Boat floating down a stream physics simulation


I’ve been working with Blender for a few years and have played with the BGE a little. I would like to start a project that would be a simple game simulation of a ‘model’ boat floating down a stream. The boat wouldn’t have any user controls, but it’s progress would be influenced by the force of the stream and obsticles it encounters. I’m not looking for high realism as for as the physics involved, but I want the boat (or boats for a race) to be affected by the current, eddys, rocks, logs, bridges, stuff like that. Once I get that general effect going, I would like to spend more time on the environment and different kinds of boats. It would be a simple race game that would be somewhat random with interesting things to be seen along the way. I’d like some input on what would be the best approach. Any information on good tutorials or example files (my preference) would be greatly appreciated.

The purpose would be to create something relaxing to look at, but interesting and distracting. I’d like it to be something that would be easy to add onto and incorperate new features as it progresses, maybe like adding cargo to the boat which could be lost if it tipped to far or fell over a waterfall or sank in a whirl pool. Maybe a method to add a button to ‘nudge’ the boat if it got stuck or drop an anchor to pause for a while. The it might be cool to add fish, frogs, flies, or such creatures.

Eventually I’d like it to evolve into a larger environment with caves, underground pools and rivers, and mazes of canals that lead to new areas.

Can anyone help me get started? I’d like to figure this out.