Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Beginners rules

I received a question from ThomasK Andel about rules for inexperienced sailors. Thank you, Thomas.

The question is: Are there any universal rules to be used at a regatta series? The answer is a big YES! The International Sailing Federation aka ISAF maintains and develops a set of racing rules that are used globally in yacht races. The rules may seem a bit overwhelming at first. However, you should bear in mind that they have been developed over many decades to ensure clarity and fairness.
ISAF logo

Still, the rules book is a rather small book, and you only need to know a few pages by heart. You can get the rules in PDF format at the ISAF site. Here's a link: ISAF rulesbook. You want the PDF that says "ISAF racing rules for sailing 2013-2016", and you need to be concerned about pages 12-16. Oh, and if your native language isn't english, these rules are translated to pretty much any language on the planet.

Several clever people publish books to help sailors understand the rules. You see, - Yacht racing can be a complicated sport. Sometimes help is needed to figure out just what rules are in play at a certain point. I used to read Paul Elvstroms book, when I started sailing... now I just read the ISAF Book and sometimes the Case Book. The casebook is (strangely ;-) good for looking up cases;
Paul Elvstrom explains 
If that's all too much and complicated, then another approach may be better: You can use a reduced set of rules. I am not much of a fan of this approach, but kids are usually not able to master the full rules-set. The important thing is to step up and use the full rules as soon as possible. Otherwise people get stuck with the simplified rules-set; That would be a pity because it means loosing so many of the finer aspects of the game. You can read about that elsewhere on my blog.

So, should I recommend a reduced rules-set for inexperienced sailors, I would have to recommend the use of the international sailing rules; Those are the rules used at night and when not racing, so it makes sense to learn those and be aware of the difference between the two rules-sets. I'll add two extra rules. One for rounding marks and one for correcting mistakes.

My list of 5 super simple rules for inexperienced sailors:
  1. Port boat must keep clear of Starbord boat.
  2. Overtaking boat must keep clear - even if she is Leeward.
  3. Windward boat must keep clear of Leeward boat.
  4. The boat that enters the 3 boatlength zone last must keep clear of boats in front.
  5. Hit a mark or do a foul you must do a 360 turn or you are disqualified.
Number 2 has the effect that you cannot - as an overtaking boat - choose the leeward side to gain luffing rights. Luffing is only for defense. Number 4 is really not needed, as it follows from 2; However, it is important to get to know the zone around the marks. So there: Five super simple rules that makes racing possible.

I know for a fact that these five simple rules work great for beginner optimist-sailors aged nine or ten. Let me stress this again: As soon as the sailors master these five simple rules, it is important to scrap them - or rather - add more details by using the full rule-set; Otherwise the sailors will never be able to compete on an international, national - or even interclub scale.
Having a coffee while my lovely Folkboat rests
I hope this kinda clarifies things. If not, feel free to contact me inworld with more questions; We can grab a coffee and talk rules, or I can pop over and be your "second level support" while your race is on.

Happy sailing,

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pirates reported

Isn't it just amazing what people build in SL... Anything that sails from tiny one man boats such as the Quest Q2.4mR to huge pirate ships - aka Tallships! Check this out:
I kinda like this picture
It doesn't have to be sailed by pirates. I suppose Lord Nelson or Tordenskiold would fit in very nice too... The only thing missing in the virtual waters are modern big sailboats... boats like "The Maltese Falcon"... and perhaps it would be nice with a few Wallys too... The "Wally Esence" looks appealing. (Yes, there is a missing s).

Monday, September 21, 2015

Containership at Tradewinds

Here's something I haven't seen before: A virtual containership. It is also - by far - the smallest containership I have ever seen in either worlds.
What's in a virtual container?
So, what's a virtual container contain? What goods need transportation? It can't be toydolls from China, and it can't be cars from Germany. So what is it? Bits and bytes needed for new land somewhere? BTW: It flies a Norwegian flag...
Nuke-plant in disguise?
I took a brief look inside and whoa! By the looks of the controls this is a nuclear plant in disguise. Who'd have guessed that? Ok, perhaps it is just a nuclear powered containership. In that case it is probably the first of its kind.
Top view
Ooops. Probably not nuclear powered after all, or else there's something burning in the kitchen. So once again, anyting's possible. Always dreamt of steering your own containership - only slightly smaller than Emma Maersk - this is it...

