This week, Trudeau Classic Yachts released Trudeau ONE, a truly remarkable new racer inspired by the 1936 classic International One Design. In homage to IOD’s 80 year legacy, Trudeau has fashioned an incredibly beautiful, mid-sized sloop that’s full of excitement and offers no apologies. A solo skipper or a full team of three can race this boat in SL, and all crew can share sailing responsibilities or use hike positions to balance the boat. The sailplan includes an independently controlled mainsail, jib, and spinnaker that are textured by Bunnie Mills and simply gorgeous; the pose positions are by Larinda Cordeau, and the detailing is so correct its surprising the inside of your screen doesn’t get stained with bow splash and brine.
ONE is powered by a major upgrade of the Trudeau sailing algorithm, so get ready for some big changes. This is the first Trudeau sloop where the main and jib realistically autogybe. ONE goes way beyond that, however, adding realistic visual and audio luffing feedback. A skipper needs to look at the sail shape and listen to the flap of canvas to decide the optimum trim angle. The effect is impressive, well-implemented, and low lag. You’ll probably end up wondering how you ever sailed any other way.
This past Monday Trudeau Classic Yachts launched their newest contribution to the SL sailing scene. ONE is aptly named; it’s a remarkable boat with truly singular features that’s inspired by the classic International One Design racer.
International One Design
If you are not familiar with IOD, that’s ok; there are only a few hundred IOD boats worldwide. I suspect there would be ten times more, but sailors for three generations have demanded a tight one design spec for the boats. That means if you sail IOD, you sail a tradition. You win world races by guts, skill, and desire… with no excuses. It’s no accident IOD was the first boat recognized by ISAF in the ‘classic yacht division.‘
IOD was originally conceived by Cornelius Shields in the 1930’s. In that interbellum Depression decade, huge J-Class boats dominated the America’s Cup scene. However, many sailors quickly realized that winning the AC prize mostly depended on a fat wallet… not a fast skipper. In the 1930 Cup defense, Vanderbilt’s ‘Park Avenue boom” on Enterprise (– just the boom —) breathtakingly cost more than the entire challenger boat and rig of Shamrock V. That contest actually turned out to be a very lopsided sailboat race that came with a predetermined ending.
Maybe some people thought the race was exciting… trying to figure out which competitor could write the bigger check… 🙂
(It’s nice to see the current America’s Cup is no longer dominated by money and attorneys… [Cough])
Considering the 1930’s global economic depression, many sailors thought the AC approach to racing was perhaps a tad unseemly; Corny Shields was among them. He strongly advocated for an aggressive interclub system of races using matched, functionally identical and affordable boats, so everyone could sail, no excuse. Individual skippers or even whole clubs could bump heads and win bragging rights 🙂 . Maybe Shields’ penchant for such a populist approach stemmed from qualities of generosity and egalitarianism, I hope so. However I actually like to think he had a different, far more simple motive: I just think he loved racing sailboats. He loved it so much, he wanted to build a system where everyone could sail. That way, well… he could beat everyone. 🙂
It’s actually hard to fault that logic.
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Shields eventually came up with his own vision of what he considered a perfect interclub racer and he commissioned Bjarne Aas of Frederikstad, Norway to design and build the boat. The first products of that collaboration hit the water in 1936, and the sleek, speedy racers proved an instant hit on the Northeast coast of US. Soon, many clubs in the New York and New England region adopted IOD as a fleet standard, and for the next 80 years the IOD group kept the faith, religiously defending a strict IOD spec to a near-fanatical degree. Even today, if you win an IOD race everyone knows its due to your skill and experience, not how much money you threw at the boat.
As I write there are active racing fleets in several counties, including Bermuda, Norway, Nova Scotia, UK and Sweden. Many sailors consider IOD one of the best match race boats ever built, and its the weapon of choice at RBYC, who hosted the Argo Gold Cup recently, as shown in the video above.
