by Peter Nielsen

Peter Nielsen is SAIL’s Editor-in-Chief.

When you dream about sailing off to far-flung destinations, do you picture tropical islands, palm trees nodding in a balmy trade wind, clouds brilliant white against an azure sky?
When it’s January in Germany, all roads lead to Düsseldorf. At least they do if you’re a boat person. You can look over a hundred-foot motoryacht that’s been plucked from the nearby Rhine river, paddle a canoe on an intricately landscaped mock river, cast a fly on an alpine stream, get rescued from an overturned Opti on a manmade lake, outfit yourself in bargain-basement foulweather gear or put a deposit on a new sailboat—all without stepping outdoors and all before your lunchtime bowl of goulash.
Just like life ashore, the modern cruising life comes with its share of encumbrances, a.k.a. essentials. Navigation and communications devices have antennas that must be placed somewhere...
Boatbuilding giant Groupe Beneteau has embarked on the development of a wingsail that it hopes will soon become a viable option on its production boats. A wingsail on a free-standing mast has already been installed on a Sense 43...
One of the most eagerly anticipated boats of 2014, the new Gunboat G4 looks nothing short of spectacular. If you thought the Nigel Irens-designed 55- and 60-foot Gunboats introduced in 2013 were radical, this one is right at the bleeding edge.
Is your boat set to launch? It’s all too easy to overlook things in the spring rush. This checklist should jog your memory.
The Croatia-built Salona range now has a new importer in the United States, who showed three boats at the Miami Strictly Sail show last month: a powerful-looking 44-foot sports cruiser, and a 38-footer and 33-footer along the same lines.  
Away from the docks at last October’s U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, the buzz was all about the just-announced Hinckley Bermuda 50. This is the first new sailing boat from Hinckley since 2004, when the venerable builder got in right at the forefront of the daysailer movement with its DS42.
The news that NOAA was going to stop offering printed nautical charts was hardly a surprise, but all the same it hurts to see the end of an era. All we boomer types who spent our formative cruising years frowning over dog-eared paper charts, stamped with coffee cup rings, crisscrossed by part-erased pencil lines and dotted with semi-legible scribblings, will feel a warm fuzzy pang of sentimentality at the news.
There's more than one way to skin a cat
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