Monday, September 5, 2011

A little Cat in the North Sea

I've  been meaning to post about this little boat for a while. At the same time, I've been eagerly awaiting a new ocean called the North Sea; A few days back I got a note saying the North Sea was open. What a great opportunity to sail the Leetlecat II from Trudeau! So, - I logged in to Tradewinds Yacht Club and found my LeetleCat. Packed a sandwich and an orangina. Changed to something warmer, because I know the North Sea can be rough, tough and cold; Took off, and here I am...
Me and my LeetleCat in the North Sea.
Whoopsidaisy! Thats not a cat... Right, - it is not a cat as the ones they sail in AC. It is a so-called catboat, and it is a very nice one; A true Trudeau. Classy and with beautiful lines, only smaller than the J-Class. Not a computer designed plastic critter from outer space. Ok, I am sure AC45s can be fun to sail too, but helmets?  Anyway, - cats capsize as we've all seen lately. This LeetleCat does too. So beware; U need to trim correctly and balance the boat. And remember to drop the centerboard, or you won't go anywhere but sideways.
The North Sea ahead.
Palmtrees? Hey, maybe I can take of my sweater. Maybe later. In a post called "Taking off my sweater". Not. Back on track: This does not look like the North Sea at all, but who am I to complain. A nice and warm North Sea is much more fun than a cold one. Never thought I'd wanna go night swimming in the North Sea, but this... As you can see the boat is pretty well balanced. Even on a reach it is dead easy to steer - with the feet. I kinda like that. Much easier for me to eat my sandwich that way.
Leaving the palmtrees behind.
The steering is easy on an upwind course as well; Just remember to reverse the default steering. Most boats in SL will go to starboard, when you push the tiller to starboard. This one is different, and it makes perfect sense, because it is like a real boat: "Push left to go right". I can appreciate that. Only thing is, I've gotten so used to the "wrong" kind of steering. I guess I can be trained back to normal again...
Nice view; The vane works.
The sail looks nice and pretty, and the vane at the top of the mast seems to work, though it does appear to be a bit unstable. Perhaps a vane looks better on a catboat, but I would prefer a Windex. Just as I would very much like to have a few telltales, - or just one. The animation and sound when the sails luff is good, but when the sails luff, it is kinda too late to correct the trim. At least when racing. What else? Oh, wind drift. There is no wind drift. Very unnatural. If I just let the sails flap, the boat will stay still as if anchored. So, matchracing is out. Currents? Not supported either. Realistic racing and tactics are out? I spoke with the builder, so I know it is by design. Also, the waves aren't felt much.
Going back home to Tradewinds YC after a lovely day cruise.
The LeetleCat seats several persons, so it is good for cruising; No bunks, so it's a daycruiser. Balancing is supported. The crew takes part in the balancing, so again... It's actually fun and demaning to sail. Too bad there is no support for wind drift, currents and  telltales. The overall sailing experience? It is good. Very good. Nice sounds, nice looks, many features, - reefing event. Steer, trim and balance, - or capsize. On  top of that, there is a well working mouseview mode allowing you to look around - as in a real boat. All in all this is a very nice little leetlecat boat. A little more lively than the popular Trudeau-One. If you are a sailor, you will like this leetle beauty.

The North Sea? I love it. Set viewing distance to max and see nothing but water. I like. Eventually, it will have several race courses and probably some islands surrounding it. That's very nice too. Now all we need is a ferry crossing the North Sea; Tax-free shopping and London as the destination.


  1. Its a good time to visit London - its the Thames Festival this coming weekend and the river will be packed with boats including a working Thames sailing barge :)

  2. Oh, I was kinda thinking more in terms of handbags, shoes, earrings maybe even a fancy summerdress on sale; Thames packed with boats sounds interesting though.

  3. Ah, a different type of shopping than my expeditions into town for books or techy gadgets. However I'm told that London is indeed very good for that sort of thing

  4. What kinda gadgets? An iPhone will do just about anything - except make you an espresso...

  5. LeetleCat II combines nicely great look and realism. I consider it as the best boat in SL.

  6. Never got to try naked night swimming because my waters were never that warm. (Maybe in my SL?) But I always like my masthead wind vanes, whether mechanical or electronic!

  7. Doc, Copenhagen waters are usually too cold, but in late august they sometimes reach 25 degrees C - close to the coast. Add a couple of friends, onboard bbq and icecold rose wine; Perfect setup for a night swim.

  8. There is always the next gadget to get. I was in techie shops looking at iMacs as writing a novel on a laptop isn't that ergonomic, but as its still just a hobby can't justify the cost!

    My iPhone indeed isn't that good at expresso making but I have an ageing Gaggia coffee maker recently reborn after a little de-scaling TLC.

    I have actually skinny dipped off Islay which is the same latitude as Copenhagen and it was jolly refreshing (i.e. cold)!

  9. LOL, do I detect a coffee geek here? When I win the lottery, I will get me a boat that has a room for a Gaggia. ATM, my trusty italian stove-expresso-thingie will have to do.

    Looked up Islay the island. says 12 degrees C. Brrr, but hey it's the Atlantic. Copenhagen: 15, but my race watch says 21C.

    PS: In my experience an iMac outlasts a pc by a factor of at least two, hence justifying the pricetag.

  10. Hey there Timo; Maybe it is a matter of taste. The Q2m, the Flying Fizz and the Bolero are pretty too. It is hard to compare them by looks. I think it is much more feasible to compare them by features and realism.


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