The Downtown Boathouse

Promoting Public Access To The Water For All

The Downtown Boathouse is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free public access to the harbor in New York City through public kayaking programs. Our mission is to encourage safe public use of the harbor waters of New York City and thereby provide residents of this space-constrained city with increased recreational opportunities. Our operations are made possible exclusively through volunteers and with your public donations.


Community Events

The Downtown Boathouse is involved in many on-the-water events that are held in New York City throughout the summer that help to raise awareness of environmentally responsible recreational use of the NYC waterfront, and many of these events are open to the general public or to those who have acquired suitable skills through our free classes.

Each year we:

  • Provide valuable kayak support for swimmers in a number of events in the Hudson and East Rivers, including the NYC Triathlon charity fundraiser

  • Provide staff and assistance for the Mayor’s Cup Kayak Race

  • Host the finish line and race-day festivities for the annual Great Hudson River Paddle, a ten-day journey from Albany to New York City sponsored by a group of Hudson River preservation groups

  • Hold the Harrison Street Regatta, a short, fun race to promotes public awareness of the recreational use of the New York City waterways and waterfront. This event is open to any type of hand-powered vessel and anyone is welcome to participate.