Thursday, February 7, 2013

A virtual Bianca 107

What about normal boats? Are there no normal boats in the virtual world? Sure, they exist. They just  don't get as much attention as their more sexy sisters and brothers. Enough definition for ya, or do I need to use the c-word?
A virtual Bianca!
Here's one shot at it. It's little known in the virtual world, and the builder has kinda disappeared. Before he did, he made me this... It's called the Bianca 107. It's not quite finished. Looks more like a mix of the 101 and the 107, but the concept of "normal boat" is definately there. It is probably the only inworld boat inspired by the famous Elvstrøm & Kjærulff Yacht Design.
Classic finn keel
Looking at the underwater hull, the normality is maybe even more obvious. Thousands of boat types designed from the 60ies till the 90ies all have keels like this one. Then they started to make them less swept, deeper and sometimes with an ellipsoid curve at back edge. The back swept finn is pretty much the standard keel for boats of "type c" of the last thirty years. Like I said, it isn't quite finished, so let's not talk about the rudder and the aft underwater shape.
Looking for dolphins
Topside it looks pretty nice, but it doesn't quite meet todays standard. Qyv is pushing it with the Melges 24. Dutch is pushing it with the VO65. Renemarine is pushing it with the new RM12 aka Tofinou 12. Sorry, I only have pics of an unfinished version. Ofcourse there's the classic boats from Trudeau as well; They are nice, but they really don't fit into the c-category. Neither does the fantastic Ktaba 20. So the c-word isn't "Classic".
Look! There's something inside
The c-word has a lot to do with what's inside, and this one has a lot inside. There's been a few attempts in the old days too. The Tetra 35 was a pretty good attempt. It had a few problems with the sailing, but overall it was very nice for its time. Today, mosts boats have "something inside", but traditionally builders have focused either on the sailing, - or on the accomodation.
Top view
Motor Loon took the accomodation to new levels with his Oceanic. It's a fantastic build with functional  gizmos everywhere and a truly amazing level of detail. However, both the rigging and the hull are - well - not very boatly as seen from a normal boat perpective. Loons second build, the Loonetta is much better on that account. It's not a beauty queen, but it looks like a modern c-work boat sooo much. It sails well, and there's loads of details. I'll snatch a few pictures of a Loonetta one of these days.
A strange detail
The Bianca 107 has details too... Obviously it is from the time where sheets were only available on luxury boats. The spreaders are positioned a little weird, but look at the jib. It has leather reinforcements in the clew, but that's not all... There is a rope on the bottom side. They probably used that hundreds of years ago. I never saw it on a modern boat, and I have no idea why they did so in the old days? Reinforcement?
Large spin
So, the virtual Bianca 107 really isn't that bad, but it's been outdated by the latest development. The level of detail has been raised via the use of mesh-technology. The sailing engines has taken a few evolutionary steps as well. The really interesting question is, will we see more normal boats in the future. I think we will. More importantly: I think they will sail well and have lotsa stuff inside. Just like a modern c-type boat. There it is again, the c-word. Get it?

It seems I have a todolist on the normal boat subject: RM12, Loonetta and possibly the RM20 too. Did I miss anyone? In the meantime, what's a normal boat to you? Real or virtual...


  1. One of the amazing (live aboard, "big ship", two masted gaff rigged schooner) is the Meteor by ReneMarine. Inspiration of the real Schooner Meteor by Royal Huisman:
    The last version could be one of the most exciting yacht to sailing and enjoy in Second Life.

    1. The Meteor looks fantastic, but don't you think it is a little too big to be considered "a normal boat"? At least in RL, you'd need to win the lottery to afford it. I'd say the Tofinou 12 is pretty much a normal boat, but even the Tofinou is pricey to most ppl, me included.

  2. C for Camper! Do I get a postcard?
    :-) Netrom C for Camel.

  3. C = Cabin
    C = Cruiser

    Well, the Bianca is as "normal" as they come. Unfortunately the builder (forgot his name now) left before he could finish the build and his prices are much too steep anyway. We had a vendor at TrYC clubhouse but I doubt he has sold even a single boat.

    Anyway, no, the Meteor is anything but a "normal" boat. Not even for American gigantism.

    Neither is the Tofinou (RM12) a normal boat, it's a design object, an experimental toy. Typically French HiTec and as that far off the normal route. She's ultra-pricey too. And honestly I don't find her too appealing. Sure she's pretty but there are too many bad design choices in the details. A 12 m boat with a wheel? Even 2 wheels? The cabin interior ripped of a science fiction spaceship? Oh please. Guys, get a grip.

    The RM 20 with her design, stuck somewhere in the middle of modern and classic, has a certain appeal for the masses, yes. But her weird saling engine renders her a special boat even in the weird world of SL.

    There are many knockabouts still around on RL waters, so I guess T1, Bolero, Teleri, Dragon are as normal as it gets. Parcticularly the Dragon is still built and sold as new and has a very lively racing scene. But it's a rich guys toy, you pay more than you get. So no normal boat neither.

    I once saw a girl at TYC dabbling about with a prototype of a Folkebad. Yeah, that's sailing for the masses, that's a real normal boat. A bit outdated tho, and slow, and small. Thinking of it, no, I wouldn't buy it; in SL why settle for the normal if you can have much cooler stuff?

    Enter the Melges 24, a hot racer and nice daycruiser rolled in one. Mass produced to keep the cost down and kinda available for everyone. So despite her racing attitude and rock star glamour, that's a normal boat of the 21st century. Not a family waggon, not a football team tourbus but still pretty normal.

    1. Haha Orcs; I did mean C for camper, but cruiser sounds much nicer. We just need two Cs for Cabin-Cruiser.

      So the Tofinou isn't normal; It's too high tech. Hmm. And yes it should come with a joystick instead of those wheels. Anyways, what's a succesfull and affordable 70ies CC in Scandinavia? Ever heard of the Albin Ballad?

      The Folkeboat was built by Sira. I have a picture of it here: Folkboat

  4. Yeah, I remember the Albin Ballad, always liked her looks. Never sailed her tho. Dunno if she's any good.
    And, yes, Sira! What happened to her, she left SL?

    1. Just asked my dad; He sais the Ballad was a racer, when it was introduced in the early 70ies. Can u believe that!? Today it's a total camper. Dunno bout Sira. She was there, then she was gone.


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