“Dutch” Xenobuilder launched the Mesh Shop VO-70 several weeks ago. The boat’s modeled after the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Racer, and it offers a host of innovative features that include a new, proprietary version of the BWind 2.5 sail engine.
After the VO-70 launch, many skippers gave feedback to Dutch to enhance the boat’s features and performance. Dutch appreciated the input, and he is incorporating several of those ideas into a series of updates for the boat. The articles I wrote about VO-70 were posted just after Update 2. Well, this week Dutch released his VO-70, Update 5. Let me tell you what’s changed over this handful of tweaks!
Here’s the short list of update features since the launch:
1. The sail engine (the boat’s polar) got a steroid injection. Compared to the original release, the new boat is much faster; it more closely matches the performance of the real Volvo Ocean Racer and Corry Kamachi’s earlier VOJ-70.
2. The iPad windsetter was enhanced. A skipper can now adjust the intensity of gusts and shifts, and there’s a control for ‘drift’ as well, although that feature’s not operational yet.
There’s also a new chat command, “give ipad” that makes the controller even easier to use.
Free copies of the iPad are available at The Mesh Shop for RD’s who want to coordinate races but don’t own the boat yet. 🙂
3. Manual Cant. The VO-70 has a canting keel that helps counterbalance the boat under strong wind conditions. The update adds a Manual Cant option that lets sailors take charge of the keel angle in eleven steps from port or starboard. There’s a modest gain in boat speed when the cant is optimized.
The daggerboards on either side modulate keel lift and their action is linked to balance the cant angle. In VO-70 the daggerboards are automatically deployed.
4. The HUD display had an upgrade. The HUD now includes Apparent Wind Info, Sheet Angle, Keel Position, and Heel.
5. The Crew HUD has more options. The new extra HUD lets crew members switch between gennaker and jib, adjust the sheeting, and also set the manual cant position. Sailing the boat becomes a real team effort.
6. Another authentic texture set was added to the user kit. In the launch package, Dutch already included textures for each of the 2012 Volvo race teams. As part of the upgrade series, he’s added the designs for the ABN*AMRO team; they have more wins than I have space to list here.
These are all great new updates that all enhance the VO-70’s potential as a fleet racer in SL. Let’s hope there are more to come!
VO-70 Design Contest
Pimp your VO-70 ride for the judges, and you may win:
—a new race boat,
—a $1500L shopping credit, and
—professional texture packs for your boat!