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Maritime Speaker Series
January 4, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Larry Herbst. Larry Herbst grew up in a household of model boat builders where he was mentored by his father, Bill Herbst. Back in the 1940s, Larry started helping with models and patterns. He “worked” with his father at Peterson Builders, Inc. (PBI). He was able to work in the loft as the “line drawer” and also played basketball in the loft when his help was not needed. His father encouraged using all tools and materials. In fourth grade Larry roofed a two-story house and in sixth grade he made a casting pattern. He was given jobs in order to make his own mistakes and had to start over when incorrect.
In high school, Larry was given more responsibilities; he worked with draftsmen, engineers, and executives when appropriate to obtain more experience. In the 1950s when PBI had the minesweeper contracts, Larry made his first government model with his father being the helper. Then in the early 1960s, he worked on a 4 model Coast Guard contract. In the 1970s, he made a right and left propeller blade for PBI’s contract with Saudi Arabia. In between he helped a variety of ships. Since 1975, Larry and his brother Terry have made about 40 models for shipyards on the Gulf Coast, fisheries on the West Coast, Alaskan shipping companies, jet fuel shipping companies, Marinette Marine, the Wisconsin Veterans’ Museum, and the Door County Maritime Museum.
Bill Herbst insisted his children go to college. “It doesn’t make a difference what you study, you just need to go.” Terry and Larry both ended up getting a BS degree from UW-Madison and both made a career of teaching mathematics in Wisconsin schools. During the summers and sometimes during the school years, they would build model boats. Presently they have a model project in the works that will stretch their facilities, but they will manage.
Bill and Larry are traditional model shipbuilders adding in a little computer work to make things easier. They were fortunate to be encouraged, and sometimes required, to build models and try things beyond the abilities that they thought they were blessed with.
Building Model Ships. Larry Herbst will focus on how to build model ships and what goes into it. He’ll discuss how to construct a hull—using a mine sweeper to make his points—and explain how detailing is the most time-consuming and difficult part of model ship building. Don’t miss this chance to learn from an expert.