Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bandit 55

Ahab took me sailing the other day. It was a nice quiet sail in his new Bandit 55. Made me think back a bit. It's the boat. It looks so very safe and seaworthy, but it also looks like something someone sent forward in time from somewhere in the 70-ies. And then there's the skipper. I mean who smokes a pipe nowadays. Uncles maybe? Or younger people but then it's "funny tobacco". I guess, since the boat is kinda 70-ish the pipe, the hat and probably also Ahab all fit in nicely, no?
Ahab, me and the Bandit 55
We hoisted the sails, and off we went. I was curious about all those instruments, but Ahab said he didn't need them. Too much stuff to keep track of or something. I like that. Sailing by intruments isn't really my thing either. I prefer to be able to feel the boat. However, he assured me they all work.
Up and away
The Bandit 55 sails really well. Too well probably. Not only does she look great, but the sailing sounds are nice too. However, it is the movements that makes the difference. Perhaps she moves a bit too much for a 55 footer. This type og boat really tend to feel heavy and slow. Not this one. It's definately alive. The speed is rather good too. Too good to be true actually. Yesterday, in a multiclass race, I was not only overtaken but overrun by one of these. Mind you, I was planing downwind in a Flying Fizz, which is kinda like a 14 footer from RL. Normally, You'd need a Moth to outrun one of those.
Looks great
I suppose the somewhat unreal sailing characteristics are good. It makes this boat fun to sail, whereas in RL it would be rather dull. As in booooring. So, it looks great, and it's fun to sail. Check out the picture above. Can you tell the difference between a real boat and this one? Someone mentioned that it floats a bit high on the water, but hey... all those modern thirty-something cruisers do that. How else could they fit standing height, bathroom and three separate cabins in there? On the picture above, we could be heading for a sailing holiday of two weeks around Gothenburg. This boat would be perfect for that, and I really do think it will compete with the Loonetta about those cruisers in SL.
Details, details, details...
While Ahab was busy sailing, I had a look around down below. The interior has loads of details, and they all make you feel warm and fuzzy. I noted this clock here... it was actually ticking, but it wasn't just making a silly sound. Oh no. It actually displayed the current time. So I looked around for other details and I immediately found one, that didn't work... And here's a little quiz...
The pots and pans quiz
Which of these pots and pans are hanging correctly? We've seen stuff actually hang vertically on other boats. There is something on the M24, but interiorwise I think ReneMarines Schockker is the only boat I've seen with actual "physics" applied to the lamp hanging in the cabin. These pots and pans were glued to the boat. Not a big deal, but after seeing the working clock I'll admit I was disappointed by this. The galley itself is very nice: I've seen apartments with kitchens smaller than that.
More details
There are other fine details on the Bandit55. Here's a photo of the top of the mast. It's really beginning to look like a boat up here. There's VHF antenna, windmeter, windex with trimflaps, navigation lights too... It looks like an anchor light, but we didn't turn it on, so I wouldn't know what colour(s) it has. With all these details, it's a bit strange there isn't a wind direction giver attached to the windmeter. 
Ofcourse the Bandit comes with a furling sails. The main folds into the boom, so not much to see there. Here's a shot of the jib furler. Looks pretty good, but now that we're looking at the bow: Where's the anchor? OMG! There's no anchor. A boat like this would have an anchor and a button. Two buttons. One for down and one for up. Isn't that what this boat is all about? Going somewhere, find that hidden blue lagoon and then having lunch with friends... maybe a quick dive, followed by a nap and then back home?
Back home
Back home we went. Ahab was eager to show off his maneuvering as the Bandit can be sailed with just one sail up. That's a really nice and fun feature, but no-one in his right mind would sail by wind while maneuvering a 55 footer like this in the marina. Better fire up those 55HP hidden in the belly of the beast and get moored safe and sound. And where's the bow thruster now that we're at it?
Made it
Anyway. We made it. Ahab knows his boat, and we arrived at the pier using just the jib. At just the right time he furled it back in and we stopped right off the pier. Very nice. I like this boat. It's a nice build. It kinda makes you want to stay onboard forever. It has that strange cozyness that makes u feel at home. So maybe it sails a little bit too good for it's size and weight, but isn't that just what we all seek in RL? That great and impossible compromise of a boat that sails great, yet is comfortable enough to go long distance cruising?

For casual sailing in SL this boat seems like the perfect choise, - provided ofcourse that you can accept the oldtimerish image that comes with it... There are only a few other boats providing this level of sailing and liveaboard feeling...


  1. A motor? Ugh! Noisy smelly things that cost loads to fix and maintain. Sure it gets you there when the wind dies, but when the wind dies, I am most content sitting out there anyway. No place to be, no wish to hurry along. No need for the smelly noisy contraption. The only use I've had is getting in and out of the mooring yard under calm condition. If there is any wind, you see me with the sails. I consider it a challenge to leave the protected cove under sail with a light headwind of 2 knots. I am thinking of installing a Yuloh on the back of my 22 foot boat. (see http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~fassitt/cranks/cranky_sampans.html for more info) That is a nice boat by any standards (SL or RL)

    1. The funny thing is, few people realize that even in difficult waters a sailboat is often better off using sails, not the engine. However, a busy Marina during peek holidays... hmm... I guess engines can make it a bit easier.

    2. Even so, I would rather a small electric trolling motor, powered by solar cells. A quiet whir and no fumes rather than an exhaust belching gasoline engine. What gets me is that before motors, sailing vessels of all sizes went in and out of harbors all the time. It was part of the craft. I am afraid that that part of the craft is being lost because motors are easier. Call it my quiet rebellion, but I intend to put something OTHER than a gasoline motor on the back of my boat. Something quiet. Something clean. The KNOT@WORK will be a green machine (OK: the bottom is painted green, and the sail covers and decorations are also green)

    3. I am with u.. all the way... BTW: Great name for a sailboat: Green Machine!

  2. see, to make the pans move, it would add 5 separate parts to the 95 that are already there, since its small parts, the Li of them combined + their lod models would prolly total to more land impact then the pans being part of a bigger chunk of the link set. And its 5 extra moving parts that would need to be rendered by your computer locally, need to be scripted, and.... add nothing to the sailing experience, also....its in a spot nobody would even see during sailing, so i'm sorry it disappointed you, but you have to draw the line somewhere you know ;-) oh, and it has nothing to do with physics, that would be impossible to make due to 100% collisions 100% of the time, moving stuff is all done by code ;-)

    on the upside, the weather glass under the clock also works ;-)

  3. almost every furniture designer offers his creations as adult and PG version. i do not understand why this wonderful sailing ships are offered only as adult version.

    1. Uhm... what's the need for a non-adult version? Keep your hands off the buttons, and nothing nasty ever happens... just like RL, teehee...


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