Butler Boathouse, Spring 2021

For the health and safety of the College community, students are required to use the R & R system to reserve a kayak during open Boathouse hours. Only single kayaks will be available. Each reservation will be for one hour. Walk-in use of the Boathouse is not permitted.

Boathouse Hours:
Sunday, April 11th - May 26th
(weather and wind permitting)
   Wednesdays 10AM - 1:45PM (1 hour sessions at 10:15AM, 11:30AM & 12:45PM)
   Sundays 10AM - 1:45PM (1 hour sessions at 10:15AM, 11:30AM & 12:45PM)

New Boathouse Protocols

  • Users will enter the Butler Boathouse through the left side of the fence at Green Beach. 
  • When the user arrives the staff will provide reserved kayak, oar and PFD.  
  • After kayaking, all users will place all equipment (kayak, oar, and PFD) in decontamination stations for boathouse staff to sanitize. 
  • Users will exit via the right side of the fence. 
  • The operation of the Butler Boathouse will maintain the 10:1 boater to lifeguard ratio at all times. 
  • There will be no access to the boathouse facility, including the bathrooms.

NoteDuring this early phase of re-opening, KSC facilities, including the Boathouse, will be open only for current on-campus students. The KSC will not be open for Wellesley College faculty, staff, or union employees. We will also be closed to ALL outside memberships (alumni, professor emeriti, family, children) and all outside rental groups.

About the Butler Boathouse

Thanks to the generosity of Alice Lehmann Butler ’53 and her husband, John, the boathouse on Lake Waban has undergone a comprehensive renovation to update and upgrade a facility used by Physical Education, Recreation, and Athletics.

Alice Butler was an avid member of her dorm crew, and she and her husband are lifelong fitness enthusiasts. Their gift fully enabled a much-needed renovation to the structure, increasing campus-wide recreational opportunities and supporting other PERA initiatives as well.

The 2015 renovation made the Boathouse more appealing and accessible, creating a new main entry, a "quarterdeck" class/meeting room, improved shop space, two restrooms, canoe/kayak room, and storage. The project also improved the areas surrounding the site, addressing soil erosion and drainage issues. 

Recreational boating is open to all Wellesley College students/faculty/staff/alumni with a Wellesley ID. Participants are required to sign a waiver and are able to take out canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, and sailboats. A light wind certification or approval from Wellesley sailing instructor is required to take out sailboats.  For Recreational boating, one guest can be admitted per Wellesley ID.  

Wind Ratings (sailboats not available 2020-21)

Light Wind Rating. Required to use a sail boat during recreational hours in light winds. Test: Written test on terminology; demonstration of knowledge of basic knots, rigging a boat, sailing a short course and landing boat satisfactorily. A crew is optional.

Heavy Wind Rating. Required to sail a boat during recreational hours in a wind over 10 knots. Test: Some dinghy racing experience on or off campus required. Demonstration of ability to handle Tech dinghy in winds over 10 knots.

Dorm and Class Crew - Not available Fall 2020

Is a long standing tradition at Wellesley College. Students may earn 2 physical education credits by practicing for and participating in the Dorm and Class Crew Regatta at the end of the Term. The program will only be offered in the fall during Term 1. Dorm and Class Crew registration will be during PE registration on Work Day.  There will be two class options offered: Mondays/Thursdays and Tuesdays/Friday at 8:30am 

The Butler Boathouse is open to students, faculty, and staff in the fall and spring. Check the Facilities Page for hours. Participants are required to sign a waiver and are able to take out canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, and sailboats. A light wind certification or approval from the Waterfront Director is required to take out sailboats. For safety regulations of water vessels to lifeguard staffing, all on-water experiences are operated on a first come, first serve basis. During the summer the Boathouse is open Monday through Thursday afternoons from late June to early August. Summer programming and staffing are not managed by the Wellesley Recreation Department. Rather, summer programming is managed by EXPLO and Upward Bound Programs. 

If you have questions about the facility, please direct your questions to Marni Friedman, Associate Director for Facilities & Operations, KSC 247, 781.283.2002 or