by Peter Nielsen

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

Walking along the dock at the Sunsail base in Tortola, BVI, one evening in March, I noticed a most peculiar thing. It was changeover day, when one lot of charters departs and the next lot arrives and spends the night in the marina to settle in before heading out the following morning.   
Who among us isn’t a sucker for pretty overhangs, a sweet sheerline and a flush deck? There isn’t a boat in Morris Yachts’s M-series line of Sparkman &Stephens-designed modern classics that’s not a head-turner, and the new M46 is no exception. There’s more to this beauty, though, than meets the eye: good performance was near the top of the design brief.
Something has happened to the Strictly Sail component of the Miami International Boat Show over the last five years. Each February, I’ve seen a drop in the number of monohulls and an increase in the number and variety of multihulls. This year, I twice attempted to count the number of catamarans; each time I was distracted and lost track somewhere around the mid-20s. Granted, there were a few brokerage boats in there, but it was an impressive turnout nevertheless, with plenty of new models amongst the evergreens. 
We sail the Blue Jacket 40, a fin-keeled, twin-wheeled performance cruiser from Island Packet Yachts If you were asked to sum up any boat you sailed in just two words, it’s a fair bet that some of them wouldn’t be “family-friendly.” Thankfully, the phrase that stuck in my mind after our test sail of the new Blue Jacket 40 was this: sailor-friendly. Given the boat’s unusual but impeccable design pedigree, it could hardly have been anything else.

Doing it with Elan

by Peter Nielsen, Posted May 22, 2013
European builders are showing renewed interest in the American marketplace. Three boats from Croatian builder Salona Yachts made their U.S. debut at February’s Strictly Sail show in Miami, and now Elan Yachts, from neighboring Slovenia, has announced a push into North America.
One reason I like sailing is that it is one of the few endeavors in which the concept of individual responsibility still has meaning. It is much easier to blame someone or something else for the consequences of your decisions than to admit any fault on your own part—it goes back as far as Eve and the serpent—but on a small boat you soon run out of things to point your finger at. 

Handy Chafe Guards

by Peter Nielsen, Posted May 9, 2013
Chafe isn’t just a problem aloft. It can also be an issue where docklines or sheets rub up against, say, a cockpit coaming, a gunwale or the edge of your cabintrunk.
The Whale Watermaster automatic pressure pump is quiet running, provides high flow rates, is easy to retrofit and is self-priming up to 10ft.
Help your holding tank work better and keep it from stinking up the boat by tossing in some Free & Clear Holding Tank Liquid Deodorant from Thetford.
Scanstrut through-bulkhead cable seals allow you to route multiple mixed-size electrical cables through bulkheads and furniture without compromising watertight integrity.
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