Clive Palmer and the Rise of “Titanic 2″

November 30th, 2012

Picture of Titanic 2

This is what the new ship is to look like

Australian billionaire Clive Palmer recently announced his intention to build a cruise ship which would be as close to an exact replica of the Titanic as possible. This new ship, “Titanic II”, bears the same name as a horrible movie which was released straight to DVD in 2010. In the movie, a replica of the Titanic was built and again sunk on its maiden voyage. In addition, Mr. Palmer’s project is actually the second attempt to build a modern full-scale replica of the Titanic. In 1998, South African businessman Sarel Gous announced a similar project, but ultimately abandoned it when he was unable to secure funding. (I can’t imagine why.)

This movie and two separate projects indicate there is a tremendous level of interest in bringing the Titanic back to life. In a similar vein, Robert Ballard, who discovered the original wreck, has proposed a “save the Titanic” project – slowing the decay with antibacterial paint – in hopes to preserve it into a virtual museum. Ballard actually uncovered several shipwrecks – the Bismarck, the Yorktown, and John Kennedy’s PT-109 – and yet, the only one that generates interest enough for museum preservation and modern replica reconstruction – is the Titanic. Why?

When one looks at well-known maritime disasters, war usually plays a part. Of Mr. Ballard’s many famous discoveries, the Titanic is the only civilian vessel. (And while he explored the wreck of the Lusitania, he is not credited with discovering it.) Also, the Lusitania was sunk as part of a wartime action. What sets the Titanic apart was that it was one of the worst peacetime maritime disasters on record. Beyond that, it was a state-of-the-art vessel – which sank on its maiden voyage, no less! All other notable peacetime maritime disasters happened with ships well past their prime and with passengers who were not among the wealthiest individuals alive – such as John Jacob Astor IV.

The Titanic, then, stands singularly in naval history: an opulent, cutting-edge ship, with its passenger list boasting many wealthy, famous names, and sunk, not by an act of war, but instead, an act of arrogance and incompetence on behalf of its captain, Captain Smith, and the micro-managing corporate executive in charge, Bruce Ismay. After being catapulted back into public consciousness through James Cameron’s blockbuster movie, it seems that the popular imagination will simply not let the story end after the credits roll.

Picture of the Model for Titanic 2

Here is a picture of Billionaire Clive Palmer next to the model of the Titanic 2

Enter Clive Palmer’s plan to build a modern full-scale replica of the ocean liner and set sail on the seas once again. Palmer’s proposal is to mirror the original Titanic as close as possible including sticking fairly close to the original ship’s deck plan. (As the original wood paneling violates modern fire standards for ocean-going vessels, the Titanic will most likely have wood veneers as did the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2.) In addition, the following technological updates are planned:

  • Two diesel, rather than three steam-powered plants will allow greater space, providing better housing for the ship’s crew and additional staff.
  • The shape of the original four smoke-stacks will be maintained, (the fourth was always fake, as there were only three power plants for each of the three propellers) with the forward two being converted to observation decks, given the new power plant design.
  • The hull plates will be welded rather than riveted.
  • The ship will carry the adequate number of lifeboats for its entire rooster of passengers and crew.
  • The original three-propellers-and-rudder will be replaced by a single static, central propeller and two azimuth thrusters.
  • The bow will be more bulbous in an effort to increase fuel efficiency.

Of course, there are numerous other, less notable, changes to update the Titanic design, and, as is standard practice today, the ship is slated to be manufactured in China.

And speaking of Titanic replicas made in China, we have a whole page of handcrafted model Titanics for you to peruse.

… All aboard?

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Search for Captain Walbridge Called Off in HMS Bounty Sinking

November 16th, 2012

The search has been called off for Captain Robert Walbridge of the HMS Bounty which sunk on Sunday, October 29th. He joins Claudine Christian as the two casualties from the Bounty’s sinking. Captain Walbridge had captained the HMS Bounty for the last 17 years and, by all accounts, had grown quite attached to the ship. While the crew of the Bounty refused to speak about its sinking, Captain Walbridge’s deep love for the tall ship most likely played a role in her sinking. What is known is that Captain Walbridge felt that in tough weather a ship stands a better chance of survival at sea rather than in port–a commonly held bit of conventional wisdom amongst sailors.

