… 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. :)

19 Responses

  1. Nice!

    It just need cannon is all. >:)

  2. Cannons, rockets, machine gun mounts, etc.

  3. y’all violent boy-types. :) I don’t think Trudeau makes anything armed, but it would be interesting to see if anyone’s made cannon-bearing ships that can have quasi-realistic battles (primcount would likely be a problem). Or for the more modern Adric :) functional battleships.

    I’ll leave that to you, though. I’d rather just sail placidly along…

  4. Uh…



    and ironclads…

    Though the ICs use a different damage system from the TSS/SPD. And that’s a question about Trudeau ships – do that take damage if you bump or run aground and eventually sink if you bring too much damage?


    • Thanks for the links! As far as I know, none of the Trudeau craft have any concept of damage or sinking at all. Good thing, too. :)

  5. My Trudeau Knockabout is probably one of my favorite things I own in SL. Before that I had a JacqCat I enjoyed, but I like how I don’t have to wear something to use the Knockabout. Someday I’d like to get one of the larger boats.

    • Yeah, exactly! :) The big Tradewind is glorious; perfect for a Major Expedition, or a Flotilla, or just being impressive as heck; I don’t know if I would ever have splurged on one for myself, but it was a terrific gift. The Twenty (and I was torn between that and the Knockabout) is great for casual daysailing.

  6. I am curious about the Trudeau stuff. Though if there is no “risk” of damage I don;t know that I would buy one (not that that’s a bad thing, it’s just a feature I find that adds excitement in it).

    If you actually want to see some of the SPD and TSS “Pirate/Privateer” ships – check my profile, classifieds link and take the TP to my shop. You’ll land on a dock (with a TP up to my store) – but rather than that, turn toward the west and you’ll see I have a marina set up with a friend. We have a Schooner, Galleon, Gunboat and a Frigate set-up (and one static no-sail ship)

    That frigate will floor you. :)

    All of these are SL Sailing, and can take damage (even running aground wears the thing down). The gunboat is stunningly detailed – so much am I impressed I blogged all about it at my SociallyMundane.com blog. :)

    Feel free to climb around and click things. :)

    And yes, thanks for highlighting this Trudeau ship – some collect stamps, I collect boats LOL – now I have to go see it!

  7. Okay – bit the bullet and bought it.

    Ummm… no. LOL

    Gorgeous prim-work but that’s where it ends for me. It handles like a child’s toy compared to what I am used to. Not dissing on the tradewind. Just saying it is far from the “most realistic sailing experience in SL’ as proclaimed in the information notecard.

    I wrote-up my own review on it, but because it is not so flattering I won’t post the link in these comments as that would be rather uncouth. LOL


    • Interesting, thanks! I will have to read your review, and investigate these even-more-realistic craft you’ve been posting links to. fwiw, the Twenty handles very much like the daysailors that I remember from my youth. I’ve never actually captained a brigantine. :)

    • And this expert criticism coming from a guy who wrote Oct 6, 2009 in his blog: “I’ve known SL sailing is among the most popular activities on the grid, but I have never done it myself.” And now he knows all about it.

      • ‘Tis true, dip… I mean Jim.

        First, you’re late to the party. By a whole fekking year. Second: sail any TSS or SPD sailboat/ship. Then sail the Tradewind. You’ll feel the massive disappointment I felt.

        The Tradewind is a *joke* in terms of the feel and “realistic” sailing dynamic. Yes, it is beautiful primwork, but that’s where the “wow” factor stops dead cold. I stand by my statements. And since you are so far behind the power curve and great at taking my comments out of context, how about you go read this now:

        My first impression of Tradewind:

        My follow-up post on Tradewind:

        In-short: “Tradewind” is overpriced and some serious (unintentional, I’m sure) *false advertising* going on with it.


      • Nice to see some back-and-forth here; I would appreciate it if everyone would be nice, though. Name-calling can go somewhere else. :)

        I think, Ari, you’re a little quick to assume that everyone’s taste is just the same as yours. I’ve sailed both TSS and Trudeau ships now, and I like the Trudeau line better. So the “massive disappointment” that you felt is not necessarily going to be shared by everyone else. Nor your impression of overpricedness.

        And on the other hand you’re quite right that October of 2009 is awhile ago now… :)

  8. In RL I have a negative value in my “musical Talent” box and I find sailing in SL about as easy as I find playing the piano-a-phone in RL. I’ll try again, but I seriouly don’t get winds and tacking – it all goes horribly wrong within 30 seconds for me :)

    • Well, wind and tacking are pretty basic if you want to sail. :) I’d be glad to give you a few “lessons” (in the sense of “one rank amateur telling another the little tricks that seem to work for me”) sometime…

  9. These ships look awesome!! I love the builds and the HUD sounds pretty cool. That’s some nifty scripting….

    /me wanders off to make a purchase….

  10. […] form of griefing that this would enable that I’m just not familiar with), rezzed the faithful Trudeau Twenty (sorry, Ari, I still prefer it to the gunboat), and sailed happily and aimlessly about for awhile, […]

  11. […] TPd over on a whim and poked around a little, and came to a desert island where I could rez the Twenty and sail about, and eventually I ended up in a sort of downtown waterfront area, and I glided […]

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