Tuesday, February 26, 2013

To the end of the world

Virtual sailing can be so many things. Racing, boatbuilding, yachtclubs, cruising, exploring, navigation  and more... A few days back I went cruising with Dutch. It was a nice change after all the pretty hefty testing and racing with the Nacra17 and the Laser.
Late afternoon sail
We took off from Tradewinds in one of the classics, the Cotton Blossom II built by Balduin Aabyes Yacht Design. This is the absolutely opposite of a racer. I think Dutch said it quite well, when he murmured: I have no idea how fast we're going, but who cares in a boat like this.
Who cares about the hud
Ofcourse, the Cotton Blossom II has a hud; We turned it on, watched it for a while, and then we turned it off again. It's true. It really doesn't matter. This boat is all about leaning back, relaxing and enjoying the ride, the view and the sounds. Yes, even the sounds are slow and Zen-like.
The views
Hard headed oldtimers will probably wonder, how the Cotton Blossom can be trimmed and sailed, when there's no hud. The answer is simple: Balduin built a couple of boats with telltails. This is one of them. The other one is the Bolero. I didn't look much at the telltails though. I simply enjoyed being in the passengers seat.
Uncharted waters
I wasn't even following the route on the charts until I began to see coastlines that I didn't remember seeing before. That's one of the beauties of being in the passengers seat. You get to see new places. This cruise actually went all the way to the end of the world. I've been there before, but this was another end of the world, hehe.
I usually go south-east, north or north east. Dutch chose a course that was kinda south-westerly; Nice area for a cruise, and as you can see above, the navigator has to stay alert (or online if it's a gps) all the time. No sleeping on the couch. Not even if it looks inviting.
A peek at the couch
So what's happened since the release of this pretty boat? After all it is a year and a half old. Not much actually. The Cotton Blossom has no sheets, but apart from that it is on par with the latest boats. The Cotton Blossom II is a modified BWind, just like the  Nacra17 and the Laser.  The only difference is: The Cotton Blossom has no sheets, and admittedly that does make it look a little old fashioned - in an weird SL Sailing kinda way.
Where are we?
Those new boats... they have sheets, but they don't have telltails. More importantly - the Cotton Blossom has pretty much full WWC support, so there's wind, windshifts, waves and currents all with local variations... Those new fancy boats, they have nothing of the kind... That seems like a strange step backwards?
Anchorage at the end of the world
In fact it seems the Cotton Blossom II is more of a sailing simulator than many of the newer boats. So here's a question: As a sailor, which would you choose: Invisible sheets or invisible telltails? Think about it! While you think, here's us anchored at the other end of the world. Tea and bisquit time. Now, where did I put those Digestives?


  1. Great doc about a Cotton like sailing cruise.
    I must add, years ago, the Q-5 Class Yacht called inworld Cotton Blossom II by my dear friend Balduin, it was a nice classic racer (yes it was for at least a couple of seasons).
    I remember my first walks around Tradewinds YC at Dex, where Balduin show up on a cradle that precious thing named CB-II. Was times where Don met me and with just a few skippers we gone and promoted for (at the times only BWinded engine) the Cotton Racing along the way to south Blakes and Nautilus. After that myself done as race director for GoldenGateYC SL running in Sea of Fables and Dire Strait waters… many, many races onboard the CB-IIs.

    My last words before Balduin went out of SL, was about the last works on BWind dual WWC specs on that "new" work from his shipyard. A re-work definitely excellence in seaworthy, match racing and coastal. A full compliance WWC under BWind clear scripting. One of the most brilliant close to reality you can found if make attention when moor command start in action… is not like others, that stop as magical freez, the Cotton Blossom slowly moors in accordance their boat speed and WWC sliding in some meters before stop… and some other special features to make attention when sailing.

    For me was absolutly a brilliant update that opens a new way breaking between cartoon or simulating boats…
    worth a sailing longlife… thanks Balduin!

  2. pic #7 is Rodel lighthouse
    pic #8 shows Zeeva Quintessa's Zeewest marina and airport

    I'm quite shocked, Noodle, that you didn't know this formerly very active sailing area of the grid.

    1. Thanx Orcs.
      You said it: Formerly very active. I've only been sailing in SL since very late 2009, so there's probably loads of formerly active sailing areas unknown to me. I love to explore, but somehow I always end up exploring new boats instead of new locations :-D

  3. LOL, I meant formerly as up to dec 2012.


    And btw, Charlz just reinstalled the Triumphal raceline and we're going to have more races in the Dunai and Bingo Strait areas now. It's much better sailing than the SoF which was/is used a lot lately for TrYC races.

  4. Nice article on one of my favorite boats. I'm glad you pointed out the sounds! If there were an Oscar for SL Boat sound design, then it would definitely go to Balduin Aabyes. The Cotton Blossom creaks, ticks, roars, and splashes like no other on our great seas.

    1. True; Old wooden boats are like that, and Balduin obviously knew.


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