A Naval Arrangement

During our last trip to Mauritius, my husband thought of a treat for us. We had seen model ships in museums and in the homes of some of our family members. He thought it would be an interesting experience to go and visit the factory and see how they are made. The model ship factory we visited is situated in Curepipe and is called Comajora. At the factory, they create 130 different model ships in 6 sizes – and they are all made by hand.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Sanding the bases of the model ships. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

As we walked towards the factory entrance, we watched a man sanding the bases of the ships. It was as we entered, though, that we realised how delicate the work is that these people do.  Each piece is made and glued together by hand: pieces that are minute and made to scale.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Gluing on the accents. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Patience is required as each item is cut, glued and then sanded.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Cutting and gluing pieces. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Even the making of the sails is slow and intricate work.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Sewing the sails for model ships. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Each person has their own job to do on the factory line. Once they have done their part, they set aside the ship and pick up the next one.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Slowly each step is done so that nothing is broken.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Model ships on the factory floor. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

As in every factory, each person has their place on the floor at which they do their particular task.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
The factory line. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

As we were watching the people work, I noticed the focus and concentration they had while doing their task. Fingers need to be nimble as they work with the small pieces.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Creating model ships. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Tasks are done working in the natural light that streams through the window. Even though we visited during the winter, the sunlight was strong and helped the workers clearly see the small pieces they were working with.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Working on the wiring. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Each person’s work station looked different. This one was the station of the person sewing the masts for all the model ships.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
The thread used for sewing the masts. . © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

As we approached the almost completed product, I was struck again by how intricate the work is and was impressed by the models standing before me.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A model ship. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

No part of the model was left incomplete. The last person in the factory line completed the finishing touches:

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
The finishing touches. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

After visiting the factory, we went to the factory’s showroom and small museum. The models were beautiful and we spent a lot of time browsing and looking at them.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
The showroom. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

We had to, of course, bring one of the model ships home with us. It now graces one of our shelves in the living area, reminding us of our visit to the factory and of a wonderful morning we had spent together.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
The Saint Geran at home. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Do you enjoy looking at model ships?

(This post was inspired by this week’s prompt provided by Jake)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013


40 thoughts on “A Naval Arrangement

  1. A wonderful and skillful craft. I enjoyed walking through the factory with you. I wish I could have brought one of those beautiful ships. Love the one you have chosen. Your photos are excellent along with your narrative.



  2. I love them, Colline! I cannot imagine my fingers doing anything so intricate. We have a maritime museum with a large number of models too, and I love looking at them. Thoroughly enjoyed the tour, thank you. You did me a double service as the link will take me to Jake. I haven’t had time yet today.


    1. One does not really realise how much work they are to make until you see them doing it with your own eyes. Makes me appreciate model ships even more!
      Look forward to seeing your response this week to Jake’s prompt. 🙂


  3. What beautiful craftsmanship, Colline. I haven’t the slightest bit of talent in that way, my fingers being nowhere near “nimble” enough. Thanks for sharing this with us.


  4. Thank you Colline for sharing this part of your trip to Mauritius. Your photos are fabulous! Wow, the ships are beautiful. I would have bought one as well. There is something beautiful and inspiring about gazing at a model ship, isn’t there? It makes you want to travel to remote parts and explore.

    As I was looking at these photos I was in awe at the location and conditions of the workplace. If I lived in Mauritius, I would love to work on these ships in a row with others like that. With the sunlight steaming in and everything at your fingertips in your workstation, sitting beside others and sharing in the creation of something beautiful while ‘crafting’ and earning a living looks like heaven to me!


    1. We loved visiting the factory. The workers were so friendly and answered all our questions with patience. And of course it was a good moment to practice our French 🙂


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