Within the US, there are IOD home ports at a few places that have harbors deep enough to tolerate the big egos and bad jokes humor of IOD sailors. 🙂 No surprise, these same name are popular sailing sims in SL: Fishers Island, Long Island Sound, Marblehead, Nantucket, and San Francisco. Maine’s Northeast Harbor is hosting IOD Worlds this week! Here’s a video from IOD Worlds last year, showcasing the Fishers Island team:
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IOD is a ‘classic’ boat in every sense, and it’s no surprise it fueled the imagination of Trudeau Yachts. Their latest offering ONE, is a true homage to a wonderful racing legacy. Let me tell you a bit about it!
Trudeau One Features
T-One is a ‘rideable’ boat, meaning it rezzes as an a single object and fits within the 30-prim limit for vehicles in SL. There are no ‘attachments’ to wear, loose, or get misaligned.
Thirty prim is not much, but please don’t ever worry you’ll lose features or detail in this boat. This is a Trudeau after all, and the hull construction, fixtures and rigging are all detailed, humorous, and spot-on accurate.
Let me show you a few examples of what I’m talking about!
You can easily change the hull color to whatever suits your whim, but if you look carefully below you’ll see that the paint textures aren’t continuous… the textures subtly include the slats of the underlying wood hull.
OK, that’s a nice touch, but you might not be too impressed because its only a texture, and actually since the boat is mod, you can use whatever other texture you wish.
Grin; for you hard-nosed skeptics, go over to Trudeau Yacht Yard and check out the rigging and brass fixtures on this boat. If you click on the picture below you get a higher resolution view of the foredeck, showing the spinnaker pole, the forestay turnbuckle, and the deck cleat. Get really close to the monitor and grab your reading glasses; the closer you get, the better they look and the more authentic they become. That authenticity is also full of gentle humor; if you look at the far right arrow below, its pointing to the tie for the middle starboard ‘bumper.’ I don’t know about you, but in RL I always loop it around the stay just like that. Grin, apparently so does Trudeau.
Oh, since I mentioned bumpers… this boat features a nifty utility I wish I had in RL. If you click on the deck cleat, it gives you options to deploy bumpers on either side of the boat for docking or rafting. It also gives you an option to rez a mooring buoy and line.
I have to admit I grinned a great deal looking at the detail of the mooring. Remember, the mooring rez is just a little, miscellaneous add-on to the boat. I’m pretty sure most sailors who buy and race this boat will never bother to rez or look at the mooring. Having said that, however, take a look at the way the mooring line is secured in the picture below. It’s not a cleat wrap or a simple loop taken from some other generic application. ONE’s mooring line actually goes through the cleat and locks with a half-hitch knot. Woots. this boat belongs to a sailor.
(When I asked JT about the mooring line she actually apologized, saying she wanted to tie a bowline knot, but that took an extra prim she couldn’t afford. 🙂 )
Bottom line: The style and swagger of Trudeau ONE is a tribute to the classic yacht that inspired it. The level of craftwork is probably something you already know and respect from Trudeau Yachts… but don’t take it for granted. Spend some time walking the deck and checking the rig… you’ll get a big smile out of this boat. Oh– and don’t forget it’s mod, so you can personalize it, and all the textures are downloadable from the Trudeau website.
Larinda Cordeau does the sailing poses for Trudeau boats, and in ONE the attention to detail is again pretty remarkable. The skipper can switch sides to balance the boat, and two other crew can help sail. Each crew member can move across five different hiking positions to find the ‘optimum’ heel angle. Larinda chose to make the poses different for port or starboard; they’re not just mirror images of each other. Thought, humor, and real love of sailing went into the details of this boat.
Oh… and they fixed a minor, personal peeve I have about most SL boats. My avatar is smaller than average, and I never quite align correctly with most poses. Trudeau thought of that too: this boat has adjustable positions, so you’ll always end up exactly where you want!
Trudeau One Performance
Ok, I’ve saved the best for last.
Trudeau ONE represents a major, new advance in Trudeau sailing, with substantial changes in the sailing algorithm and the skipper’s control interface with the boat. I’ve attached a copy of the ONE “info notcards’ here in case you have specific questions or want more detail.
ONE is easier to sail but also far more true-to-life than many past boats in the TCY line. I’m sure I’ll have much, much more to say about this as we go along, but let me hit the high points here about what’s new.
