Maine Is Home To The Oldest Model Ship Manufacturing Company In Country

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SEARSPORT, Maine (WABI) - Thousands of people drive along Route 1 in Searsport every year.

You've probably noticed the big red and white striped "lighthouse" with attached gift shop that says Model Ships out front.

But there's more to the building and the business inside than meets the eye.

"Much, much more," said the President of Bluejacket Ship Crafters, Nic Damuck. "We're a manufacturing facility."

They are making boats, just on a scale of a half inch equals one foot.

"We manufacture ship model kits for all levels of competency," said Damuck.

Behind the striped lighthouse and nautical themed gift shop on Route 1 is where all the parts and pieces for 76 different modeling kits are designed and created.

That doesn't happen until the hours of research to make sure every detail is correct is complete.

"These are precision, accurate, miniatures, and we pride ourselves on the accuracy of our kits compared to the ships that we're modeling," said Damuck.

Each wooden board on the ship, each metal cleat on the rail, each piece of rigging is created right in the shop by nine on site employees.

"We have two and a half thousand molds, and we make the molds," said Damuck. "We also make the master piece that goes into making the mold."

Once that's done, they make sure the model fits together perfectly before it's sent out, and they also take care of the models after that, too.

"We do repairs, we do display cases, we do base boards," said Damuck. "We do basically everything there is to do with ship models."

Nic Damuck bought the business after he retired from his sales job, not as an investment, but as a way to follow his decades long passion. "I've been building models since I was four years old." "I love creating miniature things, seeing something that I worked on with my hands, and it becomes a real object, only in a manageable size."

But will running a business that once was your hobby diminish what made you fall in love with it in the first place?

"I think it's grown it. It's now a hobby with a purpose, and yes it's a passion."