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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Crafting boats with wooden spirit, classic character

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Jon Wiegand wiles away the hours in his basement diligently building wooden water craft, not to stay afloat financially, but merely for the fun of it and to keep the time from drifting away.

"The hours just fly by when you have a project you enjoy," he said.

The two gleaming canoes and the one kayak Wiegand built for his family are featured in the July/August edition of WoodenBoat magazine, which Jon said was a "pleasant surprise."

The owner of Lake Electric Supply, Wiegand submerges himself in his basement workshop crafting the boats during the winter months when he is forced indoors by the weather. A long time Storm Lake resident, he has always been fond of boats, and friend and former Buena Vista University President Keith Briscoe introduced Wiegand to the art of wooden boat creation.

A veteran woodworker, Wiegand carved elaborate ducks and geese before moving onto larger projects, at least in size, three to four years ago. He strip-built the first Prospector canoe for his daughter Jennifer. The 17-foot skiff fits two to three people, and no definite characteristic convinced Wiegand to choose the design. He said he just liked the appearance.

"Wooden boats are just classy," he said. "They have a character and a personality."

He researched information on the internet about boat-building and picked the brains of expert craftsmen.

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