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How To

This page is a tutorial on how to create content for the Hot Boat Database. In order for the site to be successful, we need multiple contributors to add people, places, dates and boats! It is amazing how much information can be pulled from a single image. This tutorial starts with a single image posted to the Performance Boats Forums, and extracts a Boat node and several Person nodes, and links them altogether. I step through each bit of information and provide screenshots along the way.

I must make clear that I do not know alot about the history of hot boats. Almost everything I know I know from reading forums and talking to the old guys. This will become clear as I go through this tutorial- I have to make assumptions that may be obvious to other people.

The Original

This image was found on the Performance Boats forums:

The first thing that jumps out in this picture is the name of the boat:

So the first step will be to create a Boat node. To do this, I click on the Create Content link in the left sidebar:

Which brings up a list of different node types that I can create:

I select a "Boat" node, and am presented with the create boat form:

This form has a lot of information that I can fill out if I want to. Required information is marked with a star, but in almost all the cases, there is a default "Unknown" option available for you- already filled out! Knowing that you don't have to have everything makes this form a whole lot less intimidating. So what I'm going to do is go through the form and put in everything I know about the boat from that image. The Title field is also the Boat Name field, so I enter "K-86 Wild Horses". I choose this format out of habit and nothing else. Eventually, it will help people find the boat, as they might just remember K-86, K86, 86, or just Wild Horses; the site will find any of these.

Moving down, there is the Pictures field. The only picture I currently have of the boat is the original, so I'll attach that. I click on the "Browse" button in the Pictures section:

Which brings up a standard file selector. I just have to find the picture I want to upload, and select it. Once I've found it, I hit the "Upload" button to actually attach it to the node:

And the job is done. If I had any more pictures, I could click the "Add Another Item" button below the picture, and put up another picture. Also, notice that there is a Description field next to the uploaded picture:

I can put in a comment about the picture here, such as when and where it was taken or who was driving, for instance. Since I found it on another website, I'm going to just put in a link to the page I found it at and call it good.

Moving on, there is the Model field, which is required (see the little asterisk next to it)

It defaults to "Unknown", which is almost right. However, in the picture, it says the hull is a Biesemeyer. I know that Biesemeyer is in the system as a Manufacturer, but I don't know if they have any models of boats defined yet. Since I have no idea what is in the system, I'm going to leave that one for later, and move on.

The next field is Classes, which is a list of the classes the boat ran in. Given that the number on the boat is K, I think I can safely assume that this boat ran in the K-boat classes. So, click in the first class field and type "k" and see what comes up:

Hmm, there are two K-boat classes there! I'm not actually sure which the boat ran in, but given the age of the picture, and what I know about the APBA and the KRA, it is highly likely the boat ran in both the APBA and KRA classes, so I'm going to go ahead and put both classes in. Completed, it looks like this:

Slick. Moving on, there's the Builder field, which is currently unknown. No problem- the picture lists several builders:

Given this info and how I think stuff should be attributed, I think that Engine and Installation man John McCrea is probably the main builder, but crew chief Chuck Radcliff and all the rest of the crew should also be credited somewhere. There are two ways to do this. One way would be to only link John McCrea as the Builder, and then mention the other people in the description of the boat. The other way would be to link them all as Builders, and then explain who did what in the description of the boat. The first way can be a bit easier, since we only need a single Person node, for John McCrea, but I'm going to use the second method, and here's why: by linking everybody as Builders, we will have a direct link between this boat and these people. This expands the database, gives us more people (who we may get more info about later), and makes it easier to trace relationships between boats and people. In general, be generous with giving credit, and explain it in text.

In any case, let's kick this off by typing John into the field for builder:

John Mullins, John Morris, no John McCrea. Damn, he's not already in the database. I tried all the rest of the people, and they are not in the database either. Well, that means that we're going to have to set it back to "Unknown" for now, finish creating the Boat node, then create
Person nodes for all the people, and edit the Boat node to link it to those Person nodes. Don't worry, that's pretty much normal, and fixing this is no big deal.

The Drivers and Owners fields work exactly like the Builders fields, and believe me, there's no hits there either. So we have a lot of Person nodes to create. The next field after that is the HIN- the Hull ID Number. This is great info when you have it, but I'm not going to get it from this picture, and it's totally optional anyway. So we'll skip right over the HIN, and move to the Year field. This is a bit trickier than it probably aught to be, so let me explain. The idea here is very easy- just select the year the hull was built in. However, I don't know that. I'm pretty sure it was made in the 70's, though, so here's what I do: I select all the years in the 70's. Eventually, somebody else who knows the boat can remove the extra years!

