Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What is a Flying Fizz anyway?

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a boat! And the hull is a rather important part of a boat. Here's three different ones. They look alike, but they're really quite different. One is sculpted, two are meshed, so they weigh in differently.
Front view
From this angle they appear to be very identical. There are slight differences in the smoothness of the hull. The boat on the right seems to need a bit of fairing. Boat two has some kind of difference on the edge... it is as if the overhang is smaller or missing even...
Top view
The top view shows almost identical shapes, length, beam and sidedeck. The middle boat seem to have a more slender bowsprit. Oh, and there is a windex at the mast top. Woohooo. Visible wind. It appears that boat number two is missing that "traction-tape" on the side where you sit.
Side view
Let's check the mast rake with a side view; Hmm. Rather identical. Whatever happened to that weird island in the back I dunno. Again, boat number three seems to need some fairing. Maybe the shrouds are a bit too fat on boat three too. Detail, details, details...


Monday, September 29, 2014

Torpedo boat at TYC

We don't see a lot of warships at Tradewinds. There was a submarine craze more than a year ago, but these days it seems the warships are elsewhere. Not that I know where that is. Today this lil torpedo-thingy popped up...
A torpedo boat
It's not that I like these war machines built to kill people and destroy things, but they are part of the picture, and some of them seem to be pretty well made. I would assume a thing like this is pretty fast. They're using hit and run tactics as far as I understand. I guess that's why there's a big gun on the aft deck.

More on warships in the category warships.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fizzin...

I haven't been online much these past many months, but a few days ago I heard about a Fizz race this saturday. Since winter is nearing I thought I'd go and have a look. Wasn't really planning on racing; Too rusty for that. This is what it looked like:
Checking out the competition
I couldn't sit still. Seven boats at the line; Really nice up/down course with a few islands thrown in here and there. Local windshifts and a bit of current too. (Thanx Jere). The top three competitors had quite a bit of close race including several rule 20 situations. I think I watched two races and then I couldn't resist anymore.
Start
I rezzed my trusty old Blue Shark Fizz and joined the fun. At that time several other Fizzers arrived, so we ended up being nine boats at the line. Wooohoo. This felt like boat racing. The RD yelled "RDY" and started the countdown. I grabbed a coffee and checked the windsock at the startingline for advantages. Not a good thing. I lost the start, and it bothered me that I couldn't figure out what really happened.
Top mark rounding
After the race I asked about the windsock, and sure enough: It was out of order. Whatever windshift I thought I saw there, - it wasn't real. Next time I'll check the wind with the built-in compass. And there will be a next time, because omg, omg, OMG! This was fun. So many things to think about. There seemed to be less wind on port side of the track, and I totally forgot the polar for downwind. Had to experiment a bit there before I nailed it.
Downwind is fun too
There was also a hefty meeting at the top mark where a port tack boat crossed in between two starboard boats that were both fetching the mark. A risky maneuver, but it was done with so much finesse and elegance - noone even yelled anything. (Nice one Joro). Actually, I think I was holding my breath. Despite the far from good start, I managed to hang on, pass a few boats on the upwind leg and another on the downwind, so I came in as boat nummer three. Woohoooo. I better find my race gear and do this more often.

PS: No, my boat isn't on the pics. I was way too busy sailing. The pics are from the first two races or so. Before I joined. Here's what the Blue Shark looks like.

PPS: The results are in the forum. Thanx (again) Jere; I see the second place was just 1 second away. Bear with me, but I am gonna have to do one more wooohooo :-D

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A quantum leap

These pictures were taken just a few days - if not one day - after the first sailing session with Rich in the Baby Sloop II. Talk about a leap forward...
Bad trim, bad balance
Here we are, - not perfectly balanced and those telltails aren't excactly indicating supertrim, but it's work in progress. We're in novice mode, which means steering and sheet trimming by the helmsman. 
Next mode adds balancing: Both sailors can move about and influence the heeling.
Good trim, bad balance
We didn't get to the next mode aka Competition Mode. Instead here's a shot where the telltails look really good. The balance is not perfect, but hey... We're in novice mode, so we're not responsible for the balance, remember :-D
Bad trim, good balance
In this picture we've got the balance right, but now the trim is less than optimal. The windward telltail says too tight or sumthing... hard to tell from this angle. Anyway, it was fun sailing, and it is always nice to see the smile grow wider everytime something new about sailing is discovered, understood and put to work.

