Car/Boat Database

Discussion in 'Blogs, Wikis, and other CMP's' started by MariahMan, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. MariahMan

    MariahMan Neophyte

    Calling all car club or boat club admins! Does anybody out there have a good solution to a vehicle database?

    I've got a long term project that hasn't been able to get off the ground and looking for some ideas. I run a club for Mariah boat owners ( The company went out of business in 2001, so we're the only resource for owners. We were able to obtain a large volume of "build sheets" from the original factory (see attached for example). My partner and I are trying to figure out how best to turn these into a real database that's easily accessible and can be contributed to by our members. I've considered a Wiki-style software, but i don't know if that has the structure that i'm looking for.

    Here's the vision in my head:
    • Send off the build sheets to a data entry service to have the HIN# (boat version of a VIN), engine specs, color, options, etc entered into an excel spreadsheet for .CSV export into a database software.
    • Import that data so that each boat (via HIN#) has a record.
    • Users can search by their HIN# to locate that record in the database.
    • The baseline record would have the base info that we pulled from the build sheet, plus a .PDF original of the actual build sheet (for their records if they want it).
    • The boat record would then allow that owner to "claim" that boat as theirs and start populating the database with more info about that boat, pictures of it, where it's located, etc.
    • As owner's change hands for that HIN#, the new owner can claim that boat and the database software records that history.
    • Over time, we would have a database of all Mariah boats around the world and history on the ownership, dating all the way back to when the boat first rolled off the line.
    I'm the admin for our club and we run on Vbulletin and a dedicated server. I also use Amazon AWS for CDN and backups to S3. I'm flexible on the database format (MySQL on my dedi server or any other that AWS offers). Does not have to integrate into vbulletin.

    With the above vision, it would have to be easily usable by our members and simple to populate over time.

    Anyway, any ideas that anyone has would be great.

    Attached Files:

  2. pierce

    pierce Habitué

    So I think this is fairly custom spec.

    Each line would be a new record in the db, and it's glued together with a hin#.

    There are as many rows in your table as the maximum number of elements in each of yours.

    I think you would do better to have somebody design the db before the data entry service and once you have the CSV, built to your db, import it.

    You would only need a simple db, lookup system in read only.

    The contribution of data and history could be managed better in the forum software. A single sub forum to each hin or if that's too much a single thread to each hin.

    I don't know the numbers of boats involved so that could be impractical....
  3. MariahMan

    MariahMan Neophyte

    Thanks for the feedback Pierce. I'm wondering if there's a database interface software already out there that i could get started with. I like the idea of a thread for each HIN # to contribute data. We will have on the order of 25,000+ boats/records in the database based on the production run of the company.

    The reason i initially thought a wiki system would work is because of the amount of user contributed data we would be looking to get as well once the build sheets are populated. Once we get the framework setup and basically had a wiki page for each HIN #/boat and the spec data from the build sheets, members could contribute to those pages. As they add records, us as admins just have to approve the changes. i've never done a wiki before though so i'm just guessing how this would go.
  4. pierce

    pierce Habitué

    What about tagging:


    I'm your case forum would be the hin number.

    25k isn't that many but I appreciate that your lacking glue to put it together
  5. avb3

    avb3 Aspirant

    Take a look at It has a pretty good forum (actually, I think damn good, especially from a security/spam/hacker point of view). It has a built in database setup that you can structure any way you need. In fact, I am looking at something very similar as you are suggesting now. It has a VBulletin import tool that should work will with your site. Their database functions are covered here: catalogues.
  6. lvlender

    lvlender Neophyte

    Hi Ryan,
    I went to your club website and noted that the 'human verification' feature is not working. since your website is kicking my input without human verification working, there is no way to send you any messages or register as a new user.
    you should look into this.
  7. iamacyborg

    iamacyborg Enthusiast

    Something like Drupal would be a significantly better option for a project like this than a forum.

    Getting a basic page setup would be relatively simple, as would having a field for the current owner, not sure how owner history would work but shouldn't be too complicated. You could also easily save revisions so there's always a history of page changes, and the ability to revert them. It's also trivial to setup a csv impprt for creating and updating pages.

    As an example of a wiki style site in Drupal, here's something I'm working on. A page like this is actually pulling in data from about 20 other data types in a relatively trivial way.
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