Matthew's blog

Stretching out a powerboat

Design ideas tend to build up around here faster than they can be written down. At the moment, there are seven boats on the board:

  • The Starwind 860 is under construction and her detail drawings are still being finished up.
  • The Bonaventure 570's construction drawings are in work.
  • An up-sized Almaguin (5.8 m) is awaiting final construction drawings.
  • The four Awenda planing-hull designs are on the back burner, waiting for a calm spell.

And after John Harries' post this morning on why long thin boats are cool, I couldn't resist pulling out the CAD models of the Bonaventure 1180 for a bit more detailing.

Steering and throttle cable routing

Control cable routing is often a bit of an afterthought. In a small, simple boat, it's often OK for the designer to more or less ignore the engine controls, and trust that the builder will know how to install them. That approach doesn't work so well for a larger vessel, like the Starwind 860 trimaran, in which the exact routing of each control cable must be planned out to avoid conflicts.

Strut blocks for the Starwind 860

Our current situation, with regards to the construction of the Starwind 860 power trimaran, requires that we stick to small bits: there simply isn't enough space at the moment to build the entire boat. In order to minimize the time for which we'll need a full size build shed, we're starting with the smaller and more fiddly pieces of the boat. These can fit in our current work space, and by having them pre-assembled, we'll save a lot of time during final assembly.

Essential administrator tools for Microsoft Windows

Wuen I find myself in times of trouble / Mark Russinovich comes to me / Speaking words of wisdom / Run PE, Run PE.

Don't ask me to remember where that little Beatles rewrite originally came from, but it's sound advice- referring, of course, to Sysinternals Process Explorer. PE is one of many tools I keep around for troubleshooting and maintenance on Windows-based computers. Here are a few of my favourites.

How to set up a new Windows laptop: Nuke it from orbit

Microsoft Windows is actually pretty solid these days, notwithstanding the occasional hopelessly bone-headed interface design decision (Win8 Metro, anyone?). The NT 6 kernel family that underpins Vista, Win7 and Win8 is, now that Vista's teething pains are overcome, pretty slick and reliable.

The same can't be said for the heaps of shovelware that just about every single OEM ships on their new Windows machines.

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