Model Sailboats

The racing, floating, building and displaying of model sailboats is one of the most quintessentially urban activities you can engage in while visiting Central Park. The model boats are raced and displayed at Conservatory Water, located near 72nd Street. This weekly event has appeared in countless television shows and movies, including Sex and the City, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Mirror Has Two Faces, and Stuart Little. It is easy to see why this pond is a favorite choice of filmmakers. The carved design of Conservatory Water capitalizes on the natural slope of the low-lying area of the park. The design is one of America's most architecturally refined interpretations of similar ponds that have been traditional in Europe for centuries.

The creation of model boats is, for some, a very serious business. Though children are welcome and encouraged to participate, for many adults this is much more than a diversion. Some put a great deal of time into crafting a boat that is aerodynamically sound, some focus on the speed with which the boat will sail, some are most concerned with the intricacies of the boat's radio controls, and there are also others who are mainly interested in the beauty of the finished product. Carved wooden boats are some of the most eye catching on display.

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Boating occurs every weekend throughout the warmer months. Residents of the city who wish to race their creation frequently may apply for a permit to store their boat in the park's secure Kerbs Boathouse during the week. Space is limited and the permit is highly coveted, so it is important to apply early.

You don't need a boat to enjoy the spectacle of the event. Many visitors simply sit with a snack and watch the many expressions of New York's unique creative spirit float on the lake.

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Top of Page Header Photo: © Rick Anderson 2017
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