Making a (Linden) houseboat a home

The landscaping within the region offers communal areas to encourage people mix – such as the beach alongside the houseboats in the group where mine is located

As I reported that the time, Linden Lab launched their new Linden Homes on Monday, April 15th (see: Lab launches new Linden Homes), and according to reports I’ve received, they are proving very popular, with the first allocation of houseboats in particular running out.

So what are these new units like as a potential home? Well, pretty bloody good, actually. While I can’t speak for the town house designs, the houseboat styles offer good variation between them in terms of looks and space, and many of the parcels offer a fair about of flexibility for boat / seaplane moorings.

My Windlass boathouse with additions – fireplace flue, two sets of exterior stairs, moorings, etc., and (inset) how the default Windlass looks

While it is pot luck on the parcel you are allocated (and remember, you can abandon and re-try), I was pretty lucky on my first attempt: a parcel on one of the outer sandbars of Bellisseria, offering a nice view over the strait to the continent on one side, and a public beach and open sea on the other. The houseboat also sits with a beam-to-land orientation, leaving me with a body of water on the parcel that has a good breadth and depth, and avoids feeling quite so hemmed-in by the houseboats on either side.

With a land capacity of 351, there is a lot that can be done with these parcels in terms of decorating and (in the case of the houseboats) plonking down a boat or two (or three) or some boat / floatplane combination. For my part, I felt the Windlass houseboat offered the most flexibility for internal space (I particularly liked the fact the little nook under the stairs to the roof suggested itself as a good place for a fireplace).

The interior space (shown empty in the inset) offers plenty of flexibility: room for a raised bedroom and lower lounge (or vice-versa)

Another aspect of this design I like is the split level nature of the living space, which naturally lends itself to various options. With a little custom work, it’s easy to produce a railing system that nicely separates the two halves of the living space, or even add full internal walls, depending on your preference.

Décor-wise, the interior and exterior walls, floors, etc., can be “repainted” via the house control panel. For this Windlass, this can lead to an interesting half-and-half look which breaks up the colour scheme. Additional textures can be obtained from the house / houseboat selector, so any elements you add can easily be blended in.

Another view of the interior, showing the fireplace tucked under the stairway

For me, the only issue with my Windlass is that the door is on the landward side of the house, and the shape of the parcel meant a trek around the houseboat and along the public piers the set between the parcels. However, the design is such that it was pretty easy for me to add more direct access by dropping in my own piers for mooring, and adding a couple of stairways: one up to the houseboat’s “balcony”and thence inside, and the other to the roof.

Given there is a total 351 LI to play with, adding details like this doesn’t mean you’re “eating prims”; but if you are worried about counts, remember that if you build yourself, a considered use of prim and mesh and Convex Hull accounting can help reduce LI cost. The stairs, railings, room divider and moorings (and lighting) I added, for example, weigh-in at just 30 LI combined (I used Kriss Lehmann’s Botanical Brick Path kit with a little bit of re-texturing for the moorings, simply because I had it to hand and linking works will with Convex Hull physics. The stairs came from Jed888, and are full perm).

The windless offers options for adding steep to reach moorings, if required, while the other houseboat designs offer water access from their decks, albeit with smaller interior spaces

As noted, the land capacity is more than sufficient to allow a boat or two (or more) to be rezzed. However, me being me, “one or two” is never enough given I change out ‘plane and or boat more times than I change my outfits :). So, I had to install a rezzer so I can pick and chose which boats / planes are rezzed with ease and without the need to drag, drop and position from inventory. It also means I can easily clear space friends to be able to moor when visiting. (For more on this see: Adding a little vehicle space with a rezzing system.)

Adding to my original post on the new Linden Homes, everything has been pretty well-considered. The houseboats and houses offer plenty of scope, the region offers a lot of general interest to see when exploring (with more to be added inland, as it is expanded in the  future) and it’s good to see the public areas include interactive elements to make them more interesting.

Potentially, my only critiques are in two areas: there should be more rez points for vehicles. There’s plenty to see when exploring by road / water, but the limited number of rez points tends to put people off taking a break and having a look around. There are certainly places where one might expect rez points – such as the little boathouses around the coast.

I’m actually surprised the little boathouses scattered around the coastline done offer rezzing points

Rez points are also helpful when region crossings go wrong, so having more (even just the road sign style on mainland highways for road vehicles) would be useful. My other critique is that a region of this size really should have a small airstrip or two, again with rez zones. A couple of grass strips suitable for small aircraft to get in and out of would add further depth to Bellisseria, both for people living there and for curious visitors who would like to fly in and take a look.

But the key question is, does my new Linden Home make me want to abandon my existing private island home? Well, truthfully: not yet; but that is only because things are still new, and I want to see how neighbourhood develop and communities grow. In the future, it may well be that a swap back to living in a Linden Home might well be on the cards.

I’ll let you know!

Footnote: When drafting this article on Tuesday, April 16th, I did actually gripe about the allowance of parcel banning / banlines within Bellisseria. This had already started impacting activities on and over the continent (try landing a ‘plane on water when your only option is to approach a channel over the tops of houseboats and then run slap into banlines …), and there were complaints at things like the LL Governance User GRoup on the matter. With my gripe, I mused on why LL hadn’t supplied a simple / regulated security system for the new homes, and disabled the use of parcel banning at estate level. However, as per a forum post by Constantine Linden, it turns out this is precisely what the Lab is doing in response to the general level of disappointment raised over the issue. So, kudos to the Lab for responding so positively and quickly! (And my thanks to Duckie Dickins for pointing out the forum post as we were discussing things!)

