Boat for Toy Doll

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Project by GnarlyErik posted 11-23-2013 11:07 PM 1752 views 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My granddaughter received an ‘American Beauty’ doll as a gift some time back and sent out a request for a boat for her doll. This is the result.

The American Beauty doll company has an aggressive and extensive merchandising approach, selling all sorts of add-ons, clothing (matching, for doll and child!) and accessories, which to my amazement includes a boat. This one is very loosely modeled on the one in their catalog.

The pictures are self-explanatory. The boat is 1/4” ply with cherry trim and patriotic colors, painted ‘heart’ transom, etc. My wife sewed the ‘spritsail’ which is toggled onto the mast and sprit at leather reinforced corners. I found some 3-strand line (rope) for the rigging and built the few splices needed. Photo #6 shows the ‘snotter’ rigging for the sprit – honest, that’s what it is called in the boat world!

This little project took way more time to do than anticipated – I estimate almost half as much as building an actual full sized boat at 12 or so feet! But, that really doesn’t matter since I enjoyed doing it and anticipating that my granddaughter will enjoy it when she receives it as a birthday gift next week.


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

6 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile (online now)

Jim Jakosh

22996 posts in 3554 days

#1 posted 11-23-2013 11:53 PM

That is a really nice boat! Thanks for sharing!!
I’ll bet you can build a full sized one easily now!!!!!!!!!!
Nice going, Eric….............Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2741 days

#2 posted 11-24-2013 12:02 AM

Beautiful craftsmanship and outstanding detail. Let us know how your granddaughter reacts, but my bet is that she will absolutely adore it. Since I’m not familiar with dolls, could you give us an idea of this boat’s size?

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View hoss12992's profile


4149 posts in 2342 days

#3 posted 11-24-2013 01:33 AM

Great job on the boat. The craftsmanship, and attention to detail are top notch. Im sure your granddaughter will be thrilled with her new boat. Thanks for sharing

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View shipwright's profile


8336 posts in 3247 days

#4 posted 11-24-2013 05:03 AM

Is that the smallest one you’ve ever built Eric?
My guess is that it is way more authentic and robust than the toy manufacturer’s model and they probably don’t even know what a snotter is. She does look a little underpowered though, but perhaps enough sail area for a doll to handle.
Good one Eric. I always love to see your latest.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View GnarlyErik's profile


320 posts in 2583 days

#5 posted 11-24-2013 07:37 AM

Hillbilly, The boat is 34” long (not including rudder) by 16” wide, mast height is 42”.

And Paul, yes I suppose it is the smallest ‘boat’ I have ever built, although I did build a cradle boat last year about 40” or so long. I have built a number of very small dinghies over the years though – 8’ or so, and a number of skiffs and ‘pireau boats’ too in the 12 – 18’ foot range. I particularly like lapstrake construction, but have done some taped-seam ply boats too, kayaks, etc. They’re all fun.

It is ‘under powered’ to be sure, but since my grand daughter’s family has a swimming pool at their house, I fully expect the boat to get some ‘sea time’. That’s why it comes equipped with a painter. I’ve kept the rig small since I wanted to avoid getting that expensive doll all wet if possible. (But I know it likely will anyway!)


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

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2625 days

#6 posted 11-27-2013 05:14 PM

Wow! Fantastic doll boat, every detail is well designed and crafted. Great colors and finish, will be an heirloom piece for sure. She will love and treasure it for it’s specially made by GrandPa.

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