Colin Archer (22 July 1832 - 3 February 1921) was a naval architect and shipbuilder from Larvik, Norway. He was born of Scottish parents who emigrated to Norway in 1825.
Prior to his career as a naval architect in Norway, he spent time in Queensland, Australia, with his brother, Thomas. While there, he sailed with a cargo up the Fitzroy River, Queensland "when it was almost if not quite unknown".
He and his shipyard were known for building durable and safe ships. The most notable single ship built by Colin Archer was the Fram, which participated in expeditions to the North Pole, and later Roald Amundsen's historic first expedition to the South Pole. He also designed a sturdy sailing vessel class for the Redningsselskapet (The Norwegian Lifeboat institution) which was used for many years and now is referred to as a Colin Archer. Fram is now preserved in the Fram Museum on Bygdoy, Oslo, Norway. The prototype lifeboat "Colin Archer RS 1" is still afloat and in use as a floating museum.
Archer spent a lot of time calculating how an efficient hull should be designed. Even to this day, people still consult his work when designing new ships. He is credited with over 200 vessels.
Two rescue ships were named after him; the Colin Archer of 1893 and a later Colin Archer.