Improving brain function - vs Nintendo DS

Over the past few years I have spent time virtually sailing on a sail-racing navigation simulator website ( and have found it to be amazingly restorative for brain function. My brain had been beginning to really become sluggish back in 2008 when I found this site, having been doing Brain Training on Nintendo DS Lite in an attempt to maintain brain function,but I am now convinced that by "sailing" on sailonline, my brain is now much more alert and its functionality has remained good. It helps, of course, that my medication is now suiting me too,of course!

Not only has being on sailonline increased my feelings of sociability (I am mostly housebound) but it has introduced me to the real world of sailing! Many of those who "sail" on the site are sailors in reality - either competitive or sociable - or have sailed in the past while others are like me and are landlubbers but who enjoy finding out about it. The site buddies up with some different sailing organisations (offshore sailing in New Zealand, tall ships racing etc) and the combination of the virtual with the real is really beguiling. The races take place all over the world and there are Google Earth overlays that mean you can sightsee as you sail - there is a whole new world out there!!

I have found that because I can expend as little or as much energy on this interest as I choose, and because it does require some degree of calculation(wind angles etc) sailing on sailonline is proving a lot more helpful for my increasingly sluggish brain than my Nintendo DS was!!

I therefore commend to you - it is free to sail (and no advantage can be bought) and is just a super way for those of us who are mostly housebound and/or limited in how much we can really get out adventuring, to feel part of something very upbeat, energetic and outdoorsy!!
Im sold. Im off to splice me mainbrace and set the tiller hard to port. Shiver me timbers me hearties
Hi Brockie,
Sounds better than the real thing ie you keep dry and don't fall in.
...and you don't bang your head on the boom! :angry:
I probably shouldn't mention alternative Parkinson's charities here but recently buddied up with WobblyWilliams and we sailed a race on the waters off E Africa while a group raising money for the Wobbly Williams parkinson's charity were trekking up Kilimanjaro. The waypoints in the Sailonline race matched the names of the overnight stops in the trek and the shape of the sail-race matched that of the trek!! Even the boat used (thanks to the winds at the time) sailed each leg pretty much in 24hrs so that the virtual sailors were starting their new legs as the trekkers were starting their walks on-land!

Not too many have commented here on using but it is super-fun and I am so hooked!

They also buddied with for this years Up Helly Aa fire festival - the virtual boats sailed from Aberdeen and round the islands to arrive in Lerwick for the festival. Neat eh??!!!

Just thought I would update this ... is still going strong and has just moved servers so it is faster than before too.  The community is a bit smaller than before but there are a lot of excellent races and since the new user interface a year ago, the ability to sail more accurately is enhanced.  Its obviously not for those who just want a simple point-and-click game, though, there is a bit more to it than that.  

It really is a good way to keep mind active and out in the world a little bit, away from "just the UK" and the daily things that can so easily bring us down.

For anyone with sailors in the family who want to understand about routing or navigating, it is probably one of the best and cheapest (its still free to play) sites to get to grips with the basics!


Hi, I intend to have a look at this site but also wanted to say that I have tried something called Luminosity I think it was. Again brain training you get a few rounds, about 8 think, before they try to sell you the unlocked version which I have not bought, but it was very good and nice to see improvement. I am going back to my old Nintendo DS which can be quite addictive but I love it. Also for different reasons Wii fit brilliant for posture I am almost dead on centre now with balance which I am quite impressed with and certainly came in handy at my new Pilates course.

Off to go find a boat now