Monday, February 17, 2014

That J-boat

I guess by now most SL sailors are aware that - after many iterations and refinements - Craigs magnificent J-boat finally hit the shelves. Orca was there at the launch event, and she wrote about it a couple of weeks ago. Check it out here. You get Craigs own words, so it's just a bit biased. Just one tiny bit. The J-boat itself is anything but tiny.
A small j with a big J inside
This picture shows how the J-boat is delivered. It comes in a nice little J-shaped box, if there is such a thing. Though the J-boat is in no way inflatable, the entire full sized boat is inside this little one. My immediate thought was: If only this had an RC option  we'd have a ball. Besides, it would fit the virtual waters nicely. Sizewise that is. But let's unpack...
A small j with a big J on the side
Here it is in all its magnificense and magnitude. Huge is the word, though I've seen bigger boats in SL. This tanker was pretty big, and the aircraft carrier was even bigger. However, they aren't nearly as much fun as a sailboat, a working sailboat. The J-boat coes with main, two headsails and spinakker, so there's work to be done or it won't move an inch.
Live aboard it's not
True engineering is about sacrifice. The J-boat sails really well. It comes with full WWC support, so theres waves and current to take in to account when racing. What's been sacrificed is the interior. It's simply not there. Essentially the J-boat is a daysailor. Still it works great for mooring and relaxing in a secret bay. Thinking big thoughts. From where I sit in the above picture the mast top is visible up among the clouds. Allmost.
Down south with a friend
But it's the sailing that makes the J-boat interesting. It works great as a cruiser, and there are so many details that many of these will have to wait till another post. Sailors will immediately notice all the lines, sheets and stays are working. This may not influence the sailing experience directly, but it does have to do with the immersiveness. The illusion of sailing simply gets better from all these details.
The "Rock-shot"
We sailed south for a while - pretty much in silense - as we were so impressed by this huge ship sailing, heeling, rocking, luffing and much much more. It's truly amazing what Craig did here. After a while we reached the middle of the Blake Sea, and ofcourse we took the must have "Rock-shot" rounding the Fastnet Rock. So many Kodak-moments in the Blake Sea, hehe. Or is it called jpg-moments these days?
Going back up
After the "Sharp-Tooth Island" my friend left to do stuff in RL; Duh. I was left to do the harsh beating back up north by myself, and here I am approaching NYC from the south-east. It's a good thing I was wearing my sweater, cause the NYC area is covered with wintery-white snow. Brrrr. As if the RL snow isn't enough, hehe. No, really... the snow looks pretty. And cool... and cold...
Over at the westside og NYC at least the trees are not covered with snow. Perhaps that's the first sign of spring? Dunno. These last two pics show some of all those beautifully made sheets and stays. They are fully functional in-as-much-as the running stays are loosened and tightened according to trim and boom position. Well, - to me fully functional would mean that I could decide the tension and adjust it according to windspeed, but that remains a feature of the future. For now we'll have to do with this, and right now it is pretty unique.


  1. And there's full WWC in that thing? Verified? Then I think I wanna come back into SL and do some sailing...
    - Netrom

    1. Hey Net, - I hope you are well out there. Just drop me an IM and I'll take you for a ride.

  2. The boat is lovely and for sure the most beautiful Sl sailing boat i had the pleasure to see closely!
    hope a interior detailed version can be achieved for the casual sailors!

  3. Could the mast break if you didn't set up the running backstays correctly in heavy wind?

    1. Sadly no. Not as it is. Currently, the windward stays are tightened while the leeward stays are loosened. Automatically. If you've never been to SL the hard thing to get would be that this is an achievement in itself. However, it could (probably) be implemented, and it would be great fun to have more trimming options. Perhaps less fun to actually break a mast. That's never fun. The thing is, it will have to be handbuilt in code. The SL built-in physics is not nearly advanced enough for that kind of simulation.

  4. It seems to me a nice boat for sailing. I am sailing on this boat will be a great experience for my entire life.


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