For other posts on amazing workboats click the category right below here, where it says workboats.

Friday, September 18, 2015


Recently I observed this at Tradewinds, so here's a simple weekendquiz...  What is it?
Classy but not classic?
Take a good look and tell me if you - like me - go WTF?! I like modern racers, but I also like those classic wooden boats. Here I get both merged into one and the same... Isn't that just sooo nice? Have a great weekend...

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A frigate overtaken

There seem to be a rather active community of warmongers cruising the virtual waters. Sometimes a sub pops up at Tradewinds, but it has been a while since my last "sighting". This time I was out sailing the Dolphin Moth; Didn't take long for me to get from Tradewinds to teh Blake Sea. In fact I was just thinking: 30 knots is too fast for these waters, when I saw this vessel...
A mighty big ship
Then I realized that I was outrunning the thing. I sailed in circles around it. Portside first. I a minute or so I was in front in this unequal race. After another minute I was about to be squashed between the ship and an island, so I tried to go the other way around.
Can't that thing go any faster?
Dunno if the skipper up there got annoyed by me, but after that he set a course consistantly forcing me to beat upwind; That kinda took a factor of 1.4 off my speed; At 21knots I was left in the wake, hehe. Now, I am not an expert, but I assume this is a frigate of sorts. Also, it looks modern - or at least not like a ship from WWII-movies.
Is that a frigate?
One gun only? It must have rockets of sorts then... also there is a helipad on the aft deck, but what really interests me is that strange thing on top of the bridge... It kinda looks like a old WWII mine. What is it, and what's it doing there?
Top view
Here's another shot, where that thing is even more visible... Does anyone know what kind og ship this is, and what that thing up there is? There's an English flag flying - look closely on picture three. Perhaps it is a replica of something real? 

Monday, September 14, 2015

What's a RM30 anyway

So what is it, - the RM30?? It's a supercool & comfortable cruiser with a few design elements taken from recently designed racers; While she may not be a 100% racer, this means she is a fun and lively boat with modern sailing characteristics. Let's have a look...
The hull is - as mentioned - quite modern. Not superwide, not superclassic either but big enough to provide a spacious interior. And it is truly AMAZING what they can stuff into a 30-footer these days. Two separate double cabins, a complete bathroom - yes there is a shower - plus a galley that's close to a real kitchen. Not just two of those burners. On top of that, there's what landlubbers would call a small office... the navigation table.
The inside is very close 
Rene has put a laptop there. Hmm... I think one of the new Dell Chromebooks are rugged and meet military specs. Sounds like the right thing to put in a boat. Except there's probably not a fiber connection available :-D. Whatever! Renes boats has always had a nice interior. This time I think she takes a step up. Not only does it look good; It looks quite a lot like the real thing. Check this out:
to the real thing, the First 30
Those photographers in RL alwys cheat and use widelenses and what nuts. That way they can make a 25 footer appear as spacious as a 90sqrm flat. Kinda silly, cause when you finally arrive at the boatshop and you cram the family into the "spacious" boat... it's a littlebit of a downer. BTW, I see that Rene forgot to add speakers in the cabin. Surely this will come as an addon. The platin edition.
Rene is always in pink
Back to the sailing... On the outside she looks very much like the real thing too... You can sit almost anywhere, and she is easy to handle. Sailing her fast is another thing, but anycone can take her for a spin. I have a feeling she will plane on a downwind course; Provided ofcourse there is enough wind. Even in foul weather she handles well... you can reef pretty much as you like as both the main and the jib are furling.
Upwind is good too
So... upwind is a breeze no matter what that weathergirl said. There's a couple of choises to make regarding wind, but ofcourse she comes with full WWC support; That means she is interesting to sail because the wind has variations in direction and speed; It also means she is interesting to race because there are local variations... I'll get back to the windchoices in a later post, once I've had a few miles with the latest version.
Trimming is a blast. Rene has put a supernice and supervisible "Windex" atop the mast. Yes, it can easily be seen from the cockpit. If you know your windangles this allows you to trim pretty good. Telltales gives a more precise steering aid, but they're mostly used whilst racing knife in teeth. I'll get back to the trimming also once I have a few more miles under the keel in my RM30.
For now I'll just say, she is supereasy to sail. She is built to cruise and explore, and that's what I'll do. Here's the obligatory shot with "Sharp-Tooth-Island" in the back. I expect to round that island quite a few times; Maybe we can even organize a club RM30 cruise. That would be fun... or a race round... anyone?
Me enjoying the ride
Well, that's about it for today... There are som many well built boats out there today; Many of them do not compare, as the boatbuilders tend to choose a niche fro themselves. This makes it hard to tell which is best. There's no one size fits all, but ReneMarines RM30 surely looks nice and sails well; I'd want one for my next holiday - in RL too.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A new RM30 is underway

