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Model Boats Return to Conservatory Water

Model Boats Return to Conservatory Water

Photo: Aurelien Guichard via Flickr

Remote-controlled sailboats have returned to Central Park’s Conservatory Water for the first time since the pandemic.

Boats are currently available Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Hours will increase in June to include Thursdays and Saturdays and ultimately Sundays in July.

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The model boats are operated by Rocking the Boat, a Bronx-based nonprofit that specializes in rowing and boating education. Founded in 1996, the organization aims to teach kids life lessons and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) through full-size boat building and other programs. Their slogan is “kids don’t just build boats, boats build kids.”

The Central Park activation is Rocking the Boat’s first in Manhattan. Adam Green, the founder and executive director of Rocking the Boat and an UWS native, told the New York Times that he hopes the Central Park business will bring revenue to support the organization’s educational programs for kids – which include boatbuilding, exploration and environmental projects, and rowing in the Bronx River and Long Island Sound.

Model sailboats were last available in Central Park in 2019. While the sails on each boat are remote-controlled, the boats don’t have a motor and are propelled by the wind. You are permitted to bring your own boat but must have a city permit. The Central Park Yacht Club also organizes races on the same pond on Saturdays at 10 a.m.

Rocking the Boat is working out of Kerbs Boathouse on the east side of the pond near the intersection of East 74th Street and Fifth Avenue. Boats are available for $15 for 30 minutes and reservations can be made here, though walk-ups are also welcome.


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