IN THE FIELD: It’s all About Boats


Whenever I see boats in the water, I have this insatiable longing to be around them.

I’m pretty sure this passion for boats began when I was eight years old. That summer, my mother bought me a wooden toy sailboat made by Star Yachts in Birkenhead England. I would tie the end of a spool of kite string to the bow, take it to the ocean’s edge and let it sail into the waves towards some far away land across the sea.

When the boat was well on its way across the Atlantic and I only had a few feet of string left on the spool, I would give a tug on the string and turn the boat towards me. After it made it’s way back to the shallows I would turn it out to sea and repeat the process again. And again…all day long. The little yellow sailboat brought me many hours of joy.

A few years later I progressed to other things that float such as canoes and kayaks. And I even learned how to sail a big person’s sailboat.

I love boats of any size, shape, or construction, but my true passion is wooden boats. In fact, owning a wooden boat has been a dream of mine for many years. So I built one. Well…actually two…although, they are on a much smaller scale than full size.

This is a 1/12 scale model of a typical Maine Lobster Boat. I built everything you see in the photo. The dock, buoys, skiff, lobster traps, and the lobster boat itself, are all made of wood. The vessel is radio controlled and I can pretend I am at the helm and control speed, direction, and various lighting systems I installed.

Even though I built this boat several years ago, she looks as good now as she did when I first launched her. And whenever I need a boating fix, all I have to do is look up to the shelf above me, and there in her cradle sits the Maiden Marie.

We may live a few hours from the sea, but my pride and joy, the Maiden Marie, will take me in my dreams anywhere I want to venture. I suppose I’m still a little boy at heart.

  1. August 9, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Well done on building the boat, looks very good! Such a cute photo too!!

    • August 9, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Thanks Andrew, it’s only 30 inches long…but it’s still a wooden boat!

  2. August 9, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I can see your artistic ability is not limited to photography! The boat is beautiful! Have you made other models? You will have to show us!

    • August 9, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Thanks Karen, I have been building models since I was old enough to ride my bicycle to the hobby store by myself (about 10 yrs old). Recent projects have been U.S. naval vessels. I’ve made some wooden kayaks, and my next goal is on of my favorite sail boats.

  3. August 9, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Ahoy matey! There be lobstahs out thar! And tasty ones too (had one recently) This is a great little boat.

    • August 9, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Ahoy! ahhh lobstah…love it love it love it! Especially when purchased and eaten where the locals go. Brown paper table cloths, corn on the cob, mussels, clams, and a few beers to wash everything down. Now I’m starving LOL

  4. August 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Looks so nice!!!! You have patience!

    • August 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      Thank you Cornel…there were times where it did take a good bit of patience. I had so many detailing ideas I couldn’t wait to install them!

  5. August 9, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    I love this reflection – my husband love boats! 🙂

    • August 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      I photographed the boat/diorama in a small pool that was fed by a trifle of water from a nearby creek. The water was so calm it created some great reflections. Hope your husband liked this one!

  6. August 10, 2013 at 1:48 am

    Oh dear David, fascinated me this lovely boat and photograph… You are amazing and so creative too… Thank you, love, nia

    • August 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      Thanks Nia, it was a lot of fun to build…I probably spent six months or so until I could say it was ready for the water. Then I had to continue detailing it…which still continues today…

  7. August 10, 2013 at 3:45 am

    Wow, David – that looks absolutely beautiful! All the details inside the cabin, and the finish, and the little lobster traps and skiff – I can see it was a labour of love. I’m surprised you aren’t besieged by eager would-be customers!

    • August 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Thank you Jo, I became somewhat obsessed with this project. A few examples…Sharon went to fill her cup with more tea one morning and couldn’t figure why nothing came out of the pot. That’s because I put some white cotton string in the pot to age it. This tea colored string became dock lines. The floats under the dock sections are champagne corks. David, why are you buying champagne so often? The fire extinguisher is part of a doorknob, the curtains were made from a handkerchief, the radios were made from magazine photos, and I just recently found the perfect stainless steel acorn cap nut to use as a compass. I’m still looking for a 6 inch doll figure I could fashion into a fisherman. These are not easy to find.
      I suppose this fishing boat will never really be finished. Not bragging here…but whenever the boat and dock are in the water, it tends to draw just a wee bit of attention.

