… And a star to steer her by

One of my very very favorite Solstice-time presents this year was this amazing Tall Ship; the Tradewind from Trudeau Classic Sailing Yachts.

Passing WIndlass, in weather

Bingo Strait, Qomene (120, 90, 22)

Christmas Day Sailing

It’s really an astounding ship, big and grand and detailed and authentic. It has many many prims, and in fact most of the ship is worn as an attachment because of that; the part that you rezz on the water is just a basic (invisible) outline, and the sitting poseballs. (It holds the captain, and I think up to three crew / guests.) It has an optional-rez cabin with a bunk that sleeps two, and you can change the color scheme, authorize other people to sail it, and do lotsa other stuff that I haven’t tried yet.

I liked it so much that when I got some RL cash for Christmas I converted half of it to Lindens, and used a fraction of that to buy a little daysailor from the same place; the Trudeau Twenty. It is an incredibly sweet little boat:

Sea of Tranquility (41, 110, 21)

Here I am moored next to a recreation of a Piranesi drawing:

Mar Menor (159, 8, 21)

(I love Piranesi’s dark fantastic work, but I was having too much fun sailing to stop and give it a thorough lookover; will have to go back there sometime.)

A wonderful feature of the Twenty is the boom tent. You can drop anchor and rez the boom tent, which includes a mattress with sleeping poesballs, for a nap or an overnight:

Boom Tent, Nautilus Harbor Rez Zone, Nautilus - Yamm

It’s practically a houseboat! (Now I have to play with the Tall Ship more, and see what surprises it has that I haven’t found yet.)

(Oh, and that’s an automated airship in the background, just pulling in. Have to take that tour sometime, too…)

Wind and Sailing in Second Life

Speaking of sailing in SL, a v good friend suggested that I say a word about how the wind works, for SL-sailing purposes.

The simplest sailboats, like my Skipjack “Indolence”, just go wherever you point them, as fast as you tell them to go; they are actually powerboats with decorative sails, and don’t care about the wind at all.

The Trudeau yachts, on the other hand, use a pretty sophisticated model of sails and wind, and have HUDs that tell you where the wind is coming from, let you raise and lower and take in and let out and reef the sails, and so on, and the behavior of the craft (including really nice water and sail sounds) is directly related to how the sails are set compared to how the wind is blowing. For some value of “wind”.

There are at least three kinds of wind in Second Life that a sailboat can use: the “built-in” SL wind that scripts can detect, a custom wind as specified by the sailor (it’s really nice, if you don’t want to tack painfully upwind in a narrow channel for hours, to just tell the boat “pretend the wind is coming from right behind us”), and “racewind”, which is a shared wind for an area that is broadcast by a scripted object, so that all the race-compatible boats around can see the same wind, and race fairly.

All these kinds of wind are described in more detail on the Wind page of the Second Sailing Wiki, which I recommend to anyone interested in the details.

All of which shouldn’t scare anyone off from SL sailing; it’s not actually hard at all, just lots of fun. I haven’t sailed in RL in years, and even then it was just simple one-sail boats on little lakes; but figuring out the controls on the Trudeau craft didn’t take me long at all (once I figured out which arrow was the wind-direction indicator!), and I’m finding sailing with an actual wind (of whichever kind I’m in the mood for) to be a lovely soothing thing to do.

Try it, if you haven’t! Maybe I’ll see you on th’ waves. :)

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