I got my first taste of rigging working in a junkyard in Iowa City, IA at the age of 21. The heavily modified Pitman Hydra-lift mounted on the back of this mid fifties Chevy C30 was basically a steel pipe with 1/2" steel cables to control the lift and swing of the boom, plus an 800 lb well drilling bit to smash cars, water heaters or whatever else was under it. We had several of these cranes, plus a collection of old trucks on which i learned welding, engine mechanics, hydraulics, and machining.
|"Little Pit" at Zajicek's Salvage in Iowa City, 1991|
After a half-dozen years in the junk business i headed down to Southern Illinois to work on a farm and then back to Central Ohio where i started a small construction business with a friend. Jelloway Valley Builders became well known in my little home town of Gambier for custom additions and new houses. After a dozen years and some exciting projects, i decided it was time for something new.
|Hoffmann Residence, partially complete|
Above, a Graham Gund designed home, below a conversion of a 1931 barn to a unique home.
|Robinson Barn, Quarry Chapel Rd.|
|Emma on the hard, Newport|
Old rig, tired teak decks, faded paint, leaking portlights. We hauled her out to Ohio, parked her out back of my shop and commenced to work. All new wiring, plumbing, paint, lights, galley, dodger, weather cloths, cushions, pantry, head, sails restitched.... the works. Within a year of buying her, we had both our houses on the market, gave away all of our furniture, sold our cars and trucks, skid loader and business, took down the roof over Emma, had a big party and headed to Annapolis.
Now I've been over 8 years In Cayo Quemado, great community, quiet, beautiful setting to have a loft. Damian has been with me almost since the beginning, excellent worker, skilled rigger and sail repair expert now after repairing thousands of sails.
|Inspecting the rig & installing a wind indicator|