The most memorable toys might be the ones you made, on the spot, unpremeditated, at a tender age; without knowing any terminology beyond “float” or “sail,” movement is


thrilling, even if some seconds later the game shifted to new rules where said-sailboat became a target for rocks, not malicious ones but rather  “challenge rocks” to determine if  erstwhile handiwork could resist the splashes, rogue waves… following the logic of kids games or dreams.  By the way, the first two fotos here I took yesterday in the mighty Bronx River and its littoral leafshipyards and other historical buildings.


The fotos and story that follow come from Steve Turi:    “swimming at Sandy Hook, we [had to deal with a]  piece of driftwood imposing itself upon us. I gave up trying to send it on its way and brought it ashore.
Nearly a foot wide and about three feet long, straight grained and clear of knots, it sat on the pile in my garage until its shape suggested a few tugboats hiding inside it. The attached pictures

aatoy4 show the results, which I gave to the kids next door. The tugs are about seven inches long. Yes, the eyes in the lines are spliced. No, I have no intention of making any more.”


I agree with Steve that  “their salty provenance lends them a certain kind of belonging to the Sixth Boro.”    As does the slightly touched up icon below . . . blowing almost invisible stream through its funnels and holding course through cloudy seas with irrepressible forward motion.  Below little vessel might need some scraping and bottom paint?


Kids’ toys for anyone below the age of ten score have such innocence compared with the likes of “made off” with their ill-gotten Rybovichs.  Maybe said “made off” could work in the penal bottom paint department?


An update on the toy above, last spring I caught Skat in the Arthur Kill;  last week Skat‘s owner returned from his second trip into space as a tourist . . . rocket toys.

One of MY toy stories made up a December 2006 post here.  At age 7ish, I built boats for my sisters, which they bought for a nickle if they had one; otherwise, a penny would do.  “Boat” meant a piece of wood scrap with one end sharpened with my father’s rasp.  Here’s a toy boat story from chine blog.

Many thanks to Steve for fotos and story.  All other fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Send me fotos of your handmade boat toys . . . not models just toys.