Minecraft Sticky Pistons For Effective Boat Docking (Obsolete)

[Update: I’ve revisited the boat design (it’s even simpler!). Check the block post out]

So, Minecraft 1.7 is out, and my week’s been an intense rush of bug fixes with little time to really consider what I’m hacking.  To de-stress last night, I thought I’d experiment with my suspicion that natively supported pistons in Minecraft might finally bring me joy.  Specifically, implementing a jetty for docking my boats that doesn’t well… suck.  Before getting onto the detail, here’s a small video of the solution I’ve currently settled on:

Three big things really, really irritate me about Minecraft boats:

  1. If I dismount poorly (which I often do), the boat sails far out from the shore. Retrieving it is an absolute pain in the posterior.
  2. If some pixelated animal or undead thing stumbles across the boat and touches it, the boat sails far out from the shore. Retrieving it is absolute pain in the posterior.
  3. They’re so accursedly easy to break. Building new ones so frequently is an absolute pain in the posterior.

Now, items one and two I can cross off my hatred list if I build a little jetty for the boats that ensures they won’t sail off. The salient design characteristics were:

  1. As hermetically sealed an environment as I can, to stop others from pushing the boat off.  This was achieved with fencing, and some clearance at the mouth of the jetty to ensure that critters couldn’t jump onto the fence from a 1-block deep patch of water.
  2. A locking mechanism similar to an airlock, where I can bring the boat in, be certain that the fence is up before I dismount, and then pass through the fencing, which I can reseal with levers to stop critters accessing the boat.

As seen in the  video,  fencing attached to sticky pistons was used to achieve both aims.  There are a couple of known issues with the current design that I’m not that fussed about solving just yet. They are:

  • The two levers interact a little oddly.  Lever state changes will be occasionally ignored if the lever state (say on), is not aligned with the circuit state (say off).  With typical use, this won’t occur.  You have to use the one lever to both open and close the fencing when passing over the threshold. What I really need here is to expand the redstone circuits to make both levers toggle circuit state, instead of having to be in sync with the circuit before generating valid state change.
  • This solution will not stop spiders.  My typical answer to sealing out spiders is to create a fence “cage” with wooden half-blocks as eaves, but for my jetty I find the aesthetics offensive. Still, if I get a run of spiders messing up my boat docking I might just go there.

The redstone circuit buried under the sand looks a bit like this. Substitute the unlit redstone torches with levers above redstone wire, and the furnaces with sticky pistons (sorry, Minedraft.net doesn’t seem to do levers or pistons).

Boat Docking CircuitAnd that’s it. I can see a great deal more virtual boating on my blocky horizon.

Update:  I’ve been asked by a fellow youtuber to show the actual circuit, thusly:


3 responses to “Minecraft Sticky Pistons For Effective Boat Docking (Obsolete)

  1. Just beautiful, really! It’s so compact, and it’s just fun it watch it contract. Really great great stuff.


  2. madcomposer72

    SO elegant. Thanks!


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