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Red, Right, Return: The People We Meet

Robert Eddy, Model Maker.

December 12, 2006

Robert’s work and more information can be seen at http://www.yachtmodels.com

  • How long does it take to build a model?

Anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 hours.

  • What’s that in days?

If you went to work every day, 40 hours a week for a year, that’s 2,000 hours.

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  • You do nothing but build one model in an entire year?

Uh-huh. I have a model in my shop that’s a month and half from being finished with 2,000 hours in it.

  • How many have you built?

Almost 30 full models and tons of half-models-half the boat put on a backboard.

  • What’s the going price?

They average from $100,000 to upwards of $200,000, materials included.

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  • What got you into this?

It was a hobby that turned into a profession. My first model was a Duesenberg automobile from die-cast metal.

  • What’s the smallest one you’ve built?

A model of a Bugatti dinghy. At a quarter-inch to the foot, it was only two and a quarter inches long.

  • Why would anyone want a model of his boat?

It’s a major part of his life. He might sell the boat, but the model will always stay with him. Plus, there’s no launching, docking, or storage fees once it’s paid for.

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  • Has anyone ever skipped out without paying?

No. People pay in monthly installments. They’re welcome to visit and check on the progress.

  • Don’t you get bored?

Never. There’s no tedium to it because there are so many things to do: carving, metalworking, fabrication, making castings.

  • Exciting. You built tiny boats, but do you own a big one?

Just a 19-footer with a 90-hp Honda. If I had the time, I’d build a full-size boat, but I haven’t yet. It’s a curse I live with.

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  • Have you ever built a ship in a bottle?

No.

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