"To provide a gathering place where maritime history comes alive through direct experience and our small craft heritage is enjoyed, preserved, and passed along to future generations."

Mission of the Center for Wooden Boats




What is interpretation, and what does it mean for the Center for Wooden Boats? CWB is a unique institution, which can both learn from and contribute to the ways in which interpretation is commonly understood in the museum context.

Interpretation? > 

Interpretive Themes

Four core themes articulate the interpretive mission of CWB, representing the information and ideas from which programs are developed. Visitors to the Center should have some portion of these themes as a takeaway, in addition to and supported by on-water experiences or other program benefits. 

People, Boats, and the Water >

The History of Pacific Northwest Small Craft >

Boats as Works of Design and Engineering >

Why Wood? >


The Center is experiential by nature, and most visitors are engaged in specific programs developed from the Center's mission. These programs engage the interpretive mission in various ways, while also having many other significant impacts to visitors. Each program should, and does, engage with one or more of the interpretive themes.

Programs >


CWB has many areas ripe for growth, many opportunities for interpretive engagement to be explored and big plans for new spaces.

Being present in a developing neighborhood has also created new opportunities to more people and more diverse audiences. 

Opportunities >

STEM Education

The development of national standards for education and the growing acceptance of the platform of STEM education offers CWB New avenues into public schools though lesson plans. A plan has been developed to integrate STEM education at CWB. 

STEM Education at CWB >


As interpretation is expanded, new content will need to be developed and existing content gathered. The Center has many resources to draw on for objects and information to be displayed.

The Collection >

Previous Planning Documents >