Press B to show the boat selection dialog, this dialog consists of three categories; index, boats and views.
The boat index - this is the dialog which lets you select your own boat by its name, type and length.
When you select the type from the type box only boats of this type will appear on the upper list, and also when you select length only boats of this length and type will be shown.
After selecting the boat from the list above, the properties of this boat will be shown below and its picture will appear above.
Press "Select Boat" to select this boat as your own boat, if you had another boat, this boat will be loaded instead and placed in the same position and speed as the boat you had.
The boats dialog - this is the dialog that lets you manage the boats in the scene, using it you can add boats, remove boats and adjust some settings for each boat.
On the right side of this dialog you see the list of boats in scene, on the right side you see a list of available boats.
To add a boat to the ones in scene, select it from the right side list and press "Add", after that you will see this boat appear on the left side list.
To remove a boat from scene, select it from the left side list and press "Remove", it will be removed from the scene and left side list.
If you wish to replace your existing boat with one of the available boats, select it from the right side list, and press "Select boat".
This dialog also lets you adjust the properties of all boats in scene quickly, to adjust a boat select it from the left side list, and then use the buttons and sliders on the lower part of the dialog.
You can adjust the fuel available, the throttle setting, the heading and the loading on the boat, you can also toggle the state of the boat; if it is submerged, capsized, anchored, auto pilot and also to select a weapon.
You can refuel a boat by increasing the fuel for it, when the fuel becomes zero the engines will stop.
Changing the load of a boat will make it sink more in the water and also make it less maneuverable.
Using this dialog you can also select a boat to tow with your boat, to tow a boat select this boat from the left side list, and press "Tow selected boat", a tow line will be established between the stern of your boat and the bow or stern of the boat you selected. ( the closer side will be selected )
You can use more than a single boat to tow a boat, in addition you can use boats to push boats as well, for example see two tug boats towing a single cargo ship.
To release the boat you are towing or ones that are towing you, press "Release all tows".
The views dialog - you can set any point of view you like using the button keys and mouse, you can also manage these views, store them and see their exact positions by using the views dialog.
This dialog becomes active once you have a boat, then you have the following view options:
Pilot View - sets you at the bridge, with default point of view for this boat.
Chase View - sets the camera in chase view around the boat, you can move the camera with the mouse.
Remote View - sets the camera in a stationary position outside the boat, you can move the camera with the mouse.
Leave boat - releases control of the boat and moves the camera outside, you can undo this by pressing Pilot View.
The list on the left side shows you views you have defined and saved, you can select any of them from the list to go quickly to this point, when you are in pilot view you see through this point, when you are in chase view you see around this point.
You can move your point of view with the three sliders, you can move the X, Y, Z coordinates of the view relative to the boat's body, you can also move your point of view using the mouse and keyboard.
Once you wish to save your position as a new view press "Add Position", when you wish to delete the last position press "Delete Position", all of these positions are saved in a file called views.cfg inside the boat directory.
There is a great similarity between the file views.cfg, lights.cfg and smokes.cfg, all of these files are in the same format and are all relative to the boat's body, you can easily measure positions on the boat and add views, thus creating a file you can use for other purposes as well.
Press W to show the weather dialog, this dialog consists of three categories; weather, forecast and date.
The weather category is for changing current weather and time, selecting it shows the following dialog:
In this dialog you adjust all aspects of weather you can control in VS, this includes sea and atmospheric conditions.
Setting the time of day will allow you set weather changes between start time and forecast time, the sea and atmospheric conditions will change incrementally between these times until the time of forecast arrives, then a new forecast will be generated automatically.
Selecting the forecast dialog will show you a similar dialog, which will set the forecast time and weather conditions.
When you select current time and forecast time remember to allow sufficient difference between these times to make the weather changes small, large changes can cause noticeable stutter in the sea.
Virtual Sailor also has changing currents and tides, the tide will change according to time of day, and its magnitude is set by the selection in the weather dialog above, the current is adjustable also but is not configured as a tidal current, you may set it to any direction and magnitude of your choice.
You can also shut down the weather forecast mechanism by clearing this option in the graphic settings screen.
Selecting the date will show the following screen.
This screen will allow you to set time of day and exact date and year, this will set the sun, moon and stars to the exact orientation they have in the sky depending of time and the location you are in.
Virtual Sailor has been made to show accurate celestial bodies, and was calibrated according to actual astronomical charts, small errors may appear now and then, these depend on the accuracy of the scenery used.
As part of the virtual environment in Virtual Sailor you can add many different types of marine life, the program was made to have additional types of animals created as add-ons, and also to have their behavior fully customizable by add-on makers.
Select from the main menu Change -> Animals to show the animals dialog:
On the left side you will see the list of existing animals in the scene, you can add up to 64 animals of any type to the scene.
On the right side you see a list available types of animals, for each one you select you will see a picture and a short description below.
To add animals select the type you want from the right side list and press "Add", to remove animals select the type you want from the left side list and press "Remove".
Each animal is visible once the observer is close enough to it, if for example, you add shallow water fish they will be visible only at shallow water, for each animal there is also a different behavior, for example, sea gulls will not wish to fly at night or in rain and will head off to shelter.
Animals can be also created by users as add-ons, there can be simple animals and also more elaborate ones defined by a dynamic link library, a sample of a simple animal can be see in the "gull", a sample of the more elaborate one can be seen inside the "test_gull" including the source for this library.
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