by Peter Nielsen

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

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.
We were maybe a quarter-mile from the mooring, motoring slowly home on a still summer evening, when the piercing bleat of the engine cooling-water alarm made us all jump. I looked over the side: Sure enough, the flow of water out of the exhaust had ceased.
Recently launched boats boast of high-performance, luxury and quality that sailing enthusiasts can't miss out on. Think high-performance sub-30-foot racer/ cruiser multihull and you think trimaran. But the imminent arrival in the United States of the Rackam Wing 26 Xtreme could quickly change that.    
Is it the dandelions he regularly eats, or the well water he drinks at home in Port Clinton, Ohio? Whatever it is, it’s working for Tom Corogan, who at the age of 84 is making his sixth attempt to round Cape Horn—solo  

Four Inexpensive Upgrades

by Peter Nielsen, Posted February 1, 2012
Here are four inexpensive additions and upgrates from experienced cruiser Terry Kotas, who sails Cetus, a Fantasia 35.

Caught Out

by Peter Nielsen, Posted December 21, 2011
A closer look at the Rambler and WingNuts tragedies, and what it means for sailors everywhere
Passport has been creating strong, beautifully detailed cruising boats at its yard in Xiamen, China, for 20 years and each new model evolves slightly from the previous one. Looking at the new Passport Vista 545 CC at Annapolis made us wonder if the factory locks a man inside the boat each night and gives him breakfast only after he has come up with some small improvement.
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