This all started soon after Orbx PNW came out. The realism from the various bodies of water that I knew was astounding, which made the stock FSX ferries stick out like a sore thumb. Imagine a WSF ferry docking in Nanaimo.
The original idea was to provide a realistic experience using a pilotable boat in this region where you might see some of the typical commercial vessel traffic in the area. One of the goals was to approximate the visibility range and arc of running lights so that at night you could decide if you were making it across the bow of an oncoming vessel by watching the running lights, a basic skill needed when it’s dark.
I currently have 15 ferries most of which will be re-done before release, and 47 revised routes. See the chart below. Most of these routes were in the default FSX boat traffic file, although some of them were not active — no boat was assigned. The FSX routes as drawn were likely reasonable for FSX, however with Orbx PNW boats would run aground, cut navigation aids, even try to pass over small islets. All the revised routes are reasonably accurate, and the boats will dock in close proximity to the custom slips. The boat assignments are somewhat arbitrary, however they should be plausible or have been plausible and they are arranged so that two instances of the same boat are not too close together.
I have already posted the AI ship package for Puget Sound with a number of commercial AI vessels which is intended as an enhancement for the ferry system. The cruise ship Norwegian Pearl can also be considered consistent with the original purpose; the traffic file for this boat comes with Vic+ SP1. In keeping with the idea of navigating at night, I have lighthouses with appropriate light characteristics for the navigation aids in Puget Sound that are not present in Orbx PNW. For the first installment of the ferry system, I have swapped out one of the two default AI cruise ships for Puget Sound with the Norwegian Pearl, and I may swap out other commercial vessels in the area covered in the future.
This is and has been a long-term project. Although it all functions on my machine, much needs to be revised before it would be suitable for distribution. Whether or not I add new vessels or not remains to be seen. And whether or not I can complete all this remains to be seen. Life is uncertain.
|Carlisle II||Lopez Is||Decatur Is.|
|Carlisle II||Decatur Is.||Blakely Is.|
|Melissa Ann generic||Seattle||Vashon|
|MV Bowen Queen||Swartz Bay 2||Fulford Harbour|
|MV Bowen Queen||Swartz Bay 2||Pender Is.|
|MV Bowen Queen||Blubber Bay||Powell River|
|MV Bowen Queen||Chemainus||Kuper|
|MV Bowen Queen||Saturna Island||Mayne Island 2|
|MV Bowen Queen||Swartz Bay 2||Mayne Island|
|MV Bowen Queen||Pender Island||Long Harbour|
|MV Coho||Port Angles||Victoria|
|MV Hiyu||Orcas||Friday Harbor|
|MV Hiyu||Anacortes||Guemes Is.|
|MV Kaleetan||Friday Harbor||Lopez|
|MV Kitsap||Friday Harbor||Sidney|
|MV Norwegian Pearl||Seattle||Seward|
|MV Tenaka||Crofton||Vesuvius Bay|
|MV Tenaka||Campbell River||Quadra Is|
|MV Tenaka||Denman Is.||Hornby Is.|
|MV Tenaka||Buckley Bay||Denman Island|
|MV Tenaka||Gambier Island||Langdale|
|MV Tenaka||Quadra Is.||Cortez Is.|
|MV Tillicum||Port Townsend||Keystone|
|MV Bowen Queen||Nanaimo||Galiano Is.|
|Queen of Cumberland||Mayne Island||Tsawwassen|
|Queen of Cumberland||Swarts Bay||Galiano Is.|
|Queen of Cumberland||Salter Bay||Earls Cove|
|Queen of Cumberland||Langdale||Horseshoe Bay|
|Queen of Nanaimo||Tsawwassen||Duke Point|
|Queen_of_Nanaimo||Departure Bay||Horseshoe Bay|
|Spirit of VI||Swartz Bay||Tsawwassen|
|Spirit of VI||Duke Point||Tsawwassen|
|Stephenie_under_sail||Earls Cove||Salter Bay|