The yacht brokerage industry lost an iconic figure as Mikelson Yachts co-founder Bob Peterson passed away, it was reported June 16. He was 92.
Peterson was described as an integral part of building Mikelson Yachts into a successful brokerage, the company said in a statement shared with The Log.
Mikelson Yachts’ statement continued as follows:
“From participating in the first Mikelson 42-footer as a promoter, to becoming its lead salesman throughout many years, Bob has carried the baton forward at every level. His love of boating started early.
“Bob went to Stanford University; just out of college he co-founded a Ford and Chrysler dealership in Portland, and began boating on the Columbia River with the family. He then sold the dealerships and moved to San Diego in the early 1960s, where he took a long sabbatical, bought a 90-foot classic yacht, and took the whole family to Mexico on an extended cruise for a year.
“Then, [he returned] back to San Diego where he parlayed his skills into many businesses, including: real estate & hotel development, started a chain of restaurants, became the leading broker nationwide for Eastman-Dillon Securities, started and operated an oil exploration and investment firm…and the list goes on.
“Bob’s boating experiences continued through those years as well, which included converting a 65-foot Tug into a cruising yacht, building a 115-foot Brigantine and sailing it, with his kids, through the South Pacific, the operation of a small inter-island Freighter through the Caribbean, just to name a few.
“After purchasing many personal boats through his good friend Dave Fraser, Dave asked Bob to help operate and develop his brokerage office in San Diego. After many years of success there, he started and operated his own Yacht Brokerage firm, and then decided to head off to Micronesia to build a school. Not to let any grass grow under his feet, after several years of that he headed home to work again at Mikelson, becoming the lead salesman in new boat sales. His list of customers, who loved and revered him for his no nonsense and incredible desire to take care of them, is long indeed. He had a sense of intense focus to make sure every customer was well taken care of. It was a team effort with his wife, Jeni, by his side the whole way.
“It is with tremendous sadness that we at Mikelson, as well as every friend and customer who came to know him, say goodbye. But it was a long and fulfilling journey. At 92, Bob passed away peacefully at his home in Borrego, a place he loved, with his wife Jeni and son Dick there with him.
“He will be remembered for more than just his passion for the water and love of people, but also his spirit of optimism and encouragement.”