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The continuing saga of less wheels than four

My comment about £1000 for an electric assisted bike [see Amfortas‘s explanation in comments on that post] seems to have shocked the sensitivities of Rossa who has been trying to save me from myself.

Her opening suggestion was perhaps a little OTT- the Fisker Karma electric supercar – but at least she did mention winning the lottery.

She had a think about it and then - well if he’s going to pootle around on two wheels, at least do it with some panache:


Then it struck her that this was far too exposed for winter and so she suggested these would be better – at least they afford some protection from the elements:

The Trivio 3 wheeled scooter
Benelli moped with roof
Peugeot hybrid 3 compressor scooter

Then I started getting difficult, thinking I might buy an unstable pedal trike for that big basket on the back.  Oh dear, what does a girl have to do?…

Car boat or bike?

Audi A4 Cabriolet small Side

Yesterday, mate and I went looking at cars to replace his Volvo which is about to need a non-essential expensive replacement, according to the nanny-state computer warning.  Not prepared to do it, he also detests the nanny-state car which  tells him what to do on the road and he swears nearly killed him some time back.

I understand where he’s coming from.  He, with his seat-of-the-pants IT background, one of the old type of techies who wrote it as they went, he detests computers in which you use only their parts, their software, their everything, e.g. the Mac.  He’s a PC man.

So when a car starts telling him what to do, he’s out of there. I knew that. Get a vehicle from before the bells and whistles and PC instruction people got to the cars. Or in other words, buy 2002 or thereabouts. Might do a post.

I’ve no intention of getting a car at this point – the boat is the thing – and if I do get transport, methinks it will be £1000 or so for one of these electric powered, foldable bikes.…

Fiat S76

You really have to admire these people, these enthusiasts:

fiat 28.5L

There were just two Fiat S76 record-breakers built in 1910 and 1911, and this one that has just been rebuilt and restored, appears to be a mix of those two cars. The record the car was designed to break was the land speed record then held by Blitzen-Benz. Fiat attacked that record with not just the sheer, insane scale of that 28.5L engine, but also with some genuinely advanced tech — four valves per cylinder, multi-spark, overhead cam, and all this added up to somewhere near 300 HP — that’s astounding for 1910.

Probably best reading the rest at the site.


Ancient craft – so simple, so well thought out

viking ship

My hull shape is rectangular, near enough [side elevation].  The section is narrow V, flaring out at water level.  It gets its stability from the two side pontoons, making it not unlike a trimaran.

Those pontoons also contain the ballast and are the displacement for sideways stability [like glorified leeboards/keels].  They’re critical, which is why I’ve spent so much time on them.…

Computer assessment of my craft


Pictures will be forthcoming once the lacquering/painting begins.  Boat’s currently covered by tarpaulin skirt.

Situation at this time is I’ve had to make the major decision about pontoons. While I’ve been preparing these, it was still unresolved whether they go as two pontoons amidships or four – one at each corner. I’m now ready to put them in.…

In defence of flying kites in design

nautical motifThe nautical motif is everywhere

Sometimes it does take a long time for things to fall into place, particularly with a prototype.

The issue with this particular craft of mine is that it tries to combine two concepts – canal boat/houseboat/ark with yacht. There are common principles but also those militating against one another.

I’ve tried to take those readers interested along with me for that ride.

The notion of designing in a few possibilities for each aspect, e.g. mast positions, rig, is interpreted by my techie mate as jerry building. Presumably he never bothers with prototypes in IT, trying things out, testing them, keeping options open and then deciding on the best variants which blend optimally with the whole.…