The Center for Wooden Boats

  • WA


1010 Valley Street
United States

About Us

What is the Center for Wooden Boats?

The Center for Wooden Boats (CWB) is a non-profit maritime heritage organization which serves people of all ages and backgrounds through hands-on educational programs. Through CWB's facilities and programs, visitors have the opportunity to experience the history and culture through direct interaction with historic boats, artifacts, and skills.

A 501©(3) non-profit since 1978, The Center for Wooden Boats has its origins in architect Dick Wagner's fascination with wooden boats. Dick, and his wife Colleen, began a traditional boat rental out of their own houseboat in 1968. By 1976 the idea of a small craft museum was born and 1977 saw the first Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival. In 1981 the Center was formally established. Boat livery (rentals) began in 1983, and the SailNOW! sailing instruction program began in 1989. CWB now has approximately 65,000 visitors per year, 2,500 members, 450 active volunteers who collectively log over 25,000 hours a year, around a dozen paid staff and a fleet of over 120 historic small craft which are displayed along a maze of floating docks and houseboats on the south shore of Lake Union, in the heart of Seattle. Admission has always been free.

As South Lake Union neighborhood expands and develops around us, CWB expects to continue to grow, and is planning expanded infrastructure, and construction of a new education center.

We have also expanded to a second Campus on Camano Island at Cama Beach. Cama Beach is a State Park at the site of an historic fishing resort on Puget Sound. The Center is active at Cama rebuilding and restoring the historic fleet of boats as well as buidling new boats and teaching sailing.

Please visit our website for more info about all our activities at both campuses: