Tuesday 18 December 2007

Flashheart Research ...

It occurred to me that not all Moth sailors spent their teenage years watching Blackadder. So here is some background research into the great aviator that has inspired the Flashheart Project:

The whole of Blackadder Season 4 Episode 4:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Monday 17 December 2007

Flat panels for Flashheart.

Got another half day at the workshop on Saturday and unpacked my bag of flat panels. I vacuum bagged all the flat panels I needed in one hit laminating carbon on both sides.

I used the cut and fold technique to make the fordeck. The cut bit involves cutting a strip of the inside carbon out with a knife and cutting a V shape in the foam.

Then you fold.

Some bog in the V shape and later a bit of tape and Bod is your Auntie's live in lover. You get a nice radius on the outside, and the join is only on the inside so it does not need finishing.

I weighted the flat panel and calculated a weight per square meter at about 1.2 kg. (aprox. 400g carbon + 350g foam + 450g resin) This is not as good as the pre-preg autoclaved Prowlers which are about that with paint. I will save weight by making the boat smaller and not putting much paint on, but I will need some filler because do not have a female mold. Some may say that this is disappointing and to have a competitive boat you need the latest technology. However: Can wet layup home builds be competitive? Yes.

I my case the extra cost of pre-preg and an oven is better spent on a new sail. The time building a female mold is better spent learning to foil gibe. At the last worlds I was lapped by the leaders but beat new boats in my 14 year old one. Therefore sailing skill and set up is more important than the latest boat building technology. So from a pragmatic view I am delighted with the fact that I am in the right ball park.

The rest of the flat panel was used to make the bulkheads and transom.

She is starting to look more and more and more like a Moth, and my ass is getting sexier...

The next job is tape over the fillets, put the main foil box in, and wing bar sleeve stubs. I hope to get some time in over Christmas but I have just bought a flat so I also have to build a kitchen, fit a shower, build 2 high beds, get some more snowboarding in and move in the next 2 months. I still plan to launch the Flashheart in spring but it is going to involve some heroic boat building to pull it off. However Flahheart by name and Flashheart by nature so smoke me a clipper I'll be back in time for breakfast.

Sunday 2 December 2007

The History of Information Technology.

First there was the Word. This was not too useful on it own, but people played with the idea and developed other words and the idea caught on. The idea spread and the words mutated into different languages. This made some people powerful because they would run around delivering the words and translating them into different languages.

People played with the words idea and developed sophisticated content like song and story. This made content producers powerful too.

Some people invented a way to store the words in pictures and symbols. This made the stores of information powerful as they decided what and how to store the information and who should have access to it.

People evolved the storage of information further into paper and printing which made the information easy to distribute, and reproduce. New methods for storing different information evolved like records and film, and new distribution mechanisms like radio made people distributing and reproducing information even more powerful.

Then computers and networks evolved and suddenly information could be stored, distributed and processed easily. This made content producers powerful again. The distributers used things like copyright and contract law to try to retain their power but it was useless. The content producers where so reliant on their distrabuters for so long it took them a while to play around with the idea and develop new ways to turn their work into power, but it was inevitable that they would eventually succeed.

Then there was so much rich content out there that it was impossible to process it all so people played with the idea and new ways to get computers to process all the information and filter it evolved. The suppliers of quality filtered information then became powerful.

The technology for filtering out the quality information became widespread and then all people had access to exactly the information or rich content they wanted. This became a problem because people were not ready to deal with such accurate information. People we uncomfortable knowing how little money they had, how popular they were and the state of their health.

Then some clever people developed ways to adjust the information to the individual need of its consumer. Now people could watch a football match and their side always won for example.

After a while people got totally bored with life and decided that information technology was not such a good idea after all.