Better Boats is a forge mod that adds vanilla flavored small longboats to minecraft. These longboats are meant to be a more expensive but higher utility alternative to the vanilla boat, bettter able to transport goods, passengers, and livestock, and providing better support for long expeditions by water. They are also highly customizable, with 5 figureheads (or no figurehead!) in any of the vanilla woods, and sails that use banner patterns! To get started, just download the mod and install it with forge! The current build is against Minecraft 1.8.1 and Forge 39.0.5.
Better boats longboats are available in any of the 6 vanilla wood types (Click spoiler to see crafting recipe).
Place 3 boats and a wood plank block, all of the same wood type, together with a chest and item frame as shown, to construct a better boats longboat of that wood type.
Each longboat is equipped with a single chest of inventory, a built-in item frame for holding a map (or anything else you want to put in it), and room for 3 passengers. Because of its slightly wider beam versus the vanilla boat, the boat can be walked on (for most of its length, at least) and large animals like horses fit just as easily as players and small mobs. Conversely, the larger size also means that they will not fit through all of the same spaces as the vanilla boat, they cannot be broken back down into an item, and they turn more slowly and require more force to move at full speed. A single active rower will be able to move the boat at .4 of the vanilla boat speed, while a full crew of active rowers (3) will be able to move the boat at 1.2 of the vanilla boat speed, as long as everyone is paddling. If a sail is equipped, then these increase to 1.0 and 1.8 times the vanilla boat speed in optimal weather conditions (clear skies).
Currently, the left-most column of the boats' chest storage is used for optional attachments (see spoiler below). You also have the option to use these slots for general storage instead of boat attachments, if you choose.
Slot 1 will equip a figurehead to the boat when a figurehead is placed in it.
Slot 2 will equip a banner (with its pattern) as a sail if a banner is placed in it.
Slot 3 will equip its contents to the boat's item frame, and is intended to be used for maps.
The longboat can be fitted with a sail to assist the rowers, by placing a banner in the sail slot. This will equip the banner (with its pattern) as the sail and provide .6 of the vanilla boat speed in clear weather, .3 of the vanilla boat speed in rain or snow, and will not contribute at all during thunderstorms. A longboat with a sail and one active rower will move at the same speed as a vanilla boat in clear weather, while a longboat with a sail and three active rowers will move at 1.8 times the speed of a vanilla boat in the same conditions.
Maps (and other items) can be equipped to the item frame by placing them in the appropriate inventory slot (placing directly in the item frame will not work). When a map is placed in this slot, in addition to being displayed, it will begin tracking the boats position, so that the boat can be easily found again so long as you take the map with you when you get out of the boat.
The longboat can also be fitted with a selection of ornate figureheads, all available in any of the vanilla woods. Currently, the mod adds a plain spar figurehead, an ender dragon figurehead, a creeper figurehead, a skeleton figurehead, and a wither figurehead. The type of wood log used to make the figurehead determines its wood type. Click the spoilers to see the figurehead recipes.
Q: How do I access the chest storage?
A: Right click the boat while riding it, or sneak-right click the boat while outside it
Q: How do I dismount mobs and livestock?
A: Right clicking the boat with a stick while you are not in the boat will dismount all passengers.
Q: Why is my map blurry while moving when optifine shaderpacks are on?
A: This is caused by motionblur and temporal anti-aliasing, at least with SEUS shaders. Turning off motionblur and temporal anti-aliasing will fix the map view.
Q: Are there plans to maintain and continue development of this mod?
A: Yes, I actively use this mod and fix issues as I encounter them. There is also a private future development roadmap for new features.
Q: How do I get support for this mod, report issues, or request features?
A: At this time, you cannot. This is purely a hobby project, and it would not be fun any longer if it involved providing support.
Q: Can I include this mod in modpacks?
A: Yes, as long as you link back to here and acknowledge where it came from. A good example is the way FeedTheBeast does it.