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Downtown Boathouse Bringing Free Kayaking Back to Pier 26

By Irene Plagianos on March 19, 2014 9:24am 

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 Pier 26 in Tribeca is opening in May 2014.
Pier 26 Boathouse Opening in May
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TRIBECA — Free kayaking will soon hit the shores of TriBeCa.

Volunteer organization Downtown Boathouse will begin running free kayaking in mid-May at Pier 26’s newly constructed boathouse, the Hudson River Park Trust said.

“We’re delighted,” said Graeme Birchall, who runs the Downtown Boathouse. “We’re happy to be at Pier 26, where we first started out.”

The Downtown Boathouse had been displaced to the West Village’s Pier 40, which doesn’t have an actual boathouse, while Pier 26 and its new boathouse were under construction.

The Downtown Boathouse, which won a request for proposals to run the new boathouse at Pier 26, will no longer offer a kayaking program at Pier 40.

The 500-member volunteer organization also runs free kayaking programs at 72nd Street in Riverside Park, and on Governors Island.

Hours for kayaking will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the weekdays, Birchall said. There will be 200 kayaks, and the only requirement is that participants in the walk-up program know how to swim. Young children must also be accompanied by a guardian.

The large boathouse on Pier 26 will also, starting in summer 2015, include a restaurant. The Trust hasn’t announced yet who will be running the waterfront eatery.

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