by Peter Nielsen

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

Getting Moody

by Peter Nielsen, Posted August 11, 2011
During the glory days of British boatbuilding, the Moody brand was always front and center. The yard, near the head of the iconic River Hamble on England’s south coast, began building workboats in the 1820s, branched into yachtbuilding in the 1930s, and remained in the Moody family’s hands until 2007, when the brand was bought by Hanse Yachts proprietor Michael Schmidt and the
Never mind the economy -- it’s business as usual in the boating game. Well, not quite. Everyone in the marine trade is feeling the financial pinch these days, so it’s even more impressive that so many new boats have been developed and readied in time for the fall boat show season. What this year’s line-up of new models—everything from dinghies to multi-million-dollar world cruisers—tells me is

Loaded 45s

by Peter Nielsen, Posted July 13, 2011
Cast your mind back to a time when a 45-footer was about the biggest boat you could expect from a mass-production builder. It wasn’t all that long ago—the mid-1990s. Then Beneteau raised the bar with a 50-footer back in 1997, and boats that size and bigger are now commonplace.Still, size isn’t everything. Many sailors still find their dream boats in the 45-foot range. A 45-footer is big

Modern Tradition

by Peter Nielsen, Posted May 31, 2011
If there’s one lesson to be taken away from the success of the daysailer concept, it is that traditional is never old-fashioned—at least not when it comes to boats. I find plenty of modern boats attractive, but the only drop-dead, wolf-whistle gorgeous ones are those that look as though they could have been built at any time in the last century.I’m far from alone in this.

The Dynamic Duo

by Peter Nielsen, Posted April 21, 2011
Eavesdropping on an in-depth discussion of rating rules will send a casual bystander into a deep sleep as effectively as any hypnotist, and IRC—the successor to IOR and IMS—is no exception to this, er, rule. All I can say with any kind of authority is that boats designed to IRC tend to be a good deal more interesting than the rule itself. Over the last few years we’ve seen a steady stream of IRC
Not all boats are created equal. Some are built to high standards by people who care about what they’re doing. Others are not. This is as true today as it was half a century ago, when boatbuilders took their first tentative steps along the untrodden path of fiberglass construction.Because their builders erred on the side of caution with this new and strange material, those early fiberglass

Beat the Wrap

by Peter Nielsen, Posted April 12, 2011
The last thing you want from your furling gear is for it to jam up in a rising breeze—or ever. I must be some kind of roller-reefing Jonah, because it’s happened a few times on boats I’ve been sailing aboard. On two of those occasions, halyard wrap was to blame.Halyard wrap sounds like something you’d tear off a new piece of rope, but it’s actually the most common cause of

The Family Way

by Peter Nielsen, Posted March 11, 2011
Before I actually took my family on a flotilla vacation, I couldn’t understand why anyone would take their family on a flotilla vacation. The mere thought of sailing along in a group of a dozen boats, being herded like sheep into marinas by some officious lead skipper, not to mention the forced jollity with total strangers, filled me with horror. After all, one of the reasons I go sailing is to

Old Boat Nightmares: 2011

by Peter Nielsen, Posted February 17, 2011
One of the unwritten laws of project-boat hunting is “pick your battles wisely.” Most project boats come with their fair share of flaws—otherwise they wouldn’t be project boats, would they? The trick is to know which flaws can be dealt with relatively easily, and which will involve countless hours of hard work and heartbreak. In other words, what kind of flaw is a deal-breaker.Consider a

A New Traveler

by Peter Nielsen, Posted February 17, 2011
I love the fact that an old boat can give you as much sailing pleasure as an expensive new one. The only proviso for me is that the sail handling systems be absolutely top-notch. Replacing hardware like mainsheet travelers, genoa lead cars, boom vangs and lead blocks with new, low-friction gear will repay you many times over in ease of handling and improved efficiency.A case in point was a
  • facebook
  • twitter