I have been building ship models for probably 35 years.  It is a great hobby but one declining in interest.  Who wants to spend years in a small shop cutting little pieces of wood and drawing bamboo for trenails.  (for those that are not aware, trenails are wooden dowels used as nails in wooden ships to fasten planks) to build a model when you can get rough copy of the same ship made in Indonesia cheap.

Over the years I have spent a fair amount of money on books and plans for the various projects that have consumed my spare time.  Along with these are unique tools and mini lathes that I acquired for my passion.  Now it is a hobby and I have never thought that I would ever make money.  Certainly I have not made a lot of money on selling my finished models to the family.  Blaine did buy me a lathe for his Endeavour and I did get a dinner paid by Ralph for the 6 years spent on the Sutherland.  I have always viewed this as the same as amateur painters that give away their artwork.

For an exercise, I went on ebay to see if there were any old coots like me still interested in buying books on model building.  Turns out there are still a few model shipwrights alive and some have some money.  My collection of Jean Boudriot books on building the 74 gun (this is a set of 4 huge books that I originally paid $100 each and used for the Sutherland) is now selling for $1250.  I have a copy of a long out of print book by Longridge that I paid $17 thirty years ago is now fetching $75 and maybe more in an auction.

I may never make money on my models but maybe my books and tools will turn a profit.  I still refer to these books so do not intend to sell them and use the tools daily.  Might be worth more money one day but I suspect that the hobby is a dying art and when I eventually try to sell (or my estate) there will be no one left to appreciate the value.

Still, I have no regrets.  I love my time in the shop working on models.