1. Sail Luffing. The sails on T-One visibly and audibly luff. 🙂 Grin; this is BIG.
Since the Tradewind two years ago, Trudeau boats came equipped with optional numerical HUD info and control. If the wind was 60° off the bow, you could type in 30 to set the sail angles. That option was strongly requested by users (including me) at the time, probably since Tako racing then was all about “the numbers.” As I think back, I recall that JT actually thought the idea was pretty dumb (hey, i never claimed to be a rocket scientist).
She had a good point. Any real sailor pays a lot of attention to wind direction and compass headings, but they don’t think about sail sheet numbers! Even on large sloops, a good skipper is always watching the shape of the sail overhead and constantly making adjustments to keep the rig optimal.
Moving upwind you need a jib and main that form a camber airfoil, and downwind you need a full parachute positioned to maximize drag forces.
Life is too uncertain to get that kind of information from a numbers table… or even an iPhone app! 🙂
A sailor needs to look at the sails and listen for the luff. Any sailor worth her salt knows: Those sails are really wings, and you can use them to fly.
Emulating the perception of sail tune and integrating luffing effects realistically with sail control seems an incredibly daunting task online, and I admit I was skeptical when JT first described ONE.
GRIN. It took me about 30 seconds sailing an early beta to ‘get it.‘ I was sailing that boat, I could see the luff and hear the rustle of canvas… and when i pulled the sails in I got the loud, familiar “THWOCK” as the wing took shape, as nicely shown in Odysseus Yiyuan’s video above. ONE was for real. GO– You try it. You’ll see.
2. Collapsing Spin If you stop somebody on the street in Kansas who’s never been on the ocean and ask them about spinnakers, my guess is they’ll give you a good description and probably tell you it works like a parachute. They will also mention the biggest problem with chutes: if you don’t set them right, they collapse… sometimes with pretty catastrophic consequences. So please welcome Trudeau ONE, the Spinnaker that realistically dumps with bad trim. Like that old boyfriend or girlfriend you had back in school, it’s good-looking but its high maintenance too and comes with a built-in borderline personality disorder. So keep it trimmed well and you’ll win races, but neglect it to your own peril… boat repairs and dysfunctional nautical relationships can prove expensive. Luckily in SL the damage is mostly to your ego! 🙂
3. Polar OKOK, here’s a T-One polar using RWS= 5.0m/s. Please don’t pay too much attention to it. is mostly accurate but the curves were readjusted a few times prior to the final release, and they need to be repeated. If you look at the chart, there are separate curves for the “Jib+Main” and the “Spinnaker only.” The solid lines represent the boat speed you can expect using relative optimal settings at different apparent wind angles. Traveling upwind you can probably expect a peak boat speed of around 60% true wind at an AWA of 50-60°.
I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the collapse point for the spinnaker, and I’m convinced the spin goes down at 92° AWA. Don’t mess with that… keep higher if you are running a chute (jmho 🙂 ). There’s a big negative penalty when the spin deflates.
Having offered that public service announcement, let me also say that the true fastest point-of-sail in this boat is a beam reach with spinnaker up, since that point of sail combines both the lift effects of the main with the power of spinnaker drag.
The dotted lines in the above plot show the same data for Main+Jib or Spinnaker alone converted to Real Wind angles, not AWA. It’s a more conventional way to look at the data and often makes it easier to plot courses and decide strategy.
4. Nonlinear heel effects. The polar data shown above for wind speed of 5.0 m/s may not easily predict what ONE will do at higher wind speeds.
In many boats that have a Tako legacy, the wind engine calculates boat thrust values that are linearly related to windspeed. If the windspeed is 8m/s, the boat travels twice as fast as when the wind is 4m/s.
Sadly, sailing in real life tends to be a bit more complicated. with increasing wind speed a boat tends to heel , changing the force applied to the sails. The contact area between the hull and the water surface also changes, along with the frictional resistance generated by the viscous medium against the moving boat.
ONE approximates these effects, and you may quickly learn that a strong wind does not necessarily make for a speedy sail.
