by Peter Nielsen

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

Sail Repair: Palming It

by Peter Nielsen, Posted February 7, 2014
Every cruising boat should carry a sailmaker's palm along with a kit of essential sail-repair tools

Let the Wind Do the Work

by Peter Nielsen, Posted January 20, 2014
The first time I tried to pick up a mooring singlehanded in a stiff breeze, I approached from dead downwind in the usual manner and stopped the boat with the pickup buoy right where I wanted it.
Here is what's new in the world of Flagships, and these beauties offer plenty of performance and comfort.
Problem: how do you install an inboard autopilot on a boat with such cramped hindquarters that finding somewhere to put a drive unit is next to impossible?
When pushed, even sailmakers will admit that, more than fancy new sails, a low-drag prop is the most effective way to improve a cruising boat’s performance.
See some of the new Multihulls from established and new builders. 
Have you ever wondered what brands and models are the most popular bluewater cruising boats? So have we, so we plundered the archives of the World Cruising Club to see which boats have featured most prominently in the last five years of the rallies that the WCC organizes—the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) from the Canary Islands to St Lucia; the Caribbean 1500 from Portsmouth, Virginia to Tortola, BVI; the ARC Europe, from Tortola and Portsmouth to Portugal via Bermuda and the Azores; and the World ARC, a biennial circumnavigation.
Cruising boat design has changed so much over the last decade that even boats targeted at family sailing now claim to be “performance” cruisers. Inevitably, though, boats still lean toward one end or the other of the performance/comfort spectrum, a balancing act that is well illustrated by a pair of new boats from two adjoining countries on the Adriatic Sea.
In a rare unguarded moment this summer, while discussing the cost of boat ownership, I recounted aloud the full cost of keeping a 34-foot sailboat on the water in my part of New England. My position in this debate was that boat ownership was more affordable than most people think, and I still reckon it can be.
I distinctly remember the first time I ever sailed a cruising multihull. It was a gray summer morning on England’s south coast, and a frigid 25-knot easterly was putting the boot into a fast-running east-going tide, kicking up walls of water that clashed and fell in all directions.
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