What worked and what didn't in 2011

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Documenting what worked and what didn't (floating bins vs barrels, taped vs bagged, anchor line angle, etc) may be helpful for the future....

File:moving_the_platform.jpg

Contents

[edit] Bins vs. Barrels

I'll share my 2 cents here (adam). On the surface (no pun intended), it may seem that bins were the clear winner, it may not actually be so clear. I did a post-mortem on my platform. Two barrels worked fine. One barrel failed because the lid was screwed on at an angle. And another barrel failed because the lid was not screwed on tight enough. Both failures were done because the lids were sealed, in a hurry, at the event, when it should have happened slowly and carefully pre-event.

So I think the failure with the barrels, wasn't the barrels themselves, but simply a failure to prepare properly and carefully seal them before departure.

Yeah, the barrels were really variable: I think some of the lids might have been a bit warped - some of them went straight on, and others tended to cross-thread unless forced into alignment while being installed. -dw

Christie: The one advantage I saw of the bins over the barrels was that the bins provided a much more stable base. Because they were distributed evenly across the platform, there were no points where support was lacking and no pivot points.

There was a real problem when people tried to pass from the main platform to Terry's platform where the barrel sections met. The barrels caused a lot of torque between sections and nearly dumped many people into the water when they attempted to move over to it. The bins were much more able to absorb the change of someone stepping onto it and the weight distributed well. I don't believe this was merely a function of the double layer of plywood.

(After observing the problems that barrels had on our platform the first year, I expected there to be a lot more forces tearing at the main platform, dunking bins and potentially causing the plywood to break apart. Yet it remained almost totally solid, with the exception of the dipping in the middle the last night of the event. I think the distributed support load, not only with the spread, but the flatness of the bins, helped keep it a lot more stable.)

Comments on platform structure and flotation

As far as the rectangular bins went, the taped seals seemed to work well - whatever that black fabric-based tape was, it still seemed securely attached when we disassembled the platform. (Quickest way to unfasten it when the time came was to slip a knife blade in the gap between the lid and body of the bin, and cut through the tape all the way around.)

I know at one point (early Sunday?) I retrieved one of the bag-wrapped bins that was drifting away - it was detached and partially flooded; the taped-on ones seemed to survive 100% still attached and not flooded.

I don't think the real structural problem with the dome platform (compared to the main platform) really reduces to "bins vs. barrels"; Adam's smaller platform (with a barrel at each corner) seemed to float with good stability (until some of the barrels took on water at least) - the thing about the dome platform was that each of the long sections had floats at the ends in a narrow pattern, so each had no real "roll" stability and was only held upright by forces at the fastening between the separate sections: there would have been a similar problem with rectangular bins distributed the same way.

What made the main platform work well was the structure of the plywood deck, with the sheets overlapped and fastened to form a continuous panel structure - this was stiff enough to distribute the load over the floats, but flexible enough that wave action didn't create extreme local stresses.

(-dave w)

Thipdar: The barrel-supported platform was not what I'd call a success, except that we learned what not to do in the future. The individual 4x8 floating platforms needed better mechanical integrity at each coupling point and the barrels are just awkward to transport and store. Even though they were free, they turned out to be more expensive than expected (because they imposed ancillary costs).

I'm proposing a different approach for 2012: floating triangles supported by innertubes. The triangles would be equilateral triangles and about four feet from edge to opposite tip. Each triangle is intended to be a module, and any edge of a triangle should be able to be joined to any edge of another triangle with two bolts. Proposed materials are fir 2x4s and 'OBS' chip board. Twenty-four modules would make a hexagon that's sixteen feet from edge to edge, suitable for the geodesic dome. Additional modules could be used in other configurations to provide for pathways, smaller platforms or kiyak berths, etc. I think innertubes are really the way to go, especially if they can be purchased in bulk.

[edit] Anchoring

Line length

I don't think anyone measured the houseboat anchor lines. But, if I was to guess, I think that they were about 50'. This was clearly too short - Recommended length for an anchor line is 5-7x the depth. As we began building the city, we struggled to set anchors. After a number of failures to get anchors to set, we started tying anchor lines together. From this point on, anchors set easily and solidly.

