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4 ways to safely social distance on the water, without owning a boat

With social distancing required this summer, it has been referred by many as the "bummer summer." However, with a little forethought and a tad bit of creativity, you can easily make this one of the most adventurous, fun-filled and memorable summers you have experienced in Seattle in a long time. From sunset sails on gorgeous racing sailboats to unique picnics on a donut boat or a fun day playing on Lake Washington, there is sure to be a water experience you have yet to check off your list this summer.

Seattle Donut Boat Co.

In the summertime, Lake Union is a bustling menagerie of watercraft, color and excitement. From seaplanes to stand up paddles, sailboats, to kayaks and now something new to the scene called a donut boat. Donut boats are the latest type of boat to hit the Lake Union scene since the memorable hot tub boat. These brightly colored circular boats come complete with sun umbrellas and are the perfect little boat to take out for a date night, a family outing or an impromptu meet up with friends.

With an electric motor steered by a tiller, these boats are easy to operate and do not require a boater's license or years of experience to work. Within five minutes, you can learn how to both effectively and safely maneuver the boat so you can cruise around Lake Union like a pro. In the middle of the donut boat is a circular table that is perfect for a picnic, your favorite take out or even an impromptu card game on the water. As you cruise past houseboats and yachts in this small but mighty boat, you will catch the eye of everyone you pass.

If you are looking for a unique and memorable experience on the water, look no further than Seattle Donut Boat Co.

  • Location: 1001 Fairview Ave. N Seattle, WA 98109
  • COVID update: During Phase 2, they are limiting boats to no more than five people. For no-touch check incomplete, one rental agreement and waiver for each person online ahead of time. Masks are required at the time of check-in and on their dock.

The Electric Boat Company

With most events and milestones either canceled or postponed these days, it is easy to feel disheartened about celebrations in general. When you want to do something special for someone, might you consider renting a boat from the Electric Boat Company as a great option? You can spend a couple of hours putting together a festive picnic with thoughtful touches like homemade mocktails and treats and then round out the rest of the meal with your favorite locally made cheese, crackers, baguette, salami, fresh fruit and veggies.

Designate one person in your party to drive the boat, another one in charge of music and another one as head of entertainment. With a combination of good company and delicious food, you will never grow tired of watching a seaplane take off or come in for a landing or all the other curiosities to be seen on Lake Union this summer.

  • Location: 2046 Westlake Ave. N Suite 102 Seattle, WA 98109
  • COVID update: Masks are required in their office and on their dock. No more than five people allowed outside of your household.

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Sailing Seattle

When the temperature rises around Seattle, there is no place better to be than on the water. Sailing Seattle offers a fun, convenient, inexpensive and easy wat to get out on the Puget Sound. Sailing Seattle offers both 1.5 hour day cruises and two-hour sunset cruises and allows you to bring your own food and drink aboard for your enjoyment. Sit back on the boat and enjoy the view of white sails against blue skies for pure summer perfection.

If you want to feel like you have the sailboat all to yourself, it is best to go midweek or on an earlier sailing. The 1.5-hour cruise provides great views of the Olympic Sculpture Park, Alki, and downtown Seattle. The ride was smooth, there was a warm summer breeze, and you will be able to catch some gorgeous glimpses of Mt. Rainier. If you are feeling extra adventurous, you might even have the opportunity to lower the sails or steer the boat.

  • Location: at Pier 56: 1201 Alaskan Way Seattle, WA 98101
  • COVID update: Currently sailing at 25% capacity, face masks required at the time of check-in and on their dock.

Carefree Boats

Have you ever wanted to slip down a slide into Lake Washington or dive off a diving board into the cool water of the Puget Sound? Look no further than Carefree Boat. Carefree Boat Rental is a boating club which allows its guests to rent unique boats at a moments notice, From speed boats to pontoon boats and everything in between Carefree Boat has your boating needs covered.

  • Six locations in Washington state: Bellevue, Bellingham, Fisherman's Terminal, Kirkland, Chelan and Shilshoe Bay.
  • COVID update: Face masks required at the time of check-in and on their dock.




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