It is no secret that Lizzy and I are taking a vacation of sorts. We're taking a break from our beloved Night Moves until February and we found this wonderful parcel in the Fruit Islands to call home. Lizzy is now sailing and in her own words, "I don't care about the wind, I just want to sail! So get out of my way." Gotta love her!!
I've written about other sailboat models and builders though some time ago, I ran across Wildwind. I tested their demos and planted the seed in the back of my mind until recently. While buying Lizzy's first real sailboat, I was bouncing around to different marinas and saw some sleek looking sailboats. The OP-60 was one I recalled having sailed before.
SL offers a great sailing experience for those of us who can't sail, live inland and can't sail or those of us who can sail and live inland. I don't know how to sail in RL (having never tried) and live inland. In SL, sailing has been one of the activities I've enjoyed the most. My sailing experiences and challenges were limited to exploring and navigating the mainland waters. I was always aware of people who took on the challenge of racing sailboats in SL but that kind of intensity isn't for me even as I respect those who choose to compete.
|Open 60 Class|
The Basics of the OP-60
The Wildwind OP-60 is a no-frills racer. I suspect people race this class of boat in SL and probably these models. Having demoed another builder's OP-60, I found the Wildwind comparable which supports my suspicions. This thing flat out screams!
So it doesn't have the poses or animations of other vessels, I don't believe that is the purpose of this sailboat. Compared to the 150 LI sailing yachts loaded with animations, the OP-60 weighs in at a light 28 LI. At L$2,000, it is also an inexpensive option for those interested in some high performance on the cheap.
Sailing the OP-60
A HUD controls the OP-60. Selecting the sheets (gennaker, mainsail, and jib) is easy. There are a number of cool features (no frills...not really). You can choose between a race wind setting, SLSF wind setting or the WildWind wind setter. If you sailed most of the BWind scripted boats, you'll find the default wind from the east at 15 knots. This doesn't appear to be a BWind scripted boat but the default wind direction/speed was the same for me. What wasn't the same is how fast this boat sailed. Once the sails found the wind, I was covering sims in no time!
I concede my limited understanding or knowledge about sailing. The OP-60 has a movable keel that can be set to Auto, or moved left or right (port/starboard, yes I know!) using the HUD. What I noticed is as the boat heeled and the keel moved, the speed increased.
Thought I did encounter some wave motion with the boat, there weren't any animations to provide the visual realism. My suspicion that the OP-60 was designed for the SL sailing races would support the removal of extraneous animation scripts and fancy stuff that would keep the boat from navigating sim crossings or lag spikes or generating the kind of performance of a racer.
Sailing the OP-60 at the Fruit Islands was easy. Our experience is the Fruit Islands is easier anyway compared to mainland waterways such as the Blake Sea or Bingo Straight. What was noticeable most is how well the boat handled sim crossings. With the "heavier" boats, sim crossings often result in temporary sinking, flying or unresponsiveness. Crossing the corners in these boats is ill-advised. Not so with the OP-60. I was crossing at the corners, screaming across the sides of sim borders and not experiencing anything remotely comparative to the more heavily primmed boats.
Sailboat racing isn't likely in my future though I'm highly competitive by nature. Venturing into racing would likely require some investment of time I don't have to give. Where does that leave me with the OP-60? Its a fun boat that produces some added challenge to plan a route and to efficiently sail it. Without a motor, poses or cool features of other boats in my fleet, I still enjoyed the sailing experience.
Wildwind also offers purchasable demos at their in-world store. Some care is required when rezzing the demo as the store's dock is very close to the parcel border. I purchased (for free I might add) a few demos before I was successful rezzing a boat to try.
Artists have jumped on the OP-60 and other Wildwind boats with highly improved graphics. Buy the graphic, drop the script in the boat's "contents" and you have a completely new boat. You'll want to do this as the default graphics weren't that attractive to me. I'm sure hunting through the instructions would have opened the door to additional default graphics.
I didn't find a MarketPlace store for Wildwind but the in-world store is easy enough to find. You can also demo a number of boats including a very complex catamaran. Expect to drop L$2,000 for the OP-60 and do take a look at the SC-40 for L$2,500. It's a nice little boat as well. A search through MarketPlace will help you identify some boat artists to customize your new boat.
Give it a try and you'll be like Lizzy..."get out of my way" !!