Village News

A lifetime of tinkering

16 January 2024

Brian Kinsman

After less than a year at Edgewater Village, resident Brian Kinsman has been making nautical waves, and for good reason.

A model boat building enthusiast, Brian picked up the hobby nearly 60 years ago in between his other hobbies, building full size motorboats and restoring cars.

“He worked from home, even back in those days. The workshop was under the house so I would often go down and find him building the model boats rather than working”, laughs Dorothy, Brian’s wife.

“I’m a mechanic by trade so I’ve always loved tinkering and fixing things. I used the model boats to help de-stress – that’s why Dorothy was always finding me working on them instead!” says Brian.

Carefully and meticulously crafted, each boat is built to scale showcasing intricate detailing and ultimate craftsmanship.

“I’ve built 12 model boats in total. The Norwegian Gallion was by far the biggest. It was also the one that took me the longest to construct – nearly 5 years!”

“That now lives at my daughter’s house in Half Moon Bay. So, it’s nice that it has a view of the sea.”

Over the years, many of the model boats have found new homes with family or have been kindly donated to the local hospice. Although a few of Brian’s favourites remain on display at home and now, at the village.

“The Toroa and William Daldy are both boats that I have been out to see and measure up myself, so they’re particularly significant builds to me.”

The rotating display of five model boats and ships at the village are well known and all have a story to tell, some of them quite close to home.

“The Earnslaw is still operational in Queenstown and the Britannia was the local Auckland ferry from 1885 to 1927. They’ve each played a role in New Zealand’s history so there was always a sense of pride when finishing them.”

Also part of Brian’s repertoire is the iconic Titanic and a model tram, which was inspired by a recent family trip to Lisbon, Portugal.

“The tram is something a little bit different from what I would usually do. But I was amazed at how they navigated the narrow and windy streets of the city. My final project is now a fond memory I have in scaled form!”

Some of Brian's model boats on display at Edgewater

Latest news.