32nd Annual Lake Union Boats Afloat Show Giving Free Sailing Lessons For Kids and Boat Rides For All Ages

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Seattle's 32nd annual Lake Union Boats Afloat Show drops anchor at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 16. Attractions include: free 90-minute sailing lessons for kids, 45-minute sail boat rides for all ages, tours of the Sea Star from "Deadliest Catch" and four gorgeous luxury yachts over 100 feet.

Taking the helm of a boat for the first time is an incredibly empowering and exhilarating experience

When Seattle's 32nd annual Lake Union Boats Afloat Show opens on Wednesday, September 16, the show will not only provide an opportunity for show-goers to shop for and tour the boats of their dreams (approximately 200 boats of all kinds and sizes will be on display) but also to experience first-hand the joys of sailing or introduce their kids to sailing. Attendees will be able to sign up for 45-minute sail boat rides on 30-40 foot sailboats, or 90-minute sailing lessons for kids aged 8-16 on 14 foot catamarans. All boat rides and lessons are free to participants.

Kids sailing lessons: Provided by Sail Sand Point (http://www.sailsandpoint.org), a Seattle community small boat program dedicated to nurturing self confidence, leadership and the awareness of the marine environment in youth. The lessons will be on 14 foot Hobie Cat Waves. The Hobie Wave is a single-handed catamaran that can hold up to 4 people and is a great cruising boat for all ages and ability levels. The lessons will begin with a 30 minute dockside briefing, getting the kids comfortable with the water and learning the basics of sailing. They will then have the thrill of taking the boats out on the water by themselves (accompanied by an instructor who will be alongside in a powerboat).

"Taking the helm of a boat for the first time is an incredibly empowering and exhilarating experience," said Morgan Collins, executive director, Sail Sand Point. "Sailing lessons also teach much more than the ropes. The kids learn how to calculate distance, how to read the wind and water, how a sailboat works, and when they should tack or gybe. Since they have to make decisions and work in tandem with the others on the boat they learn teamwork and leadership skills, often without realizing they've done more than enjoy a sailboat ride. They usually have a grin from ear to ear at the end of it."

Lessons will be available Saturday and Sunday at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Weekdays at 4pm.

For further information or to sign up in advance go to: http://www.boatsafloatshow.com/sailing.htm (Pending availability sign-ups will also be available at the show.) Lifejackets will be provided, and kids should be prepared to get wet!

Sailboat rides: The other opportunity to get out on the water is being provided by Sailing Renaissance, a volunteer group of local boating industry executives who have banded together to promote the sport they love through the national Discover Sailing program. The sailboat rides - on 30-40 foot sailboats -- come with no strings attached and no sales pitches or gimmicks. "It's not always about selling boats, it's about getting people out on the water to feel the wind in their hair, try a turn at the helm or on a winch, experience the boat slicing through the water, and see how easy sailing can be," said Michael Collins, publisher of 48 Degrees North magazine and founding member of Sailing Renaissance.

Rides are approximately 45 minutes and run continuously every day of the show. Check in at the Discover Sailing booth in front of Chandler's Crabhouse restaurant. Lifejackets provided.

Other Boats Afloat attractions this year include:
•200 new and used boats or vessels in every size and price range (four boats alone over 100 feet)
•Tours of the Sea Star from the Emmy Award nominated television series Deadliest Catch.
Climb the ladder to the wheelhouse. Walk the deck where fortunes were made, where strong men were reduced to tears, where men struggled beyond exhaustion to stay alive. Tours led by the cast and crew of the Deadliest Catch. Tours of Sea Star are just $1.
•Free rides on Lake Union on the electric water taxi.
•A $25 gift card good at Daniel's Broiler or Chandler's Crabhouse if you purchase your ticket online.
•Enter to win a 9', four-passenger SB-275 Sportboat dinghy from West Marine. (Retail value = $999)

To help ease traffic and parking congestion, e-Ticket holders can ride the Seattle Streetcar to and from the Boats Afloat Show for free. E-Tickets are available at http://www.BoatsAfloatShow.com. The Seattle Streetcar, which makes regular runs to and from its Pacific Place Station in downtown Seattle and South Lake Union, is near more than eight public parking lots within easy walking distance of the line's 11 stops.

What: Lake Union Boats Afloat Show
When: Wednesday, Sept. 16 - Sunday, Sept. 20 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily)
Where: South Lake Union in Seattle
Tickets: $12 for adults / $5 for kids under 18 (kids under 12 are free). $18 for multi-day pass.
Receive a free ride on the Seattle Streetcar and a $25 gift card good at Daniel's Broiler or Chandler's Crabhouse with an e-Ticket purchase at http://www.BoatsAfloatShow.com
Getting There: Park downtown and take the Seattle Street Car to South Lake Union.

Photos available at: http://www.boatsafloatshow.com/gallery.htm

About the Lake Union Boats Afloat Show
The Lake Union Boats Afloat Show (http://www.BoatsAfloatShow.com) is presented by the Northwest Yacht Brokers Association and recognized as the largest floating boat show on the West Coast. Seattle's floating boat show, which dates to 1977, brings together a world-class fleet of power and sailing yachts presented by yacht brokers and dealers in the Northwest U.S. and Western Canada, along with a wide assortment marine products and services to help first-time and veteran boaters enjoy the water. Since 2005, the show has gained in popularity among boaters across the U.S. and Canada with attendance increasing by 40 percent.

About the Northwest Yacht Brokers Association
The Northwest Yacht Brokers Association (http://www.nwyachtbrokers.com) is a non-profit marine trade group founded in 1988 consisting of over 340 marine brokers, dealers and other industry professionals representing over 230 marine-related businesses in the Pacific Northwest. Subscribing to the strictest code of ethics, NYBA members are committed to bringing integrity and professionalism to the buying and selling process of new and previously owned pleasure craft. NYBA plays an active role in marine youth and education programs and is active in creating a greater interest in the welfare and safety of the boating public. Along with the Northwest Marine Trade Association, NYBA's January and September Boats Afloat Shows connect thousands of boating enthusiasts with marine professionals and the finest pleasure craft the Northwest has to offer.

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Lisa Samuelson
Samuelson Communications
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