Bernd Braatz was born in 1954 in Berlin, Germany. After an education at a primary school and high school he started his professional training as a boat-builder. Until 1979 he worked in a boatyard where he built rowing boats. There he came in contact with all kinds of aquatic sports like rowing, sailing, water skiing, and windsurfing. Since 1979 Bernd has been working at the Technical University Berlin at the “Versuchsanstalt furr Wasserbau und Schiffbau” — a hydrodynamic institute where he builds comparatively great models for tank testing and research work as a model builder and pattern maker. In 1980 he started building ships in bottles and spent 10 years building all kinds of ships, including brigs, barkentines, full-rigged ships, and all the P-liners (Preussen, Potosi, Pamir). Later on he wanted to improve on his work and decided to build models to scale. He found bottles out of Duran Glass from the Schott and, inspired by the excellent model builders McCaffrey and McNarry, Bernd started to build models in scale.
Bernd only uses luxury woods for his models such as pear, cherry, ebony, nut, boxwood, and bamboo. The rigging is true to plan and in scale there are between 60 and 120 strings to pull from outside the bottle. Most of his models are held in many private collections and in the German Technical Museum in Berlin. He has won numerous national and international competitions and has published several articles in The Bottle Shipwright (Ships-in Bottles Association of America), Model Ship Builder, The Bottleship (European (Association of Ships in Bottles) and Model Werft (Germany).