Press "Sail now" to enter the program and start your selected cruise, this will show you the program's main screen.
The main screen contains the main menu, the toolbar, the status line and the tool tips.
On the upper part of the main screen you see the status line (1) and the tool tips (2).
The status line (1) shows you information about your position, heading, speed, time of day and the frames rendered per second, it has three modes; empty, short and full, you can switch between them by pressing F.
The tool tips (2) shows you tips about the boat you are controlling, you can turn these off from the graphics - boat dialog.
When you move your mouse to the upper part of the screen the main menu and toolbar will appear.
The main toolbar (3) gives you quick access to the main function of the program, and allows you to toggle them on or off by a mouse click upon them.
The main menu (4) has access to all functions of the program, including those available on the main toolbar, these include:
Program - Loading a cruise, saving a cruise, exit the program.
Change - Managing boats, changing scenery, changing weather, managing marine life.
View - Activates all the tools you can use inside the program; compass, telescope, sextant, panel, GPS, map, sails, ballast, echo sound and radar.
Network - Shows the net play connectivity dialog, activates the chat window, you can also toggle the three states of the chat window by pressing F9.
Options - Allows you to adjust settings for the video, sound, joystick and the graphics of the program, you can also activate the graphics options dialog by pressing O.
Help - Shows you the keys used in the program and the information about this program and your serial number, you can also see the list of keys by pressing K.
Virtual Sailor allows you more than one way to control most functions; by a click on the object and drag of the mouse, by using the joystick if an axis or button is assigned to that function, and also using shortcut keys.
These are the shortcut keys used by the program to activate all of these functions:
|Bow Thruster Left||Shift + Left|
|Bow Thruster Right||Shift + Right|
|Stern Thruster Left||Ctrl + Left|
|Stern Thruster Right||Ctrl + Right|
|Left Engine Up||Shift + Insert|
|Left Engine Down||Shift + Delete|
|Right Engine Up||Shift + Page Up|
|Right Engine Down||Shift + Page Down|
|Both Engines Up||Shift + Home|
|Both Engines Down||Shift + End|
|Raise Main||Page Up|
|Lower Main||Page Down|
|Auto Sail||Shift + S|
|Anchor||Shift + A|
|Dock||Shift + D|
|Select weapon||Shift + Backspace|
|Change view||Shift + Tab|
|Sextant||Shift + T|
|Wireframe||Shift + W|
|Zoom in Camera||Z|
|Zoom out Camera||X|
|Move camera Fwd/Back||Roll|
|Zoom camera In/Out||Shift + Roll|
|Fine Movement Fwd/Back||Ctrl + Roll|
|Pan camera||Right + Drag|
|Move camera||Left + Drag|
|Move Item||Drag + Left Mouse Button|
|Symmetric throttles or thrusters||Shift + Drag Left Mouse Button|
|Asymmetric throttles or thrusters||Control + Drag Left Mouse Button|
|Decrease simulation rate||F3|
|Increase simulation rate||F4|
Virtual Sailor is very intuitive and easy to use, any point of view can be moved and rotated in all directions easily using the mouse.
When the point of view is at the bridge of a boat, you can pan your view by clicking the right button of your mouse and dragging it around, when the point of view is chasing the boat this panning will rotate the camera around the boat you chase.
When you are free of any boat the left mouse button will allow you to move forward freely inside the scenery, and the right mouse button will change your direction.
The mouse wheel can be used to move forward and backwards if you are onboard a boat or not.
Pressing the shift button and rotating the mouse wheel will zoon in and out the view, pressing control and rotating the mouse wheel will move the point of view in smaller steps.
When onboard a boat you can move freely and see any point of view you like, to move to a desired location use the camera keys or use the mouse wheel to move around until you get to the point of interest, you can store this point of view for later use by pressing B and opening the boat dialog, then select views and add this point of view to the list.
Almost any physical control you have on a boat or an instrument panel can be manipulated my the mouse in Virtual Sailor.
If the control can be manipulated pressing the left mouse button upon it will show you a tool tip and also will change the mouse cursor to an arrow which shows you the direction you can drag you mouse to.
You can move many controls in more than one way, for example dragging the steering wheel of the boat from side to side will move the rudder of the boat, in addition dragging on the rudder or tiller itself will move the rudder, and also dragging the rudder instrument will also move the rudder.
Some controls can be moved if some conditions are met, for example you can drag the main sail and jib sail from side to side, but for this the auto sail must be off.
Some controls can be moved symmetrically or asymmetrically, the throttles of engines 1 and 2, and the bow and aft thrusters can be move this way, press Shift and drag the mouse on one of the engines or thrusters to move both together, press Control + drag the mouse on one of these controls to move the in opposite directions.
Many instruments can be manipulated directly with the mouse, for example the GPS, RADAR, MAP and Echo sounder all can be manipulated using the mouse even if they appear in the bridge of a boat and not directly on screen.
Some controls on screen have sliders, and some have knobs, for example to zoom in and out using the telescope view press on the knob and drag the mouse up or down to rotate it.
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