Have backup plans

We couldn't anchor at our originally planned spot because a sailboat was already there. And, we had to reset all of the anchors after we lost our mooring and drifted for a while.

Removing anchors

Anchors should be removed by moving the boat over them and pulling up.

1. Multiple anchor lines

With multiple anchor lines attached to one boat it may be impossible to navigate over each anchor, if the line length is too short to allow it. The fix was to give the anchor lines to a person in a kayak, and have the boat remove anchors one at a time.

2. Removing stuck anchors

Some of the anchors were very difficult to pull out. The final solution was to cleat off the anchor and drive the boat, fairly fast, back and forth over the anchor location.

3. Kayak (or other small craft)

Was absolutely critical for both laying anchors and removing them. We need to be sure that one is available throughout the event - from laying the first anchor to removing the last one.

4. Next year -- bring floats

Next year, we should prepare a bunch of simple floats to attach to the anchors. Then boat can more easily depart, leaving behind their anchors for pickup by one or two well-trained anchor removal boats.

5. Safety

When removing anchors it's very important not to run the line over the railing. The force on the line could easily break the railing, or send a gate flying, leading to injury. Run the anchor line through an open gate, or through the hole adjacent to the cleat. Also, make sure that feet are clear of the anchor line if you're using the boat to try to pry out a stuck anchor.

Work with the wind, rather than against it

It's very easy to move a boat, if it's going with the wind. It's a pain in the ass to try to pull a boat against the wind and current. Next year plan so that the city can be built using the wind, rather than working against it. Specifically, work on securely anchoring a line of upwind and up-current house boats so that the rest of the community can be assembled with some shelter.

Working with the current

At the followup meeting it was mentioned that having the "open end" of the layout pointing up-river was a good thing, avoiding problems with children in kayaks and other small floating objects being lost downstream. (Is this incompatible with the suggestion of the previous paragraph about starting with "a line of [...] up-current houseboats"?)

Setting Anchors

Christie:

Michael observed everyone setting and removing their anchors. He had a lot of commentary. Some of it I care to repeat. One thing that he kept repeating that would improve anchor performance and help a lot with getting things set (and eventually removed) was the use of Kellets. These are weights that you attach to the anchor line to keep the anchor in a position where it's likely to stay set. This page explains a lot of this: http://www.rocna.com/kb/Kellets_and_buoys

Adam:

I don't know much about using a kellet. But the standard practice is to have a length of chain (20') between the anchor and the line. This chain both protects the line from cuts and abrasions, but also provides weight to help keep it set.

I was with Mike at the start and the end. An anchor from my sailboat was the first to go in, and with 130' of line + 20' of chain, it set instantly and held.

For better anchoring next year, the first and most critical thing is making sure that we have the right length of line (see the section above). The second thing to do, in my opinion, would be adding a length of chain to at least some of the anchor lines.

Here's an article by Don Casey

[edit] Media vs. Privacy

Please discuss...

As a courtesy, letting Ephemerislers know before being videotaped when/if there will be cameras for media or documentaries. I heard (way) after the fact that multiple people were upset about this, including a couple of people in my yoga class Thursday morning. -D

IANAL, but I think capturing images (moving or still) on the water falls under the same rules as doing so on a city street: almost no rules. Pissing off participants would be bad and would discourage the sense of freedom we had on the water, though. Let's hope that common sense is used and permission requested where it is reasonable. -G

Greg, point! And also why I went with 'courtesy'. =) What's legal and best are not always the same; mutual negotiation/agreement is usually more optimal. We make our own policies in freedom. In any case, having a camera on a private (owned or rented) boat would be better with permission of, say, captain/crew, and friends who've been welcomed to play there. -D

One of the reasons to go to Ephemerisle is to do things one wouldn't do on a city street. Even on a city street, the arrival of a TV camera crew tends to alter people's behaviour. I heard from several people who said that the presence of the TV cameras made them uncomfortable or reluctant to do things they would otherwise have enjoyed, and that's a shame. I would love for participants to feel as free as possible to experiment, explore, and enjoy. -Ping +1!

