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Comments on the Boat Builder version of Motive Power Free

When you bring your new boat out to play the most common question is "did you build it yourself?" When you say yes you get asked: how long did it take you? how much did it cost you? Being able to answer those questions is the reason I set up a free Boat Builder version of Motive Power.

I'm Myles Swift. I've built four small boats and have plans to build more. Right now I have a Puddle Duck, a June Bug, and a Micro that I built. I'm sitting on plans for a Welsford SCAMP. I just finished rescuing a Hobie kayak that had been wrapped around a rock, my first experience welding polypro. I admit to being a bit of a fair weather sailor. In the rain I prefer rowing or paddling. In the cold rain like we have in the northwest I like it best inside our C-Dory. I'm not sure if I'm more water rat or boat nut.

I promised to make this software available to boat builders two years ago. The economy did not permit me the time to do anything but keep my company in the black. I recently retired and we closed our company, Computer Assistance Inc. Now I have the time to deliver on those promises. I made a set of tables useful to boat builders and this version is available for free to anyone what wants to use it.

My goal is to get feedback about their builds from people who use Motive Power Free. When you get your boat finished send an email to I will send you a reply that shows how to print or save the report showing the details of money and time spent on that boat. I'll collect this information, aggregate it, and make it available to help people make better choices when deciding what to build. In addition to the reports from Motive Power, I'll be asking about your previous woodworking and boating experience. Knowing your background will help others make their own evaluation when choosing what to build.

If you are in business you are welcome to use the single user version for free. If you want a multi-user version you can contact one of the dealers listed or send an email to and I will have them contact you.

You can email questions to and I'll be setting up a forum or group soon.

If you are using Motive Power Free for your own purposes it is best to set all the labor rates at $1 an hour so that hours and dollars (or whatever your unit of trade) are equivalent. The product was designed for service and repair shops. 95% of the paperwork trail is the same in jobs shops. Motive Power is used by auto, truck, bike, marine, golf cart, and computer service businesses as well as private and public maintenance departments.

Motive Power lets you re-use anything from a previous invoice on the current work order. It is important that you learn how to keep each job on the work order "clean" in order for it to be re-usable. This means two things. First, if you need to make a price adjustment for a customer do it in the discount section, don't lower the prices within the job itself or that will become the new price for the next customer. Second, any unusual occurrence like excessive rot or broken bolts should be charged under a separate job title. You don't want to build the pricing for exceptions into the standard job and every job you invoice becomes a standard job available for use on any other work order.

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