Possible names for carboat:

  • The Nonantum Disappointment
  • The Sawhorse Folly
  • You don’t know Jack Shaughnessy
  • The Prosthetic Cuban
  • The Easy Impossiblity
  • The Mechanical Advantage
  • Natasha
  • Industrial Noise
  • The Shipwreck
  • The U.S.S. Piece of Shit
  • The What Car?
  • The No-Lameness Policy, or Scott’s No-Lameness Policy
  • The Camaro

Possible lessons to take away from all this:

  • People are less likely to be lenient with you if you look like you’ve spent the past week in a machine shop.
  • The State Police don’t like it when you accidentally knock over their sawhorses.
  • People are less likely to be credulous of your engineering claims when your boat looks like a car with a bunch of bottles strapped to it.
  • If they can’t see the foam, they won’t believe that it floats.
  • More generally: When people don’t know how things work or don’t have experience with mechanical things, they are unlikely to believe that the thing that you are proposing which seems impossible is actually quite doable. (See the Shaughnessy tagline, “Making the impossible look easy.”)
  • Your MIT degree holds no meaning for the State Police.
  • We need more female police officers on the force.
  • Sometimes you just have to cut your losses, take a shower, have a beer, and change your plans.
  • The level of effort that a committed group of individuals are able to muster when things are down to the wire is both unbelievable and inspiring.
  • When a group of people work together on a big project and learn from each other along the way, even the biggest disappointments are sufferable.
  • Never, ever try to launch a very sketchy-looking homebuilt watercraft on a public ramp on the busiest Charles River boating day of the year.
  • When things are out of your control, sit down with friends and have a beer. Then finish the work. Then sleep. A lot.
  • When you think about it, is there any better way to spend the Fourth of July than trying to do something big and daring that no one expects you to be able to do?
  • In the end, it’s the people that count, and I’ve spent a lot of quality time with some really amazing people in the last three weeks.

Here’s to the boat-builders!


5 thoughts on “Possibilities.

  1. Given how two folks here feel about your solid effort and your great loss, feel about the team and the teamwork, and feel about this cross-body blow to Scott’s remarkable ingenuity and outstanding efforts … This is a real nice piece. Congratulations on it all — to and for all — from The Two.

  2. I think you should just name it the Gordon Lightfoot and scuttle it during its maiden voyage in honor of its eponym.

  3. “When you think about it, is there any better way to spend the Fourth of July than trying to do something big and daring that no one expects you to be able to do?”
    Very much the spirit of ’76. Now don’t let the peacetime government convince you to lay up the ship in ordinary, or worse, pay off the crew and sell it out of service. Those Barbary pirates will be acting up before you know it.

  4. Hang the non-performing “Propulsion Team” from the yardarm and then construct a system consiting of two independent wheels from the same up/down axle powered by two sets of peddles so that when they work in harmony you get direct drive (FWd and REV) and when operated separately you get L & R directionality and bring it out onto South Bay of Lake Champlain: also as an ice fishing shanty for the upcoming winter!]

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