Mike Patterson began his career as a professional mariner at seventeen years old, when he joined the United Staes Coast Guard in 1978. While in the USCG he served in many capacities; acquiring many skills, qualifications, and experiences at sea.
Throughout his three-decades-long maritime career he has acquired expertise as a professional seaman, private yacht captain, instructor, and marine technician.
As a member of the USCG his performance was constantly evaluated. This was in order to ensure he, and his fellow crew were able to meet and exceed the demanding criteria expected of a professional military mariner.
While in the USCG Patterson graduated from numerous formal training programs. At one training center, he was appointed as the class leader of forty fellow classmates.
Throughout his USCG career he was often re-evaluated and certified to perform a wide array of duties on board ships, and rescue craft. These qualifications included bridge OOD, deck BMOW, boarding officer, SAR crewman, and coxswain of various USCG vessels.
Along with his duties as SAR crew and operator of USCG vessels, he was also tasked with maintaining rescue craft, and their equipment. These duties provided a solid mechanical and technical foundation, which would be expended on throughout his professional career.
Patterson continued his career as a professional mariner while working in the recreational yachting industry in various ways. His civilian maritime career has mainly focused on mechanical, and technical systems aboard private yachts and small commercial vessels.
As a seasoned professional mariner, he is exceptionally competent to perform captain duties aboard private yachts. He has been vetted by marine insurance companies as delivery captain; including Loyd’s.
Patterson also provides instructional services to motor-yacht owners, and their crew; at the request of marine insurance companies. Instructional services include all aspects of motor-yacht operations, from docking and maneuvering, preventive safety, damage control, crew team work, and mechanical-system orientation.
Patterson’s maritime career has now spanned over three decades. Along the way, he has continually built on his wide-ranging skills as a marine technician, mechanic, yacht builder, and recreational yacht captain. He has worked with yacht builders in the United Staes, and Canada. He has completed contract work in boat yards throughout the U.S. Canada, and Baja Mexico.
His experiences as a seaman aboard recreational and commercial vessels has been extensive. Working on such a wide array of marine vessels-in many capacities has provided Patterson with the ability to quickly adapt to each new vessel, and it’s unique needs.
Patterson’s foundational skill building as a mariner occurred while working ocean search and rescue. These experiences provided for a unique insight as to how mariners can get themselves into trouble. Most importantly, he is able to use these experiences to avoid trouble at sea; and to react calmly and professionally when things do go wrong.
Patterson has operated various private yachts, and small ships throughout North American ports and waterways. He also has professional experience operating USCG vessels throughout the Pacific Rim; including Hawaii, the Mariana Islands, Micronesia, and the Philippines.
The experience he gained operating in foreign ports and remote U.S. territories has provided the skills required to navigate successfully, when aides to navigation, are not abundant. This experience instilled an attitude of extraordinary care, and professional calm when exposed to unique and hazardous conditions.
Patterson’s work today is primarily focused on providing technical and mechanical expertise to recreational yacht owners, boat yards, and boat builders.
Patterson is also a private pilot. Training as a pilot focused on safety, proper decision making under pressure, and hazards such as weather. Patterson has a keen interest in safety. This comes from his combined experience as a pilot and USCG rescue crewman.
Additionally, Patterson passes on his abilities to new yacht owners and their crew. He is often asked to provide service as an instructor, and delivery captain by recreational yacht owners, and insurance providers.