After 45 years with Catalina Yachts, including four decades as chief yacht designer and executive vice-president, Gerry Douglas says he will be retiring in 2021.
During Douglas’s tenure at Catalina the company launched dozens of new designs and built some 60,000 yachts at both its California and Florida manufacturing facilities.
“I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to do what I love every working day of my life,” Douglas says. “But what is most important to me are the relationships I’ve enjoyed with marine industry colleagues, as well as passionate Catalina owners throughout the world.”
Looking back on his career, Douglas says a few of the high points include his first boat, designed in 1982, the Catalina 36, of which 2,305 were built. More recently, his Catalina 545, now the flagship of the Catalina fleet, won a SAIL “Best Boats” award for 2020. His Catalina 425 also won a “Best Boats” award in 2017.
Douglas say he will always be appreciative of the late Frank Butler, founder of Catalina Yachts, for giving him the chance to pursue a long and fulfilling career in yacht design and manufacturing.
As a side note, we at SAIL have long counted Douglas as a good friend. In addition to being a long-time member of the judging panel for the magazine’s Pittman Innovation Awards, he is also one of the true gentlemen of the industry. The sailing community as a whole is a richer, better place as a result of his passion for good boats and genius for good design.