Trudeau ONE sails pretty great using wind speeds of 5-9 m/s, but be careful over that!! The more you increase the wind speed, the more the boat will tilt. Since the wind impacts the sails parallel to the water, the position and angle of the sails (with a given shape) becomes important. A boat in high wind with excessive heel will need extra crew to balance.
If you’re clueless and crewless when a squall hits, you may need to look for a harbor of refuge 🙂
The figure above reinforces this point. With a single skipper and a Real Wind speed of 11.0m/s, on an apparent wind heading of 60° the boat makes rather terrible headway, with a speed over ground of only 2.7 m/s. The practical reason is the boat’s heeling too much, so the skipper has three choices:
1.0 Spill Wind;
2.0 Get some crew to sit on the rail!!! or
3.0 Reconsider career options.
I can’t tell you which of the above makes the most sense, since it probably depends on your personal priorities and whether you paid your therapist recently, but let me say again: This boat is wondrous with wind speeds of 5-9 m/s, but don’t set the wind much higher unless you have good crew aboard.
OH!! one more thing about the above image: you can see in the lower right corner a small camera HUD. It’s new for this boat, and I think its pretty convenient (opinions differ on this point). The cam HUD allows you to adjust your view angle while sailing. Since ONE has truly gorgeous sails and it’s critical to monitor them to make the correct sheet adjustments, I rarely if ever change the sail alpha (transparency). That can be a problem since the sails limit your view of other race boats and obstacles. Using the cam HUD gives a one-click second view angle you can toggle while racing. I actually love it! It’s helped prevent massive wreckage and personal injury several times when I tried to sail while texting on my cellphone.
5. Autogybing. In real life, what a sailing boat gets hit by a sudden gust of wind from the opposite direction, the boom can careen over the cockpit, gybing the boat as the sails fill from the other side. Every Trudeau mono hull since the Pleistocene era was scripted to use manual gybing; the boom and sails would not flip unless a skipper gave the right command. Given the substantial risk of boom injury and head trauma that can result from accidental gybing, Trudeau should be commended for her past half decade of cautious gybe scripting.
Well, better learn to duck, because Trudeau ONE introduces Main and Jib autogybing to the Classic Yacht fleet!
The spinnaker on ONE still requires a manual gybe, but that’s intentional; spinnakers need personal attention in real life too!
6. Racewind-dependent windshadow. Windshadow is a powerful tactical racing tool, the magnitude and extent of the shadow effect is realistic and carefully implemented in current Trudeau boats. Windshadow is also pretty script-intensive and lag-inducing however, and it’s not useful unless you’re in a race. ONE takes a smart approach: Windshadow only turns on if you are sailing with “Racewind” from a windsetter. If you want to cruise, solo-lap, or just do practice runs… use “Boatwind” instead!
6. Hiking ONE is quite sensitive to heel position and it’s probably prudent to bring along some friends to stick on the rail. The heel angle is a function of several things, including the sails deployed, the sheeting, the apparent wind speed and angle, and crew efforts to counterbalance the boat. It ends up a little messy in real life and SL both, but I guess the Goldilocks Rule of heeling is: “Not too little, not too much; figure out the just-right point.” The chart above makes that point. It shows the effect of just the skipper moving windward or leeward in the boat using a fixed upwind heading under variable wind strength. At very low wind speeds (2.0-4.0) the boat doesn’t heel at all; in fact the skipper can counterbalance the boat, making it heel into the wind. At those low wind speeds, the boat goes faster if you sit to leeward and ‘help it heel’ a bit.
Wind speeds under 5.0 m/s in SL racing are pretty rare, however. Once you get over 6.0 m/s the boat develops a pronounced heel that slows you down. At that point it makes sense to balance the boat and move to the windward side. The impact of the skipper is relatively small as shown above, but you can assume it’s going to make a 10-15% speed difference with typical race conditions. Individual crew members hiking also boost performance around 10% within the constraints of the above caveats. I haven’t tried looking at full crew affects yet; that could prove interesting 🙂
I have lots more to say about this boat, but that’s enough for today; I want to log in and go sail it!