Hot Tub Sightseeing – Only in Seattle
You Too Can Rent a Hot Tub Boat on Lake Union
While the colder communities of northern Europe are famous for their saunas, Seattle is becoming famous for hot tubs. Hot Tub Boats that is. Designed and created by local house boat dwellers Adam Karpenske and Kelly Norton, it appears to be the first of its kind and has garnished some world wide attention. Born from the desire to have a hot tub, but limited by the space and logistics of living on the water, Karpenske and Norton’s idea has become a reality. After launching the rental company Hot Tub Boats just this summer, it’s become highly sought after for sightseeing around Lake Union.
Known for being an active, urban lake, Lake Union is the place where boats and crafts of all kinds go to see and be seen. Along the shoreline lives about 450 floating homes and houseboats (there’s a difference,) including the often sought after, famous flotilla from the 1993 mega hit Sleepless in Seattle. Now visitors and locals alike can rent a hot tub boat for sightseeing on the water, cruising by the famous and not so famous floating homes and many marvels that frequent Lake Union.
Available 7 days a week, prices are reasonable, especially if you grab the maximum of 6 cohorts to accompany you. With only one boat built so far, reservations fill up fast, so try to book in advance. Don’t worry, there are more boats in the works!
There is plenty of parking near their dock off of Westlake Ave. They have dressing rooms and an outdoor lounge for relaxing while you await your chariot. The boat is completely emptied, cleaned and refilled with fresh water between renters so they don’t use chlorine or other chemicals, which is a huge bonus. Plus the on-board diesel heater keeps the water toasty while you wade. There is dry storage on board for you to stow your things and with a quick tutorial you’re off.
The boat could not be easier to drive. There is a joystick. That’s it. No keys, no accelerator, no choke. Just move the joystick in the direction you wish to travel and the 4,000 pounds of water that you’re soaking in slowly follows your command. By slowly I mean 3 knots slow, which to you land lubbers is about the equivalent of a brisk walk. This is a perfect way to get on the water in cool weather and with little to no boating experience.
You cannot help but feel like you’re living large when the water is glowing pink from the setting sun, the surrounding skyline is already twinkling with lights, the bridges are silhouetted against the sky, while the outline of the Olympic Mountains can be seen towering in the distance, and you are seeing it all from a hot tub. A hot tub boat.
Still a spectacle, you can expect curious boaters, kayakers, canoers and paddle boarders to come in for closer look. Then again, with all the crazy crafts out there these days, you just might be gawking right back.