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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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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

Excitement at Dana Point Tall Ship Festival!

October 5th, 2011

Early last month, September 10th and 11th, Handcrafted Model Ships was delighted to take part in the annual Dana Point Tall Ship Festival! Though a little rain started the day, sunny skies prevailed and the festival took off to great success. With most of the company on hand, including a very special appearance by Captain Dick himself, we all enjoyed the company of many new friends, a few familiar faces, and everyone involved in making this fabulous festival happen. Over two days we were able to display various ship models and discuss them in person with the ship enthusiasts who had come out for a day of sailing fun, history, and beautiful Southern California weather. As the majority of our business takes place online, these festivals are always a welcomed respite from the office, allowing us a chance to meet our customers in person, and perhaps give fans a chance to talk one on one with Captain Dick.

Aside from our booth, practically overflowing with the numerous ship models and other amazing nautical décor, yummy food booths provided perfect afternoon snacks, while tours were available aboard a few fantastic sailing vessels! It was truly amazing seeing all of the attendees in proud sailing spirit; some completely decked out in full pirate regalia! And you all thought Captain Jack Sparrow was only in the movies…anyway, a very festive mood was in the air, with people of all ages, from children to grandparents, all having a wonderful time exploring, shopping, and stopping in to visit and talk about our models.

There’s not much more one can ask for; good company, great weather, delicious food, and the serene Pacific stretching out into the distance. It was great to soak in the sun, get lost in the enchanting atmosphere, and really it’s always an incredible feeling talking with our customers in person, putting a face to a name, and truly getting to know them all. We love getting feedback, and especially seeing faces light up when we show off our new ship models, or just hanging out and talking shop, chatting about sailing. Though it was only a brief two days, we thoroughly enjoyed out time in beautiful Dana Point, had a blast touring the magnificent ships at port, snacking on the amazing food there, and of course talking about the thing we love most – Sailing!

Model Ship Displays, Model Ships, Nautical Decor, Tall Ships

The USS Constitution Model Ship

September 20th, 2010

Just as some presidents, sports stars, and award winning actors go down in the annals of history as “all-time-greats” or “best ever,” in their respective fields, this also holds true for naval ships. Undoubtedly, those who know the history and tradition of the USS Constitution would agree it is, to say the least, a legend. Interestingly enough, the USS Constitution was born from the establishment of the US’s first ever naval fighting force. In 1794, congress passed the Naval Act, which mandated the construction of a navy for the United States in order to protect its shores and ships of commerce. Boston-based ship designer Joshua Humphreys immediately got to work and created one of, if not the most, legendary ships in the history of naval warfare. When the USS Constitution was completed in 1797, it was larger, more heavily armed, and better constructed than any ship the world had even seen. From that day forward the Constitution helped demonstrate Untied States’ naval might and established America as a world power.

Battleship USS Constitution

Once it set sail on the high seas the USS Constitution quickly gained a reputation as a top-notch battleship. Her enemies found her to be such a formidable opponent and were so frustrated when they saw cannon balls and other munitions bounce right off of her, that she gained the name Old Ironsides. This reputation preceded the Constitution as she participated and won many battles in numerous wars. Old Ironsides vanquished her opposition in The Quasi war of 1798, The First Barbary War of 1801 and, most famously, the War of 1812. Unbelievably, the USS Constitution is one of the only naval ships in history to never lose a battle. Even more amazing is that the original Old Ironsides still exists today, as a museum, in Boston, Massachusetts and is the oldest vessel still afloat in the world. Honestly, has then ever been a more amazing ship? Why not celebrate this nautical landmark with a replica of the USS Constitution from Handcrafted Model Ships (HMS)?

Authentic USS Constitution Replica

Creating The Perfect USS Constitution Replica

If you are looking for standout replica of the USS Constitution battleship, look no further than the one designed and crafted by Handcrafted Model Ships. Their version of Old Ironsides is an exact 1:123 scale model, comes fully assembled and includes a base-stand. The HMS USS Constitution has been meticulously painted to match the actual USS Constitution that exists today. Furthermore, the ship was fabricated using the design plans from the original USS Constitution. Once you gaze upon it, you will realize that there is not better USS Constitution replica anyplace else.

The USS Constitution Battleship Model Makes A Special Addition To Any Collection

No model ship collector or nautical history fan should be without the USS Constitution model ship. It brings together a shining example of American naval might with excellence in model shipbuilding that only Handcrafted Model Ships provides. As our customers already know, ordering is a cinch, and the USS Constitution will arrive at your door fully assembled and ready to be displayed. Order today and own a replica of the greatest ship to ever sail under the American flag.

Model Ships, Tall Ships, Top Selling Ship Models , , ,

Top 10 Reasons Model Ship Collecting Is The Best Hobby On Earth

April 12th, 2010

Collecting Model Ships

Model ship collecting is the best hobby on Earth for a variety of reasons. The experience of creating and collecting model ships is one that transcends cultural and historical borders. There is good reason why the hobby of model ship collecting has gone on for centuries to as far back as time can trace. Lets have a look at the top ten reasons why model ship collecting is the best hobby on Earth.

