Sailing in Second Life – or, how to get tossed by banlines

Well, hopefully you won’t get tossed by the banlines (and later in this I’ll give note to some products designed to help avoid that problem).

Sailing is one of those things I’ve spent quite a few years in Second Life actively -avoiding-. Very much a mistake on my part. A month or two ago I was wandering around in Blumfield – one of the Shermerville sims, trying to talk myself out of buying the land I eventually bought there (see my post on the Rastafarian Church I built there). Some random guy who’s name I can’t recall started chatting me up, and offered to show me around the sim. It ended with us on a sail boat wandering around the island until I was suddenly disconnected. When I got back I IM’d him, but he never responded. Oh well – he seemed a nice sort and I’d have liked to chat with him more, but I guess my sudden vanishing on him went down poorly.

I did get a pic or two though:

It left an impression in my mind that lingered around. It was kinda neat to wander that small area on a boat – and it looked like a very good way to see things. Forward a bit and I was standing around on my land in Bay City when they announced a weekly driving event was about to start – and they were starting a few meters from my lot where there’s a public rez zone. Zipped over to Marketplace and bought a car:

And found that while I bought one that was amazingly hard to drive, it was a -LOT- of fun.

So I started thinking about the possibilities. Dug around in the old inventory and found a spaceship freebie, did a little wandering, and realized I needed more… I started buying cars… then I found a nice water lot, and needed a boat:
Sampan from [TUFF]
And that’s how I found myself obsessed with Sailing in Second Life.

This is a great way to explore the grid. You can zip by many sims and look from a distance, you can get some great screenshots, you can have fun looking at things from an angle many people miss. Bring a friend along and it can be a very fun social experience to chat about what the two of you find together.

There’s probably no better way for a new user to Second Life to get a very fast and yet very detailed look at the world of Second Life than to jump on a boat and go.

More experienced users can try joining some of the many sailing groups and participating in races, social events, and assorted other mischief.

Skill freaks can get a wind based sailing vessel and try to handle the thing. BWind is a free wind based engine used in many popular boats, including some freebies available at Tradewinds. I highly recommend trying it out, but only after you first master a regular vehicle or two. Wind based sailing is a little harder, and could likely cause you to give up in frustration if not already ‘hooked’ on vehicles. But for the hooked, its a very fun challenge.

In my Getting Started in Second Life Guide I’ve recently added a sailing section where I mention a few good places to go to start. I’m going to repeat that here, and then add a few more.

Beginning vehicle users will want to start by getting their first boat. You can get a free one here:

Or go to Tradewinds to challenge yourself to wind based sailing.

All three of these locations will let you rez a boat in the water and go. But in Barbarossa its a little tricky. The rez spot starts in the water, or can be found on a dock on the opposite side of the island.

You can also go to my water land in Honawan and simply sit in my publicly usable Sampan. Click the seat in the back near the rudder and choose to sit, and just drive away. Don’t worry – it’ll rezz another one for the next person to use.

ps: You can also use my land here (and any of my other land) to rez your own vehicles – land, air, or water. Return time is 5 minutes so you shouldn’t have any trouble.

Good spots to go sailing in Second Life:

Blake Sea
Blake Sea is a vast area of water and coastal sims, with the overpriced Nautilus island continent in the middle (overpriced because for an island, all the lots lack water access – yet they’re 5 to 10x more expensive than other double prim land). Your best bets for sailing in Blake Sea are to start at either Tradewinds or Barbarossa Infohub. It takes a little looking around to find them – but there are two rez points in Barbarossa. Nearly if not all of Tradewinds allows rezzing.
Barbarossa Rez Zone
You can easily spend days wandering the vast expanse of sea provided to you from Blake Sea, and as you do you will discover many more rezzing spots. Landmark the ones you like for future reference. There also appear to be a lot of groups devoted to Blake Sea, which search returning 48 results. I’d suggest joining “Tradewinds Yacht Club” as the starter for the area even though it wasn’t listed on those results – as its situated right there in the region and is a sailing and ship building group.

There is really so much of Blake Sea to explore that I wouldn’t be able to do it justice unless I had a blog who’s sole purpose was Blake Sea. Am told that the area Tradewinds is in is not Blake Sea but Nautilus – but its all one body of water to my eyes on the map. I guess once you get into the sailing groups you’ll learn the differences as they refer to them.


