The Center for Wooden Boats (CWB) is a non-profit organization that celebrates the rich and varied watercraft heritage that is a vital part of the history of Seattle and the Puget Sound region. At this hands-on maritime museum, the exhibits are on the water and the public is encouraged to use them.
The organization is made up of many different people: local folks, tourists, young people participating in job skills programs, adults and families, and many CWB members and supporters. What they share is a passion or interest for boating, maritime skills, or just a love of the water.
CWB is dedicated to preserving maritime heritage for future generations. The Center preserves and shares both the watercrafts and the time-tested maritime skills of paddling, sailing, and boat handling, as well as boatbuilding and boat maintenance.
About the Center for Wooden Boats activities
There is no admission fee for many CWB activities: you can stroll the docks (Seattle) or beach (Cama), enter the buildings, look at the displays, learn from interpretive materials, and take free boat rides on South Lake Union.
Adult volunteers can earn free boat use by volunteering their time at CWB.
Some programs (such as Field Trips) are pay-what-you-can or pay by suggested donation. Other programs, such as boat rentals and workshops, have associated fees.
Youth scholarships are available for every youth program.
Members at The Center for Wooden Boats enjoy significant discounts on boat rentals, CWB classes, purchases at the CWB gift shop, and with participating local merchants. Membership begins at $50 per individual, with discounts for families, seniors, and students.
Center for Wooden Boats locations
The Center for Wooden Boats has two locations: in the heart of Seattle on Lake Union and at Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island, about 65 miles north of Seattle. Each CWB location is a hub of hands-on learning year-round. Get more information about each location in the sections below.
All of CWB’s programs and events are designed to provide public benefit. Boat rentals, classes and workshops, field trips, lectures, and opportunities for experience on the docks and in the water are just a few of the things you’ll find when you visit.
For more details about the activities available at each location, scroll down. Pay them a visit! Enroll in a workshop. Open your mind to new skills enjoyed by mariners throughout time. Pick up a tool and caulk a seam or fasten a plank. There’s lot to see, do, and enjoy around the docks and in the boats. CWB is a place you can experience maritime history, and add your story to it.
Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle on South Lake Union
The Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle is located at 1010 Valley Street, next to MOHAI on south Lake Union. Here are some of the FREE activities you can enjoy in Seattle:
Free Outdoor Maritime Movie Night at CWB Lake Union
Friday, August 23, 2019, 6:00 PM 11:00 PM. CWB will be showing “Captain Ron”, on the mainsail of Sea Fever off the docks. The movie doesn’t begin until after dusk (around 9:30pm). Doors open at 6pm! Don’t forget to bring extra blankets and low chairs for a front row experience during the movie. Picnics are encouraged, but CWB will host the popcorn! This event is free and open to the public with a suggested donation of $5. More info: Outdoor Maritime Movie Night — The Center for Wooden Boats (cwb.org)
Free Wooden Boat Festival at CWB Lake Union
CWB at South Lake Union hosts the Wooden Boat Festival, an old-fashioned, down-home waterfront event where everything is fun and most things are free. More info: The Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival — The Center for Wooden Boats (cwb.org)
In the interest of keeping our community safe during the pandemic, in 2021 CWB will celebrate their 45th anniversary with small events all year long! Coming up next is the El Toro Regatta on Sept. 25-26, 2021! Peruse each month’s theme and related events here.
Free one-hour rowboat rentals
Instead of the usual FREE Sunday Public Sail Program, CWB is offering FREE one-hour row boat rentals through their new Public Peapod Program (PPP). Free 1-hour rentals are available Wednesday-Sunday from 11am-7pm. All are encouraged to reserve one of the peapod rowboats at the South Lake Union Location. These boats can hold up to 5 adults and are perfect for rowers of all experiences. Reserve through the CWB online reservation system. More info: Rent a Boat on Lake Union — The Center for Wooden Boats (cwb.org)
Free boating speaker series on South Lake Union
Each month CWB at South Lake Union finds a speaker of wit and experience to talk about his or her special knowledge. Maritime talks are scheduled the 3rd Friday of most months from 7-9 p.m. Admission is free and refreshments are served (donations to cover costs are appreciated). To find out about upcoming talks, check the CWB calendar.
There are also activities for a fee, including classes & workshops, boat rentals, sailing lessons.
For more information, visit the Center for Wooden Boats website.
Center for Wooden Boats on Camano Island at Cama Beach State Park
CWB Cama Beach boat house at Cama Beach State Park is set in a spectacular, 433-acre waterfront location against a forested backdrop. Cama Beach State Park is connected by a mile-long trail to Camano Island State Park, a 134-acre camping park. Both parks are open year-round for day use or overnight stays.
Cama Beach State Park offers 33 cabins for rent to the public year-round. The cabins range from rustic to deluxe to bungalows with fireplaces. In addition, CWB Members enjoy exclusive access to the Boatman’s Cabin, a deluxe waterfront cabin that sleeps seven.
Rent boats at Cama Beach by the hour or by the day, including motor boats, sailboats, kayaks, row boats, and canoes. Be sure to call ahead for availability and weather conditions.
- Cama Beach Boat Rentals are now available! The boathouse is open Thursday – Monday 10am -6pm. Come on by!
Crabbing is allowed at Cama Beach from July 1 until Labor Day, Thursdays through Mondays each week (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays). Crab pots are free with a full day row boat or power boat rental. For more information about crabbing in Washington state, contact the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife.
POSTPONED: Free Saturday Toy Boat Building. They provide the materials, you provide the creativity. 10am – 2pm. Suggested $3 donation!
Find out more about CWB at Cama Beach State Park.
But wait, there’s more!
- Find more boat shows, maritime events, and waterfront festivals.
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- And here’s a list of 101+ always free things to do for fun.
- Find free and cheap things to do every day on the Greater Seattle on the Cheap calendar.
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Upcoming Boat Shows, Waterfront Festivals, and Maritime Events
Friday, October 8, 2021
Saturday, October 9, 2021
Sunday, October 10, 2021
Friday, October 15, 2021
Friday, November 19, 2021
Friday, December 17, 2021
Seattle, WA 98109