BlueJacket Shipcrafters has been hand crafting fine wooden boat models for over 100 years. The company was started in 1905 by Horace E. Boucher (1874-1935). Boucher was a U.S. Navy architect and head of the Navy’s Washington D.C. model shop. His beautifully detailed, historically accurate, and to-scale ship models were prized by museums all around the country. More than 40 of them are now on display at the Smithsonian.
When Boucher started his model ship company, he decided to mass produce his own cast fittings and kits for the general public. This innovative idea kick started a new industry. What had once been an art for a few, skilled craftsmen became a popular hobby anyone could enjoy.
The company changed its name to to BlueJacket Shipcrafters after Boucher’s death. Otherwise, they have carried on the tradition of fine wooden ship and boat model kits. Better yet, all the work is done right here in Maine, with a public gallery and shop in Searsport.
Visiting BlueJacket Shipcrafters
As I say above, this is quite literally just a minute from our Searsport bed and breakfast, Captain Nickels Inn. You cannot miss the big red and white striped lighthouse and visitors are absolutely encouraged to stop by.
Anyone who enjoys miniatures, boats, history, or fine craftsmanship and detail will find plenty to enjoy at BlueJacket. The gallery alone is stunning, with more than 100 fine, handcrafted, museum-quality, wooden ship models on display. It is the largest display of model ships in the country outside of a museum, in fact.
Even more exciting, most of the models on display are available as kits that you can take home and put together yourself. BlueJacket makes kits for all levels of expertise, novice to pro, so you’ll have no trouble finding one that’s just your speed.
You say you’re not interested in making models but would love one of their boats to display? No problem. There is no shame in paying the BlueJacket craftsmen put it together for you, instead.
BlueJacket also takes custom model commissions and happily performs repairs and restorations of antique ship models. The on-site shop includes kits, tools, books, nautical gifts, and metal fittings cast right here in the shop foundry. Best of all, the folks here seem to really enjoy visitors and love talking shop.
Updated March 2023