The evolution of sail and the ships that carried it is a fascinating story with some of the first records dating back to early Egypt and continuing through Greek, Roman, and medieval days through golden age of sail in the 18th and 19th centuries and into the present day.
Although all great civilizations developed sailing ships, I've always been interested in their development in what is called the "Western World"...the eastern Mediterranean, Europe and North America.
One of the best ways to see some of the changes through the ages is in the form of scale models.
I've been building sailing ship models for over 30 years.
I'm a dryland sailor from central Oklahoma who never learned to sail. However, I've always been interested in history, especially English history, and that leads like a magnet to English sea power. I also like the hands-on feel of model making.
I first started making models as a kid, lost interest long enough to go to The University of Oklahoma for a while, quit school, get a job and get married.
Shortly after the kids arrived, I got interested in history and ship building again. (My wife says it was a cheap hobby
that kept me home at nights)
My first ship was a Dutch man of war called "The Guda" followed by "The Kearsarge" and the "The Constitution."
Over the last 35 years, I've built 32 in all, sold one, gave two away as gifts and still have 29 on display in cabinets in my workshop/garage.
At first I started with plastic kits. Most plastic models like "The America", "Cutty Sark" and "Sovereign of the Seas" have been extensively expanded. Later I became more interested in wood plank-on-frame models like "The Great Harry" "Dallas" and "Norske Love." In several cases I have scratch built from plans and illustrations in books. Queen Hapshepsuts Egyptian ship, the Phoenician Bireme and Roman Heavy Trireme are examples of this kind. The Mataro ship, and Cog are combination kit and scratch built.
I work on models in the winter-time. An average ship takes from 1 to 5 winters to complete.
I have plans to add several additional models to the series including a Roman Merchantman, a pirate Xebeck, one of the "tall training ships, probably the "Amerigo Vespucci" and an example of a cutter or bomb brig.
When I am not model building I am making a living as a Creative Projects Manager for The Daily Oklahoman. (That's what they call a one time commercial artist who can't keep his hands off of computer graphics and likes to coordinate stage shows, sales events, audio visual production and anything else that offers a challenge.)
The same lady has put up with me for 40 years this Spring and we have two kids and 4 grand kids. Nearly everyone in my family makes their living from some aspect of computers and/or audio-visual equipment. We talk frequently, enjoy comparing notes, but understand very little about what each other does.
As a hobby my wife and I like to travel, especially to Europe and particularly England where I tend to haunt the marine museums or museum ships like "The Cutty Sark", drydocked at Greenwich.