I assume he meant a contractor's license or business license - meaning a legitimate business.
The underlying point here is someone who regularly engages in a particular trade or business has far more experience and expertise in a particular area, which would allow that person to offer a more valuable opinion on that subject than the know-it-alls on this forum, whose answer to every question is to buy more shizzle or spend more shizzle out of an overabundance of caution and ignorance.
Many of these older production boats had oversized masts and rigging, far stronger than the current crop of boat-show boats. If his professional rigger said it is o.k., then it is likely o.k. I would rely on the expert opinion of his rigger, who actually examined the rigging, over the non-expert opinion of the posters on Sailnet.
I agree with you for the most part.
I am a licensed professional mechanical engineer. I have licenses in Maryland and Hawaii, and would be able to get licensed in any state with an application. To get licensed I needed a mechanical engineering degree, 4 years experience working under a licensed mechanical engineer, and needed to pass two tests totaling 16 hours given by the state of maryland.
In my work I deal with all kinds of equipment from commercial air conditioning systems to maintenace of guyed anntennas over 1,000 feet tall.
Most of the trades people I deal with are not formally licensed, but could be considered professionals as they get paid to do what they do. Some should be considered experts. But the problem I see is these professionals are right 98% of the time. It is the 2% of the time they get it wrong because they do no have a good foundation for understanding what they are doing. One of my jobs is to "catch" this 2% and not let slip by. As in most of life, it would be uneconomical to educate these trades people to cover that 2% where they make incorrect descisions. It most cases, the 2% where they get it wrong is not a life or death situation, it only has economic impact.
However, I think your rig on your sailboat is critical. It could be life or death when it falls down and hits someone, or it could be life or death if you can not sail to make it to port. I think we need a formal licensing program to be considered a "Professional Rigger".