Marieke, Betty Boop‘s new owner, let me take her downriver on a test run in September. Holy cow. What a sweet boat she is. I can honestly say I’ve never rowed anything lovelier. Here she is at Lee’s Ferry. Jim Hall brought up Betty‘s old traveling mate Tatahotso, to see her off. Gary Ladd, Tatahotso‘s original owner and a man who has known Betty Boop for more than forty years, came to add his good wishes (and take the Tat for a spin).

Betty held two passengers really well. Gary Ladd’s idea of handles for a rear rider were enormously popular.

She carries a tremendous load as well

And rocks out in the rapids

And has a really cute butt

Billy and I are taking time out to repair the guitar with boatbuilding supplies. It took us three tries to get it right wrong. But Billy swears it plays better than ever now. We call our new business the No Account Luthiers.

The Lava Falls team took her out in the eddy the night before for a couple practice flips. Just like when we tried her with a minimal load this spring, the high arched turtle-decks make it almost impossible for even one person to get atop her before she rolls up again. She just hates to be upside-down.

She made it through Lava just fine, surviving the trip without a ding. What a fine craft she is, at 45 years old. Betty‘s only drawback is she is not set up for sleeping, but a new deck arrangement could fix that. I reckon we’ll be building a few copies of this hull style shortly.