As a unified group, we've been able to convey our positions to the State legislature and to regulators much more effectively than any individual or single group could hope to do. RBAW's mission is to represent the interests of recreational boating in Washington. To help fulfill that goal we use a professional lobbyist in Olympia, who makes sure our collective voice is heard by state lawmakers. Our main focus is State boating issues but local/regional issues are popping up more these days.
RBAW is the only organization representing recreational boaters in the
State. RBAW actively represents the over 250,000 registered
recreational boaters in the State of Washington through both individual
memberships and the membership of over 40 supporting boating clubs in
the State (now over 10,000 club members).
RBAW is run by boaters just like you. and our Officers, Board and Committees are all staffed by boating volunteers, nominated and elected by members. For those members and clubs who have stuck with us these past 60+ years, WE THANK YOU. We're looking forward to the next half-century and your support!
The History of RBAW
Officially registered with the Washington Secretary of State as a Corporation in 1956, the Recreational Boating Association of Washington is entering its seventh decade of service to the boaters of Washington. Read or download the RBAW Bylaws (Revised October 2016).
RBAW's parent organization was formed prior to 1956 as the "Puget Sound Interclub Association" and continued with that name through incorporation in 1956. The organization name was later changed to the "Interclub Boating Association of Washington", and eventually adopted the current name, "Recreational Boating Association of Washington" in 1992.
In the mid 1950's, one of the first goals of the organization was to purchase land on Sucia Island and donate it to the State for a Marine Park in an effort to stop plans for development of the area for vacation cabins. The organization raised $25,000 which was reported to be half the value of the island in 1955!
The boaters of Washington can be eternally grateful that our inspired and hard working predecessors succeeded in this goal. Sucia Island exists as one of the crown jewels of Washington State Marine Parks. RBAW was also involved in raising funds for the Princess Louisa Society; its success is because of these early efforts.
The founding officers of RBAW were: (Our First President) Everett "Ev" Henry (Rainier Yacht Club), Harold Fowler (Meydenbauer Bay Yacht Club), Robert Walters (Puget Sound Outboard & Cruising Club), Stan Stevenson (Rainier), Richard McCann (Queen City Yacht Club), Mid Chism (Seattle Yacht Club), Lyle Iverson, Frank Kalberg, Frank Morris, Dan Martin, and Robert W. Graham. The founding clubs of the Puget Sound Interclub Association (RBAW) are as follows:
Anacortes Yacht Club
Meydenbauer Bay Yacht Club
Rainier Yacht Club
Bellingham Yacht Club
Olympia Yacht Club
Sand Point Yacht Club
Bellingham Wheel and Keel
Olympia Outboard Association
Bellingham Boat Owners
Port Angeles Yacht Club
Seattle Power Squadron
Bremerton Yacht Club
Port Townsend Yacht Club
Seattle Yacht Club
Corinthian Yacht Club
Puget Sound Outboard Cruising Club
Tacoma Yacht Club
Day Island Yacht Club
Quartermaster Yacht Club
Totem Yacht Club
Everett Yacht Club
Queen City Yacht Club
Tyee Yacht Club
A commemorative sign with all these supporting clubs, plus others that joined the effort later, is posted at the head of the dock in Fossil Bay on Sucia Island. There's also a plaque on the point at the S.E. entrance to Fossil Bay and that point is named "Point Ev Henry" for RBAW's First President.