Picture of Captain Robert Walbridge

Picture of Captain Robert Walbridge

Many people are questioning why and how the HMS Bounty came to be at sea during a hurricane. Since the crew is not talking at this time, all one can do is speculate, but I believe that the story that will most likely emerge is that the Bounty was in dock in North Carolina and believed to be safely out of harm’s way. However, as the superstorm developed and widened, it became apparent that the Bounty ran the risk of being smashed to pieces by the storm while in harbor. For the crew of the Bounty, the ship represented their unique livelihood. There simply weren’t many tall ships to crew in the modern world. And so the captain and crew’s concern for their ship had layers both of love and of commerce.

Picture of Claudine Christian

Picture of Claudine Christian

At some point the captain no doubt weighed the ship’s chances of survival by staying in dock or taking to sea. The plan was then made to attempt to take the Bounty to sea and sail around the developing storm. Unfortunately, the 15-foot waves eventually overwhelmed the ship and then a distress call was sent out. The captain’s priority was to get his crew safely into the lifeboats. Accounts from the sinking state that Claudine and Captain Walbridge were the last on board and were washed overboard while attempting to get into the lifeboats.

In many ways the decisions facing the captain and crew of the HMS Bounty were typical of those facing sailors constantly. The risks of death on the job are quite real, as was depicted in the movie about another superstorm that caused the loss of a ship and crew, the Andrea Gail in the movie “The Perfect Storm.” These decisions are made with some frequency, and the vast majority of the time they work out well. It’s only when these decisions go wrong that we get to ask “why on Earth were they out there in the first place?” from the safety of our living rooms.

One of the factors that the influence these decisions is simply the love of the ship on behalf of the captain and crew and their desire to protect her from harm. But if ever there were a case to help us understand their love, it must be the case of the one of a kind tall ship, the HMS Bounty.

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Superstorm Sandy Sinks HMS Bounty

November 1st, 2012

As this article is written, Hurricane Sandy, now being dubbed “Superstorm Sandy”, is savaging the East Coast. In a situation reminiscent of the events which sank the Andrea Gail in The Perfect Storm, Sandy has combined with two other independent weather systems to form a massive storm front over 1000 miles wide. It has left millions without power on the Eastern Seaboard, and flooded many parts of the country, including Manhattan’s famous subway system.
It has so far claimed approximately 30 lives, including Claudine Christian, 42, who was serving as a crew member for the tall ship, HMS Bounty. The rest of the crew of 16 have been rescued, save her captain, Robin Wallbridge, who is lost at sea and presumed dead.

The Bounty was a replica of the famous ship which saw Fletcher Christian lead a mutiny against British Captain William Bligh on April 28, 1789. The replica was built for the filming of the 1962 movie, “Mutiny on the Bounty”, starring Richard Harris and Marlon Brando. After filming concluded, the ship became a traveling tourist attraction and movie filming location. It continued to star in a number of movies including Pirate of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

The website, tallshipbounty.org was established so that people could see the tall ships sailing schedule, book passage aboard her, or offer their services as a volunteer or prospective crew member. The website has confirmed that the Bounty sunk on Sunday, October 28th in 15 foot seas as the captain was attempting to sail the boat around the developing superstorm. According to the website, at 6:30PM, the Bounty sent out a distress signal that she was without power and taking on water.

Picture of the wreckage of HMS BountyThe US Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter to the ships last reported position, found the wreck of the Bounty, and began plucking her crew from the lifeboats. Claudine Christian was not in a lifeboat. Her body was discovered hours later floating and unresponsive in the open ocean. Ms. Christian is the only confirmed loss of life in the sinking of the Bounty, but her captain is also missing and presumed dead. It is not clear at this point why she was not safely waiting in the lifeboats with the others, but no doubt the treacherous seas washed her overboard as the ship sank.