Rumours has it there is a new RM30 underway. Supposedly it has the same hull and the same delicious interior, but... the sailing engine is completely revamped. There will now be two steeringmodes. One is simple and car-like, - a sort of arcade mode if you like. The other one is the interesting one. It's gonna be "advanced", "life-like" or "realistic" whatever that entails.
Pink day celebrated on the RM30
Also, will be new CAM positions and much improved crossings. I haven't sailed the new RM30 yet, but I assume this isn't just a matter of switching back and forth between car-steering and normal boat steering. (Car: Turn left on the wheel and the car goes left; Boat: Pull the tiller right to go left.) Mastersinn has tested ReneMarines new and realistic sail-script, and he was very excited. In fact he said, it will be way beyond its contemporaries. We'll see about that, but I am looking forward to try a seaworthy boat that has great sailing characteristics. I'll give it go and post about it here, once I have it. Till then...

Update: It just landed in my inbox. Oh, I wish RL updates was as easy as this ;-) Don't have time to do a full test right now, but a quick test ride sais it is extremely low lag.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A ferry I know

Sidetracked. As usual. I was gonna take a look at Michies 60 foot sailboat. I saw it docked at Tradewinds, and it looked great. Looking at Michies boatshop however, I saw something really amazing... Something I know. Something I sailed in RL. I saw this:

It is - ofcourse - the Hundested-Rørvig ferry. A tiny ferry that transports happy families from Hundested to Rørvig, a well know Danish summerhouse area on the north side of Zealand.
The danish ferry
Yes, the paintjob isn't excactly the same, but the shape and the overall layout matches pretty much a hundred percent. Besides, Michie named the boat Dannebrog, a much used name for Danish ferries. It is the name of our flag.
The bridge is more of a shed
I was always excited to sail with this. It's so small and open that it made my heart beat just a little faster. Especially when there were waves. Sometimes we'd sit in the car and turn on the vipers as wave-spray would hit the car. The trip lasts 20 minutes at the most, and there's an icecream shop on either side, so the worries never lasted long.
Captain on the bridge
So, Michie, if you read this, thanx a bunch for bringing back fond memories. I spent a few hours sailing around the Second Norway waters looking for islands with a Danish touch. It is difficult to find realistic and true Danish waters in SL.
Looking for cars
Now, if only I could find a harbour where I can load some cars. Then, off to summer-holiday-land. Question is where are they?! And where's the friggin charts and GPS and stuff...
Visual navigation
I suppose there's no need for all that. It's a small ferry, so just reduce speed and stay in the middle. Hmm... these islands has houses... but they're too small to have a landing spot for this baby. AHH LOOK! Finally, - a Danish Island on port side... wooohoooo!!! 
Danish island
... and in the back there's even something that (kinda) resembles Nyhavn, Copenhagen. I'd better cruise around for a bit and see what's going on here. Nyhavn is famous for beer, food and party. Hmm. Cheers... (And I'll get back to that 60-footer ;-)

Friday, September 11, 2015

A New Dream Boat

I think I have a new dreamboat... well, I have many dreamboats, but this one is new on the list. So to Kain, here it is:
Brøker 28

It is (ofcourse) Danish Design, and it is called Brøker 28. Those of us who know the boat "Buksesnedkeren", we also know a wooden Brøker 28 as Underbuksen. (Ok, I'll translate: Buksesnedkeren was a Danish clothing company, and the name means "Pant-maker". The Brøker 28 is smaller but in some respects similar, so people call it Underbuksen. It means undies ;-)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


So the Moth is no longer the only real boat foiling... (Disregard those weird Laser and Opti foiling experiments, the Quant 23 - and the Megamoth).
A real boat on foils
Check out the video on the landingpage of the Gitana Team website. Looks pretty crazy huh! 30+ knots. Not really faster than the Moth. Still, one day, we might all wear helmets even on monohulls. Then every day will be a bad hair day.