      • August 11, 2013 at 4:11 am

        Haha, I love this story! The best excuse I’ve ever heard for buying champagne! It sounds as if finding the right bits to make the fittings was a real pleasure in itself. I can’t imagine a six-inch figure that would do it justice – but I hope you find one! I am quite sure you’re not bragging when you say it draws a wee bit of attention!

  8. August 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Very nice indeed David. When I first saw the photo I was disconcerted, probably by the scale of the beach pebbles. Then I realised, it must be a model. It is a very convincing model, beautifully done!

    For wooden dolls at 6 inches check out the world of Hitty dolls (I live with many, and they have their own blog run from this same keyboard). The ebay seller therabidtoy (Gustavo Trullet, in Argentina) is a fantastic carver and while he concentrates on Hittys, he sometimes carves male dolls – his are very affordable for their quality. He is very approachable and would certainly carve something to your specifications. If you PM me I can send an email address for him if you can’t track him down online.

    To see some examples of his work from my household go to and check out (on the side bar in the Categories list, or by the tags) Gracia, Perdita, Eugenia and Mary Ann. He sells them unpainted, which I expect would suit you. The first three listed above are painted by my partner, the last by someone she knows. The other dolls on her blog are carved by a variety of people, including herself. Hope this helps in your search for 6 inch wooden dolls.

    • August 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      Thank you Ehpem, it does look like the real thing at first glance. Thanks for the doll info. I have checking out the link you sent. She is quite humorous and creative! I will look into Gustavo’s site. The action figures at the stores just don’t depict the look I’m going for LOL

  9. August 11, 2013 at 8:06 am

    You built that, really? Wow, that is good. And you did such a great job photographing it too. And living very near the New England coast I can tell you the detail is perfect! The only thing not absolutely correct, sadly so I might add, is that they no longer use those beautiful wooden lobster traps. The ones used now are heavy gage wire mesh and much less pleasing to the eye.

    • August 11, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Yep sure did! Glad you liked the photo…I took several photos from different viewpoints but I liked this one the best. Our goal (my wife and I) was trying to make it look as real as possible…the gigantic leaves and rocks give it away though LOL. Although some folks don’t notice and think it really is a 30 footer. Where do you keep it docked they ask. Usually I say “Bass Harbor Maine. I have someone keep after it when I’m not there” Bad David. It is a shame you don’t see very many of the old wooden traps anymore. Progress I guess. My ultimate goal is to take the boat up north someday and float it in a working harbor…problem is…which one. I’ve been to so many I can’t decide.

      • August 11, 2013 at 8:48 pm

        It’s funny you should mention the leaves and rocks. I never noticed them. As good and realistic as it looked, there was still “something” that said “model.”

        Oh you can find plenty of those old wooden lobster traps. Under a glass top as a coffee table, on the walls in seafood restaurants… 😀

  10. August 11, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Wow, fantastic work! Loved the little details. Hats off! 🙂

    • August 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      Thanks Nandini, it truly was fun to build and super detail the boat. I’m always on the lookout for something new to add to the realism. I think a few small buckets would be a nice addition. Always good to have a bucket on board.

  11. August 14, 2013 at 10:08 am

    That’s awesome David, you must have incredible patience to build these !!

  12. August 14, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Yeah I suppose I do…I’ve been doing it a long time…although this project never seems to end. Just like a real boat LOL!

  13. August 14, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    A true work of art David and something to be very proud of. You are a man of many talents.

    • August 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      Gee thanks Karen, since main tugs at my heart so strongly, building a lobster boat was a no-brainer. One of these days I would love to sail her in her home port of Bass Harbor. Lot’s of great memories from there.

  14. August 14, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Amazing detail. And even a lighting system! Your creativity knows no bounds.

    • August 15, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      Thanks John, it looks so cool at night with the lights on! it’s detailed even more than what I listed!

      • August 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm

        Could you get a good picture of it with the lights on? Would love to see THAT.

      • August 15, 2013 at 2:26 pm

        I’ll give it a shot…pun intended. Now to find a suitable place to float the boat.

  15. August 29, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Oh yes, it’s all about boats! I love boats too and could look at them or be on them for hours 🙂 What a great shot and even greater memories 🙂

    • August 30, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Thanks Kristina, if only this one was a just a wee bit larger…maybe I’ll start building kayaks in the basement…hmmmm

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