Jim came by at five pee-em last night to lend a hand re-bottoming my old McKenzie boat Juan. We are launching/rechristening the Betty Boop today and wanted to have a photo/recovery boat, so why not rebuild one the night before? Typical logic on my part. Made perfect sense to me. After a bit of dorking around, moving the Julius out of the way, winching the Juan down out of the loft and rolling her, we lit in to the task.

Chines off, bottom off, new bottom laid on for marking. I have enough books in the warehouse to weight down a new bottom on the Queen Elizabeth, if we should need to.

Drawing in all the ribs, limber-holes and chines for cutting and pre-drilling the floor.

Cut out the floor, pre-drill it, flip it, counter-sink it, caulk the chine and screw it down. Moving too determinedly to take pictures. Toasting each milestone with Jameson 12-year. Delicious, if you’ve never had it. Grind down the edges, coat the bottom with oil, re-affix the chines, roll her back up and oil the floor. Ten pee-em. Another toast.

We came up with the idea of having a little camp set up below some disastrous rapid for quick boat repair. We’d need a lot more wrecked boaters than we usually see to keep us in business, but how much fun would that be? My idea of heaven. Below Blossom Bar? Crystal? The Big Drops?