There are sailboat riggers, sailboat rigging apprentices, and then there are master riggers. At what point do you achieve master status? Well it is all a matter of who is handing out these titles, I guess. Regardless of who is handing out titles, after 20 years of practicing any one skill or trade, you have become a master in my book!
Patrick Jinks, born in 1940 in Atlanta Georgia, has experiences that far supersede that of any rigging technician I have ever met and quite possibly will ever meet. Initially, Pat had attended the University of Miami with hopes of majoring in music and minoring in meteorology. Instead he found himself graduating from a Miami vocational school and getting certified by what was then called the C.A.B., or Civilian Aeronautics Board. He ended up becoming double certified in aircraft air frame construction as well as aircraft power plant mechanics. His dreams were to always become a line mechanic with a major commercial airline. Commercial air travel was a still fairly new and a very unique line of business back then and was also seen as a prestigious form of employment.
However, in 1959, Pat took a position at Florida Wire & Rigging as the Shop Foreman. He led a team of riggers on some very unique jobs, one of them being a project for one of the newer government agencies at the time called NASA. Almost 10 years later he was offered a position with the famous Robert E. Director Shipyard as a rigging technician where his focus would be mainly very large sailing vessels. He ended up taking the position and stayed gainfully employed with the Director Shipyard for approximately 8 years before he had moved on to a more secure future working for the United States Naval Station in Annapolis, Maryland. There he headed up the rigging department until 1982 (just for a reference I was 2 years old and he had already 23 years of rigging experience). Pat then decided to move on to Bay Rigging and Supply, which what was at that time the Mid-Atlantic’s largest and most complete rigging services firm. He stayed with the company for a decade as General Manager and Head Rigger before the company went out of business in 1992. Pat found great alternative employment with the a new premier rigging company by the name of Chesapeake Rigging, Annapolis Spars Ltd as their master rigger.
On November 7, 2011 Patrick Jinks at the ripe young age of 71, decided to retire from the rigging world. Pat witnessed the closing of yet another major rigging firm, and decided it was time to call it quits.
7 years ago, I could have only hoped to work along the side of someone with the likes of him. Now I find myself among the fortunate few that was privileged enough to have him show me many, but I’m sure not all, of his tips and tricks that only 53 years of rigging experience could provide.
Even though he has outlived many of his past employers as well as, I am sure, many of his co-workers, Pat lives here in Annapolis today and likes to enjoy a good round of golf once in while. He’ll even stop by our shop just to say hello and see how things are going. So Pat, this is for you- thank you for your tutelage and your friendship, may your drives be long and straight!
Thank You Pat,
Sean and Jimmie