I have finally and officially decided why I really don't like the Trudeau (and probably most other) boats and tall ships that are so-called "SL-wind sailable". They are built for looks, not function.


In my three-years on the grid I have never owned or wanted to own any boats at all, especially sailboats. Because they aren't "boats" - they are cars on water that don't "sail" - they drive. Even the "motorboats" drive like a car. and cars in Second Life don't really handle at all like a car. In fact, it's just "flying" the same way you can fly in SL without sitting on anything. The only difference is you have a prim (name your vehicle here) attached to you, and because it's set to be physical, the simulated gravity is in effect.

Car, airplane, boat, submarine: I find it cheesy and silly that at a dead stand-still, you can spin around and around like a top. I really roll my eyes if it's any kind of sailboat. And it's the creator's fault because they are focusing on how it looks, not how it works.

Like everyone who has one of these, I wouldn't know any better - except that as of a few months ago, I do.

I am now going to speak on the Trudeau Tradewind (pictured above) - a two-part vehicle. So these irritants I speak of obviously don't apply to the single linked-prim type vehicles. But tall ships are rather complicated in a visual sense and so always will require two-parts in order to be movable as a vehicle.

The Trudeau Tradewind tall ship is gorgeous. But, like I said before, it's built to look good, not function well. Because it looks so good, it is not efficiently built. Lots of extra prims where there is no-need. I have no-doubt I could create a damned good-looking facsimile with probably 1/3 the number of prims. But it's inefficiency has to do with how it functions: it doesn't.

As with most large vehicles of this type, it comes in two-parts. A part that is the actual vehicle that does the moving (sailing in this case) upon which you sit in order to "drive" it. The second part is work as an attachment - which the limit to prim-count is about 256 - no real reason to work hard at building efficiency in that case.

I've already mentioned what I don't like about the Trudeau in terms of how it functions. But I can live with that. What I really can't stand is the way it's built: sloppy. Part-one: the vehicle is rezzed in system water. It is invisible, but highlighting transparent prims reveals that is it the sails system and all that is visible are all the poseballs the pilot and guests sit on to ride and drive.

The "ship proper" is an attachment that you right-click in inventory and choose "wear". I hate this with a purple passion. As for actually enjoying the boat, it sucks royally. Epic fail as the meme goes. I have to rez the invisible sails, then manually "wear" the boat. If I stand-up, I have to manually detach the entire ship, then delete the invisible sails. This is stupid.

If I rezz the ship-proper, the inefficient build requires that I have a huge butt-load of prims available. Fail again.

Enter the SPD, TSS, and AoS ships and boats.

(Pictures: My "Ghost Ship" customization of the TSS Dhow and avatar make-over to match!)

Ghost Ship Build

Let us forget that they actually sail very realistically in the movement, turning and true requirement to manage the sail angle with regard to simulated wind direction and all that. Let us instead look at the simple functionality...

  • I rezz the boat on system water.
  • All I see is a plain and "stripped"-looking boat hull.
  • The second part, the sails and boat detail, are inside the hull.
  • The hull automatically rezzes the sails and ship detail, perfectly lined-up to ensure the whole thing appears like a single boat. 

I now have a beautiful boat - for decoration or whatever. I can walk onto it or off it or all around it. No ugly poseballs with the requirement to type-in a command to hide them, nothing "unsightly".

Ghost Ship Build

Anyone at anytime can right-click at various places on the boat and choose to "sit" - and even, through a HUD or command, change positions (say from the bow to the crow's nest to the port or starboard side to the stern - all without standing-up to sit on another stupid poseball).
  • I, as the pilot simply "sit" near the aft-castle or piloting point.
  • The sails portion of the boat asks permission to attach to me.
  • I say "yes" and in the blink of an eye, the sails attach.
If you aren't paying attention, you didn't even notice a change in the appearance of the boat at all.
  • I can now just start sailing.
  • When I am ready to stand-up, I do so. 
  • The boat automatically rezzes a new set of sails so the boat remains "complete".
  • Attached set of sails automatically detach so they disappear from world view.
  • I can now walk about my boat again. The same boat, not a newly-rezzed copy!

Ghost Ship Build

This is functionality: walk up the dock to my boat, walk onto my boat, sit on my boat, start sailing, stand-up and walk about my boat again.

All without having to touch my inventory and manually rezz or wear or delete or detach anything. And the SPD, TSS and AoS and other tall ships of this "genre" are all damned-good-looking, too. Oh and in my previous Trudeau posting linked-to above, Dale Innis mentioned that the "gauges" HUD on the Trudeau is better because you can "see" the wind direction and sails angle.

Ghost Ship Build

Well, TSS just released an update to all their boats that now includes a sail HUD that works identically to the Trudeau HUD, though easier to understand, in my own opinion. So, Dale: there's the last single reason for sticking with the Trudeau Tradewind. Try any of the TSS tall ships and you'll forsake the Trudeau within an hour as for "functionality" and "usability".

And the kicker to all this? Average cost of the SPD, TSS and AoS boats is L$1600 compared to the Trudeau Tradewind's whopping (and I feel way-the-hell-overpriced) L$4500.

Screw the cannons on these "pirate" ships, they can be removed. As for a beautiful, realistically-sailable tall-ship which you only need rez once and be able to walk-on, sail and then walk-off without having to attach or detach anything, which is the better purchase to you?

Ghost Ship Build