Buoy oh buoy! The 38th annual Boats Afloat Show gets underway on Wednesday, Sept. 14 and is THE place to find the watercraft of your dreams, whether that’s a standup paddleboard that converts to a rowing scull, a motorized surfboard that can reach speeds up to 35 mph or a luxury yacht that boasts a 42-inch TV, wet bar and Jacuzzi on its top deck. The largest floating show on the West Coast, Boats Afloat has a boat for every budget, activity and lifestyle, from sport boats to sailboats, trawlers to mega yachts and everything in between. And since nothing is more inspiring than actually getting out on the water, there are free boats rides (power and sail) and docking and sailing lessons. There’s also the chance to win a boat to call your own.
The show drops anchor at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14 on South Lake Union and sails on through 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016.
Smallest boat in the show: The Scamp is a 12-foot sailboat built locally by Gig Harbor Boat Works. A great daysailer yet capable of cruising to the San Juans, 48° North Sailing Magazine called it “the biggest little boat I’ve ever sailed.”
Biggest boat in the show: Need room for a few more friends? Afterglow, a 2012 90-foot Ocean Alexander, is the largest and most expensive boat in the show. (Listed at $4,975,000.) With five staterooms (bedrooms), six heads (bathrooms), a gourmet galley (kitchen) and a Jacuzzi on the top deck, she could take you in style to Alaska or Hawaii and beyond.
Most unusual watercraft in the show: JetSurf is a jet propelled surfboard that’s a cross between a surf board and a jet-ski, is capable of speeds up to 35 mph and is the world’s first personal watercraft you can check in as luggage on a commercial flight. See it in action during the show.
Boat rides: Take a cruise on 26’-35’ boats from Seattle Sailing Club and get involved in handling the lines and even steering the boat. During the weekend, enjoy a ride on Lake Union Charters & Adventures’ classic 65-foot Schooner Lavengro, a 1926 wooden gaff-rigged schooner, or get out on a 19-foot powerboat courtesy of Seattle Boat Share. Rides are approximately 45 minutes on Lake Union. Enjoy the sights of Seattle, learn new boating skills and see the show from the water. Sailboat rides are available every day at the show, schooner and powerboat rides are available on Saturday and Sunday.
Got a stand up paddleboard (SUP) and want to do more with it? Demo the Oar Board, an invention that converts your SUP into a light-weight, totally portable single scull (rowing) boat in less than five minutes. Designed in British Columbia by Harold Aune (the grandaddy of sculling), it extends the versatility of your SUP and is an extremely cost-effective way to get into rowing. On-water demos will be available continuously every day of the show.
Sail: If you’ve ever dreamed of sailing off into the sunset, this three-hour training course withSeattle Sailing Club is the perfect way to get started. This daily introductory program is ideal for new sailors as well as those who are simply looking for a refresher. Cost: $50 includes two days’ admission and hands-on sailing lessons.
Power: Hampton Yacht Group knows how nerve wracking docking can be, especially in tight spaces, unfamiliar marinas or when the wind or current kicks up, so they’re offering complimentary women’s docking classes on Friday and Saturday of the show. Advanced registration required.
Toy boat building for kids. The crew from the Center for Wooden Boats will help kids build and decorate their own wooden boat using traditional tools and decorating with bottle caps, corks, and crayons. Saturday and Sunday. Sponsored by Banner Bank.
Score a boat. Channel your inner Russell Wilson and see if you can throw a football through a floating goal post. Make it and you’re entered in a drawing to move on to the next round. On Sunday, the final day of the show, five lucky contestants will then compete for a chance to wina Bayliner Element XL, perfect for wakeboarding on Lake Washington, cruising around Lake Union or boating to Husky games. In addition to the boat, valued at $25,000, there is a chance to win $500. Sponsored by Lake Union Sea Ray.
About the 2016 South Lake Union Boats Afloat Show
The South Lake Union Boats Afloat Show opens on Wednesday Sept. 14th and runs through Sunday Sept. 18th, 2016 at Chandler’s Cove on South Lake Union. Admission is $12 for adults and $5 for youth (13-17). No charge for kids 12 and under. A multi-day pass is $18. Buy your tickets online and receive a one-year subscription to 425 Magazine, $10 gift card to Chandler’s Crabhouse and a free one-hour paddleboard or kayak rental from Mt. to Sound Outfitters. Hours: Weekdays 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.