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.


Free Classes 

The Boathouse runs a series of free public classes on weekday evenings during the season. The classes require no prior kayaking knowledge, and most are ideal for beginners and those who are interested in learning more about our environment. Some classes are taught on shore while others require hands-on participation in a boat. Other still, such as our Rescue and Recovery class, involve getting in the water. Classes are usually held on Wednesdays 6:00 - 8:00 PM at Pier 96, first come, first served.   All class participants must be over 18 years of age, know how to swim, wear a lifejacket and sign our waiver. 

See  calendar for classes and dates