Rob Eddy, model maker extraordinaire


I’m sure that Furuno folk are going to grin over these photos; I bet you all will.  But you must click them to full size, and also please trust me that the phenomenal detail is even more so in reality.  This 18-inch model of a 1983 Jarvis Newman 36 took 1,100 expert hours to build — expertise not just at documentation and delicate hand work but also at 3D CAD, naval architecture, laser cutting tools, and jewelry making.  Adding in a lifelong passion for boats, an artist’s eye, and the patience of Job gets you to one of my local treasurers: model maker Rob Eddy

So when Rob had an open house at his shop last week, I was one of many who got to grin over the model of Ojibway before it’s delivered to its owner.  Frankly, I was surprised to see the prominent Furuno label on the radome because a lot of classy yachts like this have such brand names carefully painted out.  Plus an owner gets to do a little editing when a custom model is made.  For instance, Rob explained that on the real boat there’s an “unattractive” white circuit breaker panel on the port side of that helm below, which he and his team could have reproduced…but didn’t. Check out how much detail they did get, though, and bear in mind that if the real boat has a 6-inch compass, that little cutie is just 1/4-inch across (and is hard to see unless, like here, the cabin roof is removed).
   Ojibway’s hull, incidentally, was built quite like the real boat; a carved wooden plug was used to create a female mold in which fiberglass halves were “laid up.”  Rob could have simply hollowed out the original plug, but to get those tiny cockpit scuppers seen in the top photo to look just right inside the model’s cockpit, he needed a realistically thin hull!  It was also a pleasure to wander around the shop where two sailboat models — the Swan 60 Kalevala and the Hodgdon 98 Windcrest {now both finished} — are being crafted in 7/16 and 5/16 scales respectively.  A perfect if pencil-thin mizzen was in a lathe and trays of teensy gold and silver hardware awaited installation.
   If I were somehow magically transported into the disposable income bracket that can consider commissioning artful craftsmenship like this, I surely would.  Is there a better way to appreciate what a boat you love looks like in full?  In fact, another of Rob’s models that blew me away was a full detail half model of the super yacht Schererazade that’s mounted on mirror so it could be installed onboard. Thus the owner and crew can see the whole vessel in 3D even while they’re sailing her.  Check out forty years of Rob Eddy model passion here, and a Chris Caswell Yachting piece partially about him here.  Enjoy.


Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

6 Responses

  1. Adam says:

    Ben, thanks for this slightly off-topic post. I love ship models and having attempted one or two I can attest to how unbelievably difficult they are to build at all, much less at this level of craftsmanship.

  2. WOW! I am absolutely blown away by the detail at that helm… The full model is beautiful, of course, but it’s the painstaking detail inside that really sets the work apart. Well done.
    And well done, Ben, for inspiring me to feature Rob on Megayacht News soon!

  3. Johncc says:


  4. Furuno Tech says:

    The details of the Furuno Radome, Navnet Radar/Plotter Display and Navpilot display are very accurate.
    Very impressive and worthy of accolades!

  5. cole says:

    Ben, just out of curiosity, how much does a model like this go for??

  6. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I don’t know, Cole. This is the sort of niche where prices are not discussed publicly. But you can do some guesstimating. Consider 1,100 hours of painstaking labor performed by Rob and his one well-trained assistant in a two story shop filled with tools, some of them quite exotic. Material costs are probably pretty modest, but I think it’s safe to say that you could buy a pretty good full sized boat for the cost of this model.
    But it’s probably also safe to say that that the people who do purchase models of this caliber already have plenty of full sized boats. In fact, the gentleman who now owns both the 36-foot and the 18-inch Ojibways also has a sailing vessel over 100 feet, and this model was delivered to his personal “waterfront manager”.

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