Rio Rojo is coming together, as the Beatles say, right now, over me. Each day something else that looks really cool happens. Last night we finished the gunwales.

Today we started painting the transom. Janek didn’t drink as much espresso as I, so gets to do the glory work here.

Jim finished his rib set for the Betty Boop replica.

The plan is to pull the boat together Saturday afternoon. All hands on deck–if you want to see one go together and are up for helping with the mayhem, come on by. We’ll probably start around noon with the assembly and could get as far as gunwales by that night. Big fun. Here is the 12:1 scarfing jig in action, making the inner chines.

Most of last night and all of today I did a lot of nerve-wracking cutting and installation of the SeaDek–a cool, closed-cell, high-density, self-adhesive sheet foam designed mainly for fancy seagoing boats of all sorts, but it seems applicable to our whitewater trade.

Here is how we do the hatch lids:

I measure oh-so-carefully and cut it at a bevel with a razor knife. Then I put it in position with some masking tape on one end and a few lead ducks just to make sure nothing moves around.

Then I peel the backing off the far edge.

And press it down.

Then, before peeling off the rest of the backing, I turn the hatch lid over and cut through the latch holes so I can drop a latch in place and draw its set-back accurately.

Then slide in a board and cut out the latch set-backs.

Then peel the backing, press it firm, and do another. And another. And all the odd shapes of decking. But in the end it looks pretty sweet and should feel wonderful on bare feet.