Posts Tagged ‘sailing’

Once again, it is time for the sailing community to put together effort in name of charity. I am little bit late this year posting this announcement, so the “Sailing for Life” events have already started at few of the yacht clubs. But in case if you haven’t heard of “Sailing for Life” or Relay for Life in Second Life, this post should cover most of the important things to know.

What is Relay for Life?

Visit the official Second Life Relay for Life website to see more information about the whole effort. To put it short SL RFL is raising funds for American Cancer Society, to help research cure for cancer.

The Relay for Life focus point each year has been the main Relay event, which has showed all kinds of interesting builds from various builders and the RFL teams, and also showed how many people put their hearts in this event, to work together for a common goal.

The first Relay in Second Life was in 2005, and the main event has grown each year. This year the main event will be hosted 19-20 July on the weekend.

What has this got to do with sailing?

There is an official SL RFL team … “Sailing for Life” .. that will organise the sailing event in the main RFL event in July. “Sailing for Life” also represents collectively the sailing community in the fundraising effort. There are many other teams in the SL RFL, that represent defined communities in SL (Caledon, Pixels in Pink, Shopaholics etc.) … and all the teams and how much they have raised funds can be seen on the official Second Life Relay for Life website.

So the same way as last year the sailing community has it’s own official team “Sailing for Life”, and we can together show the other communities that the sailing community can help with fundraising too!

Last year the effort that everyone as individuals and also the yacht clubs as communities put together in RFL, and raised funds together, sailed the boats, and made memories that stay with us everyone – it was amazing.

The sailing community also together raised over L$ 640,000 funds for the charity. During the spring and early summer there were some wonderful events that the yacht clubs hosted, and then of course the main RFL weekend, where lots of skippers sailed the time trials, and then there was the excitement of the auction … where some very special boats got bids that went very high!

Also I know that this matter touches many from the sailing community very personally, and that is of course the most important thing. We can help together, and every little thing counts and helps.

So how do I join “Sailing for Life”?

Each active SLSF yacht club have been sent an invite to join the team as a club – and by this every club member can be seen as a member of “Sailing for Life” too. People not affiliated with any club are represented as well as the team has non-club affiliated members.

How can I volunteer or help? – What kind of events will there be?

The yacht clubs will organise events to benefit Relay for Life, during the spring and summer 2008. All the proceeds from these events will be donated for RFL cause. These events can be anything – ranging from weekly regattas, pleasure sailing cruises, to a dance party on the yacht club pier. Sailing events are highly encouraged 🙂 – but everything fun counts!

So if you are a member of a yacht club – and want to volunteer or help the RFL cause – go to your local yacht club, present them ideas for events that you might have … and help them organise a fundraiser event. There is plenty of time before end of July, everyone can present ideas, and help their own club set up an event or events dedicated for RFL. Make it big or make it small – every little bit will be helpful.

Later on this year there will be needed volunteers to help to create the sailing event in the main RFL event weekend – and also volunteers to keep the relay boat sailing 24h around the clock during that weekend – but more information about that will be posted later. Those who helped sail the relay boat last year deserve big thanks – they are already familiar how it works.

It is not a big request, to give one hour of your time to sail the relay boat, but here the meaning is the most important – since it symbolises that the fight against cancer never stops.

So I want to help, what can I do right now?

There are “Sailing for Life 2008” T-shirts and Flying Tako sails available, that you can purchase and 100% of the money will be donated for charity. You can also donate money in any “Sailing for Life” donation kiosk, which can be found at the major yacht clubs, and other places too.

If you’re actively sailing or a member of the sailing community – I would encourage you to help and go get a “Sailing for Life” T-shirt, and wear it proudly! 🙂 The shirt costs 250L, any amount of money above that can be donated to the vendor though.

