This class is intended to introduce the novice to sailing the Flying Tako and Shelly Fizz in Second Life. Every Sunday at noon this class is conducted in a live setting by Starboards Yacht Club at the Sailing Academy – Santa Barbara Sim. If you need help, please come to that event. The material below is drawn from that class, but modified to be appropriate to this medium. The training material presented here may not be up-to-date compared to the one available in-world. We strongly advice you to attend this class in-world, then to go practice sailing with a coach for free.
Welcome to Starboards Yacht Club’s novice sailing class. This brief slide show (only seven slides) will introduce you to the basics of harnessing the wind to power your sailboat. Through the genius of Kanker Greenacre, and hard work from MarkTwain White, sailing in Second Life works identically to RL sailing. I am amazed at how realistic SL sailing is. Several people who have learned to sail in Second Life have subsequently bought sailboats in real life. They have all been shocked that they knew exactly what to do in their real boats because of their SL sailing skills. From ancient times man has used the basic concepts that you will learn here today, to power vessels, from as small as a log to as large as many thousands of tons, all using the power of the wind. When you sail you use the forces of nature, the laws of physics and your mind to power your boat; instead of using noisy smelly engines and fossil fuels. The skill of sailing is learning how to avoid obstacles, islands, other sailors and sail to where you want to go, no matter where the wind is coming from.
There are two versions of the Flying Tako sailboat on our dock. There is a full purchase version of the Tako 3.3 (orange boat) for $250L and a free rental version of the Tako 3.2 (green boat). The difference between the two boats is “wind-shadowing”. (This is an advanced sailing topic, basically it means that a boat upwind of another boat can “steal” its wind gaining a tactical advantage.) To rent the green boat, right click on it and buy it for $0L. To buy the orange boat, right click on it and buy it for $250L. You will find the boat in your Objects Folder, in your inventory. Rezz it on the water and sit in the right rear seat. The Rental Boat will last for an hour before de-rezzing and dropping you in the drink.
Here is a link that will take you directly to the dock in Hollywood outside of the Starboards Yacht Club building where you can either purchase or rent the latest version of the Flying Tako.
The Flying Tako 3.3 comes with an instruction notecard (read it after the lesson) and 2 HUD’s. To get the notecard just sit in the right rear seat of the Tako that you have bought or rented, and say “notecard” in the chat line. Then say “HUD” to get the two HUDS. I recommend that you make a folder in your inventory for all Tako-related items. When you get the HUDS and wear them, DO NOT DROP them!! They go into the water and someone has to pick them up. Just DETACH and they will go back to the folder they came from. The next time you sail, wear them from there.
This slide illustrates a very important principle of sailing. While you CAN sail into the direction that the wind is coming from (upwind), if the wind direction is LESS than 35 degrees, you will slow down and stop. Take a moment to read this slide.
On the upper left of this slide, you see the INFO HUD that comes with the sailboat. It includes a circle representing a compass, where the top of the circle is the direction that the boat is heading. The BLUE ARROW represents the direction that the wind is coming from. Remember, sailing is all about the wind. The BLUE ARROW will move around the circle as you steer your boat. When you change direction the blue arrow moves because your boat is changing its angle to the wind. The RED ZONE is the “NO POWER” zone. If the blue arrow is in the red zone, you will slow down, stop and eventually go backwards. The two most important numbers on the HUD are illustrated by the red arrows.
The TOP number is the WIND direction or “wind angle”. Wind direction on your HUD is the wind’s angle in relation to the direction that your boat is heading. The next number is the SHEET angle. Sheet angle is the sail’s angle in relation to your boat. Steering the boat changes the wind angle. Adjusting the sheet (the rope that controls the sail) will change the sail angle. When you change the direction of your boat (steering) you have to change the sheet angle (sail) for the new wind direction.
WRITE THIS DOWN ON A PIECE OF PAPER: SHEET ANGLE= 1/2 WIND ANGLE.
You will ALWAYS go the fastest when sheet angle = 1/2 of wind angle.
This slide shows what your HUD will look like when you are sailing at 35 degrees to the wind. Although a 35 degree wind angle is the fastest, upwind, while you are learning to sail it is easier to sail upwind at a 40 degree wind angle. This gives you some margin for steering error.
OK… POP QUIZ……. WHAT SHOULD YOUR SHEET ANGLE BE IF YOUR WIND ANGLE IS 40?
(Answer? 20 – if you did not get this right go back and read the above material again.)
This slide shows the ONLY time that you want your boat in the red zone, when you are TACKING. Tacking is turning through the eye of the wind to change direction. When you are sailing upwind (wind angle less than 90) you may need to TACK back and forth, turning through the red zone, to get to where you want to go. This zig zag course is called beating. (turn left to 40 wind, turn right to 40 wind and so on)
This slide gives you some information about the BASIC controls. Tapping the keyboard crisply and quickly, instead of pressing and holding a key down, is strongly recommended. Be patient and learn the speed of lag. The Flying Tako 3.3 also has a spinnaker and centerboard. Many, although not all advanced sailors, use gestures (Programmed F keys) to control the boat quickly and more precisely. The use of gestures is covered in the Gesture Class.
Once you get on the water, you will experience lag because of all the scripts in your boat, and everyone else’s boats. Lag makes it difficult to control your boat. Good sailors will normally make themselves as primless and as free as scripts as possible to reduce the lag. To reduce the lag associated with the scripted boats and make your sailing experience easier, more enjoyable and less frustrating, you need to remove all prims, animations, animation over-rides and body parts from your avatar.
Open your inventory and type WORN at the top in the search box. Look at all the items that you are wearing. Non-prim clothes are fine, but prim hair and prim clothes will cause lag. SCRIPTED ATTACHMENTS ARE PARTICULARLY BAD.Please take off whatever you can live without.
Feel free to join our sailing club, Starboards Yacht Club. We are all pretty friendly. Just about everyone you meet on the water will try to help you if you have questions and I hope you will do the same for the next generation. If you enjoy yourself, please feel free to donate back to the club. There is a donation kiosk near the back of the classroom in the Starboards Yacht Club. Good luck out on the water everyone and most importantly, have fun.