While the media didn't bother me personally, I agree that they were a net-negative at the event. I also agree with Greg, and want to add that it's a very slippery slope once we start adding rules to the event. So, I'd like to propose two things.

a) Members of the media should be encouraged to wear a "Press" badge while they're in their role as a journalist. Then people will know who the journalists are, and can hopefully be more comfortable in asking them not to take photos. +1

b) I'm guessing that the journalists were largely at the event because of TSI. If this is true, as a community we should make it clear to TSI that we largely did not like they're presence, and ask TSI to not invite or encourage journalists to come next year.

-A

Some of my thoughts...

I understand the desire not to be photographed. I'm not particularly photogenic, and if I were photographed doing something new, such as say, taking a yoga class, I might well feel self-conscious. That said, I'm not sure it's a good idea to discourage videography and photography. It's true that some people might be embarrassed by photographs that appear on Facebook (or in a news article). But how many people would be unhappy that there was no visual record of something that was quite special to them?

Taking camera gear to an event like Ephemerisle is quite expensive and cumbersome. A good camera and lens can easily cost upwards of $5000.00. You have to constantly fear theft, or dropping it in the water. It's heavy to wear, easy to bang against walls, floors, etc.

Asking for permission from every person you photograph is quite a hassle. For example, suppose I wanted to take a photograph of a yoga class. Do I have to get permission of everyone in the class? What if just one person says no? Why should their preference outweigh the preference of every other person in class?

Finally, taking photos separates you from everyone else. When you're taking pictures, you're _not_ doing yoga, dancing, or playing on the floating toys. Adding additional barriers will increase the likelihood that good photographers will just say "Fuck it!", leave their gear at home, and just have a good time.

I also understand some people may not want to be photographed doing something that could get them trouble, such as taking a hit off a bong. But if you're doing it outdoors, how practical is it to stop all photography? After all, cameras on phones are now as good as early digital cameras. Is that guy texting? Or surreptitiously filming the dancing naked people? Banning the obvious cameras/media may give people a false sense of security. When media is visibly present, at least people know that they're likely to be filmed.

Here's the guidelines I would recommend:

  • Outside the boats, the default is that you may be photographed/filmed at anytime without permission.
  • Inside the boats, you must ask permission first.

That way, if you want to do something private, you can go into the boats with less fear of being photographed.

--Chris Rasch

I like the idea of having clear policies about photo / not photo spaces and times. For example, no recording after 9pm without permission from everyone in the picture, and/or no recording inside houseboats w/o permission from everyone. Requiring journalists to wear press badges sounds great too. I think that would help balance the harm that media do to people's self-expression with the benefit of spreading the word about Ephemerisle to a global audience.

I suspect the small physical size / high density of Ephemerisle is part of the problem - Burning Man has a big media presence, but it doesn't feel as constraining to me because most of the time, there are no media in sight. Whereas one journalist on the front deck of one houseboat can see most of Ephemerisle. So limiting media hours (or days) could help.

- Patri Friedman

Hey Chris - I see your points, but I also agree with Ping that one of the unique things about Ephemerisle is that one has the impression that one can do things freely 'in the open' without fear of public retribution from the 'normal'/traditional laws and rules of society. This includes being free to do them out in open sunlight rather than hiding away, as if it's something to be ashamed of. Even if people aren't ashamed, taking pictures and video from this uniquely free space and posting back in 'normal' society might in some real sense punish those socially or even legally for trying new or unusual things. (Especially since not everyone there was from our relatively liberal Bay area culture.) That seems antithetical to the spirit of Ephemerisle. People were also told it was like Burningman on the water; I've been told by more than one photographer that one of the unofficial rules of Burningman is that people are supposed to ask permission before photographing others, say, nude (or at least those photos aren't supposed to be publicly posted).

Whether or not that's true, I think a lot of this is about communicating norms and expectations, in a space where we've specifically come to freely create and explore our own. I was never publicly nude, so I just went with it when she showed up earlier during yoga; but because I was unprepared, I did more than one double-take when the camera was in my face unexpectedly; I know in some ways it detracted from my focus, experience, and leading of the event. (In other ways, I learned to stretch, which is why even though I didn't 'sign up' for media at my class, I didn't take personal issue with it.) Later, the camera was around again, and it did make me enjoy the experience of dancing outside less. And I liked the videographer.

