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The Center for Wooden Boats is a maritime heritage museum located on the south shore of Lake Union in Seattle, Washington, USA. Next door to the CWB is the Northwest Seaport, which endeavors to restore several bigger historic ships, including the schooner Wawona. Maritime Heritage Network, an online directory of maritime heritage attractions and organizations in the Pacific Northwest. An informational sign is awesome, but the Center for Wooden Boats is about much more than that.
On top of the vessels at the Center for Wooden Boats, there are also much larger ships on display next door at the Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Museum (it’s practically connected to the Center for Wooden Boats).
We suggest taking the time to check out the Center for Wooden Boats and the Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Museum. A brand new vantage point for Seattle fireworks launches this year at The Center for Wooden Boats 35th annual Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival. Activities for the kids include Toy Boat Building where they can to build and decorate their own model boats and Pirate Storytime aboard the historic tug boat Arthur Foss; featuring the nautical yarns of Pirate Lou.
Boat Building Demonstrations: Watch master craftspeople as they build kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and more.
Quick and Daring Race: Are they amazing, or just crazy?  Watch teams built a boat in 24 hours and cheer them on as they launch and race on Monday. NW Seaport: Tour 1889 tugboat Arthur Foss.  The NWS gift shop has maritime music CDs, t-shirts and more! The Center for Wooden Boats gratefully acknowledges the support of our sponsors in making it possible to bring so many wonderful boats and boat lovers together over the holiday weekend.

Over 200 wooden boats from dinghies to sailing schooners over 130 feet in length are on public display throughout the festival. Zodiac  160-foot two-masted gaff rig schooner built in 1924 that competed in the 1928 Trans Atlantic Sailing Race.
Adventuress  133-foot National Historical Landmark schooner built in 1913 for the founder of the Yellow Cab Company. Spike Africa  79-foot gaff rig schooner won honors throughout her racing career and has starred in films such as Joe vs. Mycia  73-foot schooner designed and lofted in 1997 by local boatbuilding students at the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Townsend. Flying Cloud   52-foot locally designed Monk motor yacht originally built for the President of First Seattle Bank and later served as a sub-chaser during World War II. Mistral 39-foot Seaborn sloop built in 1929 and local regatta standout which has two Swiftsure International Yacht Race titles to her credit. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there were boathouses (also known as liveries) all over Seattle. Located in Lake Union Park (1010 Valley Street), the museum (which is free to the public — although a donation is suggested) is home to more than 170 wooden vessels, which represent a wide variety of hull designs, sailing rigs, construction techniques and more. You can see the historic Fireboat Duwamish (built in 1909), the beautiful steamship Victoria V (built in 1921), the fishing troller Twilight (built in 1933) and many more vintage vessels. Even if you don’t know a lick about boats, the museum is a nice place to spend a sunny day in Seattle. Attendees can also learn to steer by the stars, sharpen their chisels or tie a “turks head” knot in our skills classes and booths.

Kids will also be able to build a kite and fly it from the festival grounds, and sail model boats in the park’s new boat pond. New in 2011 is an expanded beer garden run by Jillian’s Billiards where people will be able to wet their whistle with four different beers while they play nautical trivia. People could rent boats and take them around area lakes for transportation or entertainment.
Every boat on display at the Center for Wooden Boats has a sign loaded with information, so you can learn all about the historic vessels. Tove and I even had a chance to tour the tugboat Arthur Foss, which is one of the oldest wooden-hulled tugboats in the United States (built in 1889).
We didn’t rent a boat when we were there (we will soon though), but many other people were throwing on life vests and getting ready for an awesome day on the lake. Nearby food venders will fill a growling stomach.  And they’ll be open leading up to the fireworks on Lake Union Monday night, the 4th of July. As technology started to advance, and street cars and public transportation grew, the need for boathouses disappeared, leaving them high and dry. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more fun attractions in the Emerald City!

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