Douglas Blair Peterson (born 1945) is an American yacht designer. 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, Vendetta, Racy, Great Pumpkin, Petrified, High Noon, Anabelle Lee, High Roller, 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, the Baltic DP Series and the Serendipity 43 production runs from the Louisiana Crude lines. Also the Australian built Seaway 25 quarter ton Trailer yacht.
He was not implicated in the scandal involving the Seymour Sinnett/Dennis Connor expulsion from yachting during the SORC in the early ‘80s, 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 and the Formosa 46.
Peterson later entered the America’s Cup circle as a key design member of the winning 1992 America³ and 1995 Black Magic Team New Zealand’s design teams. In 2000, Peterson designed the winning Louis Vuitton Cup boat for Prada Challenge.