You can get T-shirts and Flying Tako Sails for example at the following places (I will edit the list as more places will get added):

  • SZ Designs, Caddo
  • Nantucket Yacht Club, Northport
  • Waypoint Yacht Club, Newport Bay
  • Club de voile Les Glenans, Santa Cruz
  • Marina Main Docks, Nantucket

(If you have a location where you would like to set up “Sailing for Life” T-shirt vendors, please IM me)

When you got a T-shirt, go to your local club, help them to create and host an event or events for the RFL cause, and help the sailing community to raise money together to fight cancer!

You can find this same information and also announcement about upcoming events, and discuss the Sailing for Life 2008 at the slsailing.org forum.


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SZ Designs is opening a new shop in the most beautiful sim, Germania Seagull. This is absolute must place to visit by anyone enjoying serene and tranquil places, breathtaking sceneries, sailing in pictoresque waters and meeting friendly people.

The docks where the SZ Designs shop building is located, opens into a traditional looking port with seawalls protecting the boat slips, and voyaging further from the port allows you to sail on several sea sims, all with beautiful scenery.

Angel Baxter, who is developing the sims with Balthasar Trebuchet, explains that they are planning to officially open at 1st of May, but all visitors are of course heartily welcome to visit and explore before too. And I do recommend taking time to walk around the island, looking around, and experiencing the vistas – as there are so many amazing places at this sim. The pictures below speak better than thousand words, but visiting yourself is even better.

Angel also told that they have tried to achieve a mediterranean type of setting, mixed with just a little fantasy, but keeping it still real enough. And I can only say that they have certainly achieved in this. They do offer rental houses for people interested in moving in, and they also have very exciting plans for organizing sailing races, and other kinds of activities ranging from scuba diving to ballroom dances. 🙂

Sailing at some other locations might be maybe slightly lower lag under certain conditions, but I can only say that this is the place for those who enjoy their sailing in breathtakingly beautiful scenery and setting.

To celebrate this opening of the SZ Designs shop, all merchandise is on sale 25% off – from 18th of April to 1st of May (only in SZD Germania Seagull shop) – so be sure to come and visit, and landmark and visit again! 🙂

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SZ Designs

There is very active sailing community in Second Life that is helping new people to get involved with sailing the amazing wind powered boats in SL, and also organize lots of events – several each week – for both the newcomers and more experienced sailors. The number of events is really amazing, compared to for example spring 2006 when there were two yacht clubs actively organizing races – and I believe at that time there were only 3 racing events per week plus the “learn to sail” class at Starboards Yacht Club.

So the event calendar for the sailing community these days looks very full, which is a good thing. And there are lots of active people helping and volunteering run and manage these events. But one thing I have always been wondering, is that nearly all of these sailing events (with exception of the aforementioned “learn to sail” class) are racing events. More or less catering only towards the crowd that are interested in sail racing. And even some of the sailing classes nowadays discuss tips and techniques for racers.

There have always been people in the sailing community, who are more interested in exploring the various waterways of Second Life – more with the pace of a leisure cruise, enjoying the sights and the relaxed atmosphere of sailing without a clock ticking or a race opponent breathing at the back of your neck. For some reason this portion of the sailing community has never been so vocal, and probably many many people who sail their boats in Second Life and don’t participate the races, never maybe even found their way to the “active sailing community”.

There were couple discussion threads at the slsailing.org forums about pleasure cruises, but mostly the topics are very race-centered.

I have been trying to offer a different possibility for sailing at Caddo – in form of Caddo Guest Marina, that is at the side of SZ Designs Sail Loft. You can find the guest marina on the north side of the Sail Loft building, with couple display boats moored at the pier there. I have marked a “boat rez area” there for people to easily find where they can rez and launch their boats, to get sailing the lake area in front of Caddo.

And speaking of the lake area – it is one of the best locations to sail in SL … and mainland sailing has often got shadowed by the discussions of sailing community being very much focused on private sim sailing lately…

But the lake area in front of SZ Designs Sail Loft in Caddo, offers over 25 Linden protected sims to sail on, with no fences or banlines at all. And if you sail through the Drawbridge, there are 6 more fully protected sims to explore in that direction – and sailing past Lauks Nest, and north through the river towards Mowry – there are over 15 protected water sims in the area in front of Mowry and west from there.

