June 29, 2017

Doug Peterson 1945 - 2017

Doug Peterson, noted fast sailing yacht designer, passed away on June 26, 2017 in San Diego, California after a long battle with cancer, at the age of 71.  Douglas Blair Peterson born July 25, 1945 was an American yacht designer specialized in fast racing sailing hulls. Beginning with the One Tonner Ganbare in 1973, Peterson's designs have pioneered many innovations in racing and cruising yachts.  In the mid-1970s, Peterson's designs dominated offshore racing events, with a string of winning high-profile IOR boats such as Ganbare, Gumboots, Kindred Spirit, Vendetta, Racy, Great Pumpkin, High Noon, Anabelle Lee, High Roler, Country Girl, Louisiana Crude, Stinger, Checkmate, Eclipse, Yena, Rubin, Ragamuffin', and Moonshine. He also designed several other stock racers such as the Contessa 35, the NY 40, Baltic DP Series, Serendipity 43 production runs from the Louisiana Crude lines, and the Australian built Seaway 25 quarter ton trailer yacht. Doug Peterson was not implicated in the scandal involving the Seymour Sinnett/Dennis Connor expulsion from yachting during the SORC in the early eighties, where one of Sinnett's Williwaw yachts, designed by Peterson, was found to have been measured out of trim, in violation of the IOR Rule and the IYRU rule for fair sailing and sportsmanship.  Designed for Jack Kelly Yachts, the Peterson 44 debuted in 1976. This boat was a pioneer in performance cruising yacht design and one can still see many of the over 200 built in ports around the world. The design was followed by the Kelly Peterson 46 of which 30 were built, hull number 30, the last one built, is currently circumnavigating the globe. Also the Liberty 458 and the Delta 46 were based on this design.  The Formosa 46 is an enlarged copy of the Kelly Peterson 44, and is referred to as a Cheaterson by the yachting community because Doug Peterson did not get any royalties for the design.  In the early 1980s Hans Christian Yachts commissioned him to design their 48 and 52 Christina models.  Doug Peterson also designed boats for European builders, most notably the top selling Comet 375 in 1987, Grand Soleil 50 in 1992, models for Jeanneau, Jonger 21S in 1981, and also started up the Bavaria match series with three models in 2003. Peterson later entered the America's Cup circle as a key design member of the winning 1992 America3 and 1995 NZL 32 Black Magic Team New Zealand design teams. In 2000, Peterson designed the winning Louis Vuitton Cup boat for the Luna Rossa Prada Challenge.