Collecting Model Ships is a Rewarding Process

Building a diverse assortment of ship models in your collection is a satisfying achievement. Being able to look at your collection and revel in its beauty is something that veteran model ship collectors take pride in, whether you built the ships yourself or purchased them pre-made.

Collecting Model Ships Gives you Cultural Insight

Model ships have been around for centuries and span many different walks of life. By collecting model ships you are in essence purchasing a piece of a culture. Such ships give insight into the cultural background of where the ship came from. This plays an important role in understanding different cultures.

Collecting Model Ships Give you Historical Knowledge

Similarly, model ships from different time periods can give you an understanding of the socio-economic conditions of the day. After you become familiar with collecting model ships from different eras you will be able to look at the architecture of ships from certain time periods, and know exactly where it came from and around what year it was built.

Collecting Model Ships is Accessible to Everyone

Model ship collecting used to be restricted to those with money. Today, you can purchase model ships at low prices that anyone can afford. This is due to the ability to mass produce model ship parts. With model ship collecting nobody should ever feel left out.

Collecting Model Ships is an Adventure

From the first model ship you purchase to the very last, every moment will be an adventure to you. Whether you are travelling from town to town in search of elusive ship models or scouring the Internet for them, you will find models on your journeys that will take your breath away.

Collecting Model Ships Encourages Art Appreciation

Model ship collecting is not merely just a hobby, but an art form as well. Collecting model ships will lead to an appreciation of nautical architecture. This type of appreciation builds character and helps you to understand the art of different cultures and time periods.

Collecting Model Ships is Fun for All Ages

Even kids can have fun collecting model ships. There are plenty of fun model ships, such as remote controlled boats, that kids will have a wonderful time with. When it comes to model ship collecting, no age is restricted!

Collecting Model Ships Gives your Home Elegance

Creating a nautical themed room can be a beautiful process. Nautical rooms, if done right, are resounding and will add style, culture, and significance to your home. For this reason, there are many options available today for choosing nautical decor.

Collecting Model Ships is One of the Oldest Hobbies on Earth

Model ship collecting has stood the test of time and is one of the worlds longest practiced hobbies. Ever since ships were introduced model ships have been right there along side them. The people have an interest in nautical architecture, and while the architecture may change, the hobby will always remain.

Collecting Model Ships is Important to History

Model ships have told us countless things about history. It is important to keep making and collecting these model ships, as one day our model ships will tell the tale of our culture and how we lived.

Model Ships, RC Boats, Tall Ships , , ,

Top Ship Models for Serious Collectors

April 2nd, 2010

Top Model Ships for Serious Collectors

Nowadays, anyone can become a model ship collector. What used to be an expensive hobby has become put into the hands of anyone who wants to join. You can find model ships for as low as $9.99. However, for serious model ship collectors those models just will not cut the mustard. Real model ship collectors know, however, that it is not about price, but rather about the quality, time invested, and limited scope of the model. A great model ship is diligently worked on by master artisans and created from the finest materials around. Many of the best model ships are often limited editions because they are so intricate in design that the designer can only create so many. This article will take a look at some of the top ship models for serious collectors.

The USS Constitution Limited Edition

The USS Constitution is a great ship model for serious collectors. Upon purchase you are given a Certificate of Authenticity signed by master artisan Richard Norris. Only fifty models of the USS Constitution will ever be made. This ship model is intricately designed and hand painted to accurately match the actual ship. It is built with rare woods such as cherry, walnut, oak, birch, and maple. Each model takes hundreds of hours to build by master craftsmen. This is due to realistic touches such as twenty-three hand stitched sails, an actual copper plated hull, and fully built lifeboats. The USS Constitution comes in at 38″ in length, 10″ in width, and 28″ in height. For all the details and work that goes into the USS Constitution you would be surprised to learn that it is only $599!

The RC Ferrari Hydroplane

The RC Ferrari Hydroplane is an excellent model ship for the serious collector looking for a great remote controlled model. This model is designed in the image of its real life counterpart and is meticulously painted to match. Furthermore, the Hydroplane even comes with plush leather seats reminiscent of the actual ship. The dashboard is even equipped with real looking gauges that are not merely painted on. Each strip of wood on the hull is laid down one at a time to ensure a quality product that is pleasing to both eye and touch. Also, when using its remote control function the Hydroplane can go up to 25 mph! Therefore this model is great for serious collectors looking to get a little fun out of their model ship collection. The RC Ferrari Hydroplane comes in at 32″ in length, 8″ in width, and 11″ inches in height. At $699 this model is a bit pricey, but for the serious model ship collector money should not be an object.

