“The Boys of 1936” Boathouse Tour

Conibear Shellhouse

Guided Tours

Fans of Daniel James Brown’s New York Times bestseller The Boys in the Boat, now have a unique opportunity to get an inside look at the legacy of “The Boys.” Join us for a tour through Washington Rowing’s Conibear Shellhouse and the 1918 World War I airplane hangar known to the “Boys” as the ASUW Shell House in 1936.

Watch Rantz, Hume, Moch, and the rest of the ’36 Husky Clipper come to life in this hour-long tour highlighting the historical regalia of the champion crew.

The tour will include chances to see the lettermen’s jackets of Joe Rantz and Don Hume, the IRA and Berlin Olympics medals of Joe Rantz, and the famed Husky Clipper shell.

Guests will first be led by current and former UW rowing student-athletes through Conibear Shellhouse, starting with an inside look at the legacy of George Pocock and the latest generation of Pocock Racing shells, then through the heart of the boathouse: the erg bays, and finally to the Windermere Cup Dining room to stand under the Husky Clipper and imagine the roar of the crowd as the Clipper took gold in the 1936 Berlin Olympics race in front of Adolf Hitler.

Following the tour through Conibear Shellhouse, guests will have the exclusive opportunity to tour through the ASUW Shell House. Built by the United States Navy in 1918, this airplane hangar is an untouched piece of history, recognized by and listed under the National Register of Historic Places. Tour attendees will enjoy the beauty of the ASUW Shell House while listening to stories of the many eras this incredible landmark has seen (including the famed Husky rowing team in 1936 and the skilled boat builder, George Pocock) over the past 105 years it has graced the shores of the Montlake Cut.

Guided Tour


Time: Tours are offered on weekends for up to 35 people.

Cost: $20 per adult, $10 for students (ages 11-17).

Location: Tours meet in the entry way of Conibear Shellhouse and conclude at the ASUW Shell House.

Please note: Conibear Shellhouse is an active athletic facility for UW student-athletes. Conibear is not open to the public, and opportunities to view artifacts inside are only available through guided tours.

Tour Guide

Melanie Barstow, ’16

Melanie is a graduate of the Washington women’s rowing team and rowed for four years while wearing the W with great pride. She is passionate about opening the doors of Conibear and the ASUW Shellhouse to all who are interested in the history and legacy of Husky Crew, and strives to create a unique experience for all fans of the Boys in the Boat.

Since launching her Boys of 1936 Tours in Spring of 2016, she has hosted over 7,000 attendees from every continent in the world (except Antartica) through the doors of Conibear and the ASUW Shellhouse. She has been featured in The Seattle Times, Columns, Alaska Airlines, and Evening Magazines, and her tour is currently the #5 rated tour in Seattle on TripAdvisor. She is passionate about the story of the Boys and thrilled to meet and host so many fabulous Boys in the Boat fans.

Boathouse Tour


Conibear Shellouse is on the University of Washington campus, northeast of Husky Stadium. Please see this link for directions to Conibear Shellhouse. This includes parking information and a map of the location.

The entrance to Conibear is located through the double doors under the silver letters which read “Conibear Shellhouse” at the front of the boathouse. Go up the concrete steps (or ramp) and past the green lawn at the front of the shellhouse to find the entry way. Tours will start inside these doors promptly at the time marked.

If you are unable to make the tour you have registered for, please choose another available tour date and time, and email rowtour@uw.edu directly. A minimum of 24 hours advance notice is required for any rescheduling. Please note rescheduling is subject to tour availability.

YES! These tours are tailored specifically to The Boys in the Boat book, but are open to all.

The tour is approximately 90 minutes long and includes leisurely strolls from one place in the boathouse to the next, one flight of stairs, and about a 10-minute walk to the ASUW Shell House.

The Conibear Shellhouse is accessible for our guests with wheelchairs or accessibility challenges.

The ASUW Shell House maintains its rustic and historic nature, with little to no modernization work inside the building from 1918. The ground level of the building is currently accessed on a very limited basis by current boat renters. Navigation on the ground level of this space can be tight and visitors must watch their heads and feet and stay in the designated areas set by the tour guides. Exposed beams, boats, and uneven flooring need to be taken into consideration. There is no heat, running water, or restrooms in the ASUW Shell House.

If registering for the tour and need accommodations, please email rowtour@uw.edu with the date and time of your tour and specific needs.

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Please email rowtour@uw.edu for any questions or concerns you may have regarding the tour.