The Center for Wooden Boats

A Hands-on Museum
The Center for Wooden Boats is a hands-on maritime museum. Its purpose is to preserve our rich, vital and varied small craft heritage by preserving both the artifacts and the time-tested maritime skills. Our aim is to provide an educational adventure, through participation, in our small craft heritage.The Center offers an opportunity to experience the dimensions of an earlier time, to put your hands on the oars of a graceful pulling boat or the tiller of a traditional wooden catboat. With help from master craftsmen, you can learn to steambend an oak frame, cast an oarlock, sew a canvas ditty bag, splice a line or caulk a seam.
What We Do: 
  • Take a Ride - We offer free public rides in our sailboats and 100 year old steamboat on Sunday afternoons and during our Wooden Boat Festival.
  • Learn to Sail - Be sailing on your own in six weeks with our award winning SailNOW! program.
  • Take a Break - Stroll the docks or grab a bench and watch the lake, the seaplanes, the clouds, and the boats drifting by.
  • Rent a Classic Boat - Row or sail our classic wooden small craft on the waters of Lake Union.
  • Take a Workshop - We offer classes ranging from boatbuilding and bronze casting to navigation and knot tying.
  • Be a Kid - Join the fun in our summer sailing camps for kids.
  • Bring Your Class - CWB offers a range of field trip experiences to school groups and youth groups of all kinds.
  • Visit our Festivals and Events - Join over 15,000 visitors over 4th of July weekend for our annual Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival.
  • Meet our Artist in Residence - Sāādūūts is a Haida Canoe Carver who invites the community to learn about and participate in tradition dugout canoe carving. Stop by for a song, a story, or a chance to try carving.
Volunteer Opportunities: 
The Center for Wooden BoatsVolunteers help out with everything from teaching sailing lessons to staffing our front desk. Learn new skills then share them with the public. Best of all, volunteers earn free boat time and other benefits! Volunteer orientations are held the second Saturday of every month at 10 a.m.

  • Boatshop - Maintain our fleet of classic boats
  • Sailing Instructor - Teach sailing to new students
  • Front Desk - Greet visitors and be at the hub of The Center
  • Archives - Help catalog and document the collection
  • Library - Keep our book collection in order so it can flourish
  • Events - Lend a hand in producing our special events
  • Toy Boats - Help kids build their first boat
  • Steam Team - Learn how to operate a Steam Launch for our public rides
  • Volunteer Water Taxi - Help run our volunteer ferry service
  • Docent - Share our collection with visitors
  • Site Maintenance - Keep The Center in tip top shape.
  • Work Parties - A different project every time, but always something new


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