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Winter Ventura

Looking for a sailboat but I don't know where to start.

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I've had a few sailboats in my time in SL, but most of them have been freebies. The one I've really liked most though, was the "Linden Premium Gift" boat. I find the controls, and the mechanical aspects of the boat to be fantastic, but the mesh is crude in some places, and the animation engine (and animations) leave a lot to be desired for me.

The best part about the Linden boat is simply how it moves, how you can 'set the wind' on the hud, and just let the boat go for a while, without constantly mashing down "W" to keep moving. It's a graceful, peaceful ride.

But on a vehicle I'm going to spend an hour or more sitting on at a time, (often with company), well, the animations, the 'sunbathing' the 'cuddling' etc.. for me, it really does need to be on it's "A Game".. and not something where you have to stop the boat in a rez area in order to rez out poseballs.

I was really disappointed to see that the Linden boat was a Mole build, because that meant I couldn't check out the creator's store to see what they are making now-a-days, because for when it was made, it was a really promising 'first try freebie'.

So, with all that said, I guess I'm shopping for a boat. I'd love to find a nice boat where PG hanging out is an option, and there are times when a little bit of romance wouldn't go amiss either. Something that's an actual vehicle, of course, without poseballs, and with the same sort of graceful pace that the Linden boat offers.

Any suggestions?

 

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The best sailboats i have seen in SL are made by The Mesh Shop (Bandit). Their inworld store is at Dutch Harbor, a couple of sims north and west of the Hollywood Airport in the Blake Sea. They have demos of every boat they have ever made available to try out. You also might try talking to some of the people at Tradewinds Yacht Club. They should have all of the information you want about good quality, realistic sailboats. Bandit boats use SL wind, but i believe you can also set your own wind direction. Either way, they are true sailboats, not just driveable vehicles. The amount of detail that goes into them is incredible, and they usually have plenty of animations built in, that dont use poseballs. Both The Mesh Shop, and Bandit boats can be found on the marketplace. They have seperate page listings even though they are technically the same company.

Some other boat builders to look at are Motor Loon and Trudeau.

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I would recommend the motorloon's Loonetta or Oceanic for someone wanting simple (but realistic) sailing in style with cuddles and lots of poses.

I like the MeshShop|Bandit boats but they are a little fiddlier to use -requiring huds and racing modes. The Trudeau boats are lovely to sail, but a bit more advanced and the cuddles on the few that have them are more of an after thought.

Another to consider are those made by ReneMarine, like the Trudeaus not all have cuddle poses but the Schokker and  the Clever definitely do.

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A note on ReneMarine: They're VERY script heavy, unlike the other choices suggested so far. That can quickly become an issue if you sail with friends (and definitely if you cross sim corners). Before you buy a boat, check how many scripts it has. Less=better. Same goes for your avi when you go sail of course. On the other hand, the ReneMarine boats also pretty.

My faves so far:

MLCC: Oceanic when I just want some lazy sailing. No HUD required (and none provided).

Trudeau: Francois Jacques or New York 30 for some classic yachting, while still easy to handle. Kinda requires a HUD.

The Mesh Shop: Bandit 60 - a bit more of a handful for sailing, but still fun. No HUD required (none provided). Has an "autotrim" mode which makes sailing quite painfree if desired.

ReneMarine: Skipjack Katarina when I want to go for looks, or Pride of Baltimore for a bit of a challenge. They require a HUD.

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Frustratingly, I've been around most of the options several times before. I guess the Linden Premium Freebe kind of spoiled me a bit. For this decision, it came down to trying to find the closest match to all my wants.

 

  • A robust, detailled mesh build, with good quality. I wanted something that 'felt like a real place'.
  • Lots of animations, and the ability to adjust the positions. (I'm short, there's a number of kids in my family.. adjusting is key)
  • Some romantic "PG+" animations. Cuddles, smooches, that sort of thing.
  • Room for at least 6.
  • A long, slender design.
  • Excellent, modern vehicle controls.

I visited Trudeau, but their supply of boats mostly are cabinless. I really did want that sort of "RV on the water" home-away-from-home feeling.

As I started looking around (checking out the most popular marketplace listings) I realised that there's just not very many people making "SAIL" boats in that class. The few that are, are excellent, but, there's not a lot of choice. Tons of powerboats and luxury yachts.. but not many sailboats.

It finally narrowed down to the Bandit 60, or the MLCC Loonetta. The Oceanic was more of the hull I wanted, but being sculpties, it lacked in detail, in ways that the Loonetta excelled.

The Bandit 60 was pretty much everything I wanted. 2 Bedrooms, room to spare, animations up the wazoo and PG+ animations too, and a gorgeous long boat.

The Loonetta by comparison was short, stubby, and limited only to individual animations (no cuddles anywhere). The detail was amazing, but it was such a small boat, and it really lacked the 'romantic' element that, to me, was kind of a deal breaker.

And then I checked the prim counts.

The Loonetta clocked in at 32 LI.. (38 with sails deployed). The Bandit 60, on the other hand, clocked in at 139LI standing still.

I had to settle. I wasn't going to get everything I wanted in a single boat, and I knew it.

I ended up choosing the Loonetta.

I wish it were modifyable. I wish I could go out and cannibalize my favourite couch for some cuddles, then transplant them into the boat. I wish it were modifyable so I could link in a rezzer for a few poseballs, or whatever, while the boat was stopped, but I can't.

What I can do, is create a "Cuddle blanket" that can be rezzed out in the bedroom, when the boat is stopped. It's an imperfect solution, but it's possible at least.

Similarly, I wish it were mod, so I could add 'item givers' to the boat. Click the glasses, get a drink, click the first aid kit, get a life jacket, etc. I can rez out a giver, but it's not the same.

That said, it's a really nice boat. It sails beautifully, and it meets most of my criteria, without breaking the bank in terms of prims needed to rez the thing. In terms of "renting a slip".. the number of prims was a big deal (renting 40LI versus 140LI.. big difference. The animations it does have are certainly serviceable. I like that you can resize the wheel, and the steering animations are incredible. It's an A+ boat to sail.

 

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The only reason I wasn't super into that idea, is because of the need to 'pull over in a rez zone'.. and of course then having to contend with "oh no, we were here longer than 10 minutes, the boat derezed because no one was sitting on it anymore".

Rezzing out a cuddle blanket, or other piece of furniture specifically for that purpose, works okay.. but, it's not an ideal solution, and only works when over land with more forgiving autoreturn and rezzing rights (which most ocean space in SL, isn't.)

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Great thread/report Winter.  I file it away for when Im ready to get my own boat.

I have been looking but not serious yet.  Im too happy being a passenger and letting my Partner play Captain :)

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