I finally decided to get started on a sailing naval warfare simulator, when I saw that I could at least do a prototype, using (Squeak Smalltalk), something from Carnegie Mellon University, called Alice (a 3D Authoring system), and for 3D modeling, AC3D. The latter was something I had to purchase.
I need to ship develop plans, so that I can make 3D models for use in a simulator. I would start with a Dutch ship, such as the Prinses Louise (36 guns), Witte de With's flagship at the start of the First Anglo-Dutch War. I can see that this is going to be a long-term project, not something that is going to happen fast.