Category Archives: Boat Building

Popi Update – Water displacement

A problem with thin-skinned boats like the Popi is that SL water comes in up to the sea level. On bigger boats with a thick hull, you don’t notice this.

You see the problem here:


My boat doesn’t take on that much water πŸ™‚

The solution is to add a water-displacement layer that turns SL seawater transparent. This is an invisible prim with a special magic texture added to it. Mine looks like a trampoline skin bent inwards (if you could see it). Unfortunately it turns a lot of things transparent too, like avatar feet.

So with my standard skipper pose, this was the result:


The solution was to make another pose with the feet up a little – here I have them resting on the bulkhead. Now I understand why some boats like the Patch II have skipper and crew poses with the legs and feet up.


Happy with the result. Thanks to Qyv for pointing me in the right direction on this subject.


Popi update – Flotation, texture, CB & crew

So, a few updates. I added flotation bags as these are needed if you capsize. I actually was hit by a Pasha yacht this week and survived to tell this tale. The bags kept me afloat and I paddled to shore.

Next advance, I added a texture to the hull. This means that anyone can add any other texture too and it will map correctly. Wood is probably best. Here I have a varnished plywood finish. The grain should line-up. The panels are shaded slightly differently to show off the edges.

Next big thing is a working centreboard. This is a must in races where you pull it up to scream off downwind. I’ve got the mechanics right and even added the performance tweaks that allow you to gain or loose speed depending on heading . There is an increase of leeway too when the centreboard is up unless of course you are running directly downwind.
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And lastly for this update, I’ve added a crew position. It has a port pose and a starboard pose depending on the tack. Her you see me taking it easy whilst Manul sails in last Monday’s Topless Cruise. As you see he was a little distracted by the view and I think we got lost a couple of times. No matter,we eventually made it back to the party.
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Paname Popi – The secret is out

Well, it has been a while that I have been thinking about building a boat. Since I’ve been in SL I thought about how cool it would be to sail in something I created myself. So, eventually – after lots of encouragement from my friends and notably Laycee Deed who has given me tons of support, loads of love and encouragement to do what I want – I have build my first little boat.

First off, I needed the knowledge. I have no experience in building mesh and complex scripting. I needed advice. So Laycee (yes her again) introduced me to Manul Rotaru, this crazy guy below.


Manul might look crazy, but he’s an extremely experienced builder who has been in SL for ages and has seen everything that has come and gone. Respected amongst his peers and one of the first to build sail-boats, friends with Bwind Becca, Donna, Mothgirl and Tasha amongst others. This guy has been there, done that and then some too.

My first task was to builds a basic prim boat and use the Bwind 1.37 scripts to get it sailing. This I did without too much fuss. Ugly as shit, but at least it sailed.


I even made some poses for it and managed to get a few friends together to go for a sail. Here Rhodus and Laycee endure my fixed and a little stiff poses on the boat πŸ™‚


Next step was to move to a mesh build. Boy is Blender complicated. Perhaps the steepest learning curve I’ve seen for a program after things like Ableton Live, Adobe Premier, Sony Vegas, Adobe Photoshop etc.

So I chose to model the simplest of boats, the one that most of us learned to sail with, the good old Opi. Here below I have the basic hull done, gosh what an effort for a blond. this was perhaps version 10.

This model is 100% to scale. Too small I hear you say, well this is not too small, you are too big πŸ™‚ Anyway, its a kids boat πŸ˜‰


I got up to version 12, managed to hollow it out, get a rig on, and add the Bwind scripts, but it was all flaky and messed up. See the image below, I’m on hydrofoils, the boom is out of whack and its not quite right. See images below.


Along comes my good friend Rhodus, who is the sweetest mermaid you have ever met. She turns out to have an alter-ego who is a master scripter. Β She quickly got things to rotate as they should and she explained in her unique style what I needed to do.


Eventually, at about v18, we had a working prototype that actually sailed.




Here below, Laycee is scudding along on v24 which still needed textured sails and a few fixes to the mesh.


So eventually, I fixed all the mesh (well most of it). I decided to call the boat the Popi (Paname -Opi), Paname being my second name if you forget the silly Resident stuff.

I have now v27 which has good mesh. and a better wake system thanks to Qyv from Quest Marine. Qyv also gave me some pointers about compiling the code and making the parts physical or not. So I brought the Land Impact down from 15 to 10 for this little boat.

So here are a few photos of the boat in action.







It is actually great fun to sail!

I’ll take a break for a few days now as I really have bee burning the candle from both ends doing this.

Anyone who wants a copy, please just ask and I’ll send one along. I may put it up on the marketplace, but I’m not sure yet. I’ll decide next week. I’ll see if we can add WWC and one or two other things. If its worth it in this boat, then I’ll do it.

My sincere thanks go out to:
Laycee for believing in me and pushing me on.
Manul for teaching me what I know so far. I look forward to more.
Rhodus who sees through the matrix and understands what it all means.
Qyv for being such an inspiration and for being so helpful.
Hawk for always giving good advice.
My other friends who have helped test the little boat and have offered encouragement.