November 21st 2013. By Neil Rabinowitz.

Tailgating by Boat? That’s How Washington Huskies Football Fans Do It

Raft up, have a party, and walk 50 yards to the stadium entrance. If you do your boating in or around that Seattle, Washington, and you're also a booster of the University of Washington Huskies, you probably know the trick that will be the envy of all landlocked football fans: tailgating on your boat. Or maybe it should be called transom-gating. Now this is a truly civilized way to get to the ball game. Photos and story by Neil Rabinowitz.

Husky Stadium: In addition to moorage space for hundreds of boats, the docks can fit a hundred or more yachts when they're rafted, and service many boats with a pick-up and drop-off dock -- all within 50 yards of the stadium entrance.

Husky Stadium: In addition to moorage space for hundreds of boats, the docks can fit a hundred or more yachts when they’re rafted, and service many boats with a pick-up and drop-off dock — all within 50 yards of the stadium entrance.

Some of the more sedate team supporters use the game as an excuse to launch their weekend cruising plans. Some work and boat together while others are content simply to kick back and use their boats as the easiest access to the stadium.

Some of the more sedate team supporters use the game as an excuse to launch their weekend cruising plans. Some work and boat together while others are content simply to kick back and use their boats as the easiest access to the stadium.

This yacht has been attending the game for more than 30 years and occupies the first slip closest to the stadium at each game. The struggle is not to eat and drink too much before game time.

This yacht has been attending the game for more than 30 years and occupies the first slip closest to the stadium at each game. The struggle is not to eat and drink too much before game time.

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The Hargrave family lives on the eastern shore of the lake and has been hosting friends at the game for decades.

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The stadium just expanded to seat more than 70,000 fans and spruced up their waterfront area for yachts making the fall pilgrimage with a view over Lake Washington.

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Here’s a view toward Lake Washington and the Cascade mountains, which are hidden by clouds on this game day between University of Oregon and the Huskies.

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Some of the prime dock spots have been held by the same families for decades as college football has evolved.

Frank (lower 2nd from left) and Jeannie Miles (lower right) have had 42 tickets to each home game for 50 years and not missed a home game in all that time. Their boat, Big Dog, swarms with family and friends and is built with football games in mind.

Frank (lower 2nd from left) and Jeannie Miles (lower right) have had 42 tickets to each home game for 50 years and not missed a home game in all that time. Their boat, Big Dog, swarms with family and friends and is built with football games in mind.

During game time the boats are vacated as sailors become football fans, but until then the docks are home to one of the biggest waterfront parties on the coast.

During game time the boats are vacated as sailors become football fans, but until then the docks are home to one of the biggest waterfront parties on the coast.

With the Seattle Space Needle visible in the distance, Husky Stadium is one of the most beautiful football venues in the country. And for transom-gaters, when the game is over, there's no traffic -- just cast off and keep cruising.

With the Seattle Space Needle visible in the distance, Husky Stadium is one of the most beautiful football venues in the country. And for transom-gaters, when the game is over, there’s no traffic — just cast off and keep cruising.



Neil Rabinowitz
YachtWorld Senior Photographer Neil Rabinowitz has photographed and written about all ends of the yachting world—racing, cruising and chartering—from the Caribbean to the South Pacific, and the Mediterranean to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest where he lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Recognized as one of the best, Neil has produced more than 2000 magazine covers and numerous feature stories. He continues to write and photograph for both editorial and advertising clients and has been a contributor to YachtWorld.com since its inception in 1995. View more of his photos on the Neil Rabinowitz website (http://neilrabinowitz.com/).


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