by Peter Nielsen

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

In hot water

by Peter Nielsen, Posted February 16, 2009
ChecklistTools
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wrenches
  • Cordless drill
  • Tube cutter
  • Materials
  • Water heater
  • 5/8" heavy-duty water hose
  • NPT fittings
  • Fasteners, as needed
  • After upgrading the mostly original fresh-water plumbing system on our 1973 Norlin 34 project boat with new hoses,

    Split the difference

    by Peter Nielsen, Posted February 11, 2009
    Here’s a bit of jet-setting one-upmanship for you: Last March I had breakfast in Boston, flew to the Caribbean, and had lunch in Holland and dinner in France. Well, it’s kind of true. St. Martin/Sint Maarten, all 37 square miles of it, is two-thirds French and one-third Dutch, and it’s in the Caribbean. The Dutch section is part of the Netherlands Antilles, and the French is a collectivit of

    Let there be water

    by Peter Nielsen, Posted December 22, 2008
    Of all the upgrades you can lavish on an older boat, few will give you more bang for your buck than a complete overhaul of the fresh-water plumbing system. An improvement in water quality should be immediately apparent; any of the new breed of water pumps will be quieter and less power-hungry than their predecessors, and with a little planning, you can make your boat much more user-friendly both

    Gravity Theory

    by Peter Nielsen, Posted December 9, 2008
    Smell. Pong. Effluvium. Whichever way you describe it, the airborne essence emanating from Ostara’s aged sanitation system was highly unpleasant. More than just an odor but thankfully short of a full-blown stench, it permeated the forepeak and almost caused a spousal mutiny during our first weekend aboard. No doubt about it – something had to be done.The sanitation system comprised a
    The British speed sailing boat Sailrocket has set a new world record, before self-destructing in spectacular fashion.Helmed by Australian Paul Larsen, the lightweight flier hit peak speeds of 52 knots in only 22 knots of wind and averaged 47.36 knots over the 500 meter course to set a new Class B speed record.On its next run, the boat came unstuck at 50 knots-plus and was
    Just a few days after it started off the coast of France, the Vendee Globe solo round-the-world race is already living up to its reputation as the ultimate test of sailors and equipment.Battered by huge seas and strong winds in the Bay of Biscay, nine of the 30 starters have either retired or been forced back to the French port of Les Sables d’Olonne for repairs.The race started in

    Another Solo Record

    by Peter Nielsen, Posted November 12, 2008
    The French dominate the world of shorthanded ocean sailing, and the man of the moment among French solo sailors is Francis Joyon.Last winter Joyon became the fastest person to sail single-handed around the world, setting a remarkable time of 57 days, 13 hours, knocking nearly two weeks off the previous record.Last weekend the 52-year-old Frenchman set another record aboard his 97’

    When Two Teens Go To Sea

    by Peter Nielsen, Posted November 5, 2008
    Sixteen-year-old American Zac Sunderland, who’s halfway through his attempt to become the youngest-ever solo circumnavigator, has a rival. British teenager Mike Perham, who is 108 days younger than Zac, is about to set sail from the UK on a fully sponsored Open 50 racer.Mike made headlines in 2007 when he and his father sailed solo from England to Antigua in separate boats. He was just 14

    Sailing for Science

    by Peter Nielsen, Posted November 5, 2008
    Acting on studies showing that ocean ecosystems are seriously threatened, a pair of non-profit organizations are collaborating on a one-year circumnavigation of the Americas aimed at building awareness of the ocean environment.Boston-based Sailors for the Sea, co-founded by David Rockefeller Jr, is dedicated to providing education and resources to boaters to preserve coastal environments.

    Spanish Isles

    by Peter Nielsen, Posted October 20, 2008
    I like Jimi Hendrix, but enough is enough. As the final chords of “All Along the Watchtower” pierced the night air and vanished into the mangroves, I waved goodnight to the rest of the crew and went below. That started an exodus. Ten minutes later the bay was as completely, spookily silent as it had been that afternoon before we steamed in, dropped anchor, popped open some cold ones, fired up the
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