Home Events + News All About The Hoboken Cove Boathouse {+ The Vandalism Happening}

All About The Hoboken Cove Boathouse {+ The Vandalism Happening}

by Steph
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If you’ve ever wondered who those people kayaking on the Hudson River in the summertime are, allow us to introduce you to them. Meet the Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse — a nonprofit organization 100% run by volunteers. The Hoboken Boathouse is a 501{c}{3} nonprofit organization with the mission of providing free water sports programs and access to local waterways for all residents. More than 6,000 paddlers per year set sail — so to speak! — on the Hudson thanks to the efforts of Hoboken Boathouse volunteers. Going strong since 2004, the Boathouse works in conjunction with the City of Hoboken to provide opportunities for exploring the water to locals. Keep reading to learn all about the Hoboken Cove Boathouse + what you can do there — as well as some unfortunate events that have happened to their boats as of late. 

hoboken cove

{Photo credit: @hobocobo}

All About the Hoboken Cove Boat House 

Since it’s a nonprofit organization and run by dedicated and loyal volunteers — access to the New Jersey waterway is 100% free. In fact, if you take the Boathouse up on one of the many water-friendly events and activities it provides throughout the summer, you don’t even have to pay to use the equipment. Of course, donations are accepted and widely regarded as the kind thing to do for an organization that gives back to its community so much. 

The Boathouse runs through MeetUp.com, a platform that locates and builds local communities through common interests {that are usually free}. To check out the Boathouse’s full schedule for the season, click here.

Read More: Morning Getaway: The Hudson River Walkway


The Hoboken Boathouse offers free paddling every Saturday {11:00AM-3:00PM} and Sunday {11:00AM-3:00PM} starting Saturday, June 1st. The free paddling on weekends runs until Saturday, September 7th according to their online calendar.

Paddlers have a few options for equipment, depending on what’s available. Available for use from the general public are single-person, sit-on-top kayaks, two-person or tandem sit-on-top kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards.

Outrigger canoes are also available for a paddle whenever the Ke Aloha Outrigger Canoe Club is present at the Boathouse.

Paddlers usually get about 20 to 30 minutes of paddling time depending on supply and demand.

hoboken cove boathouse


Kayaking isn’t all the paddling the Hoboken Boathouse has to offer. Residents can also take a stand-up paddleboard for a spin… if you’re feeling confident in your ability to balance, that is. Of course, there are two ways to ride stand-up paddle boards. You can either stand up or paddle by sitting down on your knees.

Hudson River Cup

The Hudson River Cup and Polynesian Ohana Festival will take place this year on Saturday, July 27th. The River Cup is a race along the Hudson River against both the Manhattan and Jersey City skylines. According to the website’s schedule for the River Cup, it appears that there are three different races:

  • ECORA point series eight-mile OC1/2 to Statue of Liberty
  • Surfski eight-miles to Statue of Liberty
  • SUP/Sea Kayak five-miles into the NYC Harbor

Times for the OC1/OC2 races have not been announced yet, but the River Cup is running in tandem with the Polynesian Ohana Festival, which will kick off at 11:00AM that day. From 11:00AM-2:00PM, there will be family-friendly arts and crafts available in the tents and from 2:00PM-4:00PM, the Boathouse will offer free kayaking to everyone.

The River Cup is currently looking for volunteers, so if you’re interested, you may sign up here. Registration for the race itself is not yet open yet but will be available on PaddleGuru shortly.

hoboken cove boathouse

{Photo credit: @hobocobo}

Public River Trip

The Hoboken Boathouse also offers tours for paddlers, known as the Public River Trip. Participants follow a tour guide down the Hudson River, taking in the views of the NYC skyline. The River Trip is generally one to two hours long and is described as a bit of a workout. While no prior paddling experience is required, trip leaders run a short paddle test before leaving to make sure all paddlers are comfortable in their watercraft.

Public River Trips generally run on a lottery due to the program’s popularity. The Public River Trip also does not take reservations in advance. According to the website, kayak traffic is generally slower in the morning. Guess it’s true — the early bird catches the kayak.

Participants must be 18 years of age and up and know how to swim. The volunteers ask that paddlers arrive 15 minutes early to account for gearing up with equipment. To enter yourself in the lottery, email info@hobokencoveboathouse.org.

