Sailplans, Deck Layouts, Rig Tuning, Sail Repair & Cleaning, Sail Handling Systems, Architectural Rigging and Much More

Zern Rigging

Sailplans, Deck Layouts, Rig Tuning, Sail Repair & Cleaning, Sail Handling Systems, Architectural Rigging and Much More

Meet the Crew

Rick Zern (RZ)
Rick Zern started sailing at the age of ten in optimist dinghies, and board boats.  Growing up in Fort Walton Beach, Florida around the corner from Fort Walton Beach Yacht Club, he also sailed in Flying Scots, Flying Juniors, Lasers, Hobie Cats of all sizes, CCA, MORC, IOR and then PHRF classes. After college in Pensacola, Rick spent a short amount of time working for the EPA but then decided to follow his passion in the sailing industry and worked at Paul Schreck and Company Sailmakers, Horizon Sails and Schurr Sails. In the early 1980s he started a rigging company to augment the sailmaking businesses and this was the foundation of Zern Rigging. The passion for the sport and the industry is still there today as can be witnessed with his participation in the Laser, Melges 32, PHRF, multihulls and other popular classes.

David Colt
Dave Colt came to us from West Marine's Rigging Services Department.  Dave is an expert at lines, splicing, rigging parts and much, much more.  Dave's involvement with Zern Rigging enabled us to take the next step in offering more rigging services with all of the new high tech lines and their respective nuances required in interfacing them with a customer's boat and their specific requirements.  Dave is a tireless worker and sees each job through to completion.

David Johnson (DJ)
DJ was brought up in the Pensacola Yacht Club sailing programs first as a student and then later as an instructor. His father had several sailboats culminating with a J/44 before he moved on to a trawler. He is a USCG Licensed Captain and has literally thousands of offshore miles having crossed the Atlantic on the IY 60 "Belle" (another Zern Rigging prepared vessel.) DJ is an officer in the local Laser Fleet as well as a competitor in Flying Scots, Melges 32s, the Tripp 33 and other PHRF Boats.

Bob Patroni
Bob is a retired college Professor, the owner/operator of Floridaze Sailing schools and an avid competitor in the local PHRF Fleet. Bob has placed and won his class at Key West Race Week numerous times and has raced and cruised to Cuba, just to name a few of his endeavors.

Jeff Zern
Jeff was the first employee at Zern Rigging when he started at age four when he was hoisted up his first mast.  Jeff is currently a senior at the University of Florida in Gainesville where he is a member of the sailing club as well as an employee/instructor with that group.  Jeff actively sails with the I-20 catamaran class, Lasers and other multihulls.

Rick Zern's Sailing Highlights

  • 1973 Flying Scot North American Champs  3rd place with Geo. Haynie and Jim Stitt sailing PYC Scot #2062
  • 1974 – 1978  Several Mid Winter and North American  Championship Competitions with PYC’s Paul Schreck
  • Capri 25 North American Champion - 2 Times (1986 & 1987) on “Blitzkrieg” and “Eight Ball”
  • G-Cat National Champion 1988 on G-Cat 5.7 “DinahMoeHumm”
  • Florida State Catamaran Champion 1988 –“DinahMoeHumm”
  • Dauphin Island Race Elapse Time Record Holder, 1st to Finish, 1st Overall w/ PYC member J. Bernard on “FAYA”
  • 1989 Round the Island Race Winner and current Record Holder (9:49:13) w/ PYC’s Steve Bellows as crew
  • 1993-1996 Mug Race First to Finish on “Carbon Copy” SC22 w/ Doug Harkrider
  • 1995 PYC “Yachtsman of the Year Award”
  • F-28 National Champion with Don Wigston & Doug Harkrider –1996
  • 1996 PYC “Crewman of the Year Award”
  • F-31 National Champion with Doug Harkrider “Ockams Razor” – 1997
  • Key West Race Week 1998 Viper 830 Class – 1st – “Extreme Measures” w/Doug Harkrider
  • Key West Race Week 2001 PHRF E 2nd – with Rod Johnstone on the new J/109 “Mariah”
  • 2001 GORC !st in Class B – “Hot Toddy” w/ John Guy, Jr.
  • 2002 Gulfport to Pensacola 1st in Class Multihull Fleet w/ PYC’s Bert Rice,Sr.on “Mark Twain”
  • Round the Island 2002 – First in Trimaran Class “Dealer’s Choice”
  • WFORC 2002 – First in Class B, First in Fleet (Corrected Time) – “Phaedra” w/ Bob Patroni
  • Key West Race Week – Corsair 28 Class – 2nd place _Steve & Tanya Marsh, Phil Styne, R.Zern
  • Corsair 28 National Championships 2003 – 3rd place “Dealer’s Choice”
  • Key West Race Week – 2005 Class Champion – helmsman – Beneteau 47.7 – “Pretty Woman”
  • West Florida Ocean Racing Circuit – Class A Winner 2006 & 2007 – Wicked Woman & Evil Woman
  • GYA Challenge Cup – 2007- Class “A” Selectee for Pensacola Yacht Club -  Melges 32 Evil Woman -3rd

Rick Zern's Personal Accomplishments

  • Curriculum Advisor at Pensacola Junior College, 1994 – 2000
  • Fleet Captain Pensacola Yacht Club, 1995
  • Board of Directors – Pensacola Yacht Club, 1995-1997
  • Gulf Yachting Association Offshore Council Executive Committee,
  • Gulf Yachting Association PHRF Comm. Handicapper, 2001-2002
  • Pensacola Beach Yacht Club Fleet Captain, 2001
  • Pensacola Beach Yacht Club Commodore, 2003
  • Pensacola Beach Yacht Club Vice Commodore, 2004