So that means over 45 fully protected water sims to sail on only at this area!

.. the river network north from Caddo, and going towards Waterhead can also be sailed, and someone (sorry forgot who) posted a report on the slsailing.org earlier this year about succesfully sailing from this lake area all the way through ANWR and over to the northern Atoll continent, and to the very northern side of Atoll.

So there are vast possibilities for sailing on the mainland, and in my opinion it has been somewhat underrated … or at least not really talked about. Perhaps because most of the sailing community is so much focused on racing. Of course there is the start line at Adriatic sim, and the race course around the big lake area, but I don’t think it has been used much at all for races.

The best way to start exploring the SL mainland waterways, and the huge lake areas, is to rez your boat at SZ Designs Caddo Guest Marina, and start sailing the lake area there – with over 25 protected sims only on the big lake! 🙂

SZ Designs Sailing Routes - Caddo-Mowry Boat Rez Area at Caddo Guest Marina

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Hollywood Marine Mall

Nber and MarkTwain have been opening a new shop for nautical items, called Hollywood Marine Mall. You can also find all the SZ Designs antique nautical and maritime items, as well as the custom sails selection there. The new mall is conveniently located right next door to the Starboards Yacht Club.

And for the christmas season a little tip: Because of how the SL permissions work (Flying Tako boats like most other vehicles are no-transfer), SZ Designs custom sails are also no-transfer, and there have occasionally been questions like “how can I buy a set of sails for someone as present”.

Now this is possible with the easy “Buy as a Gift” feature of SZ Designs vendors – and you can buy even the no-transfer sails for your friend or loved one – and the package gets delivered to them at the moment of purchase. So you can do the christmas sail shopping for example at Hollywood Marine Mall – just look for the “Buy as a Gift” -button on bottom edge of SZ Designs vendors! 🙂

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Custom Sails

SZ Custom Sails

I have been doing personalized custom sails for the Flying Tako boats since April 2006. And I got into this sailmaking thing sort of by an accident. I had been thinking that I would like to create something here in SL – but I didn’t have a clue what I should do. I did have some (not so good) ideas, but mostly when I explored and searched around a little, I found out that someone had done them already way better than I could, or then my ideas were just dull or not so suitable for SL.

So at about this time, early spring 2006, I found about sailing in SL – and the Flying Tako of course. I did read on the forum about this boat that could use wind in SL to move around, and very soon after that I had bought my very own boat. It didn’t take me long time to learn that I could put my own textures on the sails and also on the boat hull. And I wanted to make my boat unique. So after lots and lots of hours of trial and error and learning about textures, and about 50 uploads or so I had my first set of sails ready for the “Mermaid”.

It took lots more effort to create the hull textures and wrap them all around the boat. But eventually I did get it together – and the boat was ready to be entered in the Vagabonds Yacht Club boat show.

Soon after the show, I started getting requests from other sailors, if I would be interested making custom sails for them too. First only to few, then to couple more … and soon I found myself selling sails in Second Life. I did not ever think of becoming a sailmaker, but there I was anyways. 🙂

Since that time I have created many different kinds of personalized custom sails … from vague themes to very specified requests with photos or artwork attached. I will attach couple pictures to the end of this post of most recent work, these are displayed at Caddo at the moment too, the boats might stay for a while – so feel free to visit there to see them.

I do take custom orders, and completing the orders depends a bit on how busy I am. The set of custom sails for a Flying Tako includes a mainsail and spinnaker, and also a custom colored and shaded boat hull that is done in photoshop, with a boat name – and possibly accent stripes too. And every order is exclusive of course, so even though I have had several requests over time asking if I will sell certain sail design – that I have had on display at my shop – I do not sell the personalized custom orders except only to the person who originally ordered the item.

If you are interested in unique custom sails, feel free to send IM to me in SL, and stop by at SZ Designs Sail Loft at Caddo too to see some of the designs that I have made.

There might be exciting new development regarding custom sails in the near future, so I will post here about them as soon as they get done.

