by Peter Nielsen

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

EKO 6.5

by Peter Nielsen, Posted August 17, 2009
The Mini 6.5 solo racing class is well established in Europe, and is now slowly gaining a toehold in the U.S.A. The EKO 6.5 is built by Third Coast Composites in Texas and the first example has already completed the Bermuda One-Two race. There are plans to break into series production if the class catches on. LOA 21ft 4in, beam 9ft 10in, draft 6ft 6in, displacement 2,040 lbs,

No-risk mast climbing

by Peter Nielsen, Posted August 5, 2009
Most halyard winches are not powerful enough to hoist a 200-pound sailor up a mast, so you need to find a way to let your primary winches take the strain if you need to hoist someone up the rig. Here’s what we do on our boat, where the main halyard runs via a rope clutch (not seen in the photo) to a small winch on the mast. First, we loop a spare length of half-inch line a few times around the

No-foul jib sheet

by Peter Nielsen, Posted August 5, 2009
The bowlines used to attach sheets to the clew of a headsail have an annoying habit of catching on inner forestays, babystays, and shrouds. Here’s a why-didn’t-I-think-of-this-before idea: if you’re replacing your headsail sheets, don’t cut them in half. Double the sheet over and thread the looped end through the clew. Pass the tails through the loop and draw tight. Then say goodbye to those
Our 1973 Norlin 34 project boat had been used mainly for club racing in its latter years, and it showed. Among its many outdated systems was the battery-management setup. It was no worse than what I suspect can be found on many other boats of that vintage, but it would not suffice for extended cruising.The two Group 27 90AH deep-cycle lead-acid batteries, one for house

Easy controls

by Peter Nielsen, Posted July 22, 2009
The twin-lever engine control on our Norlin 34, Ostara, had been annoying me for as long as we’d had the boat. The detent was so worn that it was sometimes not possible to tell if you were in neutral or reverse gear. More than once I had been alerted by yells from the neighboring boats as Ostara sidled crablike around her mooring, pulled by the prop walk of
The giant trimaran Banque Populaire V is on standby for an attempt to set a new record for the east-west transatlantic crossing under sail. Skipper Pascal Bidegorry and his crew of twelve are aiming to crack the existing record of 4 days, 3 hours, 57 minutes and 53 seconds for the 2,925 mile crossing between Lizard Point, England, and Ambrose Light, off New

Morris M52

by Peter Nielsen, Posted June 22, 2009
It’s been quite a year for Morris Yachts. In January the yard launched the baby of its daysailer line-up, the M29, and in May the new flagship, the M52, was gently lowered into the chilly Maine water. I sailed the $1.3m yacht two weeks after her launch.Like the other M-series boats – the M29, M36, and M42 - the M52 is designed by legendary naval architects Sparkman &

Keel improvements

by Peter Nielsen, Posted June 22, 2009
Jabberwock, the BoatWorks project O’Day 25, was looking very scruffy around the underparts. The boat had been standing for so long that most of the paint had just fallen off the bottom, and the keel was looking particularly seedy. There was no way we could launch the boat with the keel in such bad condition. It was time for a makeover. A proper keel job done by a boatyard will cost
Having a long length of line ready to use at short notice is always a good idea when cruising. You never know when you may have to run out a long mooring warp or set a kedge anchor. The trouble is that such a seldom-used line often ends up under piles of gear in the cockpit locker. This is a bad arrangement, because when you want a long line you often need it right now. You don’t want to waste

Rustler 24

by Peter Nielsen, Posted May 20, 2009
If you’ve never heard of Rustler Yachts, well, that’s not surprising. It’s a respected British company that produces small numbers of rugged, well-built cruising boats, and they’ve never before had a distributor on this side of the Atlantic. I’ve sailed both the Rustlers 36 and 42 and enjoyed them very much. The 42 is a fast cruiser in the modern idiom, with a tall rig, deep
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