Really, I think part of the upset was that a couple of people might've been willing to be on camera if expectations/terms had just been communicated to them; then they'd come wearing or doing what they might feel comfortable with on video that's going out to the rest of the world. I think it would be good to inform participants of the possibility or probability if we're aware, and they can adjust accordingly. Then we're giving people the opportunity to choose freely, more fully, with more information.

I also like the idea of badges or times or announcements in advance, so we can courteously/benevolently take 'turns' with different norms and expectations; it's not about discouraging media, it's about finding strategies that allow us fullest benefits of all values, including both media and truly free play. -D

--

I agree with Ping and D directly above me.

Some other problems with outside photographers:

They are the only people there who are not participants, but rather spectators. Makes one feel rather like a zoo animal. Especially since the film will be broadcast to thousands of spectators on television, many of whom will judge from an outsider's perspective. It felt as if we were being used by the media (and TSI if they invited them).

When the camera enters a space, 10k spectators enter that space - do we really want that?

The norm so far has been to be judicious with sharing photos with the outside world - media photographers have other motivations and not a social graph motivating them not to exploit.

I personally feel more violated by whoever invited the media than by the media. I feel that our consent should have been gotten, or at least their presence announced. I feel that hundreds of hours of planning and work were exploited for the gain of the invitors.

Now, I do consider that the response most appropriate to the spirit of ephemerisle would be to start a separate, no-media event on a different weekend, or a separate camp the same weekend within kayaking distance but outside the range of the cameras. Next year I plan to be in a boat tethered in such a way that we do not feel guilty about detaching and starting a separate camp if this situation happens again.

--B

--

To D, let's be clear that we're _not_ Burningman. And we should be more clear about that on the wiki.

Burningman is now run by an organization which on a deep level believes that the participants at the event cannot be trusted, and that they cannot always be honest and open with the community. Rules and occasional manipulation have taken the place of real communication and cooperation. I don't want to argue that, but it is based upon conversations with numerous leaders and employees of the BMORG.

If someday we have to go down that road, so be it. But let's delay it as long as possible.

And B, I recognize your right to feel how you do. But I do ask that you recognize that _TSI started this event_. They should get credit for that, and we should thank them for it.

Now Patri, it's clear that a number of people were bothered by the presence of journalists. I think that we need to ask the direct questions and have an open conversation.

Did TSI invite the journalists?

Would TSI be willing to not invite journalists next year?

In the worst case, it looks like we might have a schism where one flotilla allows journalists and another that forbids them. Though, maybe that's just the nature of freedom on the water.

-A

I think the problem with the Burning Man organizer's rules is that they are rules applied to event participants. It is an entirely different thing to restrict outsiders / observers /audience / spectators who are not participants in the event. Spectators are what our media members have been so far, and is what the audience of a TV show of documentary usually are. As far as I know, no one has had a problem with actual participants taking photos, videos, and even 3D scans.

There is also the question of exploitation. Photos and videos taken by participants so far have been used to remember the event and try to get others involved. Using video of the event for something else (even if it is benign such as 'here are some people attempting to build utopia') is a different sort of purpose, and so far not one we have embraced as a community.

As far as TSI "starting" the event - my memory is different. My memory is that TSI *canceled* the event, and many who had already rented houseboats got together and held another floating festival that was *not* ephemerisle, and that was repeated this year. To me and many that I interacted with, "not-ephemerisle" was not just a statement for insurance purposes, it was a statement that this was not an organized, but a community-led event. I think credit should be given to the community who came together for two years to make this amazing event happen without central organization.

-B

[Copied from google group]

Hey all,

We @ TSI have noted with some concern the mixed feelings people had about documentarians at Ephemerisle this year, as discussed on the "what worked" wiki (heh). Our apologies if the situation surprised or was uncomfortable for some people; that was not our intent.

