A Small Tugboat Fleet

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Project by GnarlyErik posted 05-11-2020 05:23 PM 789 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Small Boattery Fun

Most grandfathers by definition have grandkids who love toys. It’s easy and to buy cheap plastic junk for them, which they seem to enjoy as much as anything else – as long as it lasts. Which isn’t generally very long.

The days are gone now where a child received just a single substantial toy now and again, and treasured that toy forever, even after they’d grown up. When my own children were small, I usually made them substantial things for Christmas and birthdays. Some of those things they have kept their entire lives and now have passed them along to their own children. As the original ‘gift-giver’ that warms my heart tremendously!

I’ve tried to provide my grandchildren these days with toys and other items made with by my hands thinking they might remember their old grandpa fondly, and know that I thought of them. The great side benefit for me, is that I enjoy making the toys, and it gives me something tangible to do in my dotage – a real purpose for an old retired guy.

Here is a small fleet of wooden ‘Tugboats’ made for my grandkids who are of the age to enjoy bath tub and pool toys. They are made from southern juniper wood, and built very lightly except for the cabin roof which is cherry. The cabin is hollowed out for example, and the hulls are made in lifts (layers).

The result is that they float quite high in the water and can carry little plastic figures, etc. I’ve provided them with pull strings which pull in or out through the bow so they can be used at the beach, lake or creek too.

Three of the boats are 5” wide by 12” long; one is 6” x 12”.

Paint is high-gloss oil-based enamel for waterproofing, longevity, and toughness. I had a little trouble with drawing in & painting the windows and doors, but I don’t think my grandchildren will mind. The tugboats were all mailed out simultaneously so they all get them more or less at the same time and no jealously results.

Loads of fun to make a small fleet of little wooden tugboats!

-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

7 comments so far

View Ocelot's profile


3133 posts in 3758 days

#1 posted 05-11-2020 06:41 PM

Those are real treasures. Well done, and inspiring.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View robscastle's profile


7948 posts in 3324 days

#2 posted 05-11-2020 09:52 PM

Nice work…I need new glasses I was looking for the batterys!

-- Regards Rob

View GnarlyErik's profile


357 posts in 3254 days

#3 posted 05-11-2020 10:07 PM

Nice work…I need new glasses I was looking for the batterys!

- robscastle

Thanks. Yep. I failed to consider how ‘boattery’ could be confused with ‘battery’.


-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8536 posts in 1832 days

#4 posted 05-12-2020 12:04 AM

they are bigger then the picture shows GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View artsyfartsy's profile


1589 posts in 2278 days

#5 posted 05-12-2020 01:16 PM

I like those, they are really cute.

-- DWelch. Michigan, The only dumb question is the one not asked!

View ClaudeF's profile


1310 posts in 2827 days

#6 posted 05-12-2020 09:46 PM

Well done on the boats! I made some for my sons when they were quite young… They still remember playing with them.


View crowie's profile


4665 posts in 3071 days

#7 posted 05-13-2020 05:12 AM

Absolutely fantastic sir, love that you enjoy making hand made wooden toys for your grandchildren.

They bring a double joy, first the making and second the giving; plus they’ll last for years
[maybe even become family heirlooms.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

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