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SEPTEMBER 29, 1997

Features

Jared Sheeks and his boat Jared Sheeks was following in his family's footsteps when he spent two years building a bot in his family;s garage. He divides his time between building projects and long-distance running.

Photo courtesy of Jared Sheeks

Determined and resourceful teen builds his own boat

  by Deborah Stone
   A love of boating and waterskiing combined with an inate mechanical aptitude led sixteen year old Jared Sheeks to build his own speed boat. At 14, Sheeks sent away for the plans to build an eleven foot "Runabout." He labored for two years without any help in his family's garage during his spare time and in July, the boat was completed.
  
   All the materials and supplies came from money he had earned through his paper route and mowing lawns. The total cost was approximately $2300 which also included a trailor for the boat. Sheeks was inspired to embark on such a monumental project by hearing stories of his father's friend's venture into building a hydroplane when he was in high school.
  
   Sheeks got interested in woodworking through Leota Jr. High's shop class. He has built bookshelves for his room and coffee tables for his family's living room. He also enjoys tinkering on his car and motorcycle and says, "I like putting things together, fixing things and making them work. It's a fun challenge." This natural aptitude seems to be hereditary as he has several relatives who are engineers.
  
   The boat's maiden voyage at Flowing Lake in Monroe was a success and Sheeks was able to use it to pull his brothers and friends in ski tubes and on waterskis. Even his mother managed to waterski, despite a twenty year absence from the sport. The boat can go up to thirty five mph and seats three comfortably.
  
   Jared, a top student at Woodinville High, hopes to attend a college with a good engineering school and a decent track/cross-country program. "My Dad got me into running," says Sheeks, "and I've been doing it competitively since junior high. I run about 40-45 miles per week and I'm second on Woodinville High School's cross-country team. I like running because it feels good after you do it."
  
   Jared isn't sure what project he'll pursue building next, but it's certain that with hard work and determination, he'll be able to tackle anything. He also knows that this time his family won't look at him as if he's crazy. They know better.
  
   photo courtesy of Jared Sheeks