|A Bronx Tale|
Part 3: Sean and Jacqui wanted their boys to see them keep their roots among people who’d been good to them.
By Kim Kavin - November 2003
It was 1998, and Jacqui wanted no part of buying another boat. Sean’s business was doing well, and they finally had a cushion in the bank. She was thinking about the boys’ future, not about deck plans. Perhaps that’s why Sean left her home when he attended that year’s New York National Boat Show, where he quickly became enamored with the Cruisers 3870 Express. The price tag was $220,000.
Sean had four-year-old Ethan make the call to Jacqui. “He called me to say they’d just bought a boootiful boat,” Jacqui recalls. “So I said, ‘Sweetie, you need to put Daddy on the phone. Now.’”
They took the latest High Jinks home to South Minneford Yacht Club and spent the next five years building the business into an 11-person operation. In the meantime Sean wrote more than 4,000 mortgages, put his sister through college, and moved his family into the Riverdale section of the Bronx, where most houses start around $1 million. Then, once their finances were secure, even Jacqui started dreaming about a bigger boat, about cruising for weeks at a time. They both drooled over the Cruisers 5470 when they saw her two years ago, and they couldn’t believe it last year when interest rates dropped to five percent. “In October I said to Jacqui, ‘I think we can pull this off,’” Sean recalls.
A lot of boaters on City Island thought that would be the last they saw of the O’Sullivans, since “rich folks” with big boats don’t tend to stick around the neighborhood. But Sean and Jacqui wanted their boys to see them keep their roots among people who’d been good to them. “That’s our legacy,” Jacqui says, “teaching them to be decent.”
Ten-year-old Ethan and eight-year-old Brandon are well known for tooling around in their dinghy, Ethan O, and the neighbors are thrilled about having the Cruisers at the 120-slip facility. “We’re very happy to have this sitting out front when people come in,” says yacht club president John Daly.
The O’Sullivans look forward to Cruisers expanding its line upward again; they dream of filling out their 95-foot slip with a boat to take to their native Ireland. Until then, they’re just doing their best in a small, adopted corner of the USA.
“I’m excited about the boat, the marina, and the future,” Jacqui says, lounging at the air-conditioned helm on a warm summer day. “I want my kids to be here. We feel we have a community here. I believe we’ve lived the American dream.”
This article originally appeared in the October 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.