Motoryacht Olympus Model

Olympus (model)
The finished Olympus model in Fred's shop

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Non Member

Boat Name: 









Fred Heim




Fred Heim


  • USA


This is an extraordinary model, of an extraordinary boat, created by an extraordinary builder!

Fred Heim has spent his life building things -- from wood and cardboard truck models and Chris-Craft boats at age 10, to full sized boats at age 18, and a boatbuilding career beginning at age 20, to a professional home building career with over 450 custom homes to his credit.

On retiring from his long careers in boat and home building, Fred was not content to sit still.  He built a large, two story shop on his property and outfitted it with everything needed for building just about anything in wood up to 30-feet.  And build he did!  Treating his hobby building with the same passion he had for commercial building, Fred went to work every day building whatever he wanted -- from half-sized, fully operational models of heavy construction equipment, to full sized boats. 

The results are astounding!  Just look at the 1/2 size Peterbuilt truck and trailer model -- his first half scale project (First photo below). It runs on a 25 hp Yanmar diesel, which is mounted in the back so that a driver can actually sit in the cab with legs forward and drive the rig. Fred likes building to such large scales, so that the resulting model can actually operate.

He followed up with models of Caterpillar crawlers and excavators that are so real, it's hard to believe they are actually made of wood!


He has also built a number of incredible boats, both as half-size models, and full size boats, including this gorgeous 31' fantail launch, Rachel H:

Other full size boats built by Fred Heim include the 37' Offshore Runabout "Miss Packard", and the 30' Offshore Runabout "Patriot":

Many more photos and information about these projects can be found on the Internet Craftsmanship Museum page linked to below.

The Olympus Model

Inspired by an article about Olympus in the Antique and Classic Boat Society's journal, Fred decided to undertake the ambitious task of creating a 1/12 scale model of the 92-foot yacht. Living across country from the ship, and never having seen her in person, Fred began work by blowing up the profile photo of the boat to the proper scale and posting it on his shop's wall. From there he took measurements to recreate the hull. 

During the hull construction phase, he was put in contact with the Olympus captain, Rick Etsell, who is also a naval architect and had recently finished drawing a set of scaled arrangement plans for the boat from his drydock measurements.  The plans were provided to Fred to work from, and Captain Rick also took numerous detail photos and measurements to ensure a faithful reproduction. According to Rick, "Fred and his friend Carl would send me closeup photos of areas of the boat under construction, and it looked like I was seeing photos of the yacht herself under construction!"

Scroll through the photos below to follow the construction of this phenomenal model . . . (Note: click on a photo to view in a slide show format.)

External Links:

Update, 9-6-19: The Olympus model has been donated to the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend.

Former Olympus owner Diane Lander, with Olympus model. [Brenda Ellis photo 9-6-19]
Diane Lander, former Olympus owner, with model at Northwest Maritime Center
[Brenda Ellis photo, 9-6-19]

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