Defender, our boat inspired by the 1895 America’s Cup racer, has been a Trudeau staple since our earliest days. Our original Defender was voted “Best Overall” at the 2006 SLSA Boat Show. “Defender Liveaboard” was our first boat with a (somewhat) usable cabin, Defender II our first high-prim high-detail two piece vehicle/attachment boat. Historically, Defender is our all-time most popular boat.
Long live Defender!
That’s why we are killing her off ;) The first life Defender, with her bronze plating below the waterline and weight-saving aluminum above, lasted scarcely longer than the Trudeau version before galvanic corrosion sent her to the scrapheap. Designer NG Herreshoff was unfazed, remarking that she was a success in the task she was built for. And she was – the America’s Cup winner in 1895 and trial horse for the contender 4 years later.
The Defender After “Defender”
We shift our attention that contender, the successor to Defender – the yacht Columbia. Commissioned by a syndicate of Gilded Age moneybags from the New York Yacht Club and launched in 1899, Columbia, also from the Herreshoff board and yard (he would design and build an unprecedented 6 consecutive America’s Cup champions), was considered an evolutionary improvement to Defender – built to the same design rules but with deeper keel, more ballast, more sail area. Not to mention more electrolytically compatible structural materials. Columbia beat the British challenger, Shamrock, in all three America’s Cup races in 1899 and and again against Shamrock II in 1901, making her the first two time cup defender. And a 6-0 undefeated one at that.
If you think the first life 1930s J-Class was a big boat, it wouldn’t hold a candle to the earlier generation “90 footers” – Defender, Columbia, and Columbia’s succesor Reliance. Built to the waterline length and sail area rules of the day, these boats were enormous! 90ft LWL, 135ft LOA, 20ft draft, 12-16,000 sq ft sail area. Imagine gybing a mainsail on a 115ft boom. This is the inspiration for our latest.
The Trudeau Columbia
Our Columbia, our biggest boat yet – twice as big as our Defender, even bigger than J-Class – let’s face it, you can’t model a 135ft first life boat to the size of racing dinghy. Her base component, weighing in at a lightweight 28 prims, is a complete sailer for skipper and 3 ballast shifting crewmembers. Her sculpty hull has that distinctive Herreshoff outline with fin keel, cutaway forefoot and long overhangs, a shape that could only be approximated in our earlier Defender models. Mainsail with 2 reef settings (the first reef douses the topsail), jib, staysail, jib topsail and spinnaker/drifter – all from the fantastic Bunnie Mills’ sail loft – replicate the sail suite of the first life Columbia. All the usual Trudeau sailing features are there – well… you know them by now ;)
Actually… there is a new feature worth a mention. On all known previous Trudeau boats, sail changes, reefing, spinnaker hoisting and dousing all happen – Bang! – instantaneously. Not so with Columbia, you will find there is a period of driving power reduction during your reefing and spinnaker changes. How long a period? It can be anywhere from 5 to more than 20 seconds. It’s based on several factors – boat speed, wind speed, number of crewmembers aboard (the more the merrier), the number of times you’ve already done a sail change operation during your sailing session (practice makes almost perfect!). Oh, and once you think you’ve solved the riddle in getting your time down, there may, just may, be a random event that will prolong your next change. The idea is to give the skipper another thing to think about. In a close battle, will that topsail or mainsail reef give you the edge? Or will you lose out during the time it takes to set it? Shouldn’t you really carry a crew to help out with spinnaker operations?
The Trudeau Defender was a high detail boat with a cabin, you say. And so is our new Columbia! If you want to fill out the details there is an attachment with standing rigging, bobstays, spreaders, etc you can wear while sailing (or rezzed while moored).
Yes! The fully outfitted cabin primset, with period appropriate detailing, can be rezzed while moored. Included are 8 animations for your belowdecks activities, from determining your location by studying the charts to reading a Herman Melville classic to snuggling with your honey.
*A bit of disclaimer about the cabin. Even in first life sailboat cabins involve compromises, and our Columbia is no different. Columbia is a more accurate model of the first life racer than Defender was, so there is no deckhouse. It is sitting, not standing, headroom below. Plus, to keep the primcount down on the base sailer, there is no real opening in the deck – the “hatch” area is actually a transparency in the decking texture. Therefore you don’t enter the cabin by walking down the companionway, but rather by sitting on the hideable poseballs located abovedeck. It takes some bit of SL(tm) skill in maneuvering the camera down in the tight quarters between decking and sole but believe us, it can be done! Standing up might find you trapped between prims (though you might just fit under the skylight) so it is best to exit by sitting on an abovedeck prim.
Love My Tender
Our Columbia carries her tender on deck, just as the original did. Plus, touch it and the dinghy is rezzed in the water – a fully functioning rowing and sailing boat in it’s own right! Columbia’s HUD works with her tender’s sailing and rowing operations.
Get ready for a whole slew of customization templates for Columbia. These are the links to the Photoshop PSD templates for the hull (950K), naming (3.5MB) and graphics for the 6 sails and variations (2.25MB). The tender has it’s own templates for hull (2.8MB), sail (284KB) and name (290KB).
28 prims (carries skipper and up to three additional passengers/crew), 117ft LOA, 13ft beam, 13.2ft draft
details – 59 prims
cabin – 36 prims
cradle – 35 prims
Come take a look at her at Trudeau Classic Sailing Yachts and see if you don’t agree that the spirit of Nathanael Herreshoff lives in Second Life!