Apparently there is a Blake Sea code of conduct. Curiously its part of a Blake Sea pilots group, and not present in any of the sailing locations. BUT, the pilots group owns a LOT of water sims in and around Blake Sea; and they will ban from all of those sims people in violation of these rules.

Before you scream harsh and unfair go get the rules. They are mostly about ‘no griefing’ – but a few deal with not flying too low (stay above 100m) designed to keep the pilots and sailors from having conflicts. Teleporting into the rules sim via search forces you to violate one of its rules – the rule about not loitering on a runway. The landing point is the middle of one of the runways. Oops. 🙂 So try this location instead.

North of Bay City and within the Bay City Canals
This is a new sailing area for Second Life. And as of this writing parts of it are still under development, including a neat hidden island that we hear will eventually have its own rezzing spot. The Bay City sailing region stretches from the western end of Bay City, all the way north and east to the Shermerville Sims, and yet still further east on the south past four sandbox sims and on to touch mainland. The waters here are full of critters, shipwrecks, and curious finds. The coasts have odd buildings dotting the linden beaches, lighthouses, and other particulars. And then you hit Bay City itself – and the entire canal network therein which can be reached from the sea. Sadly Bay City residents have walls blocking them from direct water access – but they do have a few boat docks, such as the one in New Port, and the one in Shermerville’s Shamwari is also quite nice.

While much smaller than Blake Sea, Bay City’s waters are not to be missed. For the longest possible trip, rez your boat in the airship terminal of Truro, and edit it over into the adjacent water. That’s the far west end. Sail through the canals until you hit open water or are done with exploring the city – and then go for it.

Sansara’s Deep Water
If there’s 80m deep water anywhere else in Second Life, I’ve not yet found it. If you know where it is, please tell me. That said, there is a very nice inland sea to Sansara that is quite deep. Sadly the Lindens have not yet done much with all of that depth – though I did once come across a mainland road at the -bottom- of the sea here. This is where I have my own water lot, which by the way allows for rezzing. You can also ride my Sampan, as I mentioned earlier. My lot’s not a bad place to start, being close to one end of this chain of great lakes. In overall scale it is smaller than the Bay City water – and segmented into lakes and the channels that connect them. Because of its nature much of it borders privately owned land – and now and again some fool has put up banlines. So you will want a banline scanner – just in case. At the moment I’m only aware of two lots that have banlines right on the sim edge, at the south west corner of ‘Pine’ and along the south side of ‘Timmerman’ – sadly both in locations that are otherwise well worth going near. The island just south of Timmerman is a nice site to see, even if only as a screenshot backdrop. While smaller, because it does border so much land – its almost more worthwhile to explore. Sailing these great lakes will let you see many builds people have created, and if you can find more rezzing spots, you can use them to take ‘day trips’ up onto the land.

Sansara’s Ice Water
Just to the north west of the deep water is a second series of lakes, this time only 40m deep. The two bodies of water meet at two waterfalls – so if you have a boat that can drive on land or fly you can jump between them. With a friend we even drove up on the beach in a submarine, looking rather silly for a moment, and the fell down into the lower water table. This body of water shares the same attractive nature as the deep water – it borders a lot of different builds making it an ideal way to see what residents of Second Life are up to. I refer to it as the ice water due to a section that has icebergs in it left by the Linden Moles. Lots of shipwrecks under that ice by the way – but I’ve yet to find anything resembling a 1912 steamliner.

So far for boat rezzing I have found:

  • Doc’s Offshore – a tiny piece of water connected to somebody’s land elsewhere in that sim which has been thankfully left build enabled. DO NOT abuse this person’s trust or you’ll spoil it for all of us.
  • A linden plot in Ross that has 5 minute return set. Its in the river on the edge of the ice lakes, literally right where the waterfall hits. But its on the side that leads into the lakes. This is a nice spot in that the builds right next to it show off how some residents build into the terrain so well rather than just stamping their lots flat.

    Southern Continent’s Inner Sea:
    This one is a relatively small sea as sea’s go. But its still very much worth looking at for two reasons. First it contains Michael Linden’s home on an island in the midst of it. Second, it contains a volcano island with an infohub. Curiously neither of those two places has a rezzing spot for boats. At the time there was a boat maker (Telling Marine) along the shore of this sea – who had rezzing enabled. I’ve gone back in December of 2011 and found the whole area full of security orbs at ground level that will teleport you home.

