Posts Tagged ‘nautical decor’

Portholes 101

October 8th, 2010

Brass Porthole Mirror

The porthole, a tiny circular window, is used by the ship’s hull for adding lighting and air to the interior of the ship. The function of the porthole is to bring light and air to especially damp parts of the ship located below deck quarters. Just like any window, the port hole window allows the occupants of the lower deck to enjoy a view albeit limited. While air and light can get in, the porthole is water-tight, and can even be light-tight if need be.

Sometimes the porthole of a ship is referred to as the side scuttle, aka side hole. This is the proper term used by the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, as well as during the construction of a ship. Side scuttle, however, is a broad term that indicated any uncovered hole on a vessels side.

The porthole is made from two structured components, and is very similar to the design of standard windows in both design and application. The porthole is bolted to the ship’s hull carefully and securely. The porthole’s glass may even come in two frames so as to allow the opening and closing of a window. Also, they have storm covers made from metal that work to secure the porthole when heavy seas and storms arise. This is also a way of blocking light if the vessels cargo calls for it. Ship’s used for battle also use storm covers to protect their stealth in battle to avoid enemy detection. These are accessed from the inside of the ship’s hull and are fastened closed by tightening several pivoting devices known as “dogs”.

Portholes that are older typically have a jutting “collar” part of their base plate that is meant to accommodate the thick wooden hull. The size of a porthole can vary. Some may only have diameters of a few inches while others may be a couple of feet wide. This applies to the weight as well, as some may just a few pounds, and others other a hundred pounds! The weight of the porthole is mainly in its glass which can be as thick as two inches. That’s a lot of glass! The metal parts of a porthole also add on to the weight of them. These metal parts are mainly sand-cast and made from bronze, brass, steel, iron, or even aluminium. The most commonly used metals being bronze and brass due to their salt water resistance. The porthole is designed to be secure so as not to limit the integrity of the hull. The porthole’s quality and assured building are what make them so resilient. With anything less, the entire ship would be put into jeopardy.

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Weems and Plaths

August 21st, 2010
Admiral's Brass Sextant

Admiral's Brass Sextant

Weems and Plaths’ dedication to the improvement of nautical navigational tools can be seen in the brass nautical products available at The history behind both Weems and Plath is a rich one that is full of adventure and excitement. Both innovators had a strong will and dedication to the improvement of nautical navigation. As such, the many innovations made in sea and air navigation by Weems and Plath continue to inspire today. All of the items inspired by Weems and Plaths that are sold here are of high quality, and are available below the usual retail prices.


Weems was an influential navigational designer that advanced the technology of air and sea navigation through his writing, inventions, and ideas. Weems was also known for publishing many articles about navigation, and teaching navigation lessons at the Naval Academy during the 1920s. He eventually came up with his own system, appropriately dubbed The Weems System of Navigation, and taught it at his own school in Annapolis. Weems’ system improved navigational instruments with radio astronomy, space navigation, and polar exploration. Even great names in history studied the Weems system. One such person was Charles Lindbergh, whose interest in the Weems system dated to just before his historical trans-Atlantic flight.

Plath was around about a half a century before Weems, and was responsible for developing the the world’s first gyro-compass in 1913. Plath’s company had been developing quality compasses and sextants that Weems would become the future purveyor of. The integration of both Weems and Plaths’ names was only a natural fit.


The importance of Weems and Plaths inventions is still significant in the modern age. The Weems and Plath name still continues to churn out quality navigational items that encourage and enhance the progress of navigation. The innovation of Weems and Plaths nautical and weather instruments is a motivation for Handcrafted Model Ships’ own nautical decor products.

Authentic Replicas

The nautical decor items available at Handcrafted Model Ships are authentic replicas of classic and modern nautical instruments, such as magnetic compasses, telescopes, sextants, spy glasses, and more. Finding authentic replicas of Weems and Plaths’ innovative designs in navigational aids anywhere else will be next to impossible!


The quality of the Weems and Plath inspired designs found at Handcrafted Model Ships is very exceptional. For instance, each of our nautical decor items is manufactured from the finest quality brass and woods. No less can be expected from a reproduction of Weems and Plath inspired models! Many of our products come with a solid brass finish that exudes a high polished exterior. Also, they may come with a handcrafted leather case for stylish safekeeping.

At Handcrafted Model Ships you will be able to find many more nautical decor items that have rich historical backgrounds, are authentic, and of high quality. Furthermore, the prices for each of our items is significantly lower than the retail standard.

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Ship in a Bottle

August 19th, 2010
HMS Victory Ship in a Bottle

HMS Victory Ship in a Bottle offers a wide selection of nautical decor items for your pleasure and convenience. Our ships in a bottle collection is preceded by a long history of ship in bottle making, and will serve as great complimentary decorations in your nautical themed room. In the modern era, ships in a bottle remain just as relevant as ever. The mystery behind the creation of these masterpieces amuses and mystifies many still. Our ships in bottle replicas are authentic versions of famous ships throughout history, and are available to the public for lower than average retail prices. Get your hands on one today!


The history of ships in a bottle is not very well known. What is known is that Jean Randier noted some of the earliest known examples of bottled ships came around the 1830s. This is when dark glass was replaced by opaque glass bottles which would make ships in a bottle a popular commodity. However, even in the 18th century the art of building a ship within the constraints of something like a bottle was known to exist.


Bottled ships are important to the nautical culture in many ways. The significance of ships in a bottle in the modern age lies in the skillful craftsmanship needed to create such models. Bottled ship making is an art form that has transcended time and culture. They are meticulously sought out by model ship collectors all around the globe.

Authentic Replicas

At Handcrafted Model Ships, you will be happy to know that you can find some of the most authentic replicas of ships in a bottle on the market. This is because our ships in bottle collection is crafted skillfully by hand, and features detailed replicas of actual and fictional ships. Our brilliant craftsmanship is the token of thanks that we give to each and every customer. For instance, the Flying Cloud bottle ship is an authentic reproduction of the Donald McKay ship of the same name. The Flying Cloud was noted for being navigated by a woman, Eleanor Creesy. Eleanor, who was a prolific scholar of ocean currents, weather, and astronomy, sailed with her husband, John Perkins Creesy, and set a world record transit from New York to California. We also make ships in the image of the culturally significant USS Constitution, HMS Surprise, HMS Victory, and much more.


Each one of our nautical decor items is crafted with quality in mind. The ships in a bottle collection comes in many different colors depending on your liking. When shipped, we box your order with memory foam and Styrofoam to ensure a safe travel from our factory to your doorstep. While we use the finest materials, and work diligently for hours on end to bring you the best quality possible, our ships in a bottle models are still well below the retail prices you find standard elsewhere.

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Ships Bell

August 17th, 2010