The Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle, WA is run by a group of passionate people from all walks of life united by a shared love of boating, the water, and various maritime skills. The Center for Wooden Boats is located inSeattle, Washington, which seems to be the perfect place for it to reside. Besides having access to a major ocean, picturesque lakes, rivers, and a bay, the greater Seattle area has a rich maritime, fishing, and boating history.
The CWB was started by a husband and wife team, Dick and Colleen Wagner, after they spent more than a decade renting out boats from their houseboat in the late 1960's and early 1970's. Their passion for maritime history and small wooden watercrafts was initially shared in a small community-based museum called "The Old Boat House".
The small museum was started in the late 1960's and their regular patrons soon became their good friends. This friendship and shared passion of all things maritime launched the idea to start a "living museum" of their wooden boat collection.
The Wagner's and their friends in the community wanted their collection of wooden boats and maritime artifacts to be used for educational and recreational purposes. The CWB became a hands-on museum where visitors can actively learn how to operate a wide variety of boating vessels. Visitors can also learn the exciting history of many various water crafts and related artifacts.
The mission of the CWB is to educate visitors through hands-on historical experiences while simultaneously re-writing history through said experiences. The dedicated staff at the CWB hopes to preserve small boating craft heritage and keep history alive through encouraging the enjoyment and education of all visitors.
The vision of the CWB is based on six major principles: Preservation, Youth, Lifelong Learning, Community, Access, and Inspiration. Each has a special purpose in pursuing the CWB's mission. These major principles are utilized as follows: The CWB hopes to preserve and explore the rich history of maritime culture in the Seattle area while inspiring the youth of the community to reach their full potential in wooden crafts. They want the community to be proud and educated about their environment while enjoying unlimited and safe access to their waterways. They hope to achieve this goal through inspiration and a dedication to lifelong learning.
The main goal of the Wagner's is to share their love of all things maritime, while sharing some fun and educational stories about the local history of a community they adore.There are many different workshops, volunteer opportunities, and even youth programs offered to help achieve this goal.
The CWB has a wide variety of lessons and classes for visitors of all ages to enjoy year-round. There are specialized classes in sailing, woodworking, and maritime skills just for adults, some of these classes include: boat building, kayak building, captain's class, learn to sail, beginning woodworking, boat racing series, bronze casting, lofting, and varnishing. There are also private sailing lessons that can be done alone or with a small group of your close friends.
There are also programs just for families to do together including family boat building, pond boat sailing, and tug boat story time for the little ones. The youth programs are very exciting and include class field trips where students can learn how to sail, learn the basics of woodworking, and all sorts of other important maritime skills. There is also a course in building toy boats for children as young as 5.
Because the CWB wants to provide access to all interested members of the community, they offer a Pay What You Can program. Thanks to generous sponsors, this program allows access to children whose families who might not otherwise be able to afford these courses.
Through a supportive and fun environment, the hard-working staff at the CWB hopes to instill a passion and understanding of the water that will last a lifetime.
There are also various historical and technical exhibits on display at the CWB. These exhibits include the CWB's vast fleet of watercraft, everything from massive sailboats to paddleboats. There is the preservation and documentation area where the CWB tracks and documents historical watercrafts. The Dock Toys exhibit focuses on basic maritime skills that all sailors should possess, this is a hands-on exhibit. Everything from signal flags to tying the correct knots is taught at this exhibit.
There are also a variety of rotating exhibits that explore the history of small water crafts in the Pacific Northwest. Some of the main attractions include Persistant Work, Highliners: Boats of the Centuries, and Fish On! Each focuses on a different aspects of the history of watercrafts, including engineering, design, and function.
The most popular exhibit is probably The BoatShop, this is where visitors can take classes, trainings, and most importantly work on their watercrafts! This area is constantly buzzing with activity and is definitely a must-see for members of the whole family.
Because there is so much offered at the Center for Wooden Boats, it is recommended that before visiting, guests look over the website and call ahead to book their desired course or activity. However, there is always something to do and see at the CWB, so if visitors live close-by, just popping by and seeing what's going on will sure to delight and entertain.
The surrounding Seattle-area is well-known for its culture, history, and most importantly, it's delicious coffee and treats. There is never a shortage of exciting and entertaining hot spots to enjoy. Whether it be touring world-class museums, tasting delicious cuisine, or enjoying the great outdoors, there is sure to be something for every member of your family to enjoy.
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The CWB hosts lots of exciting events for visitors of all ages, including: kids breakfasts, the wooden boat festival, auctions, haunted boathouse, mother's day Saturday sail, a third Friday speaker series, a spaghetti social, and even corporate team building and workshops.
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1010 Valley St, Seattle, Washington 98109, Phone: 206-382-2628