    So now looking for a rez spot along this ocean that is not near the hostile orbs…

    (You can see me on a Bwind boat in this shot. It was seriously hard to cross that body of water and reach this volcano with it – but the challenge made it more rewarding. I did get tossed and DC’d when I entered the sim just north of the volcano that has an infohub – be careful there if the infohub is busy when you go. My boat ended up crashed on the shore of the hub, and I managed to reconnect and get back in it before auto-return took it.)

    Prontopia (Zindra)
    Surprisingly enough, there is a -lot- of water over there. I’ve not found much yet in the way of rezzing zones. So far just two:

    • a little spot that’s barely in the water (TEQNIQ) – you’ve got to drop your boat just right onto the south side of the road.
    • Zindra sim itself. Right on the river and has rezzing enabled. This is probably your best spot to start from. Note that the giant linden building just off from the river does -not- allow rezzing. Just drop your boat in the water though.

    Zindra is surrounded on the west and north by water, and its main rivers all feed out into this water. If you’re adult verified, this is a great way to explore some rather unusual scenery – some of which will be very nicely done but some of which could easily offend many.

    Banline Avoidance

    Banlines are the bane of any vehicle user. Flyers can at least fly above their reach, and cars can stay safe on 99% of Second Life’s roads (save for a few Linden Roads that cut into private land, and do so where the private landowner put up banlines). But water users have no such luck. Very often we’re sailing close to the coast – and will be crossing through private lots by intent or by accident. You’re going to get zapped. Probably once per trip until you get the hang of it. When it happens you’ll often find your avatar sent to coordinates 0,0,0 and stuck there. Even if you can teleport out, the servers lose track of some part of you… and often you can’t get back on your boat even if you can find it.

    The only solution is to log out and back in again, and try to find the boat before auto-return gets it. This by the way is why I adjusted the return on all the land I own up to 5 from the 1 I used to use. 5 minutes gives people time to find a vehicle if its my land it got sent to – because it doesn’t always end up stuck to the walls of the banlines (though its nice when it does… and I wish such vehicles could not be auto-returned AND would eat up the prims of those banline people… but that won’t happen. 🙂 ).

    Of course… you can try to avoid getting zapped in the first place. And there are a few products in Second Life designed to help you with this. Check the shop in Tradewinds, along the wall you can see a couple competing items.

    That’s probably just a starting point. Marketplace and other shops likely have a lot more devices, groups, and information.

    This is just a starter guide. Hopefully you’ll be able to get yourself a boat from the advice I’ve given, explore some of the spots I’ve described, and be on your way to joining a few of the sailing groups and finding a lot more to do in Second Life than you’d have thought to consider before.

    I’ll be editing this over time with additional comments, and am looking for advice on more tips or spots I can add in.

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Caliburn Susanto
    Jul 09, 2011 @ 13:44:47

    Um, wow. That’s a lot of useful information in one post.

    I’m a long-time vehicle fan in SL and sailing/boating is one of my favorite relaxations. Quickly flying over things, or teleporting from point to point, you miss a LOT. It’s incredibly fun to take leisurely boat rides in all the seas and rivers of SL, you really do get a whole new perspective.

    I scanned the post again and still don’t see the info, so I’ll mention that nearly every region in the Blake Sea has a small area for rezzing in the NE corner of each sim. If you lose your boat, or crash, or just want to get started, go to that corner and build will be enabled. Easiest way to find it is to temporarily toggle off the water (Shift-Ctrl-Alt-7), and toggle on parcel borders (Shift-Ctrl-Alt-P). The small rez square will be clearly visible in the corner of the sim.

    Sailing is fun and challenging, but as you say can be frustrating. I like rowboats and motor boats more often. But for any vehicle one thing I insist on is cruise control. That is, once you start moving, the vehicle continues moving without having to hold down the arrow key. My personal recommendation for quality boats that meet this criterion is “Tuff Old Boats.” There are three regions of waterways and plenty of demo boats to try there (and no, I’m not affiliated with them in any way at all; I just love their products).


  2. Jilly Kikuchiyo
    Jul 09, 2011 @ 15:53:49

    For anyone who wants a quick intro to SL sailing, we have a self-paced training kiosk, complete with some free starter boats and a list of boat launch sites. Come visit us in Helvellyn.


