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 Kayaking

We offer free sit-on-top kayaks for public use in protected Hudson River embayments at each of our locations throughout our season (May-October). We give brief instruction and provide all necessary safety equipment as well as changing rooms, lockers and locks, bike locks, sun block, and first aid equipment.

This is by far our most popular program for adults and children alike. It provides an opportunity to create a personal connection with our waterfront, regardless of age, income or location, and it also serves to educate our communities about how far we have come in cleaning up the Hudson River.

2018 Free Kayaking Season - Pier 26

Weekends & Holidays:  May 19th to Oct 8th, 9am to 4:30pm
Tue/Wed/Thu Evenings:  Jun 19th to Sep 13th,  5:30pm to 7pm


Before You Go Out

· Sign a waiver (we now require a new waiver each visit)
· You must know how to swim
· Put on a lifejacket

On the Water

· Stay within the bay (between piers)
· Keep away from sides and wall
· Come back in 20 minutes
· Come back in if called
· No swimming

Under Eighteen

· One child per boat
· Guardian must be present
· Under 16, must go with guardian

We're sorry, but we don't accommodate animals in our boats for safety reasons