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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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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.

Famous Ship Models, Model Ship Displays, Model Ships, Pirate Ship Models, Tall Ships

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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Cannon of Blackbeard’s Legendary Queen Anne’s Revenge Finally Raised!

October 31st, 2011

"concretion" encrusted cannon

As one of the most recognizable and renowned pirates in all of sailing lore, Blackbeard (Edward Teach) sailed throughout the Caribbean and up the North American east coast for three years in the early 1700s, building his fleet, wealth, and legend in the process.  The Queen Anne’s Revenge, dreaded flagship of his fleet, came to be known as a formidable vessel; one that was sadly sunk in 1718 as Blackbeard absconded with a wealth of loot. Based on Oracoke Island, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Blackbeard ran the ship aground following a week’s long blockade of the harbor in Charleston. Now, some 300 years later, the treasures of this sunken beauty are coming to the surface, exciting the minds and imaginations of scientists and nautical enthusiasts alike. As the largest underwater archeological project in America, the Queen Anne’s Revenge site has fascinated scientists since 1997, with multiple artifacts discovered, studied, and placed on display in museums throughout the country. As some of the grandest prizes, however, the massive cannons from the ship were exceptional finds, treasure troves of great historic import. Twelve cannons have been discovered thus far, with the newest one recently making headlines as it was raised from the wreckage. At 8 feet long, covered with “concretion,” or layers of sediment that form a hard shell, the cannon is a magnificent puzzle that must be carefully unlocked over the course of the next few years.

Handcrafted Model Ship's 24" Queen Anne's Revenge model ship

HMS 24" model of Queen Anne's Revenge

Though Blackbeard had received a pardon following his initial pirate activities, after a brief respite from the sea he soon returned in search of further plunder, leading soon afterwards to his death. Following his success in blockading the port of Charleston, Blackbeard became a much sought after target, pursued by British Lieutenant Robert Maynard under charge of Virgina Governor Alexander Spotswood. In what would prove to be his final battle, Blackbeard and his remaining crew were discovered in late November, 1718, and quickly blockaded by Maynard’s fleet before coming under attack. Returning fire,  Blackbeard’s pirates leapt aboard Maynard’s seemingly empty vessel only to be surprised by sailors hidden below decks. During the brief battle the legendary pirate was struck down by blade, with Maynard taking Blackbeard’s head as a trophy; hanging it from the bow of his ship as he sailed triumphantly back to shore. Though Blackbeard’s life at sea was cut short, he left the world with his fascinating story and a legendary ship that now, 300 years later, is met not with dread, but pure fascination and wonder.

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African Queen Model Ship

October 1st, 2010

In 1935 British author C.S. Forester released his Masterpiece The African Queen. It tells the story of two missionaries who fall in love and use the only thing they have, their boat, The African Queen, to defeat the Germans who are occupying Africa during World War I. The novel was met with such acclaim that two of the world’s most famous actors, Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn made it into a movie in 1951. Like the book, The African Queen the movie had wild success in American and British box offices. The movie was so highly regarded that it led to Bogart winning the Academy Award for Best Actor, his first and only Oscar. Furthermore, the success of the movie and the famous African Queen ship, were selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

Ship from The African Queen Movie

Make the American classic movie, The African Queen, come alive by owing an exact replica model ship by Handcrafted Model Ships. Die hard classic movie buffs know the African Queen as the ship where the entire plot of the movie unfolds. It is where Humphrey Bogart plays weathered boat captain Charlie Allnut, and Katherine Hepburn stars as the beautiful, yet determined, missionary Rose Sayer. So loved is the African Queen Ship that the original boat still exists today and is docked in Key Largo, Florida. And furthermore, The African Queen is officially listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places. Obviously, incorporating a model ship of such historical and cinematic significance into your home collection is not an opportunity to be missed.

Authentic African Queen Replica

Creating The Best African Queen Replica

There is a reason why serious model ship collectors are consistently choosing to add the Handcrafted Model Ship (HMS) version of the African Queen to their personal collections. For starters, movie lovers and model ship enthusiasts alike have a desire for perfection. They are simply not satisfied with a toy ship that contains the words “African Queen” printed on the box. No, they demand detail and craftsmanship. The replica of The African Queen delivers on both fronts. The HMS version looks exactly as the boat from the movie does; everything from the hull shape, to the British flag flying high atop the mast of the ship. Furthermore, the boat is wooden like the real African Queen ship, and sports the African Queen name written on the starboard side of the bow. Also, to stay true to the movie and the original African Queen ship, the oxygen tanks that were used to make the ship into a torpedo and defeat the Germans are also included in the HMS African Queen Model. Needless to say, no detail was over looked, and the African Queen replica is sure to please the even the most demanding of fans.

The African Queen Boat Model Makes A Special Addition To Any Collection

No model ship collector or movie fan should be without the African Queen model ship. It brings together a timeless American classic movie with excellence in model shipbuilding that only Handcrafted Model Ships provides. As our customers already know, ordering is a cinch, and the African Queen will arrive at your door fully assembled and ready to be displayed. Order today and own a piece of cinematic and nautical history.

