Yeah, if they fit in a 1x1, my elevator wouldn't be 2x2 holes.
I've given up on the video, if anyone else wants to record one, please do. I can confirm that harukastu's 2x5 does actually work, and I've updated the first post with it as it not only works, but works better.
Just a note: It's quite finicky trying to get in and out of this thing. Less so with the 5x2 version, but it's still kind of difficult. If you lengthen it, you could make more room to get in and out with while still keeping it automated.
You can also "chain" it together to make multiple levels. The top will be the widest, with each floor being short.
Not to necro-bump this or anything, but how do get OFF the boatavator safely when it reaches the top? Much of the time I either find myself falling down the waterfall, or shoving my boat into the nearby wall at hypersonic speeds causing it to disintegrate.
This problem has made this wonderful invention somewhat less useful to me than it otherwise could be. Does anybody have any suggestions for what methods I might employ in either construction or personal maneuvering so that I could safely and reliably make use of a boatavator?
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Hans Lemurson's Thread of Links:http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/371610-hans-lemursons-thread-of-links/
Look here to find links to my inventions, creations, and my Youtube channel featuring Amazing Creations of Mine (Redstone engineering FTW!!!) and charming Music-Videos about clones. I also made "Minecraft in Minecraft" (2D platformer/building game). I'm currently trying to make a computer.
Gah, this looks brilliant, but I can't decipher exactly how it's done, that video would have been good D:
Basically, water currents in Minecraft add momentum (forward thrust, or speed) to movement, even if said movement is in the opposite direction of the current. It's possible to swim up a waterfall without a boat, but boats have an inherent speed which is greater than swimming alone. You will find that if you arrange spring blocks in different ways, and if the structure of the shaft or waterfall is different, (if there are holes in the sides for example, which cause crossrips or small alterations to the current) then your speed will be different, even when going against the current. I've had setups before where swimming up a mineshaft was actually faster than going down it, because I had some weird crosscurrent effects happening.
I know virtually nothing about real world fluid dynamics at all, but the way water in Minecraft works is very strange, and not at all intuitive. It can have exploitable benefits, however, but you need to experiment with it in order to learn to harness it effectively.