Don Patton, of Patton Marine, Miami, Florida, died on February 15, 2018 just a couple months shy of his 89 birthday. Patton was recognized as one of the premier marine surveyors in the world. In the marine business for 67 years, he had a profound knowledge of power, sail, and commercial vessels. His surveying skills and consultation took him around the world from the Americas to Europe, Asia and Down Under. His work included just about every major superyacht brand— writing specifications for new builds and refits and doing evaluations and appraisals for insurance companies, banks and philanthropic donations among other tasks.
Patton grew up in Connecticut around Long Island Sound. In his youth, he raced dinghies and Lightnings and had summer jobs skippering boats and making deliveries. In the 1940’s he began working in boatyards, first in Connecticut, then in Florida. His first proprietary business in Florida was a marine salvage company. Intermittently, from the 1940’s to the 1980’s, he crewed in various sailboat-racing circuits such as the S.O.R.C, and other regattas in North and South America, Bermuda, Sweden, and Cuba.
At Marine Salvage company, he ran a crane barge called CT Humble. In the early '70s, he was a yacht broker for Richard Bertram and Co. In the late '70s, he opened his own brokerage firm Worldwide Yacht and Ship. Since starting in marine survey in the '80s, Patton had spawned and mentored many top-tier surveyors in the business.
He will be remembered not only for his professional acumen but also for his engaging personality and irascible wit. He never missed a party or a fun yachting event. Even in his later years, It was not unusual to run into him at a black tie event in Monaco, a beach barbecue in Newport, RI, on the docks in Fort Lauderdale, or racing in the St Barths Bucket. In his later years, he sported a cane with the dash and dignity of Fred Astaire.
In lieu of lowers, Donations can be made in his Patton’s name to one of his favorite charities: Team Paradise in Coconut Grove, a sailing organization that gives the disabled community the opportunity to sail at all levels of expertise from recreational sailing to world class competition. teamparadise.org
Mr. Patton's memorial service will be at the Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami on March 5th at 1:00 pm.
Coral Reef Yacht Club
2484 South Bayshore Drive
Miami, Fl. 33133