Virginia V // Photo by Alex Kwanten

40th Wooden Boat Festival

Norris Comer Community

Virginia V // Photo by Alex KwantenSummer is a busy time for the Center for Wooden Boats, and this year marks the 40th Annual Lake Union Wooden Boast Festival that runs from July 2 – 4, 2016. Every year the Center for Wooden Boats celebrates the maritime heritage of Seattle and lures attendees onto historic wooden boats to get on the water. The 2016 festival is loaded with visiting vessels, boat tours, boat rides on Lake Union, toy-boat building and sailing for kids, craft and skill demonstrations, food vendors, live music, and a 24-hour boat building race called the Quick & Daring. For Quick & Daring, teams build boats on one day and race them the next.

More events geared toward kids include making model hydroplanes, steam bending wood, paddling watercraft, and kite building (some fees may apply). There will be maritime skill demonstrations and seminars for adults. Additionally, there is a chance to ask questions of Center for Wooden Boat’s lead boatwright, Bradley Suedekum, and try out traditional boat-building tools. Susan Slocum Dyer, the great-great granddaughter of the first solo circumnavigator Joshua Slocum, has a two-hour presentation lined-up. Featured vessels include the tugboat Arthur Foss, Lightship No. 83 Swiftsure, the steamer Virginia V, the 1909 Seattle fireboat Duwamish, and the 92-foot M/V Lotus. What’s more, the festival is timed in the afternoon on July 4 so attendees will be in position at Lake Union to see the fireworks.

What are you waiting for? The fun is at Lake Union Park as well as the Center for Wooden Boats at 1010 Valley St., Seattle, WA 98109. The festival takes place from 1000 to 1800 hours on July 2 and 3, and 1000 to 1500 hours on July 4. The suggested donation is $5 per individual or $10 per family. For more information about the complete lineup, visit

Norris Comer

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Norris Comer is an award-winning writer and the former Managing Editor of Northwest Yachting magazine. He was raised in Portland, Oregon and got his BS in Marine Science at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL where he lived aboard a 1973 Catalina 27 before moving to Washington and an Albin Vega. He has worked as a commercial fisherman, wandered aimlessly around the world, studied oil spills, and was a contestant on the Norwegian reality TV show "Alt for Norge."

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