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                                                                    Sucia Island, San Juan Islands, Washington

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

Sea Scouts

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. 

We can be proud that most of the above listed clubs still are members of RBAW and still participate in our many activities that benefit boating. At present we have approximately 50 clubs on our membership roster.

Copyright © 2023 Recreational Boating Association of Washington - All Rights Reserved.

Recreational Boating Association of Washington
P.O. Box 17063, Seattle, WA 98127
Phone: (206) 929-2757

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