Trudeau Classic Yachts has a remarkably long history and an unparalleled reputation as a boatbuilder in Second Life. In fact, over more than five years, TYC’s basic theme has never really changed. They make exquisite emulations of RL nautical designs, and then infuse uncompromising sail scripts tuned to match each sailboat’s Real-Life performance. TYC then rather relentlessly tests the product on SL’s unpredictable waters.
Through all that time and effort, TCY’s visionary, Jacqueline Trudeau, has always had an affection for the simple, serviceable vessels in RL that evolved along America’s North Atlantic coast. Much of her inspiration comes from the classic Herreshoff design tradition, and I’m pretty sure sailors agree that match is pretty good. Last week I was out running along the harbor I was visiting, and I nearly had to stop because I was laughing so hard. I saw a cluster of Trudeau 12‘s… errr, I mean Herreshoff 12.5’s… all moored together with their tents up. Usually I smile when something in SL seems to match reality, but this time it was the other way ’round; Reality looked like Second Life Sailing. That perceptual collision seems to happen more and more frequently these days, and its pretty fascinating.
I’m bringing all this up now because Trudeau’s released a new version of one of her favorite yacht designs… the new launch is a Cat-Boat. In fact it’s everything you might expect from that classic, beamy, multi-purpose family of vessels. However, this time it’s not named after a Real Life one-design, and it’s not dedicated to a legendary sea captain.
Trudeau’s new Cat-Boat is named EPICURUS, and it’s dedicated to Epicurus Emmons, a much-loved SL sailor who died recently. Epi was the Commodore of Fishers Island Yacht Club -SL, and he was much loved by sailors grid-wide. I knew him for four years, as we traded jokes and plotted race courses…
Epi loved any and all boats in SL, but his favorite trainer boat was the Trudeau Leetle-Cat. As time went on, he waxed enthusiastic over SL’s Dutch Skutsjes too. The two boat had major differences, but they actually shared a similar tradition and intent. Like the American cat-boats, Skutsjes were common work-about vessels. They might race for glory one day, then transport manure the next. That was part of the humor, the history, and the sheer human fun.
It seems fitting that JT would craft the boat she personally knew and revered and dedicate it in Epi’s memory. It’s not a fancy racer or sim-filling epic megalith; it’s a Cat-Boat. It’s a boat any and all sailors can enjoy.
I admit I haven’t yet added up all the numbers needed to give you polar plots or get you a racing advantage in this boat… but I don’t apologize for that, I think that’s not really the point.
On the other hand, I’ve been banging around North Sea in Epi’s Cat, and I’ve tagged along with the Leeward Cruising Fleet for a long distance collecting performance data (that Admiral Duck guy was at the wheel 🙂 ). I therefore think I can give you a good, quick view of the features:
My first impression is that Trudeau’s Epicurus Cat-Boat is a pretty fantastic, fun cruiser that has all the bells-and-whistles of recent Trudeaus. However, consistent with its real life form and design, the Epicurus is not a hair-trigger, gut-wrenching racer. It has a forgiving polar, it’s no speed daemon, and it’s cockpit has plenty of room for a skipper and two crew.
Although I admit the boat’s beamy enough to transport manure, I’m guessing you’ll prolly have other plans for it; there’s a functional cabin aboard that sleeps two comfortably. 🙂 Here’s a closer view of the gangway and inner sanctum:
Here’s a copy of the sit locations on the boat as well, taqken from the Trudeau website:
It seems more than adequate for a boat-sized crew, and the consensus so far is that the sit poses are the best of all the recent Trudeau launches. 🙂
Let me add a last summary comment on this ‘First-Look’ post about the Trudeau Epicurus Cat:
Although the boat is slower and more forgiving than the litany of Trudeau Classic racers, please understand that’s an intentional part of the boat’s design. Don’t assume this boat has hobbled scripts, or that it’s any less-featured than the best boat Trudeau Yachts can make. As one small example, let me emphasize the boat comes with a complete set of modifiable hull and script-enabled sail design changes, and that all the crew can hike, share sail responsibilities, and even borrow the damn boat when the skipper is off-line. 🙂
Remember, this boat is an homage to Epi…
It’s smart, it’s fun, it’s full-featured… and it’s a fantastic, flirty voyager.
We all know that Epi wouldn’t have it any other way.