by Peter Nielsen

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

Old Boat Nightmares #3

by Peter Nielsen, Posted August 3, 2010
After we’d sailed our boat for a year, we decided to pull the mast and have the old paint blasted off so that we could recoat it. It turned out that it wasn’t just the paint that was in poor shape. As we started picking away at the old paint it became obvious that the mast was more corroded than we’d thought. Even worse, close inspection revealed cracks around a couple of the T-ball sockets on
When we acquired our “new” boat I saw at a glance that the plastic-sheathed lifelines were junk. Not only were they too thin–she had been used only for racing, so I guess the wire was underspecified to save a few pounds – but they were all too obviously old and dangerously corroded. I once saw a friend fall overboard because a rusty lifeline gave way, so I knew I would replace them as soon as

Cockpit Control

by Peter Nielsen, Posted July 29, 2010
If you are one of the many thousands of sailors who own a boat built before lines-led-aft became ubiquitous, and you want to be able to sail your boat without leaving the cockpit, leading halyards and reefing lines aft can be a relatively easy upgrade
Admirers of the growing armada of beautiful daysailers should be familiar with the work of Doug Zurn. The Marblehead, Massachusetts-based designer drew the gorgeous Bruckmann 42, a fast daysailer/weekender with traditional lines above the waterline and ultra-modern foils down below. Zurn's latest design is the Marblehead 22, which builds on the blend of classic looks and up-to-the-minute
For cruisers with boats much longer than 35 feet, or those planning to head off on an extended blue-water cruise, an autopilot with a hydraulic or electric ram connected directly to the steering quadrant or rudder stock is almost mandatory. Modern below-decks pilots are powerful and reliable. They are also expensive, and coastal cruisers must balance the cost and complexity of such an
Over the last decade, South African company Robertson and Caine has become one of the world’s leading multihull builders, thanks in no small part to its association with charter companies The Moorings and Sunsail. For many years it has produced boats under two names—its own Leopard brand name, and that of the Moorings. The latest cat to emerge from this busy company is the Leopard 38, aka the

Cobb Grill

by Peter Nielsen, Posted June 9, 2010
A boat grill doesn’t have to be a charcoal or propane contraption mounted on the pushpit. The Cobb grill, for example, provides an elegant third option. With the cover off, you can use it as a regular grill for burgers, steaks, whatever. With the lid on, it becomes a useful convection oven that will cook a roast

CW Hood 32

by Peter Nielsen, Posted June 7, 2010
Late last fall, I looked over a partly completed hull sitting in a small workshop at a boatyard in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Even minus keel, paint, trim and other essentials, it was apparent that this would be a fast and attractive boat. Less than four weeks later, with snow carpeting the small islands off Marblehead, the boat was being sea-trialed; and yes, it was indeed fast and

Alerion 33

by Peter Nielsen, Posted June 2, 2010
Alerion’s take on electric drive utilizes the most up-to-date technology available. It involves a 7.5kw AC motor, powered by a pair of 160amp 12V DC lithium iron phosphate batteries from Mastervolt. These batteries, the first developed for the marine market, won a 2010 Freeman K. Pittman Innovation Award from SAIL. They have three times the cycle capacity of a lead-acid battery, and can
The 2010 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, as it’s more properly called, falls in the height of the Caribbean racing season, a couple of weeks after the Heineken regatta in St Maarten and a couple of weeks before Antigua Sailing Week. Plenty of serious racers do all three regattas, and probably also the Rolex regatta in St Thomas and the Heineken regatta in Puerto Rico, which are also
  • facebook
  • twitter