by Peter Nielsen

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

Beat the Barnacles

by Peter Nielsen, Posted May 16, 2012
Do you antifoul your propeller? Looking around the yard where we keep our project boat, Ostara, the consensus seemed to be “no”. Most propellers showed the telltale signs of barnacle infestation, as indeed did our three-bladed Gori folding prop.

Simpler is Better

by Peter Nielsen, Posted May 15, 2012
Sometimes you have to pass through complexity on the road to simplicity, as one sailor found while rethinking his sail-handling systems.
We here in the United States tend to think of European boatbuilding in terms of the big series production builders who export their boats here: Dufour, Hanse, Bavaria, Lagoon and Fountaine-Pajot come to mind, as do Jeanneau and Beneteau.

Weekend Chartering

by Peter Nielsen, Posted May 7, 2012
I’m told that weekending is one of the latest, and fastest growing, trends in charter vacations. Ideally, you’d take a bareboat out for a week—or two, if you’re European—but such is the pace of modern life that many people can’t carve out blocks of more than two or three days.

Tofinou 12

by Peter Nielsen, Posted April 9, 2012
  The aesthetic differences between American and European boats are nowhere more pronounced than in the daysailer niche. The average modern U.S. daysailer has a refined, gentlemanly air; it’s a boat your granddad would have been proud to own.
When my flexible solar panel gave up the ghost early last summer, I was surprised at how much motoring it took to replenish our Norlin 34’s two Group 27 house batteries after they’d been run down by a week of sporadic bilge-pumping (caused by a slow leak around the keelbolts, ahem).
If you were looking for the ideal boat show venue, your first choice probably wouldn’t be a German city 110 miles from the sea. Yet the nautical extravaganza in Dusseldorf, on the banks of the mighty Rhine, has grown to be the world’s biggest boat and watersport show.
Back in 1935, the young Olin Stephens designed a 30-foot sloop called Babe. It was design #97 from his prolific pen, crafted to the rules of the Miami-Nassau race. Stephens drew a hull with a fairly plumb bow and squared-off stern, not at all in keeping with the ‘30s fashion of long overhangs on a short waterline.

Running Commentary

by Peter Nielsen, Posted March 5, 2012
When we talk about downwind sailing, the debate often seems to be about the relative merits of symmetrical versus asymmetrical spinnakers, or gybing a headsail to go goose-winged. It’s easy to forget there’s more than one way to pluck that particular goose.
No one loves twin-keel boats like British and French sailors, except maybe the odd Canadian. And few photos better illustrate the chief advantage of a twin-keel boat.
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