The Trudeau "Tradewind" tall ship is a lot more bitter than it is sweet. In my last post I mentioned how difficult it can be to shop in Second Life, especially where price has zero credibility with regard to quality of the item you are purchasing. I harped loud about how positively stunned I am at the exquisite high-quality of the Age of Sale Gunboat.


I am a fan of tall ships and have been most of my life. It is ironic then that I only recently in the last few months realized and discovered sail-able tall ships on the grid. I knew they existed, but I didn't want a "drivable car that floats". Meaning like a car in SL the forward and back buttons move you as such and the left and right steer toward their respective directions. Unfortunately, most "drivable" boats on the grid are just that: drivable. They work exactly like a car, which is okay if your boat is a motorboat. But a sailboat?

Trudeau Tradewind tall ship: fail.  
Enormous fail.

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but I don't like to softball things and prefer telling it that way is - all from my own perspective, of course.

I was extremely fortunate to have found the TSS and SPD lines of sailing vessels as the way they work on the Linden water is ridiculously realistic as far as SL scripting and the physics engine will allow. I spotted a post by Dale Innis where she (he?) was highly impressed with the Trudeau Tradwind. I was intrigued and even though in the comments of that post I learned that Trudeau boats don't take any damage, I had to go see for myself. So I popped over this morning.

Unfortunately these kind of vehicles only work for the owner so there was no way to test-drive the thing. It means you have to rely heavily on the sales-pitch in the vendor notecard. I did just that. Part of the description included "most realistic wind sailing in SL" (paraphrased.)

Ummm, not no but hell-no.

I believe the creator genuinely believes this statement to be true and that's fine. Either that or she is seriously misleading people by referring to the forward motion only and none of the rest. The fact of the matter is that the Tradewind (and likely all the other Trudeau boats) are only marginally better than those "drives-like-a-car-on-water" boats.

Firstly, allow me to say the primwork is gorgeous. It is a beautiful build and the cabin with furniture and bed is a nice touch. But poseballs? Okay wait a minute... this thing actually uses poseballs? I admit it's a red flag I should have seriously paid attention to. But I digress.

Now, the sweet part is the prim build - gorgeous. Unfortunately all the rest of it is the bitter part: total failure.

I raise the sails and the thing just sits here. It doesn't even appear to turn "physical" - no heeling or bobbing or anything. I set sail angle to capture wind and start moving. The first awkward thing I notice is the pilot's camera angle. But that's okay because if you are a technical sort you can edit the one modifiable script to reset that to something else you prefer.

So I hit the right arrow to swing direction from east to east by southeast. The boat swings around quickly. But wait a second, I'm not even moving yet! Even at a dead stand-still, I am able to spin the boat around in any direction I choose.

Where the eff is the "realism" in that?!?


This "feature/bug" alone already means this thing will likely never be rezzed again from my inventory. But I was determined to like it, so I trudged-on. The crappy handling of the thing (a car on water) was terribly disappointing. Until I found the real bug. Even with the wind at 180 degree - 100% to my back, angling the sales to starboard (right) had be moving backward. And at high-speed. What the eff is this?

Except for the beautiful primwork this thing is a painfully tragic disappointment. There are ten-times more realistic sailing ships available for one-third the price. The Trudeau Tradewind (and likely all the rest) is hardly worth the asking price. Perhaps L$800 to L$1000 for an unscripted version would be okay. L$1500 for the thing the way it is right now... hard to swallow but okay. It is overpriced by L$3000 hands-down firm. The only other sweet part of the BITTERsweet combination is that it is copy/modify, so I will rip the really crappy drives=like-a-car-on-water scripts out of it and rebuild it to use the TSS Brigg scripts in order to salvage my money-down-a-hole spent.

Sorry Ms. Trudeau, but "most realistic sailing" this thing is not. In fact it is barely this side of the opposite end of that statement. Do I feel ripped-off? No. Am I dissatisfied with my purchase? Somewhat. I am more disappointed that I had a gut-feeling this thing would be what it is, and I bit that bullet anyway when I should have known better? Abso-fekking-lutely. But my dismay is with myself, not the creator. And the influence of Dale is not Dale's fault. Dale just doesn't know any better.

If you want a very realistic, truly simulated sailing experience in SL at low cost, buy the Gunboat I spoke of in my previous post. It is on XSL here. L$3500 less that the Trudeau Tradewind and a thousand-times more realistic.

If you really want to save a lot of money and go with a most-realistic sailing experience, get the Sailing Dinghy from the same creator for only L$149.

If you are a fan of tall ships and want a sailing version that truly is the most realistic simulation on the Second Life grid, go with one of these and stay away from anything Trudeau until they get it right:

Anything from TSS (most expensive boat: L$1700 - and all go down in price from there).

Anything from SPD (Though a bit more difficult to sail than TSS; even the most expensive Frigate is L$1000 less than the Tradewind and even edges it out in the beauty-of-primwork department).

If primwork isn't a priority, there is this fishing boat also based on the "Flying Taco" scripts for only L$450. And it takes damage as it should like all other TSS and SPD boats. So don't go running through shoals carelessly. Running aground in shallows will eventually sink you if you do it often enough (true for all these boats).

So, is the Trudeau Tradewind (and other Trudeau creations) crap? NO. Is it way over-priced? Yes - to those who know and want better. The primwork is gorgeous, but the handling physics is cartoonist at best. It feels like playing with a child's toy when I am used to and want the real (as possible) thing.

My whole point is that most in SL who "sail" have no idea of what they are missing and what they think is what sailing in SL really is. I suppose that's the oldbie of SL curse.