Tired of leaning over for days on his 70′ keelboat, rolling for weeks at anchor, and with no visibility or real comfort, Gunboat founder Peter Johnstone knew a better cruising solution could be found.

“I wanted to sail level without putting everything away everytime we went sailing. I wanted large enough spaces for true privacy and relaxation. I wanted to be able to walk around without bumping into everyone and everything. Offshore, I wanted the ultimate safety, and the ability to reliably achieve 300+ mile days. Most of all, I wanted those around me to enjoy the sailing.”

A catamaran was the logical direction, yet nothing on the market satisfied Peter’s vision. He’d been in a similar situation twice before. Both times required a paradigm shifting innovation.

Recognizing the need for yet another paradigm shift, Peter set out to develop his own 62′ catamaran. Simply put, the 62′ would apply proven durable race boat technology towards the ultimate cruising boat. TRIBE launched in 2001. She exceeded performance expectations, handled like a sportscar, sailed upwind at 15 knots, and downwind above 30. In cruising mode, she achieved nearly 400 miles on a good day, and 300 miles consistently. With a year and half spent aboard cruising with his children, Peter returned home with refinements for future GUNBOATs.

Shortly after the build of TRIBE, word spread and customers sought out Peter to produce more GUNBOATs. A personal vision became a thriving business. Now, Gunboat manufactures very refined series at 40′, 55′, 65′, 72′, and 77′.

Peter Johnstone




Peter was born into the J Boats (J22, J24, J80, J109, etc) family. Sailboat racing came naturally to him. Sailing accolades include All-American status in Collegiate sailing, and victories in 15 Continental Sailing Championships. While racing consumed Peter’s earlier years and instilled a lifelong pursuit for speed, his real passion has been bluewater cruising. With over 100,000 ocean miles on his own boats, and record attempts as helmsman aboard record-setting mega-cats Playstation and Team Adventure, Peter formed strong views about what a performance cruising boat should be.

Updates from the Gunboat Blog

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