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13 places to rent a boat in and around Seattle—for cheap

Get out on the water

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There’s an old saying among boaty types: “A boat is a hole in the water into which you throw money.” But when Pacific Northwest weather is behaving, there’s no better place to be than out on the water, whether you’re in a kayak, a canoe, a sailboat, or even a paddleboard.

Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to get out on the water while leaving boat maintenance to the experts, no matter what skill level you have in watercraft. Bonus: Most purveyors of boaty experiences also have classes for those who are a little nervous to get on the water.

Whether you’re looking to paddle out among the lily pads near the arboretum on Lake Washington, cruise past Gas Works Park by Lake Union, or get out on the the Puget Sound, here are 13 boat rental options from Sand Point to Seward Park—largely human-powered.

Map points are ordered north to south.

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1. Sail Sand Point

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7861 62nd Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 525-8782
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North End folks can get out on Lake Washington with Sail Sand Point, which offers rentals for kayaking, paddleboarding, sailboating, and windsurfing—plus classes and camps in all of the above. Rentals start at $18 an hour, and some rentals require a skills test.

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2. Ballard Kayak

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7901 Seaview Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98117
(206) 494-3353
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Right next to Golden Gardens Park, Ballard Kayak rents not just kayaks, but paddleboads too, starting at $20 an hour, all summer long. Looking for a more structured experience? It offers tours, too—incuding one through the Ballard Locks.

3. Greenlake Boathouse

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5303, 7351 East Green Lake Dr N
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 527-0171
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Located—appropriately—on Green Lake, this establishment rents kayaks, paddleboatds, water bikes, rowboats, and more starting at $24 an hour. If you get attached to that boat life, it sells used boats, too. Happy hour pricing brings all rentals down to $16 an hour when the rental starts before noon.

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4. Woodmark Waterfront Adventures

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1200 Carillon Point
Kirkland, WA 98033
(425) 999-1784
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Part of Kirkland’s Carillon Point resort, Waterfront Adventures will rent human-powered watercraft for pretty standard rates—starting at $19 an hour for a paddleboard or one-person kayak. It also rents out motorboats and jetskis, but the price range is much steeper (and probably falls out of the “cheap” category), at up to $189 an hour during peak season.

5. Agua Verde Café and Paddle Club

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1303 NE Boat St
Seattle, WA 98105k-6701
(206) 545-8570 ext. 101
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Tucked away in Portage Bay, Agua Verde is in a good position to paddleboard or kayak to Gas Works or the arboretum—and you can grab a taco or three at the cafe afterwards. Rentals start at $18 an hour.

6. University of Washington Waterfront Activities Center (WAC)

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3710 Montlake Blvd NE
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-9433
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On Union Bay near Husky Stadium, the WAC is the ideal jumping-off point for a paddle through the Washington Park Arboretum in a kayak, canoe, or rowboat. Rentals start at $8 an hour for UW students or $12 an hour for the general public.

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7. Northwest Outdoor Center

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2100 Westlake Avenue North, 1
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 281-9694
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Located on Lake Union, Northwest Outdoor Center rents paddleboards for $20 an hour and kayaks starting at $18 an hour. If you get attached to the little boat life, boards and kayaks are available for purchase, too—and those that are inexperienced or need a refresher can register for classes. Those unsure where to start can sign up for a group outing.

8. Hot Tub Boat Rentals Seattle

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1200 Westlake Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 771-9883
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More into relaxing on the water than athletic pursuits? Hot Tub Boats are literally what they sound like: hot tubs that are boats. The rental is a little steep—$350 for the first two hours—but ideally you split it with five of your closest friends.

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9. Moss Bay

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1001 Fairview Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 682-2031
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Located on sheltered Lake Union waters, Moss Bay rents out paddleboards, kayaks, and sailboats starting at $15 an hour for a kayak. Adventurers can rent kayaks to take away, too—or those starting out can take lessons.

10. The Center for Wooden Boats

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1010 Valley St
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 382-2628
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Center for Wooden Boats has facilities both on Lake Union and at Cama Beach, a state park with beachfront cabin rentals. Also a museum, it’s a great place to go to learn about the Northwest’s boating history—or just rent a sailboat, rowboat, canoe, or kayak from some serious experts. Rentals range from $35 for double kayaks to $65 for a large sailboat, and CWB offers classes, too.

11. Alki Kayak Tours

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1660 Harbor Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98126
(206) 953-0237
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This rental service in West Seattle has a little bit of everything: kayaks and paddleboards starting at $20 an hour or $90 per day, or fishing boat rentals starting at $50 an hour if you want something gas-powered. If you need extra guidance, classes start at $79, and tours are available, too.

It also rents skates, bikes, skateboards, and longboards for those looking for more of a beach boardwalk experience.

12. Enatai Beach Park

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3519 108th Ave SE
Bellevue, WA 98004
(425) 452-6914
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Cascade Paddlesports has a boathouse at this Bellevue beach park, and rents kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards. Rates range from $18 for the first hour of a single, sit-on-top kayak rental ($9 for additional hours) to $30 for a double sea kayak rental ($15 for additional hours).

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13. Northwest Paddle Surfers

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Unnamed Road
Seattle, WA 98118

With locations in Seattle, Kirkland, and Lacey, Northwest Paddle Surfers’s main thing is paddleboards ($25 an hour at the Seattle location by Adams Boat Ramp), but kayaks are available, too ($25 an hour for a single kayak at the Juanita Beach location). Want to step it up? Northwest Paddle Surfers also hosts paddleboard yoga classes throughout the week in Kirkland.

