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


FOX ISLAND BRIDGE - Vertical Clearance

Pierce County is conducting an on-line survey about "Bridge Replacement", apparently in reference to the Fox Island bridge across Hale Passage.  We recommend any boaters who would be affected by changes in vertical clearance of that bridge, to go to www.tinyurl.com/jnwyuug and submit your input - and enter drawing for $100 Amazon card as their enticement for participation.

Please complete the survey no later than March 5, 2017.


Problems with Vessel Titling & Registration
RBAW recently published information in this article space regarding vessel titling and registration under the Washington State Department of Licensing’s (DOL’s) new computer system.  After further investigation, and meeting with key DOL staff on January 12, 2017 RBAW is providing an update on this issue. Here’s what we learned:

The Code of Federal Regulations (33 CFR 181.25) was established back in 1972. It is a 12-digit format for Hull Identification Numbers (HINs).  Federal regulations in discussion since 2010, and now mandated to be implemented in 2017 (see: 33 CFR 174.16), requires ALL State titling/registration agencies to confirm that every registered vessel has a HIN that conforms exactly to one of the three allowed formats – see this third-party web-page at http://www.boatsafe.com/nauticalknowhow/hin.htm -for  concise explanation of what FORMATS are allowed.

Of the roughly 240,000 registered vessels in Washington, DOL has scanned their files and identified approximately 29,000 vessel s (nearly one in eight!) that do not appear to have compliant HINs.  DOL will be individually contacting each of these affected vessel owners directly to advise them of this situation, by letter or e-mail – in plenty of time to rectify the non-compliant HIN before the June 2017 registration renewal cycle – or immediately, for vessels undergoing re-titling.

What if you have a non-compliant HIN?
You’ll need to obtain a new title and registration, with a State-assigned new HIN, and pay the standard applicable fees ($21).  Then you must attest (by signing the new registration) that the new HIN is properly displayed on your vessel.

Which vessel transactions are affected? When?
Any title or registration transactions, or address updates (or any other vessel transactions, excluding lienholder changes) are affected. This DOES include all registration renewals, with next cycle coming up June 2017. When such transactions are conducted, DOL’s new computer system will identify the non-compliant HIN if you haven’t gone thru the new-title process to change it already, and force re-titling and issue a new HIN.

What do vessel owners need to do?
If you receive notification that your vessel’s HIN is “non-compliant”, the vessel owner must visit a vehicle licensing office (VLO) in person. If you attempt to renew online, the system will stop you and direct you to visit a VLO in person. For these transactions, DOL does not require the old title in-hand, in order to issue the new title. 

If you believe your HIN as embossed on, or attached to, the vessel’s hull does meet the exact format standards (but for example, the correct-format HIN  - as seen on the vessel - is not on the title/registration due to clerical error or incorrect original reporting), please bring a photo or a pencil rubbing of your current HIN to the office, and DOL will attempt to process your transaction for you, retaining the proper HIN. If DOL made an error in its records, no fee will be charged to you.

The new HIN will typically have the state-issued prefix (first three digits of “WNZ”).

DOL will provide each recipient of a new HIN, very specific instructions where and how this new HIN must be attached to the vessel, to meet Federal requirements.

This is certainly a major undertaking for our State (and all other States), to meet this new Federal Mandate!  Please assist Washington State Department of Licensing in every way you can during this fulfillment cycle – THEY are not the instigator of this new requirement! 


Aquatic Lands Lease Guide

Will you be renewing a lease with Department of Natural Resources on aquatics land?
Seeking a new lease?
Seeking to make modifications that impact your current lease?

Check out this leasing guide from DNR...

RBAW and our colleagues from the Northwest Marine Trade Association have instituted quarterly meetings with senior staff at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). One thing we have asked for is a "no surprises" policy on aquatic lands leases. We've also encouraged DNR to meet early with those who are renewing leases or establishing new ones. We pushed for DNR to produce a guidance document to give Yacht Clubs and other boating organizations a sense of what to expect with aquatic lands leases - and DNR has produced the guide that we have linked here.

Please note in particular the "step by step" information leasing on Page 3, as well as the information that "Most often, changes will not be required until docks or other structures are due for replacement." We have also discussed with DNR the 'stewardship' items on Page 4 of the leasing guide. While they represent the types of desired outcomes DNR aims to achieve with leases, we have been assured they are not rigid, "thou shalt" prescriptive requirements, and that DNR can and will negotiate trade-offs with lessees that are site-specific, realistic, and achievable. Remember, DNR is acting in an "ownership" role of these State lands, not as a regulatory agency hamstrung by rigid rules.


DNR also provided four samples leases with identifying info redacted which you may find helpful...

Lease 1 Lease 2 Lease 3 Lease 4

We hope this leasing guide is helpful and encourage you to contact RBAW Board Officers, or state lobbyist Doug Levy (Levy4@msn.com) with any questions or concerns!