As a rule of thumb, I tend not to seek copies of items for review in these pages; those I do produce tend towards items I have purchased. The reason for this is because I feel I can give a fairer review if I’m writing about something I’ve purchased. That said, there are a couple of of exceptions to the rule, and I’m about to make a third in this case.
LadyJane Shippe sent me the latest from her Shippe and Saille brand, the Harbor Master, a slightly rescaled model of the Harbor Master 19, a dory style hulled cruiser with a forward cabin space, and itself based on the classic open Outboard Dory 18. It’s a small, fairly nimble craft driven (in the case of this version) by a 50 horse power outboard motor.
The S&S Harbor Master is reportedly 15% larger that its physical world equivalent, so as to present enough space for all sizes of human avatars within the cabin and the covered pilot house. It is not, at first glance, a particularly elegant boat when compared to other cabin cruisers; the snub bow, forward placement of the cabin and high roof to the pilot house tend to give it something of an ungainly look. But looks, as the hoary old saying goes, can be deceptive.
Outside of the increase in size – which given it is proportional, isn’t that noticeable – this is a faithful reproduction of the Harbor Master 19, fully capturing the shape of the dory hull, the cabin and pilot house. The latter offers bench seating for two, and the cabin basic sleeping space for two – although the boat will carry up to three. Behind the benches, the open cockpit offers room for equipment stowage, etc. A cooler box sits at the back of the cockpit, which might be considered at keeping drinks on ice or used to hold any fish caught when out and about.
Fishing, because the boat is compatible with a number of Second Life fishing systems – WZW fishing, 7 Seas, and Goldtokens rod. Two rods can be rezzed in the holders towards the stern of the hull, and the pose system also include fishing poses that will auto-rez (temp) fishing rods. In addition, the user manual provides instructions on swapping the latter out for any preferred rods an owner might have.
Rezzing the two rods on the boat increases the LI from 31 to 34, which still leaves the boat a modest count in terms of LI. Other options that are included with it are a cockpit Bimini “raised” and “lowered” by the pilot’s chat command of “Bimini”, an opening /closing cabin skylight or door, and an anchor that can be raised / lowered, as can the outboard motor (the latter of which is raised by default on a fresh rezzing of the boat)., and the boat’s fenders. All of these, bar the cabin skylight and door, are activated via chat commands (the skylight by touch).
Handling-wise the boat follows the usual lines: the majority of commands are chat based, although some – such as the lights – use the switches in the pilot house. the arrow / WASD keys handle steering and the throttle. The latter has four forward and four reverse settings (dead slow, slow, half, and full) sitting either side of the idle setting. Additionally, the Page keys can be used to rapidly toggled between idle and half speed (forward or reverse). In terms of driving, the boat is extremely responsive and the chat command for the camera can be used to help recover the camera position should things go sideways on a region crossing (including the “cc” command for any passenger – a nice touch).
Painting the boat can be handled in one of two ways. Those wishing to just change their Harbor Master’s name can use the hull texture included in the user guide. Those wishing to make more extensive changes can find a link to download a comprehensive set of texture and UV maps. As a copy / mod vehicle, this boat is also open to a degree of physical customisation – general guidelines are provided in the user guide for those wishing to do so.
Those who enjoy Get The Freight Out will find a GTFO option in the the Habor Master package. Once unpacked, simply add the script and GTFO item it contains to the boat’s contents, and your ready to use it with the game.
I’ve not used the Harbor Master extensively, having made fewer than a dozen runs in it – although three have been reasonably long distance across and around Blake Sea and along the coast of Nautilus. Throughout, I found the boat to be responsive, made good recoveries on region crossings and generally presented no real handling problems. At L$1,900, it’s very well priced, and just the job for those looking for a modestly-priced, small-sized motor cruiser for open water or river cruising.