The final field to deal with when creating a Boat node is the Description field. This is the catch-all, where you can talk about the boat in detail, tell stories, list crew members, explain who owned it when, and sold it to who, who sold it to who, etc. This image actually gives us a lot of info about the boat, so I'm going to just type it in all verbatim and then put in some notes to future editors of the boat. My final text reads:

Owner/Driver: John McCrea
Driver: John McArdle
Engine & Installation: John McCrea
Crew Chief: Chuck Radcliff
Crew: Sean McCrea, Charlie Thomas, Richard Melhuish, Corky Melhuish, Steve Hampton
Hull: Biesemeyer by Arizona Ski Boats
Paint: "Custom Specialties" Corky

Thanks To: Bishop & Buehl, Carillo Industries, Velasco Crankshaft Service, Don Hampton Blowers, Finish line Engineering, Don Zig Magnetos, Paramount Chevrolet, Iskenderian Cams, Ray Engineering, Arias Pistons, Donovon Engineering, D&D Engineering.

Once that is all entered, you can click the "Save" button on the bottom of the page to submit the new boat to the database! Once I did that, I saw this:

Notice, there is a lot of unknown stuff there, but we still have some work to do- there's more information in this one picture yet to extract. For one, we need to create a bunch of Person nodes. But I also want to create a new Model node for the basic Beisemeyer Circle Flat hull. Since all this stuff can be changed, my hope is that somebody will eventually edit the site and correct this information- maybe just with the official name of the Beisemeyer hull, or somebody that can say there are actually 3 distinct Beisemeyers and this is a Type 1. I can only hope.

Moving on, I wanted to create some Person nodes. I start by going to the left sidebar and selecting Create Content again, select a Person node, and see this:

There's only a few fields here, the persons name, their history, and who they worked for. I started with John McCrea, and I know his name, I know a bit of his history (he owned, built, and drove the K-86, for instance), but I don't know who he worked for. So I put in what I know, leave blank the stuff I don't, click Save, and I get this:

No problem! I went ahead and created Person nodes for all the rest of the people in the original poster.

There was one other thing that I wanted to clear up before fixing up the original Boat node- I wanted to create a model for the Beisemeyer Circle Flat. So again, I go to Create Content, and select a Model node:

Whoa, there's a lot of stuff there! I see a Model Name, Year, History, Manufacturer, Pictures, Date Range, Production Volume, and Related Models field, lots of stuff. Instead of making pictures, I'm just going to explain each field and what I put in there.

Model Name: This is actually difficult, since I don't know what the official name of the model is. I just put in something pretty generic, that other people could use: Biesemeyer Circle Flat.

Year: This is also difficult, since I don't know when the first Bezer was built. I do know that they are still built today, although maybe not by Biesemeyer. I kind of take a guess here, and just select all the years from 1970 until today.

History: This is just a notes field, where people more knowledgeable than myself can talk about how the mold was developed and by who, when it was modified and blueprinted, whatever. I leave this blank except for a few notes that explain my intentions.

Manufacturer: Finally and easy one, Biesemeyer is already a manufacturer in the system.

Pictures: This field is for pictures of a "generic" example of this model, or pictures of the mold itself, or anything pertinent. I don't have any really good example photos handy, so I leave this blank.

Date Range: I have no more information about the exact production dates for these hulls than I did before. However, this field is optional, so I leave it blank.

Production Volume: This is a free form field, where you can discuss how many of these hulls were made, and when. I don't know any of this, so I left it blank.

Related Models: Often, models of boats are related to each other. For example, the Biesemeyer flats came in at least two deck designs- long deck and ski deck, with the same bottom on them. The most correct thing to do would be to create a Model for both of these designs, and then mark them as related to each other. The model I am creating here is a placeholder, which represents a range of models. Hopefully, somebody in the future will update the Bezer models with expert information.

There, Model created!

The last thing to do is to go back to the K-86 boat, and put in all this new information, into the builder, driver, owner, and model fields. To do this, I click on the Boats tab at the top of the site:

This takes me to a list of Boats, sorted by the most recently modified. Fortunately, the K-86 is right on top. Since I am logged in to the site, there is an Edit button next to it's listing:

Which puts into the Edit Boat form. This is identical to the Add Boat form, with a different title, and all the previous information already there. All I need to do is type in the first few characters of each Person's name in the appropriate field as well as the model, and click Save, and I'm done. The final form looks like this:

That's quite a bit of information that I was able to extract from a single image! As the database grows, the amount of bulk data entry will decline, and we will focus more on drawing relationships between boats and people, and filling in gaps. I ask everybody in the hot boat hobby to help me build the Hot Boat Database, and make it a tool to preserve the hobby's history, and to document its future.