1. Sail Sand Point

7861 62nd Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115

North End folks can get out on Lake Washington with Sail Sand Point, which offers rentals for kayaking, paddleboarding, sailboating, and windsurfing—plus classes and camps in all of the above. Rentals start at $18 an hour, and some rentals require a skills test.

7861 62nd Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115

2. Ballard Kayak

7901 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117

Right next to Golden Gardens Park, Ballard Kayak rents not just kayaks, but paddleboads too, starting at $20 an hour, all summer long. Looking for a more structured experience? It offers tours, too—incuding one through the Ballard Locks.

7901 Seaview Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98117

3. Greenlake Boathouse

5303, 7351 East Green Lake Dr N, Seattle, WA 98115

Located—appropriately—on Green Lake, this establishment rents kayaks, paddleboatds, water bikes, rowboats, and more starting at $24 an hour. If you get attached to that boat life, it sells used boats, too. Happy hour pricing brings all rentals down to $16 an hour when the rental starts before noon.

5303, 7351 East Green Lake Dr N
Seattle, WA 98115

4. Woodmark Waterfront Adventures

1200 Carillon Point, Kirkland, WA 98033

Part of Kirkland’s Carillon Point resort, Waterfront Adventures will rent human-powered watercraft for pretty standard rates—starting at $19 an hour for a paddleboard or one-person kayak. It also rents out motorboats and jetskis, but the price range is much steeper (and probably falls out of the “cheap” category), at up to $189 an hour during peak season.

1200 Carillon Point
Kirkland, WA 98033

5. Agua Verde Café and Paddle Club

1303 NE Boat St, Seattle, WA 98105k-6701

Tucked away in Portage Bay, Agua Verde is in a good position to paddleboard or kayak to Gas Works or the arboretum—and you can grab a taco or three at the cafe afterwards. Rentals start at $18 an hour.

1303 NE Boat St
Seattle, WA 98105k-6701

6. University of Washington Waterfront Activities Center (WAC)

3710 Montlake Blvd NE, Seattle, WA 98195

On Union Bay near Husky Stadium, the WAC is the ideal jumping-off point for a paddle through the Washington Park Arboretum in a kayak, canoe, or rowboat. Rentals start at $8 an hour for UW students or $12 an hour for the general public.

3710 Montlake Blvd NE
Seattle, WA 98195

7. Northwest Outdoor Center

2100 Westlake Avenue North, 1, Seattle, WA 98109

Located on Lake Union, Northwest Outdoor Center rents paddleboards for $20 an hour and kayaks starting at $18 an hour. If you get attached to the little boat life, boards and kayaks are available for purchase, too—and those that are inexperienced or need a refresher can register for classes. Those unsure where to start can sign up for a group outing.

2100 Westlake Avenue North, 1
Seattle, WA 98109

8. Hot Tub Boat Rentals Seattle

1200 Westlake Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

More into relaxing on the water than athletic pursuits? Hot Tub Boats are literally what they sound like: hot tubs that are boats. The rental is a little steep—$350 for the first two hours—but ideally you split it with five of your closest friends.

1200 Westlake Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

9. Moss Bay

1001 Fairview Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Located on sheltered Lake Union waters, Moss Bay rents out paddleboards, kayaks, and sailboats starting at $15 an hour for a kayak. Adventurers can rent kayaks to take away, too—or those starting out can take lessons.

1001 Fairview Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

10. The Center for Wooden Boats

1010 Valley St, Seattle, WA 98109

Center for Wooden Boats has facilities both on Lake Union and at Cama Beach, a state park with beachfront cabin rentals. Also a museum, it’s a great place to go to learn about the Northwest’s boating history—or just rent a sailboat, rowboat, canoe, or kayak from some serious experts. Rentals range from $35 for double kayaks to $65 for a large sailboat, and CWB offers classes, too.

1010 Valley St
Seattle, WA 98109

11. Alki Kayak Tours

1660 Harbor Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98126

This rental service in West Seattle has a little bit of everything: kayaks and paddleboards starting at $20 an hour or $90 per day, or fishing boat rentals starting at $50 an hour if you want something gas-powered. If you need extra guidance, classes start at $79, and tours are available, too.

It also rents skates, bikes, skateboards, and longboards for those looking for more of a beach boardwalk experience.

1660 Harbor Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98126

12. Enatai Beach Park

3519 108th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98004

Cascade Paddlesports has a boathouse at this Bellevue beach park, and rents kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards. Rates range from $18 for the first hour of a single, sit-on-top kayak rental ($9 for additional hours) to $30 for a double sea kayak rental ($15 for additional hours).

3519 108th Ave SE
Bellevue, WA 98004

13. Northwest Paddle Surfers

Unnamed Road, Seattle, WA 98118

With locations in Seattle, Kirkland, and Lacey, Northwest Paddle Surfers’s main thing is paddleboards ($25 an hour at the Seattle location by Adams Boat Ramp), but kayaks are available, too ($25 an hour for a single kayak at the Juanita Beach location). Want to step it up? Northwest Paddle Surfers also hosts paddleboard yoga classes throughout the week in Kirkland.

Unnamed Road
Seattle, WA 98118