Here's more on the Flying Fizz telltails, and here's more on the Flying Fizz.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Teaching virtual sailing

So standing at the pier at Tradewinds, this guy was splashing around in a Baby Sloop II. Yes, splashing around. It really looked as if he could need som help. I watched the "fight" for a while, and then I asked... knowing from experience that it takes a grown man to say yes... To my joy I was invited on board.
The Baby Sloop II
The introduction went pretty smooth. I said "Hi, I'm Noodle". He answered "Hi, I'm Rich", and I swiftly responded "and I can cook". I don't think he got it - being so immersed in the sailing challenge and all, so I just smiled and started talking bout the boat.
The arrows are the sheets!
Turns out my new friend knew sailing from way back sometime, but he wasn't really used to the virtual sailboats. It's usually rudder on the horizontal arrows, sheets on the vertical arrows and off you go. Unless you are in one of those silly "boats" that are really driven like cars. Now, there is a special challenge with virtual sailing and that is: You can't feel the wind! So where is it coming from?
Looking for clues
There's really no indication of wind direction anywhere. Many boats come with their own wind system built right in, so there's no looking around for clues. The BWind engine usually starts with an easterly wind, and that's why Rich was having trouble at Tradewinds. He was pushed into the Marina, and there was quite a few boats there, so it was kinda hard to beat out from there.
That's more like it
He is excused. Absolutely. The boat whispers the wind directions once when you sit down on it. From there on there's only a few few clues. The mast-top wind-vane does not indicate wind direction. It flaps a bit but nothing useful. Somehow Rich had managed to switch off the hud. It is ugly but it is very handy on a boat like this. In fact there was only one clue left... the sails... if they luff the sheets are too loose. Those reefing lines in the sail also works like telltales. It's a bit weird, so I can understand why it's overlooked.
Smooth sailing
With the hud back on it was easy. It changes colours with the trim, so keep it in the green and the boat moves. I don't like the hud much. It's an unnatural solution to an unnatural problem: The unfelt wind. Besides, it's green text floating mid air. Talk about breaking the bubble. You can do without it, once you get the hang of it. Then it's a nice sailboat, and it does come with the BWind II engine, which is much more immersive than the version 1. Incidentaly, the recently freebied Ten comes with that same sail engine. Go get one and get out there...

In case you are interested, here's more on the BWind sail engine, and here's more on the Baby Sloop. Wanna see the latest BWind engine in action? Get the Ten from Manul. Scroll down to see it or click here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Manuls Ten is going freebie

This just arrived in my mailbox: Manuls beautiful Ten is going freebie... Woohooo! If ever you wanted a superclassy boat for cruising with a friend this is it. It offers smooth sailing, easy handling and it's a neck turner.
I'm in love :-D
Talk about raising the barre. I mean... when I think back to my first rez day and what was available for sailing back then. OMG this is so much better. More sailing pictures and a few words on sailing the Ten here...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Opposites attract?

Here's just s few fun shots of me mothing around the Tradewinds waters passing a boat that - in so many ways - is kinda the opposite of a Moth. It's classic, classy, heavy and it is rather slow even though it has many masts and many sails...
Through the looking glass :-D
That said, it looks like a nice build and I kinda guessed it was a Renebuild. I am not quite sure what convinced me of that, but sometimes it is as if the builders have a certain signature. I shouted at the skipper over there and asked, and sure enough...
Almost a Rene boat
Well, almost sure enough. It's from ReneMarine, but actually it's built by her partner, Jethro. He has a thing for oldtimers such as this. Here's a few shots of another boat of his, the Skipjack. Anyway, the lil Moth here is faster than most boats and wayyyy faster than this one, so I sailed in circles and got me a few pics.
There's a big flag
Suddenly there was a big flag waving at me. Huge actually. Hmm... It is good manners to have a flag when sailing, but somehow there's no flag available on the Moth. Not that I ever saw a real Moth with a nation-flag hoisted, hehe. Dingies usually don't do that.
Timemachine
Anyway, I thought it was kinda funny seeing these so very different beasts together. And the little new Moth? Yes, I am figuring it out. So far it's just another fun toy, but isn't that just what a Moth is?