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- by Cap't Dave

In the old days, they really had the right idea about a few things. It was in the 1920's when local yacht builders were producing leisure cruising boats for the middle class. These sleek varnished wooden pleasurecraft glided effortlessly though the water carrying their guests out away from the noisy motor cars and clanky wheels of industry along the shore. Everyone dressed in their Sunday best destined to enjoy a leisurely outing on the clear crisp waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Picnic boating was the essence of a lifestyle back then that has seemed to have been lost in time. It's when terms like "regattas", "yacht clubs" and "picnic boating" became know to the general public and elicit affairs with the water began for many. Leisure boating offered a way to relax away from the pressures on land. One could imagine the picnic baskets loaded with warm baguettes, farm-fresh summer strawberries, aged cheeses and fine wines.

A Seattle-based tour operator is working on rekindling the past by offering classic picnic boating cruises out on the waters of Lake Union, and Lake Washington aboard an historic seattle picnic boat. Cedar Wave Adventures by Sea plans to offer this unique venue to Seattle's downtown working crowd as an alternative to the typical restaurant power-lunch. Hoping to attract businesses and their clients, the company believes that by getting groups out away from shore, it will open everyones mind for creative ideas about their businesses. It's a management team building theory that Cedar Wave Captains calls: "Thinking out of the box by getting out of the box".

Departing today from the Center for Wooden Boats at the south end of Lake Union, the classic 30' Seattle built motorboat "Allure" took passengers by the colorful houseboats, through the Montlake Cut, past the Arboretum and out along the shores of Lake Washington to see the affluent waterfront estates at Yarrow Bay and Hunts Point. Each cruise is different as it depends on the whims of the passengers that day. "Sometimes passengers just want to go out away from shore and drift".

Having a rich varnished antique interior with a cozy old-fashion wood stove, the Allure features a very comfortable touring cabin with all around visibility. A classic iron canopy covers the fantail stern with an intimate outdoor seating area that conjures up visions of luxury cruising long ago. "These old wood boats offer a much different and discernibly more comfortable atmosphere than the modern tour boats" says Cedar Wave's manager.

To make the experience authentic and memorable, Cedar Wave provides gourmet catered picnic meals with fine quality local foods and beverages--served on antique silver.

Launched in 1928 for a University of Washington professor, the Allure has had a colorful career as a motor yacht, live-aboard houseboat and even as a commercial fishing vessel working off the rugged Washington coast in the early 70's. Today, the Allure is a US Coast Guard documented charter boat outfitted for taking groups of up to six people on private day-charter cruises.

Cedar Wave will be marketing tours later this year on two other antique vessels now under restoration. The company plans to build up a unique tour business focused on the old-fashion notion that people want to get out on the water to relax and have fun. For more information on Cedar Wave charters, see there web sit at