  3. Orca Flotta
    Jul 11, 2011 @ 00:30:49

    Nice long post, [Pussycat (EDITED)]. But some things need a bit of correction:

    – as Caliburn already mentioned all siims in Blake Sea have a rezzable NE corner, as well as all sims in Bingo Strait (west of Nautilus City).

    – Tradewinds Yacht Club (TYC) is situated in Dex sim, which is NOT a part of Blake Sea but belongs to the continent of Nautilus. Another acttive group in Nautilus is the Triumphal Yacht Club (TrYC) in, you guessed it, the sim of Triumphal. We have a rezz spot near the raceline inside our lagoon. Club members can rezz anywhere on group land.
    Both clubs, I have to mention, are kinda proud not to be Blake Sea YCs!

    – If the journey from Dex or Triumphal to Blake Sea is too long for you, as I said, there are opportunities to rezz galore. Also some of the biggest and oldest YCs are located around Blake Sea: Nantucket Yacht Club (NYC), Starboards Yacht Club (SYC) and Fishers Island Yacht Club (FIYC) for example are wonderful places to start exploring from.

    – In general it needs to be said that if you wanna sail in SL, do it right: forget those point and steer vehicles and get a proper wind-propelled boat. As Jilly already mentioned there are self-paced kiosks available at nearly every YC, and some clubs also offer lessons with real instructors and real hands-on sailing experience.
    In no time you will look down on all those n00bs with their wannabe “sailboats”. LOL

    – The old Mainland continent’s name is indeed Sansara, not Sansera. There is also some good sailing, for example in Mare Secundus, Sea of Fables and up in Bay City. Unfortunately the last semi-active YC on Sansara, the Mowry Bay Yacht Club (MBYC), has just closed for business and the land was sold.


    • Professor Lew
      Jun 24, 2016 @ 17:00:19

      I have been sailing Mare Secundus… probably good for small sailboats, but I run into the edge of the sea in no time on my the Bandit 60 I just bought. I do not know if SL scales speed according to the size of the boat, but I needed more open water. Sadly I went to an atol rez zone on Blake Sea today and found the PWC riders are as much idiots as many of their real world counterparts… I am sailing downwind with spinaker deployed at around 13kts and this idgit decided to come up and do loops around me… good thing SL doesn’t have real world collision physics… he passed through my bow twice.


  4. Noodleqt Exonar
    Sep 23, 2011 @ 01:13:08

    LOL! When I was new, I sailed that same boat you have in picture one. I was so disappointed I stopped sailing. It’s got nothing to do with sailing. I mean, you drive it like a car. Luckily I found Tradewinds YC, where sailgeeks meet. As Orca says, get a life, get a wind driven boat. We sail them every day at Tradewinds YC in Dex, and some of the best ones are even free. See u there…


  5. Jenni
    Nov 28, 2011 @ 14:08:10

    Our mainland parcel has a public boat pier: – I have no idea what that continent is called. Autoreturn is set to 5 minutesThere’s three linden water sims east of it, then through a channel a whole host of sailable water.

    I’ve put buoys on our land to guide you into the 16m wide channel running around the edge of the mainland towards the west, but sadly there’s a few inconsiderate people along there who have banlines up AND have blocked the channel with solid prims.

    There’s also a rezzer on the pier with a selection of watercraft for human and tiny avis. No true sailboats yet, though.


    • Pussycat Catnap
      Nov 28, 2011 @ 18:08:01

      If they’re blocking linden water, its a ToS violation – AR it, and invite the members of the group Arbor Project to come by and take a look / help with contacting the lindens.


      • Jenni
        Dec 10, 2011 @ 16:59:48

        Sorry for the late reply Pussycat. I usually just drop a notecard from the SLCG on the parcel owners, though I guess I should see what the Open Seas project and the Arbor Project do, as well.

  6. Izi (Isao Shinohara)
    May 27, 2018 @ 03:43:38

    I have a small water plot in Barton, in the north west of the deep southern Sansara lakes where your plot is (or was). You can rez boats at my jetty (up to 64LI, 30 minutes return) and sail through the channel to the south into the southern lakes. Or you can sail to the north border of Barton, moor just south of the huge dam separating the two bodies of water, drag your boat over the region border into Sugarloaf and down about 75m, then carry on sailing the northern Sansara lakes, with some great channels to explore like the one north from the famous Lauk’s Nest Island in Alviso, or the complex of channels heading north east from Pippen. I’d be interested to know if anyone tries this – drop me an IM/NC!


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