The Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre is an active community-based maritime museum operated by the Cowichan Wooden Boat Society. The Cowichan Wooden Boat Society is a non-profit organization founded to preserve, exhibit and demonstrate maritime heritage, especially that of wooden boats.

The Society was originally conceived in the 1980s as a wooden boat building workshop but has expanded its role to become a museum. In addition to the exhibits and museum, the Maritime Centre holds wooden boat building courses for adults and children in its workshop. The Society also operates an historic marine ways for the hauling and cleaning of boats and maintains a small fleet of traditional small craft.