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Seattle Sights: Center for Wooden Boats

“Work Like a Captain, Play Like a Pirate” at The Center for Wooden Boats

Located on Seattle’s South Lake Union, The Center for Wooden Boats is a “living museum” where visitors are encouraged not only to learn, but to experience hands-on the world of boating.   Admission is always free.

Here are just a few of the things you can take part in at The Center for Wooden Boats:

  • Sunday Public Sail: This has been a beloved Seattle tradition for over 25 years (and it is always free)!  Volunteers take passengers out onto the water of Lake Union on 45-minute to 1-hour adventures each Sunday.  Sign-ups must be made in-person and this is a first-come first-served experience.  The number of participants The Center can accommodate varies each Sunday, depending on which boats/volunteers are available.  People of all ages are welcome, though dogs and food and drink are not allowed.
  • Center for Wooden BoatsClasses and Workshops: The Center for Wooden Boats offers classes and workshops for adults, families, and youth alike.  Classes include adult sailing, woodworking, maritime signs, toy boat building, pond boat sailing, and more.
  • Fieldtrips:  This is not your average museum visit!  Children are offered a “hands-on educational experience.”  Themes are a choice of “What Floats Your Boat?”, “Tools and Tales”, “Umiaq Adventure”, “Native Seattle”, “The Significance of Salmon” and “Model Boat Design.”  One of the favorites is the opportunity to explore Lake Union in an umiaq- a skin on frame boat that is paddled just like a canoe.
  • Rent a Boat: Rent a historic boat so that you can learn through experience.  Rentals include classic wooden sail and row boats.  No experience is necessary to rent a rowboat or pedal boat, though renting a sailboat requires a sailing checkout.   Get details HERE. 
  • Center for Wooden BoatsExhibits: This living museum features rotating exhibits that are meant to educate and relive the rich history that our city has to offer.  Current exhibits include: “Highliners: Boats of the Century- a History of Power-schooners”, “Fish on!- Celebrating the Glory Days of Salmon Fishing” and “Persistent Work- a photographic journey where the land meets the sea.”


Other Locations:

Cama Beach
Center for Wooden BoatsCama State Beach Park is home to a second location for The Center for Wooden Boats.  This magnificent 433-acre waterfront site is open for day use and overnight stays year round!  The location is also home to various events throughout the year, including Bronze Casting workshops, Chowder Cook Offs, and the spooky Haunted Boathouse.

Center for Wooden BoatsNorth Lake Union Workshop and Warehouse
The North Lake Union Workshop is not currently open to the public, but it is part of The Center for Wooden Boats in that it houses boats too large for the other facilities.


THE CENTER FOR WOODEN BOATS  |  1010 Valley Street on South Lake Union  |  1880 Camano Drive on Camano Island  |  1475 N Northlake Place on North Lake Union




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