Beach Clean-Ups

While the Boathouse does not have any beach or river clean-ups currently on its schedule — it hosted one earlier in May — the volunteers do an annual clean-up that requires the assistance of even more volunteers.

Because the NY and NJ waterways are so integral to the volunteer program running smoothly, clean-ups are a huge part of making sure these programs continue to run. Usually once a season, the Boathouse asks locals to help collect single-use plastic, trash, and other litter that makes its way into the Hudson.

If this litter isn’t cleaned up, it will eventually make its way into our oceans.

See More: Recycling in Hoboken + Tips on Reducing Your Carbon Footprint 

hoboken cove boathouse beach cleanup

{Photo credit: @hobocobo}

The Recent Vandalism at Hoboken Cove

The Hoboken Cove Boathouse has recently experienced some unfortunate acts of vandalism which they posted about on their Instagram. It has happened two times in the last few weeks, and they are in search of answers as to how their equipment was damaged {especially given the circumstances, which appear questionable and purposeful}. See below:


View this post on Instagram


It has been a sad couple of days for our boathouse. Pukini, which is pictured here, was dumped into the river Sunday night. We spent the day Sunday passing postcards to send to @govmurphy to stop @nywaterway and she was there. Monday morning she was gone. It takes 3-6 of our paddlers, using equipment, to take her off the rack, along the fence, and to the beach. Without equipment this would take a group of very very strong people. We do not know who did it or why, but please let us know if you have information. She was found Monday by @chelseapiersnyc (Mahalo!). We are trying to assess the damage. We need less hate in this world and more love. Outrigger canoes have an amazing rich history. It’s a shame that a group of people would do this. #alohahoboken #paddleforever #hoboken #nj #NewJersey #nyc #newyorkcity #hudsonriver #hudsoncounty #northbergen #jerseycity #bayonne #weehawken #unioncity #outriggercanoe #oc4 #canoahavaiana #polynesian #hawaiian #hawaii #vaa #waa #love #saveourwaterfront #saveyourwaterfront #pukini #ohana

A post shared by Hoboken Boathouse (@hobocobo) on


View this post on Instagram


Seems we are the victims of a continuous and targeted attack. It is hard to describe the feeling when we see a picture like the one currently posted in our story. Someone threw the amas of our outrigger canoes into the river. We don’t know the damage yet. The one pictured seems to have some damage it may or may not be usable, no word on the 2nd one yet. Why do people do this? What happened in the last 12 months for people to keep attacking a little non profit that all it does is give to the community? The amas just returned from PA where they were fixed along with other boats. It costs us 2 years worth of donations to fix them. Now we may have limited programing due to this. Please share. Hopefully someone saw something _____ #alohahoboken #paddleforever #hoboken #nj #NewJersey #nyc #newyorkcity #hudsonriver #kayak #kayaking #family #free #summer #Nonprofit #hudsoncounty #northbergen #jerseycity #bayonne #saveourwaterfront #saveyourwaterfront #vaa #oc1 #oc2 #oc6 #aloha #love

A post shared by Hoboken Boathouse (@hobocobo) on

If anyone has any information on this, please contact the Hoboken Cove Boathouse via email here. To donate to help their cause, click here.

More Things to Know About the Boathouse + Its Activities

The Boathouse is for all watersport enthusiasts, whether you’re at the beginner level or advanced. Kayaks, paddle boards, and all other watercraft launch out of the Boathouse on Sinatra Drive at Maxwell Place. Activities generally run from May to October {weather permitting, of course}.

Paddlers must know how to swim and be at least 18 years of age. If a paddler is under the age of 18, they must paddle with an adult.

Boathouse volunteers recommend paddlers come prepared: water, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses — the whole nine yards. Quick-dry clothing is recommended.

Trips may be canceled or postponed due to weather, wind, and river conditions. Individual trip experiences may vary, as the direction and destination of a trip depend on time, tides, and weather conditions.

Because the Boathouse is a volunteer-run organization, any donation is very much valued and appreciated {especially given the current vandalisms}. If you’re interested in donating to the Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse, you may do so here.

Additionally, if you are interested in volunteering at the Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse, volunteers are always welcome. In fact, there will be a new volunteer training session and open house on Sunday, May 26th.

Have you ever participated in a Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse program? Comment below!

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