The L'il Skipper was a very fun project for me. This is the first time I've ever built something I had to bend wood around. It is made of solid wood construction. The plans called for eighth inch plywood. I hate plywood though. Unless I'm building a cheap jig or laying decking for a roof or something, you will never see me use plywood on a structural project.
L'il Skipper is made of cottonwood. The colors on it are achieve with Minwax waterbased stains that can be tinted pretty much any color of the rainbow and all shades in between. I'm sure other places have it, but I get mine at Home Depot. If you've read much of my blog, you'll know already though that I don't use paint if I can help it. Stains color the wood fibers. Paint, no matter how good, will eventually peal, crack, or otherwise start coming off. Since I build my projects to last for a long time, I want a color that will last too.
L'il Skipper is just over four feet long, to give you an idea of the size of it. The steering wheel turns so the child can play like he is piloting his own boat. The plans to build one of these can be found at here for a very reasonable price.