Ken Gardiner Passed Away

Bob Perry

Super Anarchist
Very sorry to hear that. He was a good guy and a great model maker.

Condolences to the family.



Ken made half model trophies for a NACRA Worlds back in the early '80s. It is by far my most cherished trophy of all time. I will continue to admire Ken's craftsmanship everyday.

Alex won back the Little America's Cup from Australia in 1976. He had a profound impact on the multihull scene in this country and will be sorely missed.


Bob Perry

Super Anarchist
I'll give Spike a heads up to watch out for Ken. Spike would totally be into model making. Spike will show him the ropes. I want to think there is a special place in heaven for sailors.

Spike was good with models but he can learn a lot from Kenny.

spike standing w boat.jpg


Somebody Else

a person of little consequence
Here's what would make my day/week/year/decade:

Publishing Ken's Roll-O-Dex of raw material sources!

I am an amateur model builder and a lot of what comes in kits is not so good.

Did he turn all his own winches? Or cast them? Or get them from some source?

Now that competition isn't an issue (I don't think it ever was; Ken stood alone on accuracy and art) anything that passes his knowledge down to the next generation of modelers seems like a fitting tribute.

Through the years I've sourced a lot of material from Kit Kraft in Studio City but they don't have much sailing-specific stuff.

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So Cal
Every day I get up and see a Kenny model of my 52. It's perfect, and his signature is branded in the left corner for all time. Prayers.

What a tough loss for his family and the sailing community. Ken will be missed but will be remembered every day when looking at the 20 or so Gardiner half models of Andrews designs on our office walls. He was the best model builder I know and it was a privilege to work with him when he had models to build for our clients. In addition to building models of the latest racers, Ken also had a sense of history. He once showed me a set of drafting tools used by Nick Potter, designer of the California 32, 1936 Olympic Gold winning 8M "Angelita" and other fast yachts from 1930's & 40's. Sail on Ken.


another 505 sailor

Super Anarchist
My dad has an express 37 half model, and I have a 505 half model from Gardiner. Both are beautiful, exact matches of colors and custom stripes.

They are priceless

Sad to hear that Ken has passed – he will be missed.

You asked for photos and this one shows two of my favorites. On top is US-55 the yacht that took back the Cup from the Aussies. This 12M yacht was built in 1986 by Robert E. Derektor Inc. and designed by Chance/Nelson/Pedrick. During a publicity event in Michigan I was able to get DC to autograph the backboard.

One the bottom is USA-11 the 1992 IACC AC yacht that lost the defender series finals to “Citizen Cup”, Bill Koch's America3 USA-23. When I purchased this half hull from Ken during a trip to SD the keel was a generic blade as he was not allowed to divulge the actual shape of what was going to be used for the race. After the race was over Ken contacted me and said that if I wanted to return the model to him, then he would re-keel the model with an accurate finned-bulb keel for me at no charge. I took Ken up on his offer.




I bought a model from Ken when i was young kid for my dad as a birthday gift.

I called them up and he personally walked me through the whole process and was a real gentleman about it.

My dad still cherishes that model. Fair winds and a following sea Ken.