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Old 04-19-2008, 03:29 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 40

Im able to control wind direction and speed, wave height, current direction and speed, weather, time of day, sail selection and trim, reefing, etc.

My question is from this recent experience with that simulator, I've found I can adjust wind and current (same direction and speed) and sails, so that im effectively in sync the the wave frequency, either sailing on the face of a single wave, or on top or the backside, it looks kind of funny, does that ever happen in real life sailing? also, i know wind causes/effects wave formation, but what about current?

BTW the simulator software is at www.virtualsailor.com, but i bought mine in 2003, and have recently tried to get the latest version, but received no response to my inquiries for some reason.

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Old 04-19-2008, 05:41 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,098

Not to us it hasn't. Surfers do it, of course.

In small boats, sunfish, lasers, lightnings, skiffs, some of this can be done because the boats are so light that they accelerate and decelerate quickly (seemingly instantaneously) with small adjustments to sail trim. On a large cruising boat the inertia or momentum are much greater and there isn't that quick a response to sail trim or increase or decrease in wind speed. The small boat resonse is a reason to learn to sail on one, and to practice sail trim techniques on them.

Risks. In very large waves, sailing down the face of the wave is dangerous because: the boat will accelerate, get to the bottom of the wave and dig its bow in the water and flip, bringing down rig and creating mayhem inside. What can also happen is the boat loses its speed as the sails are blanketed by the wave, the wave comes up higher, and again tumbles the boat stern over bow. Then there's broaching, coming down the face of the wave, losing control, turning beam to the wave and rolled. Rig again comes down most of the time.

That's the reason for storm tactics such as streaming a drogue or turning into the wind and heaving to.

Clear? Clear as mud?

That sailing simulation sounds like fun, but I would caution you that you should not expect it to be like real world conditions because you can't control wind or waves, and you probably won't want to be going that fast.

In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

MV WATERMELON (New) | Cruiser's Dictionary, free ebook

= Cruiser's Dictionary, North America,
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Old 04-20-2008, 02:38 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,067

Unfortunately, the Sailing Simulator has a couple of elements missing - that is :- very cold saltwater - spray that freezes before it arrives. It takes some imagination to visualize the effect of being attached to a jack line , standing behind the wheel, keeping the heading and being drenched hour after hour - unable to see further than a couple of hundred yards - just waiting for your watch to be taken over by someone else - then going below to take off your wet foul weather gear - crawl into the pilot berth - barely asleep when you are awoken, to go back on the wheel.


Commander Nicholas John Turney Monsarrat - Royal Navy Voluntary Reserve (22 March 1910 8 August 1979) Author of 'The Cruel Sea' - a very good read.
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