SZ Custom Sails SZ Custom Sails

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Over time I have tried to create a place in Second Life, where people new to SL sailing could easily find out about boats, yacht clubs and other sailing related things. And as part of this have tried to offer a selection of wind powered boats that might spark the interest of someone, who maybe just learned about sailing in SL – and why not the more experienced sailor too. 🙂

I started this already in spring 2006, when I started offering the first custom sails for the Flying Tako, and made it possible for my customers to buy the boat at the same time. And I found out that there were lots of people who were very interested in sailing, but never heard of it before in SL, and never tried it.

Sometime afterwards the Muse dinghy was introduced – offering a bit different sailing model than the boats that are based on the Tako scripts. And many of the people in the sailing community welcomed this new boat warmly, and it got very good reviews on the sailing forum too. So soon after that the Muse was added to the wind-powered boat selection at the Sail Loft – at the side of the Tako.

After that the selection has grown, with fast Moth Multihull trimarans. And Owen Oyen’s Americas Cup Yachts, that were the first racing boats in Second Life to feature wind shadowing for those who seek more tactical challenges.

And of course there are the amazing Trudeau yachts – the most finely built classical sailing boats in Second Life – perfect for relaxing cruising around the SL waterways. And then the latest addition to the fleet, Verkin Raven’s Tetra 35 sloop. At this time probably the most detailed modern sailingboat available in Second Life.

I have the Trucordia Yawl, and Trudeau Tahiti Ketch displayed at the Sail Loft marina, as well as the Tetra 35 sloop – so I would recommend visit there and see these boats in-world. And all these wind-powered sailingboats are also for sale at SZ Designs Sail Loft, Caddo.

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This was a project that took some time to get finished, with some unexpected things happening and then arranging the boat to be sold from a vendor (it is still a Tako, so Kanker owns the vendor) … and in the very end Kanker also updated the Tako to version 3.3 – so Pearl was to be a version 3.3 Flying Tako too.

So … what is it then? And why is it called “Pearl”?

The name came last, just before creating the vendor graphics, so I will explain it first. I had the idea that since the boat essentially is a Flying Tako, with only cosmetic changes… And tako is octopus in japanese (you can see that on the original Tako sail logo too), I did want this boat to be in some way tied to an octopus of some kind, or at least some kind of sealife if not octopus.

So I thought and thought some more, it is always the most difficult part to come up with a name it seems. And there weren’t that many octopi with very appealing names, it appeared to me. So I spent some more time thinking, and tried to search the web for various squid. And the more I searched the less appealing the whole idea seemed. And then finally when I was about to give up, from somewhere came the idea..

Pearl the Octopus

There is a very cute purple octopus called Pearl in Disney film “Finding Nemo” and from that moment on when I thought of that, “Pearl” seemed very appropriate name for a boat that is customized from a Flying Tako. 🙂

So .. about the boat itself then. It was inspired by vintage square metre class boats, with traditional materials .. and I chose pine, oregon pine and teak for this boat. This boat evolved somewhat from a custom project I did last year, someone might remember seeing the mahogany boat called “Christelle” in front of the Sail Loft in Caddo.

However this pine boat, as I used to call it for quite long time, soon evolved to have a life of it’s own – with tanbark sails and painted dark red under the waterline with white accent stripes – very much honoring the traditional aesthetics of similar vintage boats in RL. Also some finer details got improved on “Pearl” such as the vintage lines going up the mast and along the deck of the boat.

In essence it is a Flying Tako, the prim shapes and sizes are left intact. But every single texture on the boat has been changed from the originals. So it can be said to be a fully custom textured Tako … all textures have also been crafted to specifically fit this particular boat.

So along the project, the boat was displayed for a time at my shop, but not yet for sale … and I got several people asking when it would be available. So I am glad to announce now, that it finally got finished a few weeks ago, with Tako version 3.3 scripts in it, put into a vendor, and is for sale now.

You can see and buy the boat in-world at SZ Designs Sail Loft, Caddo. 🙂

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