What I did right.
The chose the venue.
The crowds were good and a lot of interest in the group could have been generated. To be honest though this event would have been even better for Leonardo's Basement.
Deciding to clearly and visibly keep the form of the milk container.
The scales keeping the labels, the spine using the handle, and in particular the tail using the tops all generated a lot of interest and comment.
Not being to Pro.
While I probably would refine some aspects of the sculpture if I was starting again, I would have to be a bit careful of going to far. A big part of it's crowd appeal was that people could see themselves doing it if they really wanted to.
What I did wrong.
Never having a full up test.
I let Friday's weather dissuade me from attempting a test with the sculpture on it. This was a mistake. For example: When I was kicking the paddle wheel my foot would slip every so often and get caught in the wire supports. I could have easily enough put something there to stop that.
Doing to many things at once.
When operating the boat to much was happening at once. I was very surprised at just how much the limited visibility inside the shell helped to overwhelm me. Each task seemed five times as hard. If I had just included some fire and forget aspects the operation would have been much much better. For example: If I had included a way to lock the tail in a turn that would have helped.
Not modular enough.
Many of the problems I ended up having would have been reduced if I had designed it to come apart into more manageable pieces. If for example I could transport it in a car even with multiple trips I would have been much better off. In addition making the sculpture in more pieces would have made it more rigid and I probably could have eliminated the whole wire armature.
What I would do differently.
First I'd build a bunch of support machinery.
Even a Jig allowing me to use my chop saw to cut the tops off th jug would have helped. Some hot rollers that would allow me to flatten and weld the scales together faster. A better plastic welder.
The shallower the better.
I think that going twice the size would be just about right.
Better buoyancy system.
I didn't have a large enough diameter air/water flow hosing. Also I would have an air cylinder instead of attempting to just blow it back up.
As it stands right now I think I'm going to do this again. My current plan is a Bessie II. The main difference is that She will have a rider. The rider would sit behind the head and steer with reins. He/She would also control the sink and raise. The tail will only be used for steering and be pneumatically actuated. As it stands right now two others would be concealed inside. One pedaling the propeller and the other rowing the four flippers.
But we will see.