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Hot Tub Boat: It’s a Real Thing & It’s Only in Seattle

Rachel Belle & Producer Libby float the night away on a Hut Tub Boat on Seattle's Lake Union.

My friends, I give you pure happiness in just three words: Hot. Tub. Boat.

Since July, Seattle boat builder, and full time boat dweller, Adam Karpenske, has been sending bathing-suit clad landlubbers out onto Lake Union in a floating hot tub.

“We’re Coast Guard certified for six passengers. It’s a two to four hour rental. People come down and they drive it themselves, we don’t need to come along, we teach you how to use it and away they go! This is the only place in the world that you can rent a hot tub boat and go out and play on the lake.”

It’s basically a small boat completely occupied by a hot tub, with storage space up front and in the back. There are speakers and radio and a couple of small coolers for bottles of ginger beer and cold water.

“This whole boat is a one-off design. We designed the hull and then we built the hot tub in-house. So everything that makes a hot tub boat has been custom designed.”

Turns out, Adam is the most awesome person in the world, because he invited my friends and I to take the Hot Tub Boat out on Lake Union on Tuesday night. He gave us a little safety talk, and then showed us how to drive the boat. It’s a simple joystick that anyone can master. She’s not going to win any trophies for speed, but really, that’s not the point.

“She does her hull speed, which isn’t that impressive, it’s about three and a half. When you’re in a hot tub, your agenda is a little bit different.”

Being out on the Hot Tub Boat is almost indescribably amazing. You have a 360 view of the Seattle skyline and Gasworks Park and we took ourselves on a four hour tour of the floating houses and house boats. We even plunged into the icy cold lake a few times, for good measure.

So, what’s the verdict on the Hot Tub Boat?

“It was the best Tuesday night I’ve ever spent,” gushed Ron and Don Show Producer, Libby. “You’re in a hot tub in Lake Union and you’re looking around and there’s steam and it’s beautiful and you see the Seattle skyline and you just feel awesome.”

It costs about $130 an hour to rent the hot tub boat. Oh, and the answer to the question that everyone has asked me: Sorry, there is no alcohol allowed in the Hot Tub Boat.

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