Betty Boop and I rang in the new year with an evening visit from Audria and Laura, wherein we toasted, got roasted, and launched a flaming chinese hot air balloon that immediately got caught in a tree. We freed it in time for it still to fly high, with much shouting, screaming, a ladder, and a long stick. 

When midnight struck I took a break from painting hatch lids to send up a few aerial fireworks. The launch mortar tube blew to smithereens on the first launch, more smithereens on the second launch (after a quick fix) and into final fragments on the third, showering the driveway and my long-suffering van with exploding magnesium sparkles. 

My omens predict a year of things going hilariously, spectacularly awry. Excellent!

As you see in the picture, Betty Boop is nearly done--a day or two of details and she is ready to rock--hinges, latches, a few dollops of paint. I had figured three weeks to refurbish her. Ha! More like about seven. But without my blind, manic, unrealistic optimism, I'd never start anything. And without all the incredible help, encouragement, advice, and occasional jeering from so many fine friends, I'd never get anything done. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of Betty Boop's rebirth. She'll be floating soon. Happy New Year y'all. 


Lots more pictures and details at

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Comment by Roger Fletcher on January 5, 2012 at 8:33pm

Great work, Brad!!

Comment by Randy Dersham on January 4, 2012 at 10:09pm

Fantastic job.  I hope to see it in person some day.

Comment by Rick Newman on January 3, 2012 at 7:19pm

Sorry to hear that you won't be there. We will just have to find another use for the clamping fluid! I understand the cash flow issue. This week it is the dishwasher, car, car and school stuff for my daughter and it is only Tuesday! Maybe a few pictures from your web site could be printed up to post at the show. I still have some pictures from it's first visit.

Rick Newman

Comment by Brad Dimock on January 3, 2012 at 8:53am
I would love to bring her back to the boat show, but it always comes smack I the middle of my commercial boating schedule. Which is when I make enough money to support these bad habits. The cash flow at Fretwater Boatworks is impressive, but it flows the wrong way.
Comment by Rick Newman on January 3, 2012 at 8:34am

Magnificent work! Looks like the best boat in 2012! She sure would look nice parked back in the lawn right where she was a couple of years ago. I would even make couple of enlargements of the pictures I took for you. And I would bet that we could find you some of that celebratory clamping fluid you use!

Rick Newman

Comment by Greg Hatten on January 2, 2012 at 12:21pm

Outstanding work Brad!!  ha ha - Love it.

Happy New Year!!!  Hope to see you on the river somewhere in 2012 - here, there, or somewhere in-between!!

Greg H

Comment by eric stevens on January 2, 2012 at 11:08am
That turned out great ! You have made some really great boats in the last couple of years, I like the red, it really is bold. Keep up the good work, we are all jealous that you get to build so many boats !!!

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