August 14

You’re Not Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

Check out The Center for Wooden Boats’ new free family program.

The Sunday Public Sail at The Center for Wooden Boats was one of the most popular offerings from the local maritime institution. Then COVID-19 hit. The free, year-round program brought together multiple people from different households to enjoy time on the water, but because of the nature of these sails and danger of community spread of the virus, The CWB had to put it on hold.

But it was important for The CWB to continue its commitment to reduce barriers with free opportunities and provide a new way to get people of all skill levels onto the water.

Enter the Public Peapod Program, The CWB’s pandemic pivot. A peapod, if you didn’t know, is a small double-hulled boat that’s great for rowing.

Row of small boats moored at a dock

“While we would love to take people out, providing them with a free one-hour rental is the next thing we can do to help get people out on the water. The Peapod fleet is perfect because it is stable, can fit small family groups and is suitable for beginner rowers. Many of the people who participate in these programs have never been on the water or getting to know new boats for the first time,” said Sandy Lam, community engagement director for The CWB.

These boats can hold up to five people and are perfect for rowers of all experiences. The program is available Wednesday to Sunday from 11am to 7pm, and you can reserve one here.

Donations to The CWB have slowed dramatically since the pandemic began, and it has lessened the organization’s ability to offer programs and decreased operational capacity for boat rentals.

An easy way to help The CWB during this difficult time is to purchase a yearly membership. Memberships are $50 a year and give members discounts on rentals, merchandise, and exclusive access to the cabin at Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island. According to Lam, it’s a perfect staycation getaway.

Story by Ethan Chung and photographs by Sandy Lam, Center for Wooden Boats.

At The Center

SLU is the geographical center of Seattle