Clearly, the ship had one final story to tell; one more compelling than the original story for which she was built. No doubt the sinking of the HMS Bounty will be compared to that of the Andrea Gail as both ships were sunk in freak occurrence super storms that resulted from the collision of three independent weather systems. Fortunately, at 2 deaths out of 16, the loses of the HMS Bounty are lower than that of the Andrea Gail which went down with her entire six person crew. No doubt this is because the Andrea Gail was much farther from shore than the HMS Bounty and was unable to be rescued by USCG helicopter.

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US Coast Guard Cutters Doing Good Work in the Pacific

October 29th, 2012

As guardians of the free world, how the United States Armed Forces are perceived by the citizens of other countries is of paramount importance. Consequently, they undertake a number of goodwill missions. Pursuant to this goal, the United States Coast Guard will occasionally dispatch one of its cutters to humanitarian missions in the Pacific region.

The USCG Cutter and Buoy Tender Sequoia recently had the honor of carrying out this duty, and this beautiful 225’ buoy tender did so admirably. Not only did the Sequoia aid law enforcement in performing search and rescue missions, it also collected scientific data, assisted a village’s rebuilding era, taught boat safety, and delivered humanitarian aid and supplies to the South Pacific. Wow. That’s a lot.

Picture of a model of a USCG Buoy Tender

While based in Guam, the USCG Sequoia traveled all about the Pacific, stopping by Pohnpei, a small island approximately 1,900 miles northeast of Australia, where it gave a tour to local school children. It then distributed humanitarian aid to typhoon ravaged atolls, and, a month later, collected various floating objects which contained tracking devices that allowed scientists to track the drift of unattended objects. After this, the Sequoia continued to perform search and rescue missions and provide aid to the island nation of Poluwat, becoming the first US military vessel to visit it in the last 30 years.

The visit of a United States Coast Guard Cutter, such as the Sequoia, is a significant event to the peoples of many of these small island nations. In addition to their humanitarian efforts, such as distributing food and medicine, the US Coast Guard also teaches boat safety and, in the case of the Sequoia visit, even repaired such vital community resources as the island’s only UHF transmitter.  These efforts not only promote goodwill by being a good citizen of the world, they also help to increase the efficacy of future search and rescue efforts by teaching locals to paint their boats bright colors or carry mirrors with them when they go out to sea.

The Sequoia is but one of the 225’ Coast Guard Cutters (or Juniper Class) operating in the Pacific. Currently, the list of Juniper class cutters operating in the Pacific are: USCGC Juniper, USCGC Willow, USCGC Kukui, USCGC Elm, USCGC Walnut, USCGC Spar, USCGC Maple, USCGC Aspen, USCGC Sycamore, USCGC Cypress, USCGC Oak, USCGC Hickory, USCGC Fir, USCGC Hollyhock, USCGC Sequoia, USCGC Alder.

Picture of a model of a USCG High Endurance Cutter

Handcrafted Model Ships is proud to offer an exact model of the Juniper class, which comes complete with a nameplate that can, by customer order, by changed to any of these beautiful ships. Simply specify what you want the plaque to read at the time of your order. These model boats are ideal gifts for anyone whose family proudly includes present of past sailors in the US Coast Guard.

The handsome model and base add a touch of class to any home or office decor, so order yours today!

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Blackbeard’s Ghost Haunts Queen Anne’s Revenge

October 11th, 2012

Halloween is a magical time. Unlike other holidays, it’s less about family and more about exploring personal fantasy – and satisfying your sweet tooth. On this one day, society gives you permission to be whomever you want to be; no other day has that much possibility, which is why Halloween is fun for all ages.
Picture of a model of the Queen Anne's Revenge
Of course, we at Handcrafted Model Ships have a vested interest in one very special Halloween fantasy: the pirate. And what a great fantasy it is: being a scofflaw bandit on the high seas … raiding Spanish galleons of the riches they themselves plundered from the New World – fighting boarding actions with a pistol in hand and a dagger in your teeth. Great fun!

These compelling fantasies are based upon fascinating realities. Let’s face it, in comparison to our modern day office-dwelling existence, pirates led far more interesting lives. One of the most famous, and fascinating, of the real world pirates was Blackbeard; much of the pirate fiction that we consume centers around many of his real world exploits.