A number of people on the wiki asked for TSI's perspective & response, and we'd like to engage y'all in a more substantative discussion around this, but we'd really like Randy (our Director of Communication) be be involved in that discussion, and he's out of town w/limited e-mail access for the next 2-3 weeks. We'll follow up with when he returns. Thanks for your patience.

James


Journalists come with a story they want to tell. Who do we want to tell our story? Better for us to control our message than let others define the message about us.


(Icebreaker meeting): External media seem to be not preferred.

It's different if they get consent, if they bring something, if they participate, etc.

  • Journalists seem to be a net negative.
  • We have expectations: if journalists come, lets communicate etiquette to them.

Maybe welcome reporters on the same terms as anyone else? i.e., encourage them to come as participants/contributors ("bring tools and food") rather than just observers/recorders: I sort of feel both ways about the "reporters" thing. On the one hand I recognize the concerns - privacy, message control, etc. - but on the other hand couldn't it be a positive that the event is perceived as so interesting that folks want to come and report on it? I remember that before the 2010 event, during the transition from the TSI-sponsored plan to the independently-unorganized actual event, the concern seems to have been whether the publicity would be sufficient - after the 2011 event it seems more about whether the publicity will be sufficiently selective! :) (I guess this is a symptom of what I think a lot of us seem to be thinking after this year's event: which is that the main problem may be not so much getting the thing to grow, as being careful not to grow too fast and make things unnecessarily awkward.) -dw

I like opt-in.

  • If you're a major subject (e.g. a photo of 3 people), photographer should ask "is it okay if I post this on Facebook?"
  • If there is nudity, etc.

Thipdar: I was pleasantly surprised when at least one of the photographers asked me for permission before taking my picture. If Im going to be the subject of a photo or a video, I want to be ready for it. I don't like the idea of being in candid photographs; all too often they have caused me discomfort and embarrasment.

That being said, I think it's hugely important to have media exposure, especially POSITIVE media exposure. The "Media Blackout" period seemed like a useful compromise, although it didn't seem like it was universally honored. The convention of "Privacy indoors/No privacy outdoors" also has some merit going for it. I suspect that this aspect should get broaded publication amongst those that attend (lots of folks don't seem to understand this point).

This has to do with how we relate to each other (Us v. Us, Us v. Media, Us v. Media Audience, etc.) One of the things I've learned is that the rules for relating are context-specific. When the contexts change, the rules for relating also change. Attempting to apply rules out-of-context often causes problems (sometimes HUGE problems). This discussion is an attempt to establish adequate and appropriate rules for relating, within the context of attending the event. It is possible to do, although you might expect that not everyone will agree to the rules that are ultimately established.



Greetings Fellow Ephemerislans,

It was great to meet so many spectacular people out at Ephemerisle and I look forward to seeing many of you around the Bay and all of you at next year’s gathering. It was thrilling to see that a community has come together and carried on this great event and made it even greater. I’d like to respond on behalf of The Seasteading Institute to issues that came up in regards to the presence of press at this year’s event. Please excuse the delay in this response as I was away on vacation for several weeks after we got off the Delta.

We wish to acknowledge the feelings of attendees who felt inhibited, uncomfortable, or intruded on as a result of the press that was at the event. This was certainly not our intention, and we regret that any of our actions impacted anyone negatively. We understand that there are a variety of reasons as to why some people would be uncomfortable with the press. Perhaps all of this could have been avoided if we had communicated with the community proactively about press being in attendance--and we are sorry that we did not do this.

We wish to explain why we think its beneficial to having press there, and that we were acting on precedent (press has been at the other two Ephemerisles). Ephemerisle is a community event, which was originally created to promote the concept of seasteading. Patri et al. intended that the bringing together of great minds sharing a great experience in a temporary floating festival would inspire others to get involved with seasteading. Our excitement about the promise of life on a new frontier - a dedication that we believe many of you share - makes us enthusiastic about media sharing these wonderful experience with as wide of an audience as possible.

Comments on the wiki indicated that some people feel the press detracted from the event, and that they would prefer it to be a more private community gathering. If this is the case, this seems like an important issue that we should surface and discuss together as a community, to discover what the consensus is.

We’d also like to clarify that we did not did not reach out to the press, host or sponsor them. When they contacted us, we acted in accordance with our nonprofit mission to promote seasteading by investigating to verify they would have a positive approach, and informing them about this marvelously visual public event. They then made all of their own arrangements to attend based on what was available to them through the public website.

For example, the two journalists with the BBC found a sailboat in the Bay and sailed to the site, the journalist from France 3 arranged to be on a houseboat, and Reason reporter Brian Doherty (who has been at every Ephemerisle and came on the Relentless art boat last year) made his own arrangements as well. From our perspective, the media were in fact participants, not spectators. We understand that the line is fuzzy and open for debate, but we want to be clear that it’s a question of that fuzzy line - these were not attendees who we brought to the event and hosted.

We fear that prohibiting press completely would detract from the event, and the topic opens up a host of philosophical dilemmas about what is and isn’t acceptable at Ephemerisles. We’re interested in working with the community to design some principles which will meet the needs for privacy, comfort, and publicity of the amazing art, building, and culture of Ephemerisle.

Many ideas have been expressed, like times of day that press is welcome to film, press badges/hats so people know when someone is playing the role of journalist, alerting journalist ahead of time about activities/people/berths that prefer not to be filmed, etc. Hopefully as a group we can reach a reasonable consensus that balances the various goals of the event.

Lastly, we hope that the community will see the value of transparency and being open to having press at future Ephemerisles. One of the great things about Ephemerisle is that it’s not just a fun festival, but a gathering of people inspired to change the world. We think that having the gathering be welcoming of nearly anyone, including the press and not-yet-known-friends is essential to the spirit of Ephemerisle, the beauty of the community, as well as the spreading of the seasteading idea.

I look forward to a continued dialogue about this topic and other issues that will further the growth of the community and Ephemerisle.

Sail on, Randy

-- Randy Hencken The Seasteading Institute

[edit] What about exploitation?

  • Selling photos?
  • Writing stories?
  • Selling t-shirts?

I think we should in general encourage a "gift economy", especially in these early years of the event - but I don't think we need a "no vending" meme. It would be cool if things develop to the point that actual markets begin to emerge. (Maybe the general guideline at this point should be "communalist for the basics and capitalist for the frivolities": bringing food to share is good but there's nothing wrong with bringing t-shirts to sell...) -dw

The t-shirts seemed universally loved. And there was one boat selling booze, as the boat next to them was giving it away booze for free, I don't think they had much luck with their sales. So far things seem to be working just fine. -- Adam 06:16, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

[edit] Boathooks

Useful for 101 things on a boat.

But one wasn't nearly sufficient for an entire flotilla. Next year, every boat should have one. (Totally second this! I was wishing for one several times myself... -dw)

[edit] Walkie Talkies

Did they work out well?

Could things be improved by using the marine standard VHF radios?

The walkie talkies worked great. But they were hard to figure out at first. It would be great to hold a quick training session at the captains' meeting before we embark next year. —Ping

[edit] Date / Water Temperature

The water was much colder this year, which I think discouraged a lot of swimming. Was this largely because of the earlier date? Or was it due to the freakishly long rain season this year?

I would second the idea of moving the festival later in the year, to benefit from warmer water. -- Dan D. +1
I'm another vote for moving it later _if_ the date was the cause of the cold weather. However, if the cold water was due to unusually heavy rain and snow this year, then we might be fine. Someone needs to do research before we start contemplating a date for next year's gathering. -A
I like the date, the water was cold because of the freakishly long rainy season and SNOW MELT from the Sierra (people are still skiing!) I like the date because its a nice way to kick off the summer season and a nice buffer before burning man. Also, we can rent more houseboats the earlier it is because of school. -erin

(Icebreaker meeting): Many people seemed to think it was unusually cold. The date seems ok, we hope/expect the water to be warmer next year.

[edit] Transportation

How did carpooling work out? Did people manage to relatively easily get from the marina to the event and back?

There were reports about at least one local helping provide transport. Any details on that?

But let's not advertise that there are regular taxi rides. That would encourage daytrippers, people without a boat to stay on, etc. We should expect people to show up with a plan.

Thipdar: One of the things I noticed that seemed to be a problem was that there was no specific place(s) for the shuttle craft to dock. At one point, we had to deal with the rather dangerous method of 'walking a balance beam' along the protective framework around the outboard engines - with no handrail available for support. It would seem better to have a designated place for the shuttlecraft to dock at each time and every time. Other (de facto, if not de jure) shuttlecraft could use the designated spot if it were clear, but should leave or move to a different (ie. parking) spot once onloading or offloading is done. Also, approach to such a "shuttlecraft docking" spot should remain clear of anchor and/or mooring lines. Perhaps the approach could be marked with some cheap bouys.

Perhaps some of the floation sections for the 2011 geodesic dome can be repurposed as a Shuttle Dock.

We may be able to help boat captains find the Harbor Master's radio frequency, which might aid this issue. We are planning on having two floating billboards, one on each approach to the venue, that request a maximum speed between the signs (to reduce wake sizes), Radio FMerisle's frequency and an indicator of what communications channel the Harbor Master is monitoring. Hopefully, that will help unsnarl traffic around the venue.

[edit] Art

Was there enough art at the event? Is this something that is important to you?

  • While the music trumps the floating visual art for me personally, I was quite happy with many peoples attempts to decorate the front of their houseboats even if the hanging lanterns interfered with my elf hat. On the Marry Ellen Carter we had paintings on our walls. - Richard
  • would have liked to see a projector -> water -> projection screen (someone on a houseboat roof wanted more visuals) - Paul
  • also the flowers from 2009 were beautiful - Paul

How about an art boat? (Yeah!)

Garden barge...

Hay bales...

Almost everyone at the feedback session wanted to see more art at next year's event. As for making it happen, and making it a part of our culture, we thought it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. By bringing more art next year, we can help inspire and encourage even more the following year.

[edit] Bathrooms

Is there anyway to add something for campers/rafters/visitors so the houseboat bathrooms don't get overused?

Per discussion at followup meeting: pumping services are available and could be used to maximize the capacity of the houseboat facilities - this might be better than a proliferation of improvised camp toilets - buckets etc. - which still will need to be emptied at some point. (One guy showed up to the flotilla with a speedboat containing a wastewater tank and suction pump, handing out business cards: and I believe he's not the only service; I think I've seen an ad for at least one other one.) -dw

Thipdar: I'm tempted to say we should rent some portables, but I sure don't want anything like that in the immediate vicinity. Would it be possible to have them on the shore, and shuttle people back and forth as needed?

Oh, wait! I've got it! We could make some highly decorated mobile outhouses and call them "fART Cars"! Ok, maybe that idea stinks.

It would be good to ask the houseboat rental company whether there's a problem, and how many people are likely to be ok for a given number of toilets for 3 or 4 days. As the houseboats are meant for week-long rentals, we can exceed the houseboat capacity for flushers. If flush water is lake water, the only short resources are toilet paper and tank capacity. -zm

[edit] Transport & Storage

There were big cost overruns on the truck rental:

  1. $199.75 - 5 days rental 24' truck
  2. $275.90 - 310 miles
  3.   $70.00 - SafeMove damage waiver
  4. $100.00 - 24 furniture pads for 5 days
  5.   $58.71 - Taxes and fees
  6.   $99.00 - Gas in Milpitas 6/8
  7.   $47.66 - Gas in Alameda 6/13

$851.02 - Total

How can we do this better next year?

Question re the "overrun": what was the cost originally anticipated to be, and what items were unexpected? Perhaps there's room for negotiation ($20/day for the pads seems a little steep when the rental rate for the truck itself was just under $40/day...) or comparison shopping (other rental agencies - Hertz Equipment etc.)... -dw

As for the pads, they certainly didn't seem very critical. If we do need them, we'd do much better just buying a couple of blankets from Goodwill instead of renting. That's one way to cut costs. There are certainly more. -- Adam 06:16, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

There seem to be storage lockers on-site at Paradise Point. Would it be much more cost effective to just store things there?

NOTE - Is there a better place to record these costs?

Thipdar: One possibility is Google Documents. They allow distributed editing of spreadsheets.

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