Boat Rentals

Independence Seaport Museum offers rowboats and kayak rentals from May 21 through October 11.

Our fleet consists of one-person and two-person kayaks and various small rowing boats. Kayaks provide a quiet, peaceful experience on the river and are user-friendly. Rowboats are great for individuals and families who want to spend time on the water, but have limited experience.

The prices are per boat and vary based on occupancy. All rentals include life jackets and oars or paddles. The minimum age permitted on the rowboats is 6 years old and all boats must have someone at least 11 years old on board. All children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult, though the adult may be permitted to remain on the dock if children meet the age requirement to operate a boat on their own. A driver’s license or photo ID is required for each rental. No pets are allowed on boats and only cash is accepted. Rentals are available by the hour and as weather permits. All vessels must be returned by 8:00 p.m. Cash only.

Rental Schedule

May 21 - Labor Day

Hours TBA

Labor Day - October 11

Hours TBA

*Last rental purchase is one hour prior to closing time, as listed above. Rental Schedule is subject to change based on weather conditions.

Rental Fees*

Swan Boats: $7 for a half hour

Kayaks: $10 per hour

Tandem kayaks and rowboats: $15 per hour

All paddlers must sign a Release of Liability Waiver and Equipment Rental Agreement before taking a boat out on the water. Our boats are covered 100 percent by insurance. Please inform staff of any damage that occurred during the rental. The renter has no liability for repairs. Independence Seaport Museum is not responsible for personal injury or damage to other boats. 

Please be careful in our boats! Diving or swimming from boats and switching from one boat to another while on the water is not permitted. No alcoholic beverages of any kind are allowed in boats or on Independence Seaport Museum property. Our boats are equipped with all necessary safety equipment to meet Coast Guard regulations. We reserve the right to refuse use of equipment and facilities if the renter or customer is ill, intoxicated, or otherwise demonstrates behavior which might affect his/her own safety of others. We also reserve the right to call in rented boats that are improperly or unsafely handled. 

Rental FAQs

Are there age and weight requirements? Yes. The minimum age for boat rentals is 6 years old and all children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. All boats are rated by passengers and weight limit. If the weight limit is exceeded, we retain the right to restrict the number of passengers aboard the boat.

Where can I go with the rental boat? Rentals are limited to inside the basin, north of the Olympia.

Do I need experience or a license to rent a boat? No. We are committed to sharing the experience of being on the water with people of all experience levels. Everyone is welcome!

Do I need to reserve my boat rental in advance? No. You do not need to reserve the boat rental in advance. Boat rentals are on a first come, first serve basis.

Do I have to wear a life jacket? Yes, safety is important to us. Everyone has to wear a life jacket while on the water. Life jackets are provided. We remind you that it is your responsibility to check this equipment before leaving the dock. 

How long is the rental and what happens if I stay out longer? The rental rate is 1/2 hour for swan boats and per hour for all others. It is your responsibility to return the boat within the rental time. If you would like to stay out longer, please arrange with a small boat rental staff.  

Does a boat rental include museum admission?  Boat rentals do not include museum or historic ship admission. Admission tickets may be purchased inside the museum or at the ticket booth next to the ships.

Will my clothes get wet? While visitors will not be swimming in the basin, you can expect to get wet when renting a boat or kayak.  Kayaks, in particular, sit very low on the surface of the water and the seats do often have water inside.  The Museum recommends bringing a towel if you are planning on renting a kayak.