Just like the wonderful models you see at Legoland, model ships, boats and other watercraft add a whole new dimension to your LEGO Town or City layout. Now, using these instructions and your own lego bricks, you can build a ship model which is scaled to match your LEGO town cars and trucks. At 29″ long, this model car ferry can carry up to 16 small cars and trucks, along with as many LEGO minifig foot passengers as you care to cram into the lounge and promenade deck.
Note: the yellow pickup truck shown in this photo is not included in the car ferry instructions.
Let’s transform ourselves into minifigs, hop into our Lego car, and take a trip on the ferry…
We drive on to the ship through the opening safety gates, and take the left or right lane as directed by the crew and the stop/go lights mounted on the central stairway structure. There’s also a roll indicator mounted there (the building instructions include a sticker for the roll indicator scale, not shown in the photos). The entire car deck is smooth surfaced with tiles and bricks mounted SNOT-wise (SNOT stands for “Studs Not On Top”), and has yellow lane markings set into the deck.
Once we’ve parked our car, the loudspeaker announcements encourage us to head up to the passenger lounge and “enjoy the facilities”. Doors to the stairways are at both ends and both sides of the ship, so there’s always a door convenient to your car. Up on the passenger deck there are plenty of comfortable seats, some with tables; a snack bar; bathrooms; a childrens play area, and many details like the fire extinguishers, a fire axe mounted in a glass case on the stairway wall, a telephone, garbage bins, and even a rack of tourist brochures!
I am satisfied beyond all expectations with the Ferry. Beautiful isn’t a strong enough word. Probably my favorite feature is the lack of decals. Before receiving the kit, I had resigned myself not to use the yellow stripes on the deck as they would peel off over time. I was elated to find that they were not decals. I have never seen the type of construction that was used on the deck. The postive aspects are too numerous to mention (snack bar, case for fire axe, phone booth, etc, etc, etc)….. To my knowledge, this is the best kit ever produced. To me, bigger is better…… You will receive nothing but glowing reviews from me. You are the best at what you do. I think I’ll go and stare at the ferry for a while …
Steve Cleary, GA, USA
Of course, one of the enjoyable things about a ferry ride is going up on deck and getting blown about! There are two stairways up from the passenger lounge to the promenade deck, and once up there we can sit on the comfortable benches and enjoy the view. If you’re up here when the ferry leaves the dock, though, better cover your ears – that siren is LOUD!
In case of emergencies, the ferry is fully equipped. As well as the fire equipment below in the passenger lounge, there are two inflatable boats mounted on derricks and ready to go up here, plus lockers full of life jackets. All the crew are Transport Canada safety trained (or your local equivalent), so in an emergency you should follow their directions.
Just wanted to say thank you for the car ferry model which arrived on Monday. Really enjoyed putting it together, all the parts were there & your instruction booklet was first rate. Was very impressed with your attention to detail. Created for me the excitement of being on a car ferry. I would say to anyone accessing your web site – you can buy in confidence, & will get a great lego model from a fellow enthusiast, who will not rip you off. If you need to ask any questions he is very accessible by e-mail.
Sean Walsh, Alberta, Canada
Now for the part the general public usually doesn’t see! We’re going to sneak past the “Crew Only” notices and take a quick look up on the bridge. Up the stairway (the black column carries the exhaust stacks up from the engines) and onto the bridge.
As you can see, there are lots of instruments for the crew, including radar, computers, and communications gear – in fact there are two complete sets, since this roll-on – roll-off ferry needs to be able to be “driven” in either direction. On the side of the stack column is a set of readouts and screens so the bridge crew can see what’s going on down in the engine room. And on either side of the bridge are the lookout positions, complete with aimable spotlights and binoculars.
There’s ladder access from the bridge up through a trapdoor onto the very top deck, where we find the funnels, radar sensors, radio antenna, and a couple of high-powered searchlights so the crew can see where they’re going when docking at night.
Build your own Car Ferry
You’ll find building this model both exciting and interesting, as it uses several nifty techniques. Although large, it’s not terribly difficult, and older children and adults alike will enjoy the building process. When I take it to birthday parties it’s always the #1 attraction for the kids, and it survives their loading and unloading of cars and people, and travels around the floor, with only the loss of the occasional antenna!
- This model ferry is based on the smaller vessels used in the BC Ferries system on the coast of British Columbia, Canada. When it made its debut on the Vancouver Lego Club’s layout at a train show here in BC, many viewers recognised it immediately, not just as a BC Ferries ship but as “the Bowen Island ferry” specifically.
- The car deck is exactly 7 bricks high and 8 studs wide. That means that all 4-wide LEGO cars and small vans and trucks will fit easily, plus most 6-wide, but some larger trucks are too high to fit. Since the model was already quite tall I decided to keep the clearance at 7 bricks, but you can extend the height quite simply if you feel it necessary.
- The ferry hull is remarkably strong once complete, and the whole model can be picked up by the bow and stern quite safely.