As the name suggests, a sailing simulator will allow you to learn sailing and navigation virtually. It would be the perfect hands-on experience for those who are new to sailing and who want to hone their skills as well as level of confidence before attempting to sail out in the real open waters.
At the rate technology is evolving, there is no thinking what the latest simulators are capable of achieving. What's more, you can expect to sail in many different conditions that you would never expect to sail in under real life circumstances.
Sure, I have a rough idea of what it would allow me to do but my question is, just how effective is it and just how 'real' is it?. These are among the questions that have been racing in my head and I told myself, why not put it through a trial run and see how it size up?
I am sure all you sailors and budding sailors, together with visitors of my website are also keen on finding out the answer to these questions. So, I put a few of these sailing simulators to a test.
The Virtual Sailor is among one of my personal favourites. It has realistic graphics, real-like sailing experience and a whole host of other goodies. First of all, the system requirements are really quite low and should run on most PCs so you need not worry about it. The price is also another plus factor relatively affordable.
Now for the experience itself! You have the option to go on missions (strangely named) cruises both during the day and even nighttime. While the content that came as default was pretty basic; with a direct sail to a specific location and several boats, you can easily download custom content created by other users for previous versions which are still compatible on the latest version. The version that I managed to get my hands on was version 7 and aptly titled Virtual Sailor 7.
Control for the game is rather easy. You have the option to make it as realistic as possible with sinking and capsizing options. In addition, all the modern and even older tools are used from telescopes to compasses to sextants and GPS.
The waves are as realistic as it can be from small 2-footers to 25-foot monsters even! The blue skies (or night skies) and weather is also quite realistic, giving high-end simulations a run for their money. The audio in itself is also as realistic as a simulation of this sort would get. I was quite impressed really. If I have any gripes, it would be that the coastal lines are a little off.
You can also increase the fun, in multiplayer mode whereby you sail with your friends and users or race with them. The above is just a basic review of the sailing simulation Virtual Sailor 7. You might also want to check out Sail Simulator. Between these two, I am positive you would have one of the most enjoyable experiences in virtual sailing.
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