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29.09.2014

Ships with impressive sails to take you away, to breeze through a storm, to ensure you’re in fighting form.

Equipped with vessels for any kind of day you’re having is Rio Kapadia, an actor by profession, who handcrafts miniature wooden war ships, fishing boats and fleet ships for custom orders. Why ships? He leaves us with a slightly vague “I’ve always been fascinated by ships,” answer, drifting into a dreamy state. If he has always been someone who likes “working with his hands”, he could have picked any DIY project. Why ships, we persist? “They just seemed like the most complicated thing to build at the time, and that’s where I wanted to start. Complicated,” he says.

In Ship Shape

With no formal training in art or design, Rio is completely self-taught “through the arduous process of trial and error”. Once he has an idea of the kind of ship he wants to build, he sets out sailing through markets to source material, from wood to minute fittings he sometimes finds at an old button shop in Bandra. Building one vessel takes about 45 days, a hobby that isn’t worthy of Mumbai’s brand of patience. “The most difficult part is actually storing these ships. There just isn’t any space to put them in my apartment anymore!”

“Ships just seemed like the most complicated things to build at the time, and that’s where I wanted to start. Complicated,” he says.

An apartment where a wave hello will get you the low down on Rio’s shore…er show reel, and recollections of his parts in Chak De India and Dil Chahta Hai. All this while he points to the odd self-built furniture piece and refers to his latest sketch.

Sale Away

Rio hopes that with the ship he builds you, you will start to appreciate objects that are constructed by hand. “Every time I cut a piece of wood that’s too big, I have to redo the entire process - saw, scrape, sandpaper and polish for about 250 to 350 pieces per ship. The math has to work out perfectly. ”

If you ask nicely, Rio will take a custom order and tweak designs based on your requirements and likes. “Promise to be patient, though,” he says.

We nod, thinking of our dreamboat, with a large wooden deck and puffy sails to drift into the sunset with.

Getting there: To order, call Rio Kapadia at 9821181520, prices start at Rs 10,000, approximately 45 days for manufacture and production of each ship.

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