by Peter Nielsen

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

We at SAIL don’t tend to dwell on the darker side of the sailing life—boats lost, sailors drowned. The monthly “Voice of Experience” column has its share of drama, but it’s the kind in which, to channel the radio cliché, “luckily, no one was hurt.” Quite honestly we’d rather focus on reasons to go sailing rather give anyone a reason not to.
No, the Norfolk Broads are not a ‘40s dance troupe; they’re a network of winding waterways and small lakes that encompass a goodly part of the wetlands of Norfolk, a county on England’s East Coast, and they have a unique charm that transcends any petty differences between powerboaters and sailors.

Blue Jacket 40

by Peter Nielsen, Posted August 9, 2013
Tim Jackett, the longtime chief designer at Tartan/C&C, knows how to design a fast, sweet-sailing performance boat. Bob Johnson, owner and chief designer at Island Packet Yachts, has his own well-proven ideas about how a cruising boat should be built and designed.
If you want to go on a charter vacation, you are spoilt for choices. Fleets of new or nearly new monohulls and catamarans await you in any number of exotic locations. 

No-mess Charcoal

by Peter Nielsen, Posted August 2, 2013
I’m a barbecue traditionalist; I love to grill on a charcoal fire. The problem on a boat is the mess attendant to keeping bags of charcoal onboard. 
My pre-sail checklist is pretty basic. Bilge sump empty? Phew. Mainsail cover off, halyard on? Yep. Battery switched on? Check. Engine intake seacock open? Check. Engine starts? Yippee. 
When you inspect your inflatable lifejackets, hope you don’t find any surprises. They say you should never take anything for granted in life, and I reckon that applies to lifejackets too. While exhuming my inflatable lifejackets— one manually actuated, one auto-inflating—from their basement crypt last spring, it struck me that I had never once inspected them or serviced them since they were new—and that, I realized guiltily, was many years ago.
Aimed at both the professional and leisure markets, Simrad’s HH36 is packed with features: integrated GPS, Class D DSC and a large screen that can, in a pinch, be used as a basic mini-plotter.

A Valiant Effort

by Peter Nielsen, Posted June 26, 2013
As someone who typically has two or three boat projects either on the go or in the planning stages, I’m well aware of how easy it is to bite off more than I can easily chew. My only rule is that no project must impede the boat’s primary purpose—to be sailed.

Nav Station Makeover

by Peter Nielsen, Posted June 26, 2013
Having had so much fun upgrading the systems on our project Norlin 34, it came as something of a shock to realize that after installing a windlass, propane system, new winches, new portlights and new genoa sheet tracks in the space of three years, I had run out of things to do.
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