Boating Community


This page introduces various parts of our vibrant local boating community, including Community Boating Programs, Yacht Clubs, Charter Companies, and Non-profit volunteer groups.

Community Boating Programs

Community Boating Programs

Community Boating programs provide public access, and education to anyone interested in learning to sail, powerboat, or row. They make boating affordable and accessible to ordinary folks. These are non-profit and all- or most-volunteer groups. They are open to everyone. They offer lower cost ways for you to learn boating AND have boats you can take out on your own once you're qualified. A Sample below

Community On-the-Water Boating Programs: A Sample

The Center for Wooden Boats


"CWB IS A LIVING MUSEUM – a place where you are encouraged to touch, build, sail, and learn. Our fleet of rental boats includes classic wooden sail and row boats." 20' and smaller boats. Non-profit, lessons and rentals. Lake Union and Cama Beach. 

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Northwest Maritime Center


"To engage and educate people of all generations in traditional and contemporary maritime life, in a spirit of adventure and discovery." Port Townsend, WA

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Sail Sand Point


 "Non-profit community boating center located in Seattle's Magnuson Park (on Lake Washingoton). Our mission is to bring the joy and life-enhancing benefits of sailing and small boats to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds"  Lessons and rentals.

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Renton Sailing Center


"Non-profit organization,  promotes the sport of sailing through classes, races, and recreational  sailing at Gene Coulon Park at the south end of Lake Washington. Sailing  classes...May through September.  

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Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing


"Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center offers classes and programs for ages 8-100 in rowing, sailing, kayaking and windsurfing for all ability and skill levels." Seattle Parks and Recreation facility. On Lake Washington. 

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Bellingham Bay Community Boating Center


"Boating access & education for all." Lessons and rentals. Bellingham, WA

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Seattle/Bellingham Charter Companies


Seattle/Bellingham Charter Companies

These are places to rent (charter) sail and power boats. Top charter companies also offer training by certified instructors, so that you can earn certifications to take to charter companies elsewhere. If you're ready to skipper a boat yourself, called "bareboat' chartering, these are the places to do it. Most also have skippers you can hire. Charter companies usually have much newer, larger, nicer boats than community boating programs, and let you take them farther, so cost is higher.

Seattle/Bellingham Major Charter Companies: a Sample

Seattle Sailing Club

 'The home of fun, affordable sailing on Puget Sound.' Fast 'performance' boats w/spinnakers. Sailboats including J boats, Hanse, Bavaria, C&C, Ericson, etc. Skippered charters, only members can bareboat charter. Based in Seattle at Shilshole Marina. Some sailboats available in Anacortes in summer.

Windworks Sailing and Powerboating

 "The best selection of boats on Puget Sound."  Rent sailboats, powerboats, catamaran. Charter bareboat or skippered. Rent to members and qualified non members. 22' to 47' sailboats include Catalinas, Hanse, Bavaria, Beneteau, Dufour, Island Packet, Lagoon. Powerboats: Camano and Aspen. Based in Seattle at Shilshole Marina. Some boats available in Anacortes in summer.

San Juan Sailing and Yachting

 "The Premier Charter Service of the Pacific Northwest" Cruising sailboats in 35' to 47' range include Jeneau, Beneteau, Hanse, Bavaria, Hunter, Catalina, etc. Cruising powerboats 30' to 55'  include Nordic tugs, American tugs, etc. Skippered or bareboat charter to qualified sailors; no membership. Training on sail, power, catamarans. Charter season March to October. Based in Bellingham.

Northwest Explorations

"The Pacific Northwest's Premier Yachting Choice." Large, high-end 40' to 58' power yachts, including Grand Banks, Defever, etc. Group flotillas up the Inside Passage to Alaska. Skippered or bareboat charter to qualified boaters; no membership. Training. Based in Bellingham.

Yacht Clubs

Membership groups; need to apply and pay dues. Traditionally yacht clubs have focused on boat owners, but some are working to appeal to non-boat-owners as well.

Yacht Clubs

Corinthian - Seattle

Very active, volunteer members run many of the area races. Club house at Shileshole

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Sloop Tavern Yacht Club

 Low cost, casual club based in Ballard tavern. Run races and charity fund-raisers. 

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Queen City

Overlooking Portage Bay

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Overlooking Portage Bay. This is the most "high end" member-exclusive club in area.

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More Yacht Clubs

Find a complete list here.

WA State yacht clubs

Washington YC

Student-run club at U of Washington. Really a community boating program. 

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Non-profit, volunteer boating clubs

In addition to community sailing programs, these are other non-profit groups that offer low cost boating education taught by volunteers.

The Schooner Adventuress; Sound Experience

"We  foster environmental sustainability, youth development, and maritime  careers through powerful shipboard programs aboard the schooner Adventuress on the waters of the Salish Sea. Adventuress  is a century-old National Historic Landmark tall ship. Sound Experience  is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) based in Washington State, USA"

Non-profit, volunteer boating clubs - A sample


The Sailing Foundation

For the advancement of sailing in the Pacific Northwest. Youth sailing and Safety at Sea.

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Seattle Sail & Power Squadron

Seattle branch of the United States Power Squadrons®, the largest boating organization in the US. Volunteer organization to promote skillfull boating fun through public and member  education. 

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USCG Auxiliary

Link below to greater Seattle/Bellevue metropolitan area. The Division's 170 members provide the boating public with boating  safety education, vessel safety checks, and partnerships with the boating community. 

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Puget Sound Cruising Club

Seattle area, monthly meetings and group cruises.

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Mountaineers Sailing Committee

A sub-group of the Seattle Mountaineers. Members of the group that own boats are the volunteer instructors, and take members along as crew on their boats.

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WA State Clubs, Schools, Programs

This list from US Sailing has many more community sailing programs, sailing schools, and yacht clubs from around the state.  

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