I Think I Am Getting A Thing For Tonka Trucks And Boats!

The coolest set out there in Seafoam. Luggage and the outboard.. All the extras – ebay

I am finding myself looking at these Tonka Jeep, Boat match ups. Now, for $500 bucks you can find a real boat, but some old ratty row boat doesn’t look cool on the credenza. And I am not quite sure if Toy trucks are allowed in the living room. The Boatress has yet to be tested on this yet.

Red White and Blue – ebay

It’s like bringing a road trip into the house? Maybe I can have one jeep in the bedroom, and a boat in the family room and do hall trips to reenact the joy. Maybe stop in the kitchen for some flap jacks for a roadside meal?

It’s about right now you are realizing that Woody Boater topics are running on fumes and in desperate need of some boating. Has it really come to this? Stories on Tonka Jeeps and small plastic boats? YES! Ya gotta admit though, these are kinda cool. But which one is cooler?

A more upscale version of the Jeepster and IO boat – ebay

Or the Truck and camper boat set up? – ebay

Or a later year in Desert Tan – ebay

There is a large rabbit hole on ebay if you want to get lost in the depths of Tonka Trucks. Wow, very cool stuff, and of course once you start down this trail, it may not end until you visit the go to source of Tonka The Tonka Museum…. YES… CLICK HERE

It’s a fantastic site and they really spend time on the photos and cataloging.

Oh hell ya! My Dream Tonka. AMAZING! Photo courtesy of Tonkatoys.com

I can start driving around the country looking for Tonkas in closets. The closet is what I guess is a  barn find of Tonka’s?

Okay, NO! NOOOOOOOO! How did Pontton boats infect my new little fantasy world. AHHHHHHHHH!

Ya, its cool. And called a Houseboat. Thanks again to TonkaToys.com



21 replies
  1. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Well, you can definitely fit a lot more of themin your barn. The question is, is that a good thing or a bad one?

  2. Capt. Cranky
    Capt. Cranky says:

    Sweet Lordy-Begordy! If you think wooden boats are an illness…tread lightly! Old toys and toy trucks are as bad if not worse – you can store hundreds – IN A SPARE BEDROOM!!! Besides….is the Boatress gonna wanna be AKA the Tonkatress??

  3. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    I have a set of those Century boats in the office. That was fine till that Penn Yan followed me home from Tavares. HMMM. And I’m still single. Must be the dog.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Jim, THAT is why I always FLY to Tavares. A Penn Yan Cartopper in the family room might prove fatal!

  4. RH in Indy
    RH in Indy says:

    Toilet seats or Tonkas- obscure and cool. I have most of my childhood toys including a 60’s Tonka truck and trailer,on a shelf now, given to me by my grandpa. He was a farmer so the trailer carried cows, not a boat. Darn!

  5. Wudzgud
    Wudzgud says:

    Matt- If you are running on fumes, I gave you a good topic a while back regarding Aluminum boat lifts for wood boats. How to set them up with bunks, which manufacturer, cover or no cover? More people are getting 5200 bottoms, so putting your boat on a lift to get it out of the water when not being used is now a norm. I being in the market for one, would like to pick Woodyboaterville’s brains.
    Get that Tonka trailer and truck to put Stinky on and you can drive to the bathtub and do some major Mini Woody Boating.
    Thanks Matt.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Cover! All lifts should be covered. I don’t know how much brand matters, but we use RGC lifts which are out of B-lo (they are having a show by the way, right before the one in Michigan that is a secret). RGC started making lifts shortly after the war, so they are period correct for any post war boats up to and including your 2018 Chris Crafts. You might lose points for a pre-war but I am not familiar enough with the ACBS lift judging criteria to be certain.

      For Squirt, which has no below the hull running gear, I set the carpet covered wood bunks to basically line up under the engine stringers. If you have a prop, shaft and rudder you need to keep the side guides narrow enough to make sure the boat can’t move side ways enough for them to hit anything. That might mean spreading the bunks further apart if you don’t want a super narrow berth to pull into. Now that I think about it, the Tunnel Drive Penn Yan doesn’t have anything to hit the bunks either. So, if you stick to jet boats and tunnel drives, bunk placement is easy!

      Did I mention cover? And an electric motor? If you can drop the boat in and lift it out with little effort and no worry about having to put a cover on it in a rush if a rain squal comes through, you will use the boat more. That’s the point no? Easy use, and then easy peace of mind.

      • floyd r turbo
        floyd r turbo says:

        Make allowance for your thru hull water pickup as well so you don’t crush it or damage the planking with a bunk that might push up against it. You’ll need to cut out a relief to accommodate that and have a bow stop or some other device to register the location of your hull on the bunks to avoid the water pickup which is usually within 2″-3″ of a stringer.

    • Dean
      Dean says:

      Ditto, I am in the process of converting a lift master from the bowrider to the woody and wood love some pointers. The issue that I have is the 4000 lb frame is only 8’6″ in length and even with 14′ bunks doesn’t seem like a lot of support for a 24′ triple.

  6. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    You do know that E-bay stalks you just like FB does, right?

    Give it a week or so and you will get a nice e-mail. “This Tonka Toy is still available.” or “The Tonka Truck you missed out on has been re-listed.”

  7. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    Cool stuff – would allow a set in my living room! It’s currently in the basement, but I still have the Tonka Winnebago from my childhood. And not Tonka, but I have these Aristocraft themed metal toys in my collection. Packed away right now, so the pics are from the eBay sellers where I bought them.

  8. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U.P.)
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U.P.) says:

    Love it! It takes me back to my childhood. I had the truck camper and the jeep. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Dave Bortner
    Dave Bortner says:

    You just had to get started on Tonka, huh? There is no end. Of course Tonka is short for Minnetonka, and we are very proud that the largest truck manufacturer in the world was based right here in Mound, MN!

  10. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Next thing you know – Matt will go to the “other side” and get one of the Ford “Tonka” pickups to tow “Wecatchem” and “Stinky” – in bright yellow no doubt… 😉

  11. Miles Kapper
    Miles Kapper says:

    When I was five years old in 1957 my dad needed a part for our boat so he took my older brother and I to a boat dealer a few miles from where our cottage was on Lake Delton in Wisconsin. Under the glass counter by the register was a K&O 1957 35 horse Johnson attached to a small wood boat. My dad, watching me drool and said “Would you like that?” I couldn’t believe it! That afternoon the lake had one more boat tied to the dock. Ten years ago I thought it would be fun to own a couple of those motors so I started collecting and soon realized that in excellent condition those little battery powered outboards start at around $300.00 and go upwards to $3,000.00 Mind you, these are just the motors – the boats are a whole other deal!

  12. 72Hornet
    72Hornet says:

    I had the Tonka camper and boat package as a Christmas gift in the late 60’s. Took them to our lake cottage and built a marine on our shores along with a boat ramp. We played for hours with them!
    As for the boat hoists for woodys, feel free to contact me as we build custom hoists for woodys on Lake Okoboji here in Iowa along with customer drop side covers to keep sun from harming our varnish. I’ll be glad to help answer any questions. I also build custom storage dollies and carts.

  13. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    …and when you’ve got all the Tonka trucks you can start collecting Hess trucks. They had 20 or 25 of them in original boxes in the SCAMPI tent at Tavares for starters…

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