by Nigel Calder

Nigel Calder is an author and expert on boat systems and diesel engines

To Freewheel or Not

by Nigel Calder, Posted June 12, 2012
I sail an S2 8.7 with a Yanmar 2GM engine. When sailing, should the prop be locked or should I let it freewheel? If I should lock it, is it better to put the transmission in forward or reverse?
My question is this: what effect will diesel have on the blue desiccant beads in the H2Out? Is there some change I should make to the air vent?

Ask Sail: Voltage Drop

by Nigel Calder, Posted March 14, 2012
When I turned on my recently installed chartplotter, I got a “low voltage” message. Using a digital voltmeter, I measured 9.7 volts at the circuit breaker on the load side. Voltage on the battery side was 12.5 volts. 
Britain’s Southerly Yachts has been building shoal-draft cruisers for decades, so the 49 has a serious pedigree. Designer Rob Humphreys also works for Oyster, so there is a generous splash of luxury in the 49’s detailing and accommodations.  

Running Hot

by Nigel Calder, Posted August 24, 2011
Steph Lakner of Annapolis, Maryland, asks:"I have a Westerbeke engine (circa 1987) on a Cal 28. The engine overheats (to 210-215 F) after about 20 minutes running at full rpm. The impeller is fine, but water flow is reduced beyond the heat exchanger. I have found no obstructions (broken vanes, etc). I brought the heat exchanger home and cleaned it with vinegar. It was
Without doubt, the cruising-boat interior that inspired the most comment from showgoers this past fall was that of the newly introduced Hunter 50. We overheard several people proclaiming it “decadent”; several others termed it “amazing.” If the goal of an accommodation plan is to incorporate as many shoreside amenities as possible into a boat, the Hunter 50 surely has raised the bar for cruising
The Optimist may be the most successful class in history. Thousands of kids around the world have cut their teeth sailing and racing Optis since the boat first appeared in 1952, but is that it? Must young sailors start out in a square boat that’s not too durable, not self-bailing, and needs fixed buoyancy bags? Yes, the Opti has earned its place by sheer force of numbers, and it’s going to take a
In addition to the Santa Cruz 37, several performance/racing designs (King 40, A35 and A40 from Archambault, Andrews 28, and the Melges 20) debuted this year, and a case can be made for each design in this category. But the Santa Cruz 37 ended up narrowly edging out the others because it’s hit the sweet spot between racing performance, accommodations, and trailerability. For starters, the boat is
Large center-cockpit monohulls are quite common these days, so we were curious to see how Phil Lambert of Outbound Yachts, whose Outbound 44 and 46 bluewater cruisers have gained such a strong reputation over the past decade, might interpret the breed with the introduction of his new Outbound 52 center-cockpit cruiser. We were impressed enough to give the Outbound 52 the nod in this category. The

2009 Best Boats

by Nigel Calder, Posted August 16, 2011
October’s Annapolis Boat Show opened as Wall Street experienced one of the biggest sell-offs in history. With the scary economic news, it was easy to think that many people would put off investing in a new boat. That idea went out the window as VIP Thursday appeared to be more crowded than ever. Instead of panicking, sailors seemed to be turning to sailing, much as they did after 9/11—as a
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