My conversion to SL sailing / boating enthusiast is well-documented, at least within these pages. Admittedly, I have yet to get myself sorted with a sailboat other than my premium gift Exotix, but that’s largely because I’ve yet to find something I really like.
Instead, I’ve been motoring about Blake Sea and elsewhere aboard my E-Tech Sparrow 4, which I re-named Lady of Calas. At the time I purchased the boat, it was on a special offer at L$399. The reason for the offer was that Envy Melody, E-Tech’s founder and creator, has just overhauled the build and improved upon the original. Even so, the price represented remarkable value – and I have to thank Spikey (again) for pointing it out to me.
Now Envy has another boat on promotional offer – at 70% off the list price (L$650). The model in question is the Silverstone, a name which is sure to get my attention, given I am a Formula 1 fan 🙂 . Like the Sparrow, this has been extensively overhauled and is now at version 4.0 which sees the total LI for the vessel substantially reduced from 256 to 132. This actually undercuts the Sparrow by some 25 LI; not bad for a vessel which is roughly twice the length of the Sparrow.
Like the Sparrow, the Silverstone comes in a choice of hull colours (although 5 are on offer here), these being charcoal, royal blue, red, white and pink. As I opted for red for Lady of Calas, I decided to stick with the same for the Silverstone, which I’ve also re-christened Lady of Calas 2, given it is unlikely I’ll have both rezzed at the same time.
Unlike the Sparrow, the Silverstone has a fully enclosed cabin / cockpit which offers plenty of room for seating up to eight passengers. The aft deck offers additional seating and a trio of sun loungers located above the fantail. Forward of the main cabin is a further sun lounger atop what appears to be a forward cabin, but which is in fact unused space.
As the driver, I’d have liked somewhere to sit down when piloting the boat, but like the Sparrow, the owner has to stand and steer. A minor niggle, admittedly, but my little feet tire easily…
In terms of handling, I have to say I found the Silverstone a bit of a handful at times. While not overly large compared to some other boats, it is sufficiently long enough and the default camera position located far enough back that it is not given to making fine adjustments to turns, which is particularly noticeable when trying to dock. There’s also no HUD with this model, which might make it a little hard to judge comparative speeds when working up through the gears and running with the throttle open. Fortunately, if you have an E-Tech HUD, it should work with Silverstone as well as any other vessel.
Once at sea, the boat handled well. As with the Sparrow, region crossings were handled reasonably well given the vagaries involved, and in an outing which took me from east the west and back across Blake Sea, I encountered few issues, although these could be as much down to tweaks to the server code as much as anything intrinsic to the boat’s scripting.
Extras with the Silverstone are not as extensive as with the Sparrow, and from my perspective this is fine, as I never actually rezzed any of the Sparrow’s extras beyond demonstrating them. There is, however, some very nice interior lighting effects which let the Silverstone look very attractive and cosy at night.
If there is one thing with the new boat that is going to take a bit of getting used to, it is its size; the revised terrace / quay at home was more than adequate for the Sparrow, but it is completely overwhelmed by the Silverstone! Nevertheless, Lady of Calas 2 is going to remain rezzed yet a while. Big she may well be, comparatively speaking, but I’m already growing accustomed to her lines 🙂 .