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Petter Marcus SSPA

A legendary workshop

Petter works in the workshop of SSPA Maritime Center, which is directly adjacent to the legendary test bed in Gothenburg.

- Based on a drawings, I make models of boats in diviny cell, a tough pvc foam. For me, this means that I draw and saw up all the parts separately and then add glue between the parts into a finished model.

After layer gluing, the model is milled to a basic shape after which Petter takes over again. The boat should be sanded once and filled twice, then sanded again and painted with spray putty, a gray base paint. Then the boat model is sanded again and finally painted blue.

It sounds like a time consuming process?

- The gluing process takes about three days for two people. Sanding, filling and priming takes another two days, plus another day for sanding and blue painting.

When the boat model has been painted blue, the next phase in Petter's work begins.

- Based on the specification we receive from the project manager, the frame and water lines are painted according to the stated dimensions of the model. Then all details must be mounted on; rudders, servos, motors, drive shafts and more. It is a teamwork, as model carpenters we work closely together with both designers and project managers.

Petter has a background as a model maker at the Volvo Concept Center, where he built full-scale cars in clay.

- SSPA Maritime Center is another world. I have learned words like stern perpendicular.

When the full time photographer retired a few years ago, photography and image processing was added to Petter's work.

- All projects in our facility must be documented. The images taken are included in the report to the customer. The job in the workshop is physically demanding and you get pain in the elbows and wrists. Sometimes it's nice to sit down and edit images, but it's not always so easy to combine with model carpentry. We are very heavily booked in the workshop so everything needs good planning.

Petter states that the nature of the model assignments has changed over time. Boats are becoming more and more complex, with more and more equipment.

- 7-8 years ago my work was easier in a way. Back then we built the same type of boat over and over again, mainly simple cargo ships. Today, much of what we do is a first-time project.

What do you like best about your work?

- The smaller the model, the more fun it is. When it takes a really high finish and sharp edges, then I thrive.


Petter Marcus
Petter Marcus
Carpenter and photographer