The San Felipe Special

The San Felipe is a one of a kind model that every serious model ship collector should be interested in. But act fast, because there is only one model available! The details that went into the creation of the San Felipe model are staggering. This model ship is made from the highest quality woods; its canvas sails have been starched to keep them in place; and the deck is littered with cannon ball racks, wooden grates, rudder chains, and an authentic lifeboat. This model took hundreds of hours to complete from scratch (no kits) by master craftsmen. The San Felipe is a grandiose 60″ in length, 24″ in width, and 54″ in height. For something so rare and so beautiful, the San Felipe’s price tag of $7999 is completely worth it!

Model Ships, New Ship Models, Pirate Ship Models, RC Boats, Sailboat Models, Tall Ships, Top Selling Ship Models , , , ,

Best Online Stores for Model Ship Collectors

March 31st, 2010

Great Online Model Ship Stores

When looking to buy great model ships online it is important to find online stores for model ship collectors that offer a wide array of both model ships and nautical decor. The quality of the model ships on these sites should directly correlate with the price. The best online stores for model ship collectors should have master artisans that work tirelessly on your model from start to finish. These sites should also have great shipping methods and care packaging to ensure a safe arrival to your doorstep. For instance, you do not want to purchase a model ship for over a hundred dollars that was created sloppily and falls apart before it even reaches your door, and not even have a money back guarantee. For the model ship collector looking to buy individual models look no further than handcraftedmodelships.com. If you are a retailer looking for wholesale model ships then tallmodelships.com is your best bet. Both stores are reliable and offer great quality, low prices, and safety assurance.

Hand Crafted Model Ships

At Hand Crafted Model Ships you will find a large assortment of tradition model ships, such as: Civil War ships, Coast Guard ships, cruise ships, decor yachts, fishing boats, pirate ships, remote controlled boats, sailboats, ships in bottle, speed boats, tall ships, and WWII ships. These ships are created from the highest quality materials such as cherry, teak, yellow siris, birch, and rosewood. The higher the cost of the model the more effort that was put into creating it. Some models require over two hundred hours of work by master artisans to complete. Hand Crafted Model Ships also has some limited edition and rare model ships available. Furthermore, you can purchase nautical decor items such as compasses and ship wheels to accommodate your model ship purchase. These decor items will add flair and style to your nautical themed room at cheap prices. Every item bought from Hand Crafted Model Ships is guaranteed quality, and is shipped to your house in safe packaging that ensures the safety of your product. If for some reason you are not happy with your model ship or decor item you are entitled to receive a full refund. If you are looking to purchase models then Hand Crafted Model Ships should be your first stop.

Model Ships, Pirate Ship Models, RC Boats, Sailboat Models, Ship in a Bottle, Tall Ships , , , ,

Fully Assembled Museum Quality Tall Ships For Sale

January 31st, 2010

Tall Ships - Cutty Sark Model

Tall Ships - Cutty Sark Model


 

If you asked four out of five people they’d tell you that what they understood about tall ships was what they’d seen on a movie screen, but in reality these boats are anything but a relic from the past. The economic bonuses for the people and places who understand the value of these tall ships are still helping communities around the world today and the interest in these boats remains unabated judging by the number of people and places that take an active interest.

If you don’t think that these vessels are still vibrant, all you need to do is ask the people of Nova Scotia, Canada. The recent 2009 Tall Ships event that was carried out there injected a whopping $32 million into the local economy and drew close to 100,000 visitors. More than 40 ships and thousands of sailors were at the event last summer.

Sailing Tall Ships To The Bank

If you’ve got the money and you’re so inclined a stay the Winter Olympics can be even more interesting than you first thought since one of the Russian tall ships, the Kruzenshtern, will visit Vancouver during the Olympics and possibly even offer interested visitors a ride. The ship is scheduled to arrive in Vancouver on Feb 10 and there will be 120 cadets aboard who will be learning the expertise needed for sailing tall ships.

There are those who think that tall ships are the stuff of Europe only and that when you think about American history, you need to only concern yourself with the canoe. However, that’s not the case at all as these tall ships and their history have a place in the American story as well

Tall Ships And American History

Across the United States there are several maritime museums that cater partially to the past of these tall ships and you can make plans to go to places like the Maine Maritime Museum that includes some realistic models of the tall ships from a bygone era. There are many other museums that cater to this important part of American history and the San Diego Maritime Museum has information on sailing these interesting boats there as well.

As you might expect, the West Cost has a special affinity with these boats in general with places like San Francisco being home to large fleet at the end of the 1800s. These tall ships helped to establish the California and Hawaii Sugar Company that brought raw sugar from Hawaii to the refineries that were located on the coast. In 1898 one the Schooners embarked on the journey with a 19-year-old captain on board. William Olson was to become the youngest sea Captain on the Pacific.

Tall ships have seen the history of the world and of the American continent and played a role in both. These are the boats that live on today and still represent a vibrant part of the lives of the people interested in the sea.

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