OPENS WEDNESDAY: Lake Union show to attract more than 200 vessels

Staff reportSeptember 8, 2013 

The 35th annual Lake Union Boats Afloat Show, featuring more than 200 watercraft, opens Wednesday. Billed as the West Coast’s largest floating boat show, it will feature vessels from 20-90 feet in length.

One of the main attractions at this year’s show is a 90 foot mega yacht, a 2011 Ocean Alexander, priced at $5.6 million. According to Power& Motoryacht Magazine, “The 90 is the kind of boat any owner would be proud to own — graceful and sleek on the outside, spacious and elegant on the inside, she’s really got it all.”

Among the most unusual boats will be the Helicat. It might look like a helicopter, but it’s a catamaran and it can zip across the water at more than 40 mph. Locally built in Monroe, the Helicat is making its world debut at Boats Afloat.

New this year is a learn-to-sail package. The Seattle Sailing Club will be offering an introduction to sailing package. Participants will first take a 11/2-hour on-land seminar, followed by a 11/2-hour on-water lesson. Lessons take place on Seattle Sailing Club keelboats. The $50 package includes two-day admission to the show.

In addition, Discover Sailing will offer free daily 45-minute sailboat rides for all ages on Lake Union on 30- to 40-foot boats.

For the kids: Children ages 8-16 can get on the water and be introduced to small boat sailing with 60-minute free sailboat lessons courtesy of Sail Sandpoint. The lessons, on 13-foot Hobie Cat Waves, will be available Friday at 1 and 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sept. 15 at 11 a.m., 1, 3 and 5 p.m. To sign up in advance, send an email to

All ages can enjoy the Center for Wooden Boats hands-on toy boat building. Kids can use traditional tools to build and decorate their own wooden boat and see them float in the pond the final two days of the show. Stearns Lifejackets will be giving away 500 kids life jackets on Saturday and Sept. 15 during the show.

When: Wednesday-Sept. 15.

Hours: Weekdays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Where: South Lake Union in Seattle.

Tickets: $12 for adults, $5 for kids ages 12-17 and free for kids 11 and younger. $18 for a multi-day pass. Weekdays 5-7 p.m. is $6. An opening night ticket is $18 and includes wine/beer tasting, commemorative glass and entertainment.

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. On Saturday and Sept. 15, park at the lot at the corner of East Blaine Street and Fairview Avenue East and catch the free shuttle to the show. Park all day for $3.

Information: 206-748-0012,

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