You may find the “Pirates of the Caribbean” portrayal of pirates as belonging to their own self-governing society as preposterous. Blackbeard, however, did exist in a world where pirates plotted amongst themselves for their own betterment. For instance, under Blackbeard’s command, a fleet of pirates blockaded the then English port of Charleston, South Carolina. This pirate alliance then engaged in traditional extortion by demanding that Charleston pay a ransom in order to lift the blockade, which they did. Similarly, Blackbeard ruled his ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, by the consent of the crew. It would seem that old-timey pirates do follow an honor code after all.
Picture of a model Pirate Ship
What many of you don’t know are the stories of Blackbeard’s ghost, for when it gets close to Halloween, and the seas get dark and stormy, many spot the Queen Anne’s Revenge sailing the seas once more. It isn’t known what the spectral Blackbeard is seeking on the Atlantic; maybe he wants to avenge his death at the hands of Robert Maynard of the Royal Navy, or maybe he’s searching for yet another cargo ship to plunder. Whatever his reasons, be wary, fellow traveler. The likes of Blackbeard’s ghost are not to be taken lightly.

Picture of a model of the Queen Anne's Revenge in a bottle
For those looking to feature Blackbeard’s ghost at your very own Halloween party, an actual Handcrafted Model Ship of the Queen Anne’s Revenge is essential. You’re in luck, because Handcrafted Model Ships has many different versions to choose from, starting with the 7” Queen Anne’s Revenge in a Bottle. A perfect item for a child’s bookshelf, particularly when you tell them the tale of Blackbeard’s ghost. Of course, there are many more high-end models of Queen Anne’s Revenge available, going all the way up to the 37” “Caribbean Pirate Ship.” Oh, did I forget to mention that the Queen Anne’s Revenge bears a striking resemblance to the Black Pearl from Walt Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean? So you’re getting double the pirate bang for your buck!

Other elements of pirate decor include such mainstays as nautical maps, compasses, sextants, and telescopes. These will not only be great decor elements for a room, but they also serve as perfect costume props when it’s time to go trick-or-treating. So don’t sit around being a sorry landlubber. Get your pirate booty today so it will arrive in time for Halloween. Happy hunting!

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Handcrafted Model Ships to Attend Dana Point Tall Ships Festival

September 5th, 2012

Picture of a model of the Queen Anne's RevengeAhoy, landlubbers and scallywags! Now’s your chance to come aboard!

This weekend, September 7-9, 2012 is the Tall Ships Festival in Dana Point, California where there will be assembled a collection of sailing vessels from all over the globe.

Come on down and see a mock-cannon naval battle, chat with some pirates, (and it’s not even Talk Like A Pirate Day!) and, best of all, meet the master builder himself, craftsman Richard Norris – the mastermind of Handcrafted Model Ships. As a tip, before heading down to Dana Point, practice your pirate parlance. The internet can help you here because of International “Talk Like a Pirate Day.” Receiving instruction on how to talk like a pirate can make it second nature in no time… laddie. Now you can seek out Mr. Norris and impress him with your pirate-speak, which is something of which he never gets tired.

Don’t worry about seeming like a poseur. After all, this is about letting loose and having some fun, right? Nobody’s really a Caribbean pirate or knight of the realm. Of course, you also don’t want to be that guy in flip-flops and a Hawaiian shirt, winking and pointing at the hula dancers going, “Arr, Mateys!” which, at a distance, just looks like you’re a confused transient. (And, yes, there will be hula dancers.)

So, put some thought into it. Don a costume, put on an accent. After all, Halloween’s just around the corner, so consider it practice.

Besides the obvious fun of costumed dramatics, swashbuckling and cannonades, it’s a great opportunity to get that Handcrafted Model Ship you’ve been eying for a while now. (Don’t lie. Like a Jamaican gypsy stowaway, we can see into your soul.)

