Home U.S Doting Dad spends a year building a 50ft ship in his garden...

Doting Dad spends a year building a 50ft ship in his garden for daughter


A doting dad has spent a year building a 50-foot ship in his front garden after his daughter wished for a pirate-themed Halloween.

Tony DeMatteo, 41, from Rochester, New York, started building the ship for 13-year-old daughter Ali in November last year.

The amazing boat, which was completed early this month, stretches across their entire garden and lights up at night with fire, smoke and even a custom soundtrack.   

A doting dad has spent a year building a 50-foot ship in his front garden after his daughter wished for a pirate-themed Halloween

A doting dad has spent a year building a 50-foot ship in his front garden after his daughter wished for a pirate-themed Halloween

The amazing boat, which was completed early this month, stretches across their entire garden and lights up at night with fire, smoke and even a custom soundtrack

The amazing boat, which was completed early this month, stretches across their entire garden and lights up at night with fire, smoke and even a custom soundtrack

Tony gathered old material, including wood and metal, himself and dedicated weekends to its construction, meaning it cost him nothing to make.

He said: ‘Ali said she really wanted a pirate theme and I really wanted to do that for her but I didn’t think I could pull it off.

‘Over the course of the year I started gathering materials and it really started to look possible, I designed it all myself and built it.

‘It started with a 30-minute soundtrack which took forever, I started that in 2019 and finished it late on in this year.

Tony DeMatteo (back right), 41, from Rochester, New York, started building the ship for 13-year-old daughter Ali in November last year. He is pictured with wife Rebecca (back left) and  daughter Ali (frront)

Tony DeMatteo (back right), 41, from Rochester, New York, started building the ship for 13-year-old daughter Ali in November last year. He is pictured with wife Rebecca (back left) and  daughter Ali (frront)

Tony gathered old material, including wood and metal, himself and dedicated weekends to its construction, meaning it cost him nothing to make

Tony gathered old material, including wood and metal, himself and dedicated weekends to its construction, meaning it cost him nothing to make

‘Once I had all the supplies I needed by late summer I started to put it up, I had already made every part of it so it was a case of connecting everything and popping props all over it.

‘I made every part of the ship myself, everything you can see was made entirely from scratch and the wood was free so I put it all on the front yard and started attaching everything together.’

Now Ali has amazed her pals in the run-up to Halloween with the huge structure and neighbours in have praised Tony for his craftmanship.

Now Ali has amazed her pals in the run-up to Halloween with the huge structure and neighbours in have praised Tony for his craftmanship with them coming by the watch the lights each night

Now Ali has amazed her pals in the run-up to Halloween with the huge structure and neighbours in have praised Tony for his craftmanship with them coming by the watch the lights each night

Tony started making the ship because his daughter wanted a 'Pirates of the Caribbean' themed Halloween and asked him to build her a pirate ship

Tony started making the ship because his daughter wanted a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ themed Halloween and asked him to build her a pirate ship

What Tony didn't foresee was just how much fun the ship would be for everyone in his community, who come over every day to see the chip

What Tony didn’t foresee was just how much fun the ship would be for everyone in his community, who come over every day to see the chip

‘It has gone down so well, my daughter loved it when it went up and it I was so happy to grant her wish,’ he added.

‘I don’t have any background in carpentry or set design and I didn’t need anything fancy, just enough to give it an authentic look.

‘It didn’t cost anything to make, we used lights that we already owned, and I got all of the materials from scrap sites and friends.

Tony and Rebecca DeMatteo are pictured in their garden in Rochester, they said 'a lot of hard work' went into the ship

Tony and Rebecca DeMatteo are pictured in their garden in Rochester, they said ‘a lot of hard work’ went into the ship

‘We’ve been putting on Halloween shows for about eight years, but this is the best one yet, its 20ft high and 50ft long.

‘Everyone that sees it is amazed, I do it for fun and my kids get involved which is great but I never expected it to get the reaction it has.

‘This year has been hard for everyone, events are getting cancelled and kids are not in school so the positive reactions have been out of this world.

‘It’s like being at Disney world for my kids and all of our neighbours come out to see it, eating snacks and enjoying the show.’

Attention to Detail ! Tony made sure the ship was as detailed as possible and added skeletons to the exterior

Shiver my timbers! The ship sits in Tony's garden with all the neighbours stopping by to see it

Attention to Detail ! Tony made sure the ship was as detailed as possible and added skeletons to the exterior 

Bigger and better! Tony said next year he'll have to make an even bigger project. Pictured is the ship's bones

Bigger and better! Tony said next year he’ll have to make an even bigger project. Pictured is the ship’s bones 

Skull and crossbones! The ship has skills and zombies throughout to look like Pirates of the Caribbean's Black Pearl

Skull and crossbones! The ship has skills and zombies throughout to look like Pirates of the Caribbean’s Black Pearl

Guns and ships! No detail was forgotten with Tony adding fake gun barrels to the side of his creation

Guns and ships! No detail was forgotten with Tony adding fake gun barrels to the side of his creation

Flags up! The garden also has a row of black skull and cross bone flags for extra Halloween fun

Flags up! The garden also has a row of black skull and cross bone flags for extra Halloween fun

Tony started making the ship because his daughter wanted a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ themed Halloween and asked him to build her a pirate ship.

What Tony didn’t foresee was just how much fun the ship would be for everyone in his community, who pop over every night to watch the light show.

Tony, said: ‘It was a lot of hard work but I really enjoyed it and I love how much joy it’s bringing to my kids, friends and neighbours.

‘I’m already thinking of what to do next year but whatever it is I’ll start making it now and try and go bigger and better.

‘The best part of this was seeing Ellie’s face when it finally went up, everything else is just a bonus.’

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Steve McClaren back at Derby for his FOURTH spell as he is appointed Technical Director

Steve McClaren back at Derby for his FOURTH spell as former...

EFL clubs will try and move December 1 matches back a day to allow fans into stadiums

EFL clubs will try and move December 1 matches back a...

Kate Middleton moves away from 'royal traditions' and parents in her 'own style'

Mariyah added: “When out in public together, she is always close by to George, Charlotte and Louis, making sure to give them space...

Attending Football matches will be different but it's a small price to pay for fans

It has been a long, pain-staking eight months for football fans but there is now, finally, some light at the end of the...

Recent Comments