engine.
“We started as a machine shop in Newark and now we are a distributor of many engines in many geographic areas,” says McGovern. “With new tech, products will continue to change. We want to take this strong family legacy and history and put it in a place we’ve never been before. Fortunately, we have a great team that will work hard to keep us relevant for another 100 years.”
Cheers to the next hundred years of impeccable service.