My daily trek to RL work takes me through Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan. Pushing past the crowds of tourists gathered around the Today Show studios, one comes upon Christie’s auction house. I always enjoy browsing their windows, decorated with sample representations of upcoming lots.
One morning this last winter, a maritime art auction was announced by a 10 foot high blowup of this painting of two J-Class yachts cross tacking in what seems like the 1930 America’s Cup Elimination Trials. Though not so impressive in my snapshot, believe me – it stopped me dead in my tracks when I came upon it. :)
The actual painting itself? … a just slightly less impressive 36″ x 58″ that went for a cool US$122,500 – and no, not to me! Trudeau Yachts isn’t quite that profitable. (eagle-eye viewers will see this is a painting of a more modern regatta with restored 1930s Js)
Though customers in the past have asked for a “large” racing boat, not necessarily with a complete cabin, it takes something like this to nudge my inspirational muse to commit the time to build a new boat.
With that little bit of introduction, Trudeau proudly announces it’s J-Class. It is modeled on the J-Class America’s Cup racers of the 1930s. Only 10 RL J-Class yachts were ever built – 6 in the USA and 4 in the UK. Most of these competed in trials for the America’s Cup, or competed in the Cup itself. In a word (two actually), these boats were awe inspiring – prewar yachting at it’s most opulent. If the Trudeau J-Class was scaled accurately, it would be nearly twice the size as it is – the RL J-Class yachts were in excess of 125 ft. in length. They carried enormous sail area (~7,500 sq ft) on the new fangled innovations of the decade, the Bermuda rigged mast (150 ft+!) and Park Avenue boom, had a racing crew of 30+.
“If you have ever encountered a 12-Metre at close quarters while afloat you may recall the sheer size of the thing, the feeling of immense power in the sails and the suction of her passing. Compare then, the dimensions of a Twelve with those of a J and you begin to get an inkling of the grandeur of their progress and with what majesty they moved.”
–Uffa Fox (British yachtbuilder) 1935
Sadly, most of the J-Class yachts were scrapped for wartime material at the end of the 30s. A couple did survive and have been restored and there is a movement afloat that has built and launched modern replicas. Here are a couple of sites with all the historic details:
The Trudeau J-Class
As with our other latest boats, she is a sculpty hulled “rideable” – no attachment required. Though not skimping on the details, she can carry 3 other people in addition to the skipper. She is also the first Trudeau with a spinnaker, which was somewhat out of place on our fleet of gaff rigged sloops and catboats ;) (with the Leetle Cat and it’s centerboard and the J-Class with it’s chute, Jacqueline Trudeau dryly observed that the next boat might be the Flying Tako). The J-Class is a big boat most at home with lots of room to operate – perfect for the Blake Sea and USS environs.
Here are the links to the Photoshop PSD templates for the hull (2.44MB) and naming (673KB) and sails (409KB) graphics. Also contact the J-Class sailmaker, the very talented Bunnie Mills, inworld for further information about sail customization.
Other features of the Trudeau J-Class include:
- Can be sailed either solo or in collaboration with a crew. You can assign skipper permissions to others as well.
- Realistic sailing including functional reefing for overpowering winds and 100m range boat to boat windshadowing.
- Moving helmsperson animations.
- Customizable. Voice commands to change the hull textures from a selection of traditional nautical color schemes, modifiable notecard for changing variety of settings including camera location and angle, skipper placement, chat channel.
- The redesigned low-prim onscreen HUD provides button control for the common boat handling commands and display of environmental conditions. An included 2nd EZ-Sail HUD controls all sails with one control, including autodeployment and autotrim of the spinnaker. An included 3rd info-display only HUD is geared towards regatta racers.
- For overriding the fluky SL winds, artificial wind strength and direction commands which are translated into apparent wind. SLSF windsetter compatibility prompts you for acceptance of racewind.
- Auxiliary motor to power you through those rare occasions when the wind dies down.
- Accomodations for your crew in custom designed sit poses/animations positioned about the boat.
- Since sim crossings can be unpredictable, copy and modify permissions.
- Drydock wedges when rezzed inworld over land.
- Included half-hull display plaque.
Animations by Larinda Cordeaux, sails by Bunnie Mills.
Trudeau J-Class – 28 prims, 85.3 ft (26m) LOA, 13.12 ft (4m) beam, 10.6ft (3.23m) draft