The Legacy of Kenny Gardiner Continues
"I am very satisfied and impressed with the quality of the boat models Duffy has produced for us. Kenny Gardiner would be proud to know his legacy is being carried on."
-Tony Fleming of Fleming Yachts
Ken Gardiner was one of the nation's premier boat model makers. He learned the trade from his father, who built scale-model aircraft at Douglas Aircraft for 40 years.
Kenny provided yachtsmen with re-creations of their yachts in exacting detail until his passing in September 2013. It was that attention to each design that separated Ken from the rest and brought him well known patrons, including Roy Disney, Donald Trump and publishing magnate Nelson Doubleday, Jr.
Howard Keck, well-known oil tycoon, commissioned Kenny to craft a 3/8” scale replica of his beloved Galileo, a 123’ Sparkman & Stephens ketch. As one of his masterpieces, Kenny included stunning details and nuances such as hand-laid teak decks in this then $58,000 model.
A model began when an owner would bring in photos and construction blueprints of their yacht. Gardiner would begin carving and crafting the model in exact proportions. His shop was a wood-workers dream of chisels, planes, saws, and wooden clamps. The floor would be covered with wood shavings and sawdust, the smell of hardwood and varnish in the air.
Gardiner provided enthusiasts with models that were a work of art, leaving a legacy behind. Through their association with off-shore yacht racing, yacht manufacturer, Marshall “Duffy” Duffield became long-time friends with Gardiner. After Kenny’s passing, Duffield, a Gardiner customer, wanted the legacy to continue. Less than a mile away from Kenny’s original work shop, Duffield continued the tradition of exquisite hand-made model making, using the very same tools, drawings, fixtures and know-how.
In 2022 Duffield and former Ken Gardiner apprentice Dean Darusha and Duffield worked out a transfer of the entire business to Dean. Today Dean will be maintaining the standards that Ken created and will continue to deliver high quality Scaled Model Boats to clients across the globe.