LEGO Love Boat gets surprise ship inspection

LEGO Love BoatProfessional LEGO builder Ryan McNaught knew that a lot of people would attend the Brickworld LEGO convention in Chicago where his model of TV’s Love Boat would be on display. But little did he know that among those visiting Brickworld would be actor Gavin MacLeod, captain of the original Love Boat.

MacLeod, a Princess Cruises ambassador, paid a visit to the convention to surprise McNaught. One of the few master LEGO builders in the world, McNaught had no idea he would come face to face with the real “Love Boat” captain.

Presented with his own captain’s hat, McNaught called the experience “mind blowing, especially after seeing him on TV for all those years.”

MacLeod was astounded by the ship constructed from more than 250,000 LEGO bricks. His surprise “inspection” revealed that the ship even features the TV show cast, with LEGO models of his own Captain Stubing, as well as purser Gopher, cruise director Julie, and even some of the show’s most famous guests.

The model features the exterior of the ship on one side, while the other side is an open cutaway showing everything from chefs in the kitchen to passengers working out in the health club. Flashing LED lights for the disco and tiny motors powering the propellers and elevators complete the replica.

The son of a Melbourne, Australia travel agent, the 36-year-old McNaught was inspired by the many cruises he has enjoyed over the years.

“I wanted to do something with character so I chose the original Love Boat, Pacific Princess, and studied photos and deck plans to capture her features and her beauty,” McNaught told Gadling last January.