The ship model world called to Rob Napier when he was a boy. He did his first commissioned work at 16 and accepted ship modeling as a career at 27. It has occupied him full-time for the 40 years since. He focuses on building new models and on maintaining models for individuals and institutions. Rob’s original models are created on a broad groundwork of documentation found in the historical, photographic, and artistic records. His work has won awards at national and regional competitions, and he has judged numerous ship modeling events. Rob has worked closely with managers of institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Art Gallery of Ontario to repair and conserve models in preparation for exhibition, and he is active with the collection of the New York Yacht Club.
Rob has written two books. The first, “Reconditioning an Eighteenth-Century Ship Model, Valkenisse Retourschip of 1717,” (Sea Watch, 2008) relates his experiences with repairing and rerigging a rare 300-year-old Dutch model belonging to the Museum of Fine Arts, and his second, “Legacy of a Ship Model, Examining HMS Princess Royal 1773,” (Sea Watch, 2010) describes the almost complete rebuilding of an exquisite British dockyard model for the United States Naval Academy Museum in Annapolis.
Rob shares his views by lecturing and by contributing frequently to publications featuring ship modeling and maritime history. He edited the Nautical Research Journal for five years in the mid-1990s. Rob served as a US Navy journalist aboard an attack aircraft carrier during two late-1960’s combat cruises to Southeast Asia. He has experience with yacht racing and cruising, small boat building, and commercial fishing. Rob lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts, with his wife Sherry Moore.
Thomas Fleming Day yawl Sea Bird of 1901. This model is 1:32 (3/8″ = 1′) scale, the same as the model of Dorade will be.
Maine-built 1877 Downeaster Wm. H. Conner. The model is 1:64 (3/16″ = 1′) scale, half the scale Dorade will be.