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.
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.
Adult volunteers can earn free boat use by volunteering their time at CWB.
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.
So 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 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.
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.
CWB at 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 special activities you can enjoy in Seattle:
Every week at CWB on South Lake Union, the public is invited to take free boat rides. You must sign-up in person for the free boat rides. Space is limited and rides fill quickly. But the free boat rides happen every Sunday, rain or shine.
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 every month (except July, August, and December) 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 Events page.
Every Fourth of July weekend, CWB at South Lake Union hosts the Wooden Boat Festival. This is an old-fashioned, down-home waterfront event where everything is fun and most things are free.
You can also take classes & workshops, rent a boat, take a sailing lesson, build a toy boat, and enjoy storytime aboard historic vessels. Some of these activities have a fee, some request a donation, and others are free.
Find out more about CWB at South Lake Union.
CWB at Cama Beach State Park
CWB Cama Beach boat houseCWB 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.
Thursdays-Monday from September-June, you can rent boats at Cama Beach. Be sure to call ahead for availability and weather conditions.
Every June, CWB at Cama Beach hosts the free Youth Fishing Derby, for kids 16 and under. The CWB derby coincides with Washington State’s Free Fishing Day and State Parks Free Day. So no fishing licenses or Discover Passes required.
From July 1 until Labor Day, crabbing is allowed at Cama Beach, Thursdays-Mondays. Crab pots are free with a full day row boat or power boat rental.
Every Halloween, CWB at Cama Beach hosts the “Booathouse” and Harvest Festival. Activities include Halloween movies, pumpkin bowling, Ghost ship toy boat building, and a rain gutter regatta to put your toy boat through its paces. Popcorn and cider will also be available for attendees. Plus more Washington State Park activities at the Cama Center just above the boathouse. Bring the kids down for an afternoon of family-friendly entertainment, and enjoy a fun fall day in a great place. More info: http://cwb.org/events/haunted-boooathouse/.
Find out more about CWB at Cama Beach State Park.