Category Archives: Ship Model Journal

The Skipjack Hull is Complete!
(The Hull Model, That Is)

Model builder Ralph Koebke (right) and his hull model of the Florida skipjack in front of the full size replica currently under contruction at the lighthouse Heritage Boatworks program. Volunteer boat builder Richard Sexauer (left) can be seen working on the full size replica most morning at the lighthouse.
Volunteer Ralph Koebke (right) and his hull model of the Florida skipjack in front of the full size replica currently under contruction at the lighthouse Heritage Boatworks program. Volunteer boat builder Richard Sexauer (left) can be seen working on the full size replica most mornings at the lighthouse.

A model hull of the Florida skipjack is now complete, built over the past several months by volunteer boat builder Ralph Koebke. Ralph brought his model to the lighthouse on Friday to compare with the full size replica currently under construction at the lighthouse Heritage Boatworks program. Using the same ship lines as the full size replica, he has paid attention to the smallest of details to create an accurate, scale model of the vessel. Over the coming months, he will work on constructing a rig for the model. So far, he has logged over 150 volunteer hours on the project, and has done great work!

A view of the starboard side of the skipjack hull model.
A view of the starboard side of the skipjack hull model.

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Ship Builder’s Legacy Lives On Through Lighthouse Volunteers

Volunteers at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum completed a ship model of the HMS Victory that was started by Jim McNally and donated to the museum by his wife, Katie, after his passing. 

ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA. – It all began in 2012, with a generous donation and a public plea in The St. Augustine Record. What happened next tied together the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, a group of passionate volunteers and the legacy of craftsman James G. “Jim” McNally.

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Ship model volunteer Sue Callahm works on the HMS Victory

On Thursday, April 16th, the story will write its final chapter as McNally’s last project is unveiled at a private reception in the Museum courtyard.

“It is truly an honor for the Lighthouse to be part of this project,” said Executive Director Kathy A. Fleming. “As a maritime museum, we utilize these beautiful ship models to give our visitors an up-close look at the historic vessels of our ancestors. But there is so much behind each model, and in this case the story goes beyond just that of the HMS Victory to include Jim’s passion for ships as well as the dedication of our volunteers.” Continue reading

St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum Volunteer Receives State Award

Governor Rick Scott and Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman presented Sue Callaham with the Champions of Service award, recognizing her for donating over 2,000 hours to the museum’s educational and historical programs.

TALLAHASSEE, FL. – Amid thunderous applause, Governor Rick Scott and Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman honored six Floridians with the Champions of Service award at a state cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning, Jan. 13th. Among the recipients of Florida’s only statewide recognition program for volunteerism was Sue Callaham, a ship modeler who has donated more than 2,000 hours of service at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum since becoming a volunteer in 2012.

ChampionsofServiceAward“Sue’s enthusiasm and initiative are invaluable as the lighthouse and museum continues to provide education opportunities for students, lead preservation efforts and provide a positive impact to the community,” said Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner as he addressed the assembly. Following Detzner’s speech, Scott, Spellman and state cabinet members presented Callaham and her fellow winners with their awards. Continue reading

A Thank You to the Museum Visitors!

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Every year more and more people travel to far away places to see new sights, taste different foods, and learn more about the world around them. Visitors make the trek to St. Augustine, Florida year-round and while there, visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum. When they make their way to the Gallery in the upstairs of the Keepers’ House, our team of ship-modelers enjoys the opportunity to talk with them. For the help we have received from those visitors, it’s time to express our thanks! And just how have the visitors been able to help the ship model team?

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