Mobile Carpenter Creates One-of-a-Kind Model Ships

Max's Boats


Lukey’s boat may be painted green, but carpenter Max Morgan’s boats come in a rainbow of shapes, sizes and colours.

The model boat builder from Mobile says he built his first schooner about 35 or 40 years ago, and has spent the last decade or so creating the crafts full-time. 

“I wish I would have started 50 years ago, but that’s the way it goes,” Morgan told CBC News. 

 Morgan sells the model ships — on display in a pond near the Southern Shore Highway near Witless Bay — to tourists and locals alike.

A man from Ship Harbour recently commissioned Morgan to create a replica of his father’s fishing boat. 

Others, Morgan said, are made for his own enjoyment. 

“I just see a picture somewhere and if I like it, I try to do something that resembles the picture,” he said. 

The boats range in price from $200 to $500. However, given that it takes Morgan about a month to make each boat, working eight hours a day for six to seven days a week, he said he isn’t building them to make a profit. 

By the hour, he estimates he earns “probably about a quarter.”

Skiffs, sailboats, clipper ships and Viking vessels. Morgan’s even made a seven-foot replica of a Chinese boat — surprising considering the woodworker isn’t a fan of the water. 

“I don’t mind on a pond on fresh water but normally, if I set foot aboard a boat [and] go out through the harbour, I get seasick.”

To see Morgan’s boats in action, view the original version of this story, with video, at   


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