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My Peace
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys,

I've been working on a project for a while, but I've run out of time to try and man it single-handedly. I saw a reference in another thread to someone else trying to build out a database of all the manufacturers and models and whatnot; maybe we can join forces.

What I have is the base for a wikipedia-ish site, where hopefully we can try to do a brain-dump of as much information about the hot boat hobby as we can. The key to the site is that it is very hierarchical; information is entered in fairly strict ways. For instance, we start with the Manufacturers- each one has a page. Then, you define "Models" of boats- each model is then linked to a Manufacturer- no typing required. Then you can define a particular Boat (with HIN, CF numbers, etc), and link it to a Model. You can define drivers and owners as people in the system, and associate them with particular boats. Photos are of course supported. It can also track records set with various organizations, so you can put in the world speed record with the IHBA in February 1990 and assign it to a particular boat. This will filter back up the system, so you could find all the records a particular manufacturer had and with what boats- could be very cool.

The really cool thing is that, once loaded, it works as a combination history lesson, knowledge repository, race results record and boat registry. You can do cool stuff like pull up all the 1974 Sanger Flatbottoms in the system and compare them, and then broaden your search to all the boats Sanger made in 1974. Then you can get really fancy and try to find all the builders that made something in 1974... etc. Obviously, it requires having a lot of information loaded in to start with, but after that it should be a really useful tool.

I have some skeleton data in there that I pulled from talking to the guys at the Drag Boat Reunion, and reading this forum, mostly. Some of it may be wrong already. I was trying to just go through the forums and anytime there is a good post about boat history, to translate that knowledge into the database format. I just don't have time to do this, but I think the tool would be really useful for the community. It's totally non-profit; I'm hosting it with no ads, no memberships, etc, because I simply want to have something like this available.

The site is Hot Boat Database. You have to sign up for an account to edit stuff, but it's free and I'm not selling anything. I was hoping to work with some of the other people out there, like wediditforlove.com to get some more base information in place before I announced it, but like I said, it's simply not getting done. I'd rather put it out there and see if people like it/use it rather than have it just sit doing nothing.

If you check it out and have suggestions for rearranging the way it works or adding new fields/links etc, I can do that stuff- just touch base with me here or on that site (61 Snager Hydro), but I can't really be adding a lot of content now.

Hopefully this can be an asset to the hot boat community, that's all I want out of it.
 

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My Peace
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670 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've been putting quite a bit of time into the Hot Boat Database site in the last week or so, and I thought I would let you all know that it might be worth a second look. I've added a lot of content to it, so it is starting to take a more concrete form, but I've also added a bunch of features to the site that make it easier to use:

1. Added reverse links to most types of data. Before, you could enter all the builders and drivers of a Boat into the Boat itself, and when you looked at the boat, you'd have links to those people. Great, no problem. However, when you got to a Person node, there was no indication of what boats that person had built or driven. Now there are lists that link this all together. It's much easier to use and move around now. Most types of data now have ways of doing this, and I am working on filling in the blanks.

2. There is now a page about the Site Organization, which explains how everything is laid out. More importantly, there is a How To tutorial, that goes over how to load info into the database- I dissect an old poster for a K-boat and get all sorts of info into the DB.

3. New Gallery page. Kind of like the Wild V-Drives thread, you can also put it on a random slideshow. Makes for great viewing!

4. Lots of bug fixes. For instance, if you were looking at the list of Boats before, and wanted to find, say, Problem Child, if you put in Problem in the search field it wouldn't find it. That works now, basically a typo in the setup. I fixed a lot of stuff along similar lines.

I am currently working my way through the Wild V-Drives and Old Circle Boats threads, as well as the GNRA's site (among others), mining for data. I also just mined the site itself for data, and added a few dozen new Models of boat to the DB just from pics and stuff I already had.
 

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Boat history

You mentioned 1974. I was glass shop foreman at Sanger boats that year. We built app. 520 boats that year. It would appear here could be a tremendious number of entries.
I have built app. 95 plugs. Just these plugs could generate quite a number of pages to moniter.

HARLAN ORRIN
 

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My Peace
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670 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
It will be impossible to capture everything, I have no doubt. But if we can capture even a small portion of it, it will make a really powerful tool and a great resource. I have to remain optimistic- hopefully as conceived, the site can be many things to many people, and that will inspire people to add to it. Some people will just want to look at the pictures, some will be looking for a specific boat, some will be history buffs, some will be glory hounds, some can use it for classified ads. I think everyone of those could get something out of even a minimal database of this sort, and have something to contribute.

I hope the scope of the project doesn't turn people off from contributing. While I'd love to have all the info on every boat ever made, it will never happen. But just having some info on a lot of boats is also useful, and achievable.

No chance you remember what those 95 plugs were? I'll make those pages if I could get the info! If you want to spend a weekend just brain dumping on me, I'll go wherever you are and do the typing!
 
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