Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The unique Bolero

The Bolero is a very nice replica of a knockabout sloop. Nice and easy sailing. Windvane with colourshift to indicate trim. Low lag, easy sim crossings plus beautiful animations made her a good choice for some relaxing sailing. Now, there is a major update called the Bolero II.
The unique Bolero II sailing in the North Sea.
So here she is. Notice any differences from the old Bolero? I'll tell you the defining difference. It has telltales. Yes, working telltales. Not only is this the first bwind boat with telltales; It is the first boat in the history of SL sailing, that comes with realistically moving telltales. They wiggle as you sail - just like real telltales.
Balduin and I getting ready for a test cruise.
So many people have told me, that telltales are impossible to build in SL. It has been a little hard to understand, as both the Flying Fizz and the Shelly Fizz featured working telltales since 2008. When I've talked about wiggling telltales, I've only recieved rolling eyeballs for an answer. Thank you, Balduin, for breaking that barrier. You rock! So, - want a close up of those tales?
Beam reach with spin.
I love this picture. It captures the very essence of sailing the Bolero. Main is trimmed right, spin is up, we're actuallu going pretty fast, and yet we sit back, relax, - and have time to talk while sipping hot coffee from the thermo. The spin is also great. It looks great, it is easy to trim, and it collapses visually while making a terrible flapping noise. I am telling you, everybody on board knows when the trimmer is not paying attention. Want a closer closeup?
Bolero II with spin up in the North Sea.
Yeah! I will leave it up to you to try the collapsing spin. Ofcourse that never happens to me, so no pictures, hehe. The overall sailing experience has also changed. Notice the windvane is gone? No need for that any more, and you can type hud to get a nice hud, if you absolutely must have a hud. I don't like huds. As I've mentioned before, I want to sail by feel, not by staring at numbers. It's kinda like the difference between chatsex and the real thing.
Me sailing the Bolero II in Fruit... with a friend.
See? Upwind sailing is a breeze. Almost the real thing! RL sailors will note, that the telltales are usually placed in the jib. Balduin told me, this is a compromise. You cannot see the jib when sailing. I hope the next version will have the telltales in the jib - plus an option of steering while sitting on the side deck. That's how we do in RL anyway.
My view when sailing
Here's a shot of what I see. Obviously, telltales in the jib would not help alot. Its almost completely hidden behind the main. On the other hand, the mouselook sailing works wonderfully, because you can see what you need to see. For realistic sailing mouslook mode is key. Making the layline is best done by looking through your eyes; Not by having a camera hanging behind the boat.
Entering Mango Marina
The Bolero II is a wonderful boat. Not yet perfect, but it is a huge step towards realistic saling. Besides the telltales and the collapsing spin it has been updated to be more lively. It's simply reacting more to winds and waves, so the experience is more like sailing a small boat. The steering is also more accurate and course corrections affect the direction almost instantly.

On top of that, the sails luff, the sailing sound changes with speed, there is full wwc support so currents and waves, windshifts and all that plus the new windprint command, which guves you an instant detail of wind direction and force. Get all the great details at Balduins website.
Mooring in the North Sea marina.
What we're still missing is balance, - and the ability to let the crew trim the jib. Above, you see me mooring the Bolero right at another boat, the Trudeau One. Very much similar to the Bolero. It has balance, but it has no telltales. The race is on. Who will provide the most realistic sailing experience? Rumours has it, the next version will have both balance and trim by crew. Till then I will enjoy the unique features of the Bolero II, and remember... it still comes fully equipped with a double berth inside, cabin lights and more.

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