Thomas and the Boat Ride! is a magazine story.
Thomas had been to the Mainland to take part in a railway exhibition. A big ship carries him back to Sodor. Thomas enjoys the boat trip and he saw all kinds of vessels. Thomas arrives at the big harbour and is lifted off the boat by a crane. Thomas swung gently in the air and soon became busy. Later, Thomas arrives at the main station where he is greeted by the Fat Controller. That evening in the shed, all of the engines want to hear about the exhibition and boat trip.
Next day, the Fat Controller orders Thomas to collect a yacht from the boatyard and deliver it to the far side of the Island. Thomas is puzzled; he thought boats traveled by seas, not rail. The Fat Controller explains that it is a new boat which has not been launched yet. At the boatyard, Thomas sees loads of boats - almost as many as he had seen on his boat trip. Thomas rolls into a siding near the grand, new yacht and it is lifted onto his truck by a crane. Thomas rolls away.
As Thomas chuffs along his branch line, people stop and stare at the sleek new yacht. The boat's owner is waiting eagerly as Thomas pulls in. Thomas' driver concludes that boats can look just as splendid on land as they do on water.
- The way Thomas is unloaded is highly unsafe.
- The yacht changes colour during its journey by rail.
- It is not explained why the Fat Controller is present in the final illustration.