We know you don’t want to pass up the chance to have the Handcrafted Model Ship you’ve always wanted sold to you by Richard Norris himself; a rare opportunity, as he’ll be readily available right at the show to answer any of your questions, whether it’s about our wonderfully large inventory, how the man himself has crafted these beautiful ships. Did I mention there’ll also be discounts of up to 70% off? Huzzah, indeed!

Model ships are a must-have at this event, and topping our list for 2012 is the Queen Anne’s Revenge. (Hey, you’d be pretty teed off if your husband had you beheaded, too!)

Oh, wait – wrong Anne? Nevermind. While her beef may’ve been lost to history, one thing’s undeniable: the ship which bears her name (and ire) has a fascinating history, as the one chosen by the notorious pirate Blackbeard. You’ll also notice her striking resemblance to the aptly named “Black Pearl”, captained by none other than Jack Sparrow in the Disney “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. So, she’s the quintessential pirate’s ship – and waiting to set sail in your living room.

Picture of a model of the USS Constitution

Feeling patriotic as election time draws near?

Bring aboard the Handcrafted Model Ship of the USS Constitution. As it just recently sailed again under its own power, it’s an excellent, timeless example of American ingenuity and craftsmanship. Go, U.S.A!

Named by none other than George Washington, it’s the only ship from its era still in active service as a part of the modern U.S. Navy. Over the course of its more than two centuries of history, it defended American merchant shipping in the Mediterranean, defeated British rival ship HMS Guerriere in the War of 1812, and served as an American ambassador of goodwill once the Age of Sail had come to a close. Wow.

Talk about your mascot for liberty, freedom of enterprise and longevity. It’s the USS Constitution all the way!

So, why not don some pirate digs, fly some colors, grab a cutlass and annoy your pet parrot by incessantly asking if it’d like the saltine you found in the sofa cushion?

You’ll be much better received by the folks down at Dana Point – especially at the Handcrafted Model Ships booth.

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72″ Remote Controlled RMS Titanic Model Ships

August 31st, 2012

Picture of a 72 inch model of the RMS TitanicZOMG. It appears someone has actually raised the RMS Titanic!

Handcrafted Model Ships has just announced the release of a limited edition 72” (six feet long!) version of their RMS Titanic model boat. At 6” long – yes, six feet in length – this model is truly deserving of its name. Both massive and beautiful, contracted with real cherry, birch, maple, and rosewood, this namesake is built precisely to scale using the plans of the actual RMS Titanic. More than that – this Titanic model ship is actually sailable. That’s right, she’s seaworthy (well, lake-worthy, anyway) and remote-controlled. You can take this ship to the local lake or pond and recapture the grandeur of the RMS Titanic’s maiden voyage – minus its unfortunate fate. Just be mindful of any mallard ducks on said pond, as they might get driven under the surface by the power of the massive wakes coming off this monster.

It’s pretty exclusive, too; only one of ten ever sold. A very rare model, indeed. Plus, for those very rare and privileged collectors, five copies each of her sister ships – the RMS Olympic and RMS Britannic – are also available. But first, a little history.

Picture of a 72 inch model of the RMS TitanicThe ocean liners RMS Titanic and her siblings, belonged to the Olympic class, which were designed to be the epitome of elegance and size. Luxury at sea. The eponymous RMS Olympic, first of its class, is distinguished by the fact it didn’t sink early in its career. While we all know of the Titanic’s untimely end, it’s not commonly known that the RMS Britannic, following massive refits in the wake of her sunken sister, fell even faster – and in the same ‘bow-down’ fashion, upon striking a German mine during WWI. Her captain attempted to ground her, keeping her engines moving in the chaos that surrounded her rapid sinking. As the crew abandoned the ship and her stern rose from the water, one of the lifeboats, filled with would-be survivors, was drawn into the operating propellers, and completely destroyed.

Needless to say, history has not been kind – downright cruel – to the Olympic class ocean liners. It seems their biggest claim to fame, sardonic as it may be, is that they sunk in a truly spectacular fashion. But would we, honestly, have even remembered them, and so vividly, were it not for the tragedies they underwent?

To that end, these lovely model cruise ships allow you to relive the elegance and glory for which these ships were meant; the joy and hope with which they were built. The potent dream of their designers.

