by Peter Nielsen

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

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

Go Microfiber

by Peter Nielsen, Posted March 23, 2010
I’ve become converted to microfiber cloth for polishing things like dodger windows, portlights and stainless steel. You can use them with just about any polishing compound and they’re resistant to most other chemicals. They seem to get rid of annoying little flaws better than cotton rag, and you can wash them and reuse them.Shurhold is now selling microfiber towels in 3-packs for $18.95 or

Old-Boat Nightmares #2

by Peter Nielsen, Posted March 23, 2010
I was watching our surveyor friend Norm Leblanc inspecting a 1970s Pearson. He was tapping the topsides with his trusty rubber-tipped hammer, sounding for all the world like a giant woodpecker. Suddenly, the sharp rap-rap-rap of the hammer changed to a hollow thud-thud-thud. “Uh-oh,” said Norm.He had been working along the bow sections, and when we looked closely, we could see a network of
The Kiwiprop feathering propeller is gradually gaining popularity in a competitive marketplace. It is set apart from its rivals by its construction—the blades are made of Zytel, a plastic composite made by Dupont, mounted on a 316 stainless-steel hub. This combination lessens the potential for galvanic corrosion, which was the main reason I decided to replace my bronze two-bladed folding

What, no copper?

by Peter Nielsen, Posted March 23, 2010
When your antifouling paint arrives in plain-labelled cans marked “Experimental,” you’re going to get some suspicious looks from your boatyard neighbors. When I painted our 34ft project boat’s bottom with Interlux’s Pacifica Plus copper-free antifouling last spring, the product was so new the labels hadn’t even been printed, and it proved to be a bit of a conversation-starter in the

School's In

by Peter Nielsen, Posted March 1, 2010
“The purpose of this class,” announces the burly man by the blackboard, “is to save engines from people like you.” Larry Berlin is not a man to mince his words. Tall and grizzled, the head of training for East Coast Yanmar diesel importers Mack Boring is an imposing figure. It is all I can do not to flinch guiltily as his eyes bore into me. Has he somehow sensed that I once left old oil in an

Riding a BIG Whirlwind

by Peter Nielsen, Posted February 25, 2010
Like a Tornado on steroids, the all-carbon-fiber Extreme 40 catamaran weighs virtually nothing and goes in a matter of seconds from merely scarily fast to oh-my-god-we’re-going-over.Americans got a taste of them a couple of years ago when the Extreme fleet put on a barnstorming sailing exhibition during the Baltimore stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race.Imagine the same kind of

Installing a Water Heater

by Peter Nielsen, Posted January 28, 2010
When replacing the pressure water system on our project boat, we thought it would be fun to install a water heater. But where to put it? Like most early ’70s boats, our Norlin 34 lacks interior volume compared to modern boats. The need for the heater to be mounted below the engine’s heat exchanger (to prevent problems with coolant circulation) further complicated matters.The only logical
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