Welcome to the RBAW Web Site

Our web site pages continue to be full of anouncements and updates.
Please scroll down the entire page to view all that is happening with RBAW and its members.



Click Here to Read the Latest Report from Doug Levy, RBAW State Lobbyist


Summer's Here and Life Jackets Are a Must...
Here's Information on a Life Jacket Loaner Program

Boaters - with summer coming into full swing, don't forget to have enough life jackets on board for you and your guests! If you run short, or you know of others who need life jackets, here is information about a "Life Jacket Loaner" program administered by Washington State Parks - and below is a Google Map link so you can see where they are located (more prevalent in Western Washington but also in Eastern Washington):

Life jacket loaner programs provide opportunities for families and friends to borrow life jackets at boat ramps, swim beaches and other locations. The Washington State Parks and Recreation Boating Program, the Department of Health, Safe Kids and Seattle Children's partner to provide a list of life jacket loaner programs, with the goal of preventing drowning in Washington State. Wearing a life jacket while swimming in lakes, rivers, oceans, and while boating is important for your safety and the safety of children, family, and friends.

To learn more about this program including how to take advantage of this program for your marina or yacht club location please contact Doni Thomas at 360-902-8832 or email at doni.thomas@parks.wa.gov.

Click here to view the Google Map of Programs...

Getting or renewing an Aquatic Lands Lease with the DNR?
Start early, use these sample leases as a guide – and stay in touch!

There are a number of our yacht clubs which lease the aquatic lands they sit on from the state Department of Natural Resources. For any of you who have such a lease and are coming up on a renewal – and for those of you who may be entering into a lease – we have some sample leases provided by the DNR as a guidepost for all of you.

As background, the DNR at one point in Fall 2014 was going full speed ahead with a proposed federally-designated "Habitat Conservation Plan" (HCP) for all of its aquatic lands. RBAW Members were among the first to review the HCP and adamantly oppose what we viewed as a number of costly and unweildy impacts from such an HCP. We ultimately teamed up with the NW Marine Trade Assocaition (NMTA), Ports, and representatives of business, forestry, agriculture, and shipyards to oppose the HCP, which the DNR ultimately abandoned. Since then, the RBAW and NMTA have worked to establish a regular dialogue and relationship with DNR, including regular quarterly meetings and a "no surprises" policy.

One thing we asked the DNR for is some sample leases that have been previously negotiaed, so that we can offer our members guidance when they go into negotiations over a lease or lease renewal. You can find four sample leases here – with only names and specific property designations redacted.

Lease 1 Lease 2 Lease 3 Lease 4

For those of you entering into lease or lease renewals with DNR, we would recommend:

1) Start early, and ask for a meeting with a DNR representative. The sooner you can establish contact with DNR and understand expectations, the better;

2) Know what is in these leases, and ask hard questions about anything that would exceed what you see in these leases;

3) Be ready to ask tough questions about anything in a proposed lease that seems excessively costly or burdensome. We at RBAW will be asking a technical expert to review these leases and tell us if any of the provisions appear to be inappropriately integrating previous (and never-agreed-to) HCP provisions.

4) Let us know if you are facing difficulties or something seems out of whack! President Paul Thorpe – paul.thorpe@comcast.net; 1st VP Wayne Gilham – wayne@flowdesignsurvey.com; 2nd VP Drew Erickson – drew@drewerickson.com; Treasurer Loyd Walker – lawalker3@comcast.net; State Lobbyist Doug Levy – Levy4@msn.com

We hope you find this to be of help and assistance for your leases.

Paul Thorpe, RBAW President



Check out these ways to keep oil from leaking from your bilge, to make it easier to pump out sewage, and to prevent incidental discharges...
and it's all FREE!


If you've ever had problems with oil leaking from your bilge? Could you use some adapters to make it easier for you to pump out sewage after a boating trip? Want advice on cheap and easy ways to prevent incidental discharges?

The Sea Grant program, which is a part of the University of Washington College of the Environment, does all this and more. For commodores, clubs, and others, your point of contact is Aaron Barnett at 206-616-8929 or aaronb5@uw.edu

Oil-absorbing bilge socks: Aaron has hundreds of these for free give-aways and typically mans a booth at the boat show to carry them. The sock comes as one 15-inch absorbent with a loop to help tie it off.

Fittings/Adapters to help with pump-outs: Aaron has a supply of these as well. You can also go to www.pumpoutwashington.org to download an instructional vidoe or a Google interactive map of all pumpout sites in the state.

Lastly, Aaron is available to come to yacht clubs and boating clubs to speak on cheap and easy ways to prevent incidental discharges from your boat. Just give him a call or send him an e-mail.



"Going North" this season?   BE AWARE of these changes to Navigation
NEW Denman Island Cable-Ferry RESTRICTS transit thru Baynes Sound Channel

With BC Ferries’ cable ferry coming into service, there will be new transit light operations in the Baynes Sound Channel.  The transit lights will inform boaters when the Baynes Sound Connector is in transit and when it is safe to cross the channel. Safety is BC Ferries’ first priority, so we urge all marine traffic either operating or transiting in the area to be aware of these changes, as well as the Navigation Act’s Ferry Cable Regulations*.

Many recreational boaters do "go behind" (to the west of) Denman Island to obtain shelter from the Strait of Georgia when transiting north from Nanaimo toward Comox or Campbell River along Vancouver Island's eastern shore.  BC Ferries has just this spring, completed installation of the Denman Island cable-ferry; at 0.9 miles, it is the longest in the world (to replace the previous propeller-driven ferry, which took too much staff to operate).

Despite initial assurances from BC Ferries that this new ferry system would have NO effect on transiting boaters (the pull-cable submerges deep, a short distance from the ferry, even when being pulled across the channel), an obscure regulation in the Canada Navigation Act forbids other vessels to cross the path of active cable-ferries, so now there are red-green "traffic lights" on each shore. If you transit this oft-used pass when lights are red during each 10-minute crossing, you are liable for a $500 fine or 6 months in jail. This ferry is scheduled to run typically two times per hour, thus recreational and commercial boat traffic can be impeded as much as 1/3 of each hour!

Click here to view the "poster" advising the new ferry and its effect on transiting boaters.
Further details can be found here...

This notification courtesy of CoBCYC (Council of British Columbia Yacht Clubs), as presented in their joint yearly meeting with RBAW (Recreational Boating Assn of WA)



Informed, alert communities play a critical role in keeping our nation safe.
"If You See Something, Say Something™" engages the public in protecting our homeland through awareness–building, partnerships, and other outreach.
Click here
to read more about the "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign.