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The Streetcar Boat

Gear maker

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I think I’m finally done with my latest drawing, The Streetcar Boat.  In 1905 there were streetcars that went from Minneapolis to the shore of Lake Minnetonka, but the people living around Lake Minnetonka needed a way to continue to their homes.  So a set of 6 steam boats were built to resemble streetcars.  These boats added 27 more stops to the streetcar line.


In 1926 the 6 boats were deemed no longer necessary and were scuttled in the middle of the lake.  In 1979 a diver found the wreck of the Minnehaha and it was raised.  After 17 years of restoration it was put back in service on weekends in the summer making runs between two cities across the lake.


Being 1600 miles away and the wrong time of the year, I used pictures I had and pictures on the web to construct as much detail as possible.  Right down to screws and rivets.


At 4,638 layers, all vectors, it’s my largest drawing so far.  Zooming from the full image to some of the smaller detail requires a zoom of about 80,000%.  So AD is about the only program capable of the detail.



iMac (27-inch, Late 2009) with macOS Sierra

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Madame, I was trying to figure out a process a couple drawings back.  Just for curiosity's sake.  What I came up with was to expand all layers by right clicking on the top layer and choosing Expand Selection.  Then I counted how many layers scrolled by for each click of the vertical scroll bar, 26 was the most I could easily get.  Then counted how many clicks of the vertical scroll bar were required to get to the bottom of the list.  I agree it's a pain in the posterior, but it was the only way I could figure out how to do it.  And I only was planning to do it only once per drawing.


If anyone else has a better suggestion I'd love to hear it.





iMac (27-inch, Late 2009) with macOS Sierra

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  • 3 weeks later...

predick, I'm not really sure how to tell that.  According to the activity monitor AD increases in size by about 36MB when this is loaded.  So not too bad.  Luckily it's vector, let's see 4600 layers at 35.5" x 12.5" x 300 dpi would be really a boat load of ram if done in pixels. :D

iMac (27-inch, Late 2009) with macOS Sierra

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  • 2 weeks later...

The seating area in the top left/upper deck says it all really; D.E.T.A.I.L, by the bucket load.


Export this as a pdf and fire up hand crank Illustrator: Gentlemen start your engines.... :P


Hope this ends up getting recognition in your local press and becomes t-shirt fodder.


Well done to ya.



MacBook pro, 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB, OS X 10.11.6



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  • 5 years later...

Gear Maker - I stumbled across this online and had to reach out.  I am a Captain of Steamboat Minnehaha and the President of the nonprofit Museum of Lake Minnetonka that which owns, maintains & operates the boat.  Your work is marvelous!  Would you consider allowing our organization to use your creation?  I'm thinking it could be a masthead for our newsletter, but I can envision other uses too.

Given that you are familiar with the boat, you might not know of recent developments.  At the end of 2019, we lost access to the only launch facility on the lake where she can be put in and taken out.  As a result, we have been unable to operate - leaving us without ticket revenue to pay for maintenance, etc.  We are working to finalize a plan for a new launch facility but that will likely require a significant fundraising campaign and may take an extended timeframe.  Would you allow us to use your art for fundraising purposes?  We would certainly provide appropriate attribution.

Thank you for what you created.  I hope you'll allow us to share it more broadly.

Happy Holidays!

Tom McCarthy, MLM President 

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On 12/21/2021 at 10:32 AM, Boat Skipper said:

Would you allow us to use your art for fundraising purposes?

Tom, the answer is most certainly yes, I would be honored.  I may have even talked to you on one of our trips onboard the Minnehaha.  The provenance of the Minnehaha is something right out of a Clive Cussler book.  I'm glad you enjoyed the drawing as it allows me the ability to at least partially repay the enjoyment of riding the Minnehaha.  I will PM you shortly with some information and we'll have to arrange to transfer the 122MB affinity file.  Mike

iMac (27-inch, Late 2009) with macOS Sierra

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7 hours ago, AdamStanislav said:

If you click on the tiny picture, it gets much bigger.

Yes, but only if it loads fully. It doesn't load fully for me, either, this morning on my iPad. At least not when giving it as long as I'm willing to wait :) 

-- Walt

Desktop:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 
Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
        Affinity Photo 1.10.6 (.1665) and 2.0.0  and beta/ Affinity Designer 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.0.0 and beta / Affinity Publisher 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.0.0 and beta
iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 16.1.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

      Affinity Photo 1.10.6 and 2.0.2 / Affinity Designer 1.10.6 and 2.0.2 / Affinity Publisher 2.0.2

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41 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

It doesn't load fully for me, either, this morning on my iPad.

When I tapped on it initially, the top two thirds loaded quickly and then it stopped. However, long-pressing on the partially displayed image gave me a context menu with a ‘Copy’ option (to copy the URL) and after displaying the entire image pasting that URL in the address bar of a new browser tab I was able to see it in full on this forum page.

Alfred spacer.png
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows 1.10 • Windows 10 Home/Pro
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.10 • Designer for iPad 1.10 • iPadOS 15.6.1 (iPad Air 2)

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  • 1 month later...

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