Just so The kids are not completely disillusioned. There was a real full size boat used for most of the King Kong scenes. The one you saw is the model that was used in the CGI scenes. The real boat was parked at Miramar wharf in Wellington near Weta studios for several years after the movie was made. I asked my brothers what had happened to it while I was there last year and they said that they thought it had been taken out to sea and sunk.