1980 Peterson 34 Offshore Racer/Cruiser

The Peterson 34 | Greyhawk's History | Equipment & Specifications

The Peterson 34

Doug Peterson, one of the most successful yacht designers of his era (see a listing of his designs here), designed the Peterson 34 in 1976 as a racer-cruiser, " deliver about eight people quickly and safely from point A to point B (such as Newport to Bermuda)..." (Clarke, Chesapeake Bay Magazine, October 2004). The boat performed so well on the race course that the cruiser part of the mix has apparently been overlooked by many.

At least ninety-two boats were built between 1976 and 1981 (there may have been additional Peterson 34 hulls completed as late as 1985), by Composite Technologies (established by boatbuilder Andy Green), which was acquired "1976ish" by boatbuilder and rigger Marion Hayes, who renamed the company Island Yacht Corporation, and moved production to League City, Texas. Composite Technologies/Island Yacht Corp. was in business from August of 1973 until December 1985 (http://

The Peterson 34 has a reputation for good windward sailing ability and performance in both light and heavy air, although -- given the disproportionate share of sail area in the foretriangle typical for designs of that era -- she requires frequent "changing of gears" as the wind picks up (a full complement of #1, 2, 3, and 4 headsails). Her fine bow and deep sections slice through the waves, so she does not pound, but that can mean a wet ride for the crew on deck. She also has a reputation for being difficult to handle reaching under spinnaker in heavy air and seas when the bow can dig in and the boat broach. None-the-less, she is better behaved than many of her more extreme IOR contemporaries.

Although light in weight, due to use of advanced (for the time) construction techniques and materials (e.g. unidirectional roving; but according to Kevin Hayes, the rumours of Kevlar reinforcement are unfounded), the solid hulls were built to take it in any sea and are very strong.

Peterson 34s have successfully competed in a variety of offshore races, including Annapolis to Newport, Annapolis to Bermuda, Marion to Bermuda, etc..., and have cruised as far as Thailand and Malaysia -- "She's a proven offshore performer with many 190 mile days under her belt." (http://www.boat-

More References for the Peterson 34

Principal Dimensions

LOA33' 11"10.34 m
Beam11' 3"3.43 m
LWL28' 3"8.61 m
Draft6' 3"1.91 m
Displacement (est.)10,000 lbs4536 kg
Ballast5,000 lbs2268 kg
I46.5'14.17 m
J14.6'4.45 m
P41.3'12.59 m
E11.7'3.57 m
Sail Area581 ft254 m2
mainsail~242 ft2~22.5 m2
100% jib~339 ft2~31.5 m2
155% genoa~526 ft2~48.9 m2
spinnaker~1222 ft2~113.5 m2

Other Parameters

PHRF Base Rating117
Theoretical HullSpeed7.13
Velocity Ratio1.1
Capsize Ratio1.98
IMS Calculated
Limit of Positive Stability
Brewer Comfort Ratio22.01

Greyhawk's History

We purchased GREYHAWK in July of 2005 in Oxford, Maryland. The boat had been seriously raced, and raced hard, for most of her life. The boat was in need of some real TLC, but while there were certainly issues with her condition, her basic underlying structure was sound and she came with a lot of high-quality (albeit aged and well-used) hardware and a decent suit of sails. The previous owner may not have maintained or upgraded some systems, but he did take good care of those things that made her a fast sailing machine -- her bottom, sails, and rigging.

GREYHAWK (previously owned by N. Smith, Aberdeen, NJ, since 1986) -- previously named PEQUOD (E. Fleming, Brookline, MA, 1984), LOOSE GOOSE V (M. Frigard, Marblehead, MA), and ANDURIL (J. Foster, Marblehead, MA, 1981) -- was hull number 82 of the series. She was "custom" built for racing: special deck and house molding, large deck-level racing cockpit, with mid-cockpit traveller, and lightened in the ends (minimalist interior, no v-berth, shortened cabin house, etc...) -- a bit different from the "standard" Peterson 34. According to an old IOR certificate found among the ship's papers, GREYHAWK's hull was reportedly completed in December of 1980, and the rig was commissioned in May of 1981.

Custom Racing Deck and Cockpit Molding

Advertised as ready "to race anywhere, in any category, under any rule," Previous owners Foster, Frigard, and Smith all had good success racing the boat. In her first year, as ANDURIL, she reportedly came second in the Houston PHRF fleet sailing under an arbitrary rating of 109. As LOOSE GOOSE, she won her class in the Monhegan Race. GREYHAWK was a regular in the Around Long Island Race, and reportedly won that race as well. Smith used GREYHAWK as a platform for teaching yacht racing to newcomers, and developed a detailed Crew Manual (PDF, 680 Kb).

Equipment and Specifications

Greyhawk's Sail Inventory

Several other sails that came with the boat have been sold...

Mast and Rigging

Sail Handling

Ground Tackle

Auxillary Power

Yanmar 2QM15G Marine Diesel Engine, raw-water cooled, water-lift exhaust. A rebuilt engine was installed as new (e.g., 0 hours) in April 2009. Kanzaki Marine Gear KBW10 transmission, 2.83 ratio. External strut-supported 1" stainless steel shaft driving a 16x12RH 2-blade folding Martec bronze propellor, conventional packed stuffing box with Gore GFO packing. 12-gallon aluminum fuel tank (cleaned January 2007).

Electrical System


Electronics, Navigation and Communication

Installed Nav/Comm Equipment

Portable Nav/Comm Equipment




Safety Equipment