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Salty Del

How to sail the raft.

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For those of you having difficulty, I’m going to try to explain how you can sail the raft. This may be a bit long and wordy, but I want to try and give you as much information as I can to get you started.

It’s a bit different than sailing a ship, from Sloop up to Galleon. The major difference is that it doesn’t have a rudder, it sails and steers purely by sail. This can actually be a good thing. You may actually be able to sail into the wind faster on a raft than on a ship because you can keep pointed (mostly) into the wind.

Let,s start with the basics. The first thing you need to know is that you have a top-down picture of a ship in the top-right corner of the screen whenever you’re on your boat. This picture has some very important information, so you need to pay attention to it. It shows you the direction the wind is blowing in relation to your ship, and the direction of your sail and how much wind your sail is catching.

The wind strength and direction is shown with a white arrow. The longer the arrow, the stronger the wind is blowing. This is the important part:  the direction the wind is blowing is always relative to your ship! The wind blows in a compass direction, but you’ll find that’s not really relevant. You only care about the direction you want to go, and the direction the wind is blowing. Knowing the compass direction can help you plot a course that may be more beneficial, but that mostly just applies to the larger ships that are more constrained by the wind direction.

Your sail is represent by a horseshoe shape, with a perpendicular line opposite the opening of the horseshoe. The opening represents the back of the sail, the part that catches the wind, and the line shows the direction the sail is putting the power that you’re harnessing from the wind. The colour of the sail shows how much power you’re getting from the wind;  red is no power and green is as much power as the sails can make. Remember the length of the white arrow, that will show you how much power is available.

You control the sails by walking up to the mast and then holding down E to access the sail controls. Your options are to rotate the sail, open 100% ( full power), close 100% (no power), open sails +10%, close sails -10%.

The other important control you need to know about is the anchor. If you look at your raft floor and hold down the E button, the first thing you need to know is to not scuttle your ship! That will destroy whatever ship you’re on, certainly making your shipmates very salty with you. The option you need to know about is to Raise or Lower your anchor. You can only anchor in shallow water, so you’ll need to get close to shore. It’s best to come into shore at an angle instead of heading straight in. It’s easier to leave when you’re ready, and helps keep you from beaching, and possibly destroying your raft. If you’re staying in one place, it’s important to anchor. And then raise it when you want to leave. Think of it as your parking brake.

When rotating your sails, you’ll see a whole lot of numbers come up in a circle. The numbers go from 0 at the top all the way to 180 at the bottom. The right (starboard)  side is positive (+), and the left (port) side is negative (-). These are the degrees that you can turn your sail to, and on the raft this makes things really simple. Look at the ship diagram, then choose the number that is at the same orientation to the circle as the wind is to your ship. Your raft will turn towards that direction, and as the colour turns to green from red you’ll start going faster. Always remember that these numbers are in relation to the front of your ship, and not compass direction.

Before opening your sails, decide which way you want to go. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re stopped and there is an object directly in front of you, steer your sail into the wind, or as close as you can in the direction you want to turn, make sure that your sail is red for this, then open your sails. You won’t move because there is no power from the wind going to your sails, but you will start to turn to the direction your sail is facing. You don’t need to turn all the way to the direction you want to go, just close the sails to stop, then you can start going around the obstacle, or in whatever direction you need.

You do not need to go the same direction of the wind though. You can go 90 degrees to the wind on either side. Your sail will be  yellowish, but you’ll still be going the direction you want. Just not as fast. With some practice, you can even sail towards the wind. This is called tacking, and it goes like this:  you change the direction of your sail (or ship, if your not on a raft) to follow the direction of the wind, and before you turn to having the wind blowing at your side, you change the direction of the sail to the opposite side. You’re not sailing directly into the wind, but sailing to alternating sides of the wind. The amount you move side to side cancels each other out, and leaves you with  you moving (mostly) directly into the wind. 

Tacking on the raft is easy. What you do is get the wind arrow pointing towards the back of your boat. To make it a bit simpler to start, have it off to one side. It doesn’t matter which side. With the arrow point downwards, rotate your sails to the side the arrow is pointing more towards. When the arrow starts pointing diagonally down to one side, turn your sail to the other side. Your raft will start turning towards that side, changing the direction the wind is blowing relative to your raft. You basically want to move the arrow back and forth like a pendulum, pointing to the rear of your raft.

If you want to go a step further, you can optimize your tacking by making corrections to your sail as you’re going from side to side. Remember, the wind and sail directions are relative to your raft. If the wind is blowing towards the lower-left corner, when you rotate your sails to 175 degrees to the right, your sail will not be catching the full wind. It will be at an angle to the wind. As the arrow is moving to the new side, once it points straight down, click on the 180 degree button. This will point your sail to directly catch the wind, resulting in you going faster than if you just clicked on the 175 degree button alone.

This is one of the areas that the raft really shines. Because you have such full control of the sail direction, you can effectively sail directly into the wind. The small-large ships can only change 75 degrees to either side of the ship. This greatly limits how close you can point into the wind before you lose power. Handling sails can get you a bit closer to pointing towards the wind, but your ta is will be a lot longer than with the raft.

Before heading out on your adventure, be sure to make a bed and either a couple of small boxes or a large storage box. The bed will let you pop back not your raft when you die, and the storage containers are vital in the free ports. When you die in the freeports, your body disappears and you lose everything you were carrying. Keeping stuff in the storage boxes keeps them safe. So long as you pin code them to keep out would-be pirates.

Putting a smithy on your raft is also very helpful. Keep all of your items in the storage box though. You cannot pin code the smithy, or any of the other crafting stations.

As an added bonus, the Ships of the Damned won’t attack your raft! For now. Unless you provoke them.

When you’re ready to go up to a ship, the sloops are relatively easy to make, and are quite easy to handle solo. You can solo sail a schooner (or any of the larger ships), but it does get more difficult the bigger you go.

I hope you find this helpful, and if you have any suggestions to add or corrections that I should make, please let me know.

See you on the high seas!


NA PvE server (The Hydra’s Den)

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