Regular visitors to Seattle’s 36th annual Lake Union Boats Afloat Show will notice quite a few new attractions this year — from the addition of seminars and in-water docking classes to a new layout, new exhibitors, new food vendors, as well as entertainment for the kids, provided by Disney Radio. First-timers will undoubtedly be mesmerized by the wide range of boats on display — from sport boats to sailboats, trawlers to super yachts, and everything in between. This year’s event will be also notable for having more boats than any time since 2007. The show will open on Wednesday September 10th, and will last until Sunday 14th, 2014, and is sponsored by Word Yachts.
New seminar series, presented by Sea Magazine
The show is offering a series of free one-hour seminars with topics for the seasoned boat owner such as ‘Battling Mold and Mildew’ or ‘Cruising West Vancouver Island’ as well as topics geared to the first time boat buyer such as ‘Boat Buyers’ University: What is the process for buying a new or used boat?’ Seminars will be held on Friday through Sunday.
Docking lessons provided by the crew from Hampton Yacht Group
Docking can be nerve wracking —especially in tight spaces, unfamiliar marinas or when the wind or current kicks up. The ability to confidently and competently maneuver a boat in close quarters is the hallmark of a competent skipper and requires a set of skills that usually takes years to perfect and lots of trial and error. The Hampton Yacht Docking lessons will get participants started on that road to complete confidence and will cover: basic docking, docking in tight quarters, docking in wind, undocking; steering – turning and swinging, contrary motion and propulsion, pivoting and walking; hull effects – wind, current, momentum; human factors; and how to use lines and fenders. The classes include 25 minutes of classroom training, and 20 minutes of in-water demonstration, and will be held once a day on Friday through Sunday.
New exhibitors for 2014
There are more than a dozen new exhibitors this year. New in-water exhibitors for 2014 include:
• Denison Yacht Sales
• JK3 Yacht Sales
• Silver Seas Yachts
• Specialty Yacht Sales Corp
• Stan Miller Yachts
• West Bay Sonship Yachts, Ltd.
New shoreside exhibitors for 2014 include:
• American Family Insurance
• Fisheries Supply Company
• Global Marine Insurance
• Helly Hansen
• Outdoor Emporium
• Seakeeper, Inc.
• Word Yachts
For the little ones
The show is not just for adults or for mom and dad to shop for the boat of their dreams. It’s full of free activities for kids of all ages. Kids 8-16 can get on the water and be introduced to the thrill of small boat sailing with 60-minute free sailboat lessons courtesy of Sail Sandpoint. All ages can enjoy the Center for Wooden Boats hands-on toy boat building. And new for 2014, Radio Disney Seattle will be onsite hosting water fun and safety activities and giving away tons of prizes throughout the day. The Radio Disney Seattle Road Crew will be there for this family-friendly event bringing exciting games, dances, giveaways including Seattle City Light’s summer promotion ‘Cookin with Kilowatts.’
Food, glorious food
It’s easy to work up an appetite climbing aboard all those boats. Showgoers will be pleased to know that there are several new dining options this year. In addition to a new restaurant at Chandler’s Cove — Nouvilhos Brazilian Steakhouse — there will be two new food vendors at the show: My Sweet lil Cakes and El Sabroso. My Sweet lil Cakes was recognized by Thrillest last year as the Best Food Truck in Seattle and offers sweet and savory hotcakes on sticks, using batter made from scratch and fresh ingredients. El Sabroso serves up delicious Latin street food and specializes in gourmet Tortas, Tacos, Tamales (on green banana leaf) and Quesadillas. Those wanting to try the new Nouvilhos Brazilian Steakhouse should buy their show tickets online as they will receive a free appetizer at Nouvilhos Brazilian Steakhouse or a $20 gift card (and a one year membership to BoatU.S.).
All you need to know
What: South Lake Union Boats Afloat Show
When: Wednesday September 10th – Sunday September 14th, 2014
Hours: Weekdays 11am – 7pm/Weekends 10am – 6pm
Where: South Lake Union in Seattle
Tickets go on sale on August 10:
Buy your tickets online and receive 1 year Boat U.S. membership and a free appetizer at Nouvilhos Brazilian Steakhouse at Chandler’s Cove.
$12 for adults / $5 for kids 12-17 (kids under 11 are free).
$18 for a multi-day pass.
Weekdays 5-7 pm: $6
Special sailing ticket: $50 Intro-to-Sailing ticket includes 2-day admission, 1.5 hour seminar and 1.5 hour on-water sailing lesson.
Getting There: Parking lots are limited near the show. For convenience park downtown and take the Seattle Street Car directly to the show on South Lake Union.