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Forrest Gumps’ Jenny Shrimp Boat

September 27th, 2010

In 1994, Director Robert Zemeckis and Paramount Pictures released an instant American classic film, Forrest Gump. Never before had a movie captured the most formative period in United States’ history , from the early 1950s to the late 1960s, in such and interesting and moving way. Forrest Gump rang so true and moved so many people that it grossed over $670 million dollars in theaters worldwide. In fact, Forrest Gump was so acclaimed that it received thirteen Academy Award nominations and won seven Oscars, including for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Leading Actor. As with all great movies, certain scenes having a last affect in pop-culture, this is no different with Forrest Gump. Who could forget about the Bubba-Gump Shrimp Company Forrest started with Lieutenant Dan in honor of their fallen friend Bubba? Still today, people happily utter Bubba-Gump shrimp every time they see a shrimping boat.

Ship From Forrest Gump

Tom Hank’s Oscar winning portrayal of the slow, yet loveable, Forrest Gump invokes many fond memories for movie lovers around the world. One of the most memorable parts of the movie was when Forrest decides to make his fortune catching shrimp in Louisiana. Of course, Forrest named his boat after his one true love, Jenny. The Jenny Fishing Boat, has to be one of the most well known boats in the history of American cinema. What could be better than celebrating your love for Forrest Gump than with your own personal model of the Jenny Fishing boat? Handcrafted Model Ships (HMS) has just that, an impressive exact replica of the boat from Forrest Gump.

Authentic Jenny Fishing Ship

Creating The Perfect Jenny Fishing Boat Replica

Handcrafted Model Ships is not just offering any old replica to the Forrest Gump fans, no they are offering a precise work of art. The Jenny Fishing Boat comes to you looking exactly as it does in the movie. Everything from the paint scheme, to the spotlight on the cabin, to the safety buoy, are included. Yet, most notably, the HMS Forrest Gump boat includes the large trademark fishing nets that Forrest and Lieutenant Dan so diligently worked with to fill the boat with shrimp. Upon laying your eyes on it, you will know that the HMS Jenny Fishing Boat is the real deal. For those of you who are collectors, you will be happy to know that the Forrest Gump ship comes fully assembled and with a display stand.

The Forrest Gump Boat Model Makes A Special Addition To Any Collection

Simply put, no model ship collector or movie fan should be without the Forrest Gump model ship. It brings together a timeless American classic movie with excellence in model shipbuilding that only Handcrafted Model Ships provides. Who doesn’t smile when they think of Forrest working hard to catch shrimp on his beloved Jenny Fishing boat? It is a must-have in any collection. As our customers already know, ordering is a cinch, and the Forrest Gump boat will arrive at your door fully assembled and ready to be displayed. Order today and own a piece of cinematic and nautical history.

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Gilligan’s Island SS Minnow Model Ship

September 24th, 2010

When you think of classic television programs, which shows come to mind? It’s probably safe to say that Gilligan’s Island would be near the top of anyone’s list. After all, how could anyone forget the catchy theme song known as “The Ballad of Gilligan’s Isle.” Even today, young and old alike love to joke around by singing the famous three hour tour theme song chorus when starting out on a trip whether it be on land or by sea. And who cold forget the famous SS Minnow boat that wrecked on an island somewhere in the south pacific stranding Gilligan, The Skipper and the rest of the gang? The Gilligan’s Island SS Minnow is undeniably more than just a TV prop, it is a piece of American’s golden age of television.

Ship from Gilligan’s Island

Even though TV magic would have us believe that the show was filmed in the Hawaii or another tropical pacific location, it was really shot at CBS television studios in California. For those of you who don’t know, there were actually several SS Minnows used throughout the filming of Gillian’s Island. Footage of one of the SS Minnow boats, the ship using in the opening credits, was taped from a boat actually stationed in Hawaii. Another boat was brought to the TV set from Hawaii, and the third was actually built in the CBS studios for the purposes of the show. Yet, the most famous Gilligan’s Island SS Minnow, and the one that still exists today, was originally named the Bluejacket and was used primarily for the second and third seasons of Gilligan’s Island. This SS Minnow is still functional and is docked on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. It is now used mainly as a tourist attraction. Unfortunately, not all of us have the time or the funds to make it to Vancouver Island, and that is why Handcrafted Model Ship’s (HMS) SS Minnow replica is the prefect solution to incorporating a nautical memento of Gilligan’s Island into your life.

Authentic SS Minnow Replica

Making A Great SS Minnow Replica

As with all products from HMS, the Gillian’s Island SS Minnow is an exact replica. Even the biggest classic TV aficionados will realize how accurate the replica is as soon as they lay eyes on it. The Minnow comes complete with matching blue and white paint, just as the boat exhibits in the show, and the of the smallest details like the hanging life buoy and ships’ cabin were not forgotten. Better yet, the SS Minnow comes completely assembled and ready to display, with the base-stand included. Owning a ship that so perfectly resembles the boat from Gilligan’s Island is a sure-fire way to have a conversation starter in your collection that everyone will be interested in.

The Gilligan’s Boat Model Makes A Special Addition To Any Collection

What could be a better gift or addition to a collection than combing two American pastimes? Millions of us love of the sea, and all things nautical, as well as the silver screen. This is exactly what customers will be getting with the SS Minnow replica; a passion for the sea meets a timeless piece of Americana. There is no reason to delay, the boat is a work of art, and Gilligan’s Island is still as adored today as it was in the 1960s. Take advantage of this opportunity and order the Gilligan’s Island SS Minnow model ship from Handcrafted Model Ships today.

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