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Ann Arbor Miller, Published January 19 2009

In View: Boat Works

No owner’s manual guides Dave Selvig’s efforts to transform dilapidated watercraft into polished classics.

Each project – and there have been many, including

a 1955 Chris-Craft Cobra – requires careful consideration and months of meticulous work.

It's a labor of love for Selvig, 62, who works in sales for Cook Sign Co. and spends many weekday evenings in his Fargo workshop.

“It’s just like any hobby,” he said. “I don’t think about work or any other problems when I’m here.”

Selvig's current project is the restoration of a 1956 Larson Falls Flyer, which is owned by a friend and spent years docked on land.

It’s a petite fiberglass boat that was manufactured in Little Falls, Minn.

On a recent evening, Selvig spent nearly two hours crafting one piece of white oak to match a cracked engine stringer, which runs from bow to stern and ensures the boat’s integrity.

While Selvig still has many hours of work to do on the boat in the months ahead, he delights in small successes.

“That’s lovely,” he said after affixing the new wood to the old. “Life couldn’t get any better than that.”

If all goes as planned, the summer sun will sparkle in the Flyer’s chrome accents as she circles Pelican Lake for the annual Fourth of July boat parade.

It’s a sight Selvig can’t wait to see.