Community Boating Partners with EF for ‘All Boats on the Water’ Fundraiser

They challenged people to take its entire fleet of 170 sailboats, kayaks, paddleboards, and windsurfs out on the Charles River at the same time.

community boating

Photo by Olga Khvan

On Saturday afternoon, 133 of Community Boating’s fleet of 170 sailboats, kayaks, paddleboards, and windsurfs were out on the Charles River at the same time—six more than the final count at last year’s “All Boats on the Water” event, hosted by the nation’s first public sailing center. The annual end-of-summer celebration highlights the diversity in Community Boating’s programming by challenging members and the general public to meet its never-before-accomplished goal of getting the entire fleet out on the water.

This year, Community Boating co-hosted the event with its “river neighbor” EF Education First, the international education company whose U.S. headquarters are located in Cambridge. Earlier this summer, Community Boating mounted pink sails on 20 sailboats—the first time in its nearly 70-year history that its fleet included anything but traditional white sails—to celebrate a new partnership with EF. As part of a challenge launched by both organizations, EF pledged $5 for every mile sailed in one of the pink sailboats—up to 4,000 miles—to Community Boating’s Universal Access Program, which offers specialized, accessible sailboats and sailing instruction for people with disabilities.

“We’re partners who share the values of learning and access, as well as a love for sailing,” said Adam Bickelman, EF’s director of public relations. Bertil Hult, the Swedish businessman who founded EF in 1965, is an avid sailor who won the 1998 eight-month Whitbread Round the World Sailing Race, now known as the Volvo Ocean Race, for which EF also sponsored the first all-female boat in the challenge’s history.

Following a cookout on the docks, Community Boating executive director Charlie Zechel announced that EF had pledged a total of $20,000 to the Universal Access Program, as a result of about 2,000 miles logged by Community Boating’s youth members, about 2,700 miles logged by adult members, and about 100 hours logged by the Universal Access members in the pink sailboats.

Below, check out photos from Community Boating’s “All Boats on the Water” event.