Thursday, May 19, 2011

Open house

Not on my checklist for the open house was to post something about it a week or so ahead of the date announcing the event.  However, I made phone calls and sent email.  And a couple dozen folks showed up to see what I had accomplished.  Mostly it was my designer and engineer friends for my old employer - people who had heard about my dream for years.  It went well.  Cool breezy weather kept people indoors but the rain held off so I could roll the boat outside where one could see it in good light up close or from a few steps back.

The date was April 23, 2011.
Ross C, Marcel LF, Mike VS

In the Loft
Marcel with Chip and Pat B on the right

Coming together just like the CAD model

Sunday, April 10, 2011


A good deal of water has gone under the bridge since I last posted.  Spring has started her migration into our neck of the woods.  Except for a few crusty and dirty snow piles in the corners of parking lots, it is all gone.  I am getting up to speed on the build with epoxy and glass.  It is going pretty well but as always much slower than I would like.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ground Hog Day

It is minus seven degrees a mere three feet from the desk of SBC.  But I am sure this will be the end of the bitter cold since many consider mid February to be the turning point.  Think warm hearts.  The chart above indicates that we have historically turned the corner a good ten days ago (during that last cold snap).

For SBC this means another boating season is rapidly approaching here in the frosty north.  The shop is insulated and almost ready for the start of the first build.  I have met with my local computer-controlled cutting suppliers this week to finalize plans, costs and delivery.  However there are another 100 new details to think about for the ten I just solved.

The first launching should occur about half way up the curve above ready for the warm months that follow.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Brain Freeze

My head is starting to ache but in a good way -- for the most part.  You know the feeling when you dive into that bowl of ice cream?  And then the brainfreeze wells up and all you can do is press your palm on you forehead and wait for the pain to subside?

I have been having a lot of fun putting together the pieces of my dream I have had for so many years.  But today I have responded to lots of emails with potential suppliers for aluminum and plywood cutting, and stepped up the document outlining the business plan.  For a long while I have known about software like Business Plan Pro and have seen a variety of plan writing services for a lot of $$.  After working with local small business assistance organizations (UMD CED, Northeast Entrepreneur Fund) and talking to lots of people (fun stuff) I have begun to reconsider a packaged product to help me.  The site for Business Plan Pro was easy to find but I was not ready for all of the information and material packed into it and the affiliated sites and so for the last 4 hours it has been a planfest, and that is why my head aches.  But it has been good because I discovered that I seem to be doing everything pretty close to the way experts are coaching the thing.  For example, somewhere a long while back I picked up the concept that a plan was a living thing and the written plan really could only capture an instance.  This has made it tough for me to get "a" document done.  I actually have half a dozen plans based on my product and they are all good - I think.  I just need to pick on and get on with the process.  I snagged the above image from  Thank you Tim Berry. I will be back for more.

Monday, December 6, 2010

dxf, dwg, pdf, jpg, igs, pdq...

I have been communicating the shapes to be cut for the Overture project to various water jet and plywood cutting providers and so far there have been only a few minor hiccups and the response coming back on the quality of my files has been good and that makes me feel good, since I am treading paths unfamiliar to me.
So, there it is.  One complete boat kit.  Just enlarge these images to full size and cut them out and start building.  Honestly I think I have a hundred hours in these images.  But like the parts of any good composition, it works only when the other parts are there too, making the whole greater than the sum of...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Brief Note

...just to let you know I am still active and to report that the Overture project is at another milepost.  The design is complete and files are being prepared for delivery to cutting shops that might be able to supply the pre-cut parts.

Monday, November 15, 2010

First Snow

We have survived the season's first snowfall here on Duluth's Skyline Parkway.  It reminds me that time is marching along and I feel the urgency to start building a boat.

I attended a presentation at the Minnesota SolidWorks users meeting last week by SW co-founder Jon Hirschtick. He's looking hard at the whole cloud computing thing.

SolidWorks is the design and engineering tool I am using to create my products.  I also have been reviewing Rhino (with Orca) and MiltiSurf/SurfaceWorks for their boat-design-specific features.  All good stuff but also expensive (for getting started).  I really like the structure of Multisurf.