So, take the wheel, and rewrite history! Bask in the beauty of these gorgeous giant model cruise ships, allowing them the destiny of which they were deserving, but were sadly, never afforded. Let them live again as you explore a bygone era in all its majesty, limited only by your imagination.

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The USS Constitution Sails Again

August 23rd, 2012

Make way for the USS Constitution, for she once again sails the seas. Commissioned for the US Navy by the Naval Act of 1794, she was launched in 1797 as one of six heavily armed frigates. The decision at the time was to make these heavy frigates the largest warships that the United States was fielding, so at the time of her launching, she was the largest warship sailing under the flag of the United States. She was named by none other than George Washington, and went on to faithfully serve many US Presidents after her.

Picture of a model of the USS ConstitutionThe USS Constitution is most known for her role in the War of 1812 where she defeated the HMS Guerriere. The battle saw the two ships directly alongside each other for much of the time, yet rough seas prevented any boarding action. Instead the USS Constitution’s guns savaged her British rival, while many of the shots from the Guerriere reportedly bounced off of the Constitution’s hull. Which caused an American sailor to shout, “Huzzah, her sides are made of iron,” and, from this, the USS Constitution became known as “Old Ironsides.”

By 1830, the USS Constitution was getting quite old, particularly for a wooden ship. The Boston Advertiser erroneously reported that the US Navy had decided to scrap her. This promoted Oliver Wendell Holmes to write and publish the poem, “Old Ironsides” which caused such an outcry amongst the American public that the Navy was forced to continue her upkeep. And so the decision was made to transform the USS Constitution from a warship, to one of public relations on behalf of the US Navy- a tradition which the Navy has maintained to this day.

Picture of a model of the USS ConstitutionThe Constitution has been repaired and refitted many times over her history, but her only real means of propulsion has remained the use of her sails. As sail has become a rather impractical method of powering a ship, there has always been the question of whether she should be towed to her destinations or whether US Navy sailors would be trained in such an outdated mode of transportation. Though she has been towed plenty of times throughout her history, there have been occasions where she used the wind to sail entirely under her own power. In 1997, she sailed under her own power to celebrate the 200th anniversary of her launching. Most recently, the Constitution sailed under her own power to celebrate the 200th anniversary of her battle with HMS Guerriere. She was sailed by a crew of 60 sailors, all active duty members of the Navy, and fired off a 21-gun salute to adoring audiences. Clearly, she is a beautiful piece of American history.

Now you can own a piece of American history, by purchasing one of Handcrafted Model Ships very own, USS Constitution model ships. Each was designed by Master Builder Richard Norris to be as close to the design of the actual ship as possible. The handcrafted model sailboats are available in 7” miniature all the way up to the really ginormous 50” monstrosity. Each serves as a beautiful reminder of American naval power and ingenuity.

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Handcrafted Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

May 31st, 2012

It’s time to start thinking about Father’s Day, because June 17th is just around the corner. Here are some great gift ideas for yours that he’ll treasure for years to come.

Model of USS Constitution Since a lot of dads are military history buffs, why not get them a handcrafted model of a famous ship from the Age of Sail? Something like the USS Constitution – the famed American warship from the Revolutionary War that’s still with us today. Of course, if your father’s focus is more Civil War era, how about a model of either the Monitor or the Merrimack – also known as the USS Virginia? Handcrafted model ships are a great way to add a touch of class and decor to any setting – be it office or home. Furthermore, it will be a great conversation piece, inevitably bringing mention of you when the proud papa says, “My kid got me this!”

Is your father a fisherman? Then his thoughts are probably never far from his rod and reel. Why not get him a model fishing boat to rekindle the nostalgia of his last fishing trip while eagerly awaiting the next? As for dads whose imaginations have been captured by boating in general, Hand Crafted Model Ships has categories for speedboats and sailboats and even yachts. These hobbies can be rather expensive, with their cost often limiting the amount of time your father can truly enjoy them. By giving him a handcrafted model boat relevant to his favorite pastime, you’re providing an everyday escape, so he can revisit his beloved activity until the next actual excursion.

