How to Build A Ship In A Bottle


Demonstrations to be offered at show

Building a ship in a bottle only looks mysterious.
The ship is built outside the bottle with the sails and masts collapsed and then once the ship is placed inside the bottle, the sails and masts are raised.
To see a demonstration of how it’s done, visit Jim Goodwin at the 41st annual Wooden Boat Show in the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center across from the N.C. Maritime Museum Beaufort.
He will demonstrate several different ships that he will insert into a bottle.
Demonstrations will take place starting at 5 p.m. Friday evening and continue Saturday with select boats offered at specific times from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Building a ship inside a bottle is a traditional art started by sailors in the late 18th and early 19th century. They would build these on long voyages as gifts for loved ones back home.
Mr. Goodwin started honing his craft in December 1999 and works to make sure the ship he builds is historically correct.
The actual inserting of the ship in a bottle is easy, according to Mr. Goodwin.
“You can spend hours and hours building the ship,” he said. “The actual inserting of the ship in a bottle takes less than a minute.”
Mr. Goodwin is quick to point out that the engineering of the ship is the key in making sure the final miniature ship fits through the neck of the bottle.
Mr. Goodwin puts lots of thought into the type of bottle he uses.
He wants to make sure he knows how much of a viewing area there will be and if there is any distortion in the bottle.
Mr. Goodwin devotes his time to preserving the art of building ships in a bottle by giving demonstrations at museums and festivals.
Nationally recognized for his work, Mr. Goodwin has built ships in bottles that were featured in the Dreamworks’ Production of “The Lovely Bones.”
Additionally, he provided ships in bottles and set dressings for the adaptation of Alice Sebold’s 2002 novel.
Actor Mark Wahlberg played as an accountant in the movie “The Lovely Bones” where he built models in an attempt to capture dreams. In the movie, he often barricades himself in a world of miniature ships in bottles in his study at home.
Most recently, Mr. Goodwin’s ships in a bottle were used for a sketch on NBC’s Emmy Award-winning late-night comedy Saturday Night Live.
See more of Mr. Goodwin’s work on his website for Carolina Ships in a Bottle at

Courtesy of Carolinacoast

About shipmodelsuperstore

I own a ship model web store and love old wooden ship models. I have been selling quality model airplanes and ship models for years and enjoy building them. My house looks like a hobby shop!
This entry was posted in ship models and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.