16 thoughts on “Making a (Linden) houseboat a home

  1. Impressed that LL listened to the banline complaints *and* seems to be acting upon it quickly. This new region is the first thing I’ve seen that has made me want to consider premium membership. — Seicher Rae

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  2. Wow so glad to hear ban Lines are being adressed. I lost my boat twice already to them. Rezzing points around would defiantly improve the experience as you can boat around the entire island. Overall though Iim enjoying my new house boat a lot!

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    1. I admit to having had a couple of grumbles 🙂 . On Tuesday, I took one of my float planes up and did a couple coastal circumnavigation of the continent (admittedly turning inland to follow the big north-south “river” between SPPE71 and North Waddling). I had been expecting to lose the plane at some point in a bad region crossing – but no, I made it all the way around. Then I headed north up the west coast, passing my houseboat before turning south again to attempt a water landing – and ran smack into banlines that hadn’t been there when I took off roughly an hour before. Needless to say, plane went instantly and I was on my bum at the bottom of the water before I could react to seeing the nightmare flash of yellow stripes right in front of me.

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      1. My husband had a similar experience. 😦 as soon as he started moving inland with his plane the yellow stripes started appearing and he was sitting on the bottom of the ocean before he could even react. This is our second home were we come or at least hoped spend time relaxing and playing but the playing is not much fun when those yellow lines appear and you find yourself sitting at the bottom of the ocean in the next instant.

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  3. Now if they just get around to making more houseboats available! I’m still bummed that I scored a dock slip but didn’t have a houseboat on it and had to abandon the lot….

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  4. I like your fireplace and you have room for a piano. I took a tour last night and ‘perved’ the homes near me and was amazed by the diversion….so many good decorating idea’s.

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  5. Dear Inara:
    I love all your posts and learn something from each. I too have a houseboat and I tried sailing a Bandit 50 out to sea. Right before I got to open water, I hit a boundary of some kind and lost total control of my boat. While trying to regain control, I was logged off. Upon logging back on, my clothes had changed, my Maitreya foot position had changed and my Bandit was still where it was when I crashed. (I had to fly to it and take control to bring it home). Aren’t the Lindens letting us out of the harbor to sail off the coast in the open ocean?

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    1. Hi, Michelle!

      If you are referring to the new Linden Homes continent when trying to sail, there are a number of possible causes.

      From your description, it sounds like you may simply have hit the “edge of the grid” in sailing away from the continent. If you check the map, water you can sail will ALWAYS have a region name. Anything that is plain blue, but doesn’t have a region name associated with it, isn’t really there, even if it looks like it contains water when looking at it in-world – it’s beyond “the edge of the grid”.

      I also note that from the time stamp on your comment, you may have been on the water at the time when grid maintenance was in progress – so if you were trying to move between two valid regions, it might simply have been that the region you were trying to sail into was about to shut down, and you got caught-up in things. Thirdly, there are also some significant teleport / region crossing issues as a whole that can cause disconnects, and you may have been hit by this particular bug – I’ve been covering it in my weekly SUG updates for the last few weeks.

      Sometimes when we are abruptly logged-off we can be “rolled back” to what the system considers to be our last good “save point” (so to speak). That is what may have happened to you, re: clothes etc. Attachments can also occasions come off as well. Similarly, because of the way vehicles are handled, it is possible to be abruptly disconnected when sailing / driving, etc., and have the vehicle carry on as if you are still there, simply because the simulator think you are still there. This can stop things like auto-return working, and so you do have to go collect your vehicle (or if you can’t find it, wait for it to everything be returned to your Lost and Found folder).

      Hope this helps!

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      1. Hi Inara. Thanks for responding to my question. I am at the new houseboat in region Hibiki. I was trying to sail through region Kabuto waters to swing around by the lighthouse in region Kuga to sail through the various waters with region names west of the Hibiki and adjacent regions. It looks like all of the water I was trying to sail on has region names, so I guess I fell victim the region crossing problem. Thanks again for your response and for all of your varied posts. I learn something from each of them.

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        1. Hi Michelle – my pleasure!

          While I was writing my original reply, I did actually note from the map that several of the regions down in that south-western corner of the new LH continent (my own LH is down there as well!) were still marked on the Map as “Offline”, suggesting they were either still down as a part of, or recently recovered from, yesterday’s maintenance (it can take the Map a while to catch up on region status occasionally, so they may still have been marked as “Offline” even though they were up and running when I checked). So, it could simply be that you encountered a crossing to a region that was in the process of going down, or (if you were facing the “open water” between Bellisseria and Jeogeot, was already down for maintenance.

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  6. Hello Inara, first of all thank you for keeping your blog always updated, it helped me very much: I read it and run to get a new Linden Home, but was not lucky and missed the houseboat, but that is not a problem as I enjoy the traditional house I have, the problem is the rezzing for boats and planes, I love sailing and flying but could not find a place for rezzing, seems that only who owns a houseboat can have this priviledge, I hope that Linden Lab will think of us in the houses too, and let us enjoy the sea and the sky 🙂

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  7. My husband has the same problem but from the other direction. He has a houseboat but also likes to ride his motor cycle. But where can he rez it on land? There isn’t a road to the land and riding underwater seems a bit strange.

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    1. I’m pretty sure I passed a land rez zone when out on my Animesh horse – which made me think of them; but I’m buggered if I can remember where now. There are no water rez zones, as far as I’m aware, hence the surprise that the little boathouses didn’t indicate a rezzine area, given the way they are repeated around the coast.

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  8. I could have sworn I read somewhere that the new homes would be tied in with the existing continents. Specifically the Blake Sea, or other extensive sailing area. Was that future planning? I was excited about a new house boat only for that reason.

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    1. I’m not aware of seeing anything along these lines, other than a lot of speculation in forums, etc., after Patch Linden indicated during the Linden Homes preview that the new Linden Homes continent would “bridge” two mainland continents – see New linden Homes Preview for more on Patch’s comments.

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