Side-by-side, the SRV-210 and Little Bee on Second Life

The Piaggio Little Bee (l) and the Bandit SRV 210 (r) in custom finishes

As regulars to these pages know, I enjoy sailing, motor boating, cruising and flying in SL, and I sometimes review the vehicles I obtain. As a result, I often get asked for a recommendation from people curious about vehicles in SL.

Answering such questions isn’t easy, in part because we all like different things, but mostly because – in all honesty – my experience is not that wide-ranging; I don’t have a huge stockpile of craft, and I tend to restrict myself to just a handful of creators on a regular basis, so there is potentially a lot out there that I’m missing.

However, my preview of the Bandit 170, which will be on general release soon, has resulted in people asking me about what I would recommend as a versatile, fun boat motor boat that looks good and doesn’t take up a huge amount of space. There are potentially hundreds of such craft to be had in Second Life – and the Bandit 170 is definitely a good place to start, in my opinion, allowing for the final details (including cost) on it to be settled.

The Bandit includes a towable float tube

That said, the two boats that I find simply cannot be beaten  – and indeed, have actually stopped me from buying boats I’ve tried elsewhere, simply because they are so much fun – are the Bandit SRV 210 and the Piaggio Little Bee. Both of these boats offer so much, they are genuinely hard to beat in terms of use and value for money.

The Little Bee is the oldest of the two in terms of its time on the market, having been around since August 2015. It is based on a classic tender style speedboat design, giving it classic, clean lines. The cockpit offers plenty of space and seating, with three forward seats (including the driver) and a large rear seating area behind, with floor section that can be raised to form a bed. Two novel items with the main cockpit are the hand basin and the espresso machine with hotplate – which will deliver a brew!

The Little Bee with a custom paint finish

The SRV-210 has been around since 2018, and is built along the lines of the deep v-hulled fibreglass sports boats of the 1970s / 80s. The cockpit is smaller but broader than the Little Bee, and provides seating for up to 6, including the driver. The boat is equipped with a Bimini sun screen and a full tent, both of which are chat-enabled (as are many of the command with the boat, and some of the commands with the Little Bee). Two versions are offered – one with an enclosed forward cabin, and the other with an open forward cockpit (and which may have additional poses as a result – as I don’t have that version, I’m not familiar with its capabilities).

The two boats handle remarkably well and similarly, providing a good ride experience, although the SRV 210’s ride is a little more physical, in that the boat (and camera smoothness) respond to speed and wave force, which adds to the realism of driving it. The overall controls are pretty much the same, within the exception that the Little Bee has a hydrofoil capability;  this is both novel for a speedboat and makes it exceptionally fast with the foils deployed.

The SRV includes both diving and swimming animations, as well as on-board poses / animations

Each boat comes with a range of options some of which are common to both – paint files, media system, towing trailer, a towable floating tube other avatars can ride on, etc.. The SRV 210 is supplied with a full paint finish and a set of textures for the flag. The Little Bee is supplied with a basic paint finish, but comes with far more options, including a car to tow the boat and trailer (called the TugBee and resembling a VW Beetle), a float tube together with a wakeboard and a parasail (a wakeboard for the SRV 210 can be purchased separately), while paint options can either be applied manually or via scripted means. Rez it on land, and it will automatically rez a land cradle under it that it will sit on.

The wakeboard and parasail, together with a fabulous cine camera system scripted by Ape Piaggio, make the Little Bee a lot of fun, and one of the most versatile small craft in second Life. Taken with the hydrofoil capability and the ability to place the boat on its trailer and take to the road with it (again, superbly scripted by Ape), mean that the Little Bee really is a very capable, all-around boat than tends to offer an expressive range of uses and opportunities for those new to boating and those with experience.

Which is not to say the SRV 210 is no slouch; it offers the budding and experienced boating enthusiasts a lot to appreciate, both on open water and for river boating. While the wakeboard capability is optional, it and the included tube can provide an additional level of fun to using it.

Both boats are relatively lightweight when it comes to LI, with the Little Bee coming in at 33 LI and the SRV 210 at 36. Which you might prefer is very much a subjective choice. As an owner of both, I find they get used in equal measure. As noted, above, both individually and side-by-side, they have become – for me – the only speed boats I’ve thus far required for both travelling at speed on open water and gentle cruising.

The table below summarises many the key aspects of the two boats, and you can find out more about each in the following reviews:

  Paiggio Little Bee
Bandit SRV 210
Length overall (prow to fantail)
9 m 8.38 m
Beam
2.6 m 2.88 m
LI
33 36
Seats
6 6
Included Options:
Trailer
Yes Yes
Car included
Yes No
Towable tube
Yes Yes
Wakeboard
Yes Extra (L$400)
Parasail
Yes No
Land stand
Yes No
Key Boat Capabilities:
No Yes
Bimini cover
No Yes
Bimini tent
No Yes
Cockpit cover (when moored)
Yes No
Mouselook Driving
Yes Yes
Fuel system
Yes Yes
Engine access
Yes Yes
Auto-mooring
Yes No
Media
Yes (video / audio) Yes (audio)
Pose System
Single poses (non-driving)
11 (incl. adult) 33
Couples poses
17 (+32 adult) 12 (adult)
Custom Paint
Yes (manual / scripted) Yes (manual)
Purchasable Paint Options Yes Yes
Pricing
L$2,950 L$2,500

Availability