Located in Canton, Ohio, the Blue Water Majesty Museum showcases the handmade model ships of master carver Larry Pulka, offering personal tours and lessons in model-building and woodworking. The Blue Water Majesty Museum showcases the creations of master carver Larry Pulka, who began carving model replicas of merchant and military ships in 1976.
After attempting to delve into the hobbies of constructing model train and car kits, Pulka discovered a love for creating model replica boats and eventually began carving his own designs. Today, Pulka is one of approximately a dozen master model ship carvers in the world who creates ships using entirely exotic wood and is one of only a few model ship crafters in America who incorporates the use of bone into his designs. Throughout his career, Pulka has constructed exact-replica model ships from a wide variety of historic blueprints, including blueprints preserved by the Smithsonian Institution. The Blue Water Majesty Museum, housed within Pulka’s crafting warehouse, opened in late 2007 to showcase Pulka’s collection of model ships in a public setting.
Attractions and Tours
Today, the Blue Water Majesty Museum showcases model ship replicas constructed throughout Pulka’s ship-building career, with ships alternated and replaced in museum exhibits on a continual basis. All ship models on display are exact replicas of historic merchant and military ships, created to exact scale using the vessel’s original blueprints, including blueprints acquired from the Smithsonian Institution.
All model ships are constructed from exotic woods, including tropical ebony, African mahogany, and jatoba wood and domestic apple, butternut, and cypress woods. As the ships are constructed from high-quality exotic woods with a variety of unique colorings, no stains or paints are used in Pulka’s replicas, with wood selected to utilize natural colors as part of the design process. Each model ship utilizes up to 150,000 individual pieces of wood in its construction, assembled as true to original blueprints as possible. While the focus of exhibit ships at the Blue Water Majesty Museum is historic merchant and military ships from the 19th century and before, some ships displayed also reflect the vessel designs of the modern shipbuilding era. All of Pulka’s creations are designed according to dockyard and admirality-class styling, striving for the highest degree of realistic construction possible, and are individually signed and numbered by Pulka upon completion. Ships range in size depending on blueprint and model, but are generally three to five feet long.
The Blue Water Majesty Museum is open to the public between March and December every day but Wednesday, with the exception of major national holidays. Between Christmas and the beginning of March, the museum is closed to the public with the exception of private tours arranged by appointment. Museum admission rates are offered for adults, seniors, and students. All museum visitors receive personal tours by Pulka and his wife, explaining the ship-creation process from blueprint to finish and highlighting a number of items within the museum’s collections. Group and motorcoach tours are also available by special appointment, including field trip tours for elementary and secondary school students.
As the museum is housed within a warehouse facility, ships are not displayed as part of formal exhibits and are rotated on an ongoing basis as a result of ship sales and new creations. All ships are displayed behind glass for safety, and displays of Pulka’s ship-building tools and types of wood used in construction of ships are also presented. Approximately 25 ships are on display at any given time throughout the museum’s showroom, depending on creation and sale demand.
All visitor questions are personally answered by Pulka and his wife on site, and some ships on display are available for purchase upon request. In addition to major ship sales, a small gift shop is offered on site, selling small ship models and scale model cannons constructed from wood or bone as accessories for ships. Short lessons in ship-building and woodworking are also offered upon request, depending on daily visitorship demands. Custom ship orders may also be requested in person at the museum or by contacting Pulka directly via phone or email.
As an attraction near downtown Canton, Ohio, the Blue Water Majesty Museum is located near a variety of other amenities and attractions in the Canton area, including the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the McKinley Presidential Library and Museum, and the National First Ladies’ Library. Other nearby attractions include the Ohio Amish Country region, which presents a number of preserved historic Amish communities and historic structures. A variety of dining, shopping, and lodging accommodations are offered throughout the Canton and Ohio Amish Country regions, including local boutiques, crafters, and antique dealers and historic bed-and-breakfast facilities.
2810 Columbus Rd NE, Canton, OH 44705, Phone: 330-452-4330