While we’re on the topic of handcrafted model ships, you might also consider the incredible RMS Titanic – which will always be a classic. As the centennial of its ill-fated maiden voyage just passed 12 April 2012, it’s on the minds and Twitter feeds of many a hobbyist and historian. Being one of the most readily recognizable ships in history, it’s never far from societal consciousness. The handcrafted model version of the Titanic comes in a variety – including a 40″ remote-controlled, with the added bonus that it won’t sink!

Speaking of RC boats, those are another wonderful gift idea for fathers seeking something more active than a lovely conversation piece. RC boats provide a built-in activity for you and your father to get together and enjoy “sailing” on the “high seas” of the local lake or swimming pool.

When we reflect back on the lives and legacies of our parents, it is these shared experiences and memories that often prove the most poignant. In that way, gifts which allow for these shared activities and time to be spent together enrich both of your lives in ways that are truly priceless. And, really, isn’t that what Father’s Day is all about?

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Whale Wars is Here

May 15th, 2012

Handcrafted Model Ships is pleased to announce that it’s been chosen by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to carry a line of 14″ model ships based on its current fleet: the Steve Irwin, the Brigitte Bardot, and the Bob Barker. This is to coincide with the fifth season premiere of Whale Wars: Viking Shores on Animal Planet; a series which follows the adventures of the Sea Shepherd fleet as they attempt to thwart whaling efforts in the Faroe Islands off the shores of Norway.

Models of Sea Shepherd Ships Brigitte Bardot and Steve Irwin

Avid environmentalists and show supporters are invited to purchase a 14″ model of their favorite vessel to raise awareness regarding global whaling. Considering the close collaboration between the Society and Handcrafted Model Ships, each is endorsed and authorized, and designed from the actual plans of the ships after which they were modeled. It’s as close as you’re gonna get to the famous boats themselves without putting on a raincoat and signing an NDA. As an added bonus, they’re constructed with actual parts from their namesake ships.

That’s right – the model Bob Barker has actual pieces of the Bob Barker boat – but, thankfully, not the man. So, come on down!

Model of the Bob Barker of Sea Shepherd

Doesn’t he make a handsome ship? Not to mention, the price is right.

Still holding out on buying these beauties? Half of the profits from each sale go directly to the Society. You may not be aboard the ship, but you’re still fighting for the cause, and, as you’d expect, each model is made from soft woods and other eco-friendly materials. Not only are you giving to a good cause, but you’re also helping to save the environment.

Better hurry, though, as there is a limited run of 1000 for each of these ships, enhancing their collectability. After that, they’re all gone.

Model of the Steve Irwin of Sea Shepherd

Now let’s have a look at the ship which started it all – the Steve Irwin. Clearly named for the late world-renowned conservationist best known as “The Crocodile Hunter”, it’s the ship upon which the show was founded and the only one featured in the first two seasons of Whale Wars. Like its late namesake, it’s seen more than its fair share of the action. In the second season, actress Daryl Hannah even served aboard it with distinction, and the Steve Irwin continues to be the flagship of the Sea Shepherd fleet – the lynchpin of anti-whaling endeavors.

Model of the Brigitte Bardot of Sea Shepherd

But even Steve has to step aside for the grace of the Brigitte Bardot; arguably the most beautiful of the fleet, akin to the Hollywood starlet for which she was named. Fans of the series recall when the Ady Gil endured a terrible collision with Japanese whaling vessel Shonan Maru II. It couldn’t survive the damages, however, and was soon deemed lost to the fleet, abandoned and sunk.

Like the Ady Gil, the Brigitte Bardot is a similarly-designed trimaran, but twice as large, she’s less likely to suffer her predecessor’s fate. While the impact of a rogue 36 foot wave did crack her hull, resulting in her nearly losing a pontoon, Steve safely escorted her back to port. Now having undergone repairs, Brigitte is again sailing the high-seas.

But her namesake, brought to you by Handcrafted Model Ships, is better suited to a starring role in your home or office. Then you can both support her mighty counterpart as she takes down the whalers with beauty, style – and, of course – the brave environmentalists of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

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