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Free Boat Rides On Lake Union, Seattle

Want to go boating on Lake Union, Seattle for FREE? Well here’s the secret to one of our favorite things to do on a Sunday in Seattle and it really is absolutely free!!

The Center For Wooden Boats in South Lake Union Seattle is a great place to go any day of the week. Admission to the hands-on Maritime Museum is always free plus you can stroll along the docks and look at all the beautiful boats on display. They also offer great workshops and boating lessons if you want to learn more. However on Sundays there’s the added bonus of being able to choose from several different boats all offering up an hour of free time out on the water.

How to Get a FREE Boat Ride on Lake Union, Seattle

  • Head to the Center for Wooden Boats on Lake Union where you will find a pay parking lot. Sign up starts at 10 am every Sunday of the year. However if you want to be sure of getting onto a boat I’d advise getting there about 9:30 as the line up starts early, especially on a nice day.

  • While you wait in line there will be sheets passed through listing which boats are available to ride that day. There’s usually several boats ranging from small wooden canoes to gorgeous antique sailboats plus steam powered boats and motorized yachts. The sailboats tend to be the favorites and fill up fast so you really do need to get there early for these.

  • Once you get to the front of the line you will sign up for the boat and time you want to go on. There are usually several times during the day starting at 10:15am and going until 4pm so if you’re there by 10am and are flexible you’re almost certain to get in. Not all of your party need to be there for sign up and one person can sign for up to five companions.

  • Once you have your boat and time scheduled you’re free to go and explore the little museum and marina. If you’re not boarding for a few hours there is plenty to see and do in Seattle. Some of our favorites are Gasworks Park or Seattle Center and if you like markets the Freemont Market is a great way to spend the hours before your boat ride.

  • You will need to be back at the marina 20 minutes prior to your departure time when you will sign in and grab a lifejacket. Once on board your hosts will take you on an hour tour of beautiful Lake Union. Depending on the boat you may learn to tack and jibe and handle the sails or you might just sit back and relax on the deck of a yacht and take in the scenery.

  • When your tour is over be sure to thank your hosts both on shore and on the boat as they are all volunteering their time just out of love for the Wooden Boat Center.
Seattle Wooded Boat Center
Line up to sign up for a free boat ride.
Lake Union Seattle
Beautiful Lake Union



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