RBAW Monthly Newsletter

- October 2023 -

2023 Annual Membership Meeting

November 18, 2023 |  10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
In Person & Zoom

In person at Seattle Yacht Club - Social time begins at 9:30 am with coffee provided. The meeting will come to order at 10:00 am and lunch served at 11:45 am.

Via Zoom, we will start the meeting and come to order at 10:00 am.

The Annual Meeting is that of the Organizational Members of RBAW (yacht clubs), and all active RBAW members are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Everyone will have the ability to ask questions and provide feedback - we'll talk about our accomplishments, our challenges, 2024 priorities, and how we can sustain RBAW's impact on recreational boating.

Please RSVP by Friday, November 10th for in-person at SYC (to include hosted lunch) or anytime for attendance via Zoom.

This meeting will be fast paced and highly informative to recreational boaters and we hope you can join us!

Click here for the meeting agenda!

Register Now!

Draft 2024 Legislative & Regulatory Priorities

Click here for the full draft 2024 legislative & regulatory priorities.

  • Lakebay Marina: RBAW will partner with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on funding ‘asks’ related to continued redevelopment and renovation work at the Lakebay Marina: 1) a Boating Facilities Program (BFP) competitive grant application for $1.7 million, led by DNR; 2) a request for an earmark of $1 million in the “Local and Community Projects” section of the 2024 Supplemental Capital Budget, to be led by RBAW; and other additional funding opportunities.

  • Watercraft Excise Tax (WET) Depreciation Schedule: Over the last two years, as Department of Revenue has made annual updates to the WET Depreciation Schedule that it is statutorily allowed to set through rulemaking, RBAW has led formation of a broad-based coalition to push for the fairest schedule possible. While the Association has had some success in pushing for adjustments to the schedule for newer boats, RBAW continues to have strong concerns that the Depreciation Schedule for older vessels (purchased 15 years ago or more) is artificially high and leads to higher-than-necessary annual assessments. RBAW will continue to work towards a fairer schedule for boaters and has successfully worked to initiate high-level meetings with the Department of Revenue that will focus on crafting a mutually acceptable change to the state law governing the Depreciation Schedule (RCW 82.49.040 and WAC 458-20-23801).

  • Continued funding for the Lake Union Water Safety Initiative – AKA #MindTheZone: RBAW successfully partnered with other stakeholders on a $300,000 allocation in the 2022 Operating Budget for education and awareness work on Lake Washington, with RBAW receiving ½ of that allocation for the on-shore initiative that was branded as #MindTheZone. That state funding lapsed in June 2023, however RBAW secured $122,000 in the City of Seattle’s budget for 2023-2024. RBAW will look for an additional $73,000 from the State Legislature in 2024 to enhance continued operations.

  • Derelict Vessels and Derelict Structures – Continued Support of DNR Programs. RBAW will continue to support both the Derelict Vessel Removal Program (DVRP) and the Derelict Structures Removal Program that we have worked on closely with DNR to implement over the last couple years. RBAW in conjunction with DNR will advocate that funding remain sustainable and that incentive funds are maximized. On the regulatory side of DVRP, it remains important for RBAW to push for as much of the funding as possible going to the Vessel Turn-In Program and to bolster the removal of vessels from non-public lands.

  • Boating safety and access: RBAW will continue to promote increased awareness of and education on the importance of boater safety and access. The Association will monitor action in the 2024 legislative session to see whether any lawmakers propose an expansion of requirements to wear Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) or boating education changes. RBAW will want to be at the table to ensure any such proposals are limited and targeted.

Click here to read more!

Large Lock Closures Scheduled at Hiram Chittenden Locks, Seattle

Posted by our Friends at Wagonner Guide, Lorena and Leonard Landon | Oct 12, 2023

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is beginning a maintenance project to replace the center miter gates on the Large Lock chamber in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. This major project will require several 30-day closures to facilitate demolition, concrete construction, and installation and commissioning of the new miter gates.

There will be at least 15 days between closures to accommodate marine traffic. Additionally, the Small Lock will remain open during these periods and can pass vessels up to 123 feet long and 28 feet wide. Currently the Large Lock is scheduled to be closed to all vessel traffic during the following periods:

  • 10/16/2023 through 11/14/2023
  • 11/30/2023 through 12/29/2023
  • 01/14/2024 through 02/12/2024
  • 10/15/2024 through 11/13/2024
  • 11/29/2024 through 12/28/2024

Closure dates are projected and may change as the project schedule is finalized. For each closure cycle, the Large Lock will close for no more than 30 days and will open for 15 days for vessel traffic. Boaters should check the official Locks Closure Page for current information and schedule changes. For specific questions, mariners may contact the lockmasters at (206) 297-9821.

The Large Lock is expected to be fully operational on December 29, 2024.

Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW’s) are back in Puget Sound!

Southern Resident killer whales (SRKW’s) spend several months of the summer and fall each year in Washington State's Puget Sound. The population is composed of three family groups of whales that have been named J, K, and L pods. We want to remind all boaters of the current laws in WA state and Canada when you are on the water. These current laws in WA are set to change in January 2025 where there will be an increase to a 1000 yard buffer zone from the current 300/400 yard oval. The WDFW will be facilitating a SRKW task force for this change in law and RBAW member, and Tacoma Yacht Club Delegate Dave Willis will be our representative.

Washington State Law:

  • Boats to stay 300 yards from Southern Resident killer whales on either side.
  • Boats to stay 400 yards out of Southern Resident killer whale’s path/in front and behind the whales
  • Boats to go slow (<7 knots) within ½ mile of Southern Resident killer whales
  • Disengage engines if whales appear within 300 yards.

Boats should stay 100 yards from all other marine mammals (e.g. humpback whales, gray whales, sea lions and seals).

Learn more about Washington State Regulations & Guidelines

Click here to learn more.

RBAW Featured in the Northwest Yachting Magazine

Posted by Northwest Yachting Magazine. Interview by Kate Calamusa.

Team Captain

Meet Katie Bohocky, CAE, the new executive director now leading the charge at the Recreational Boating Association of Washington.

NWY: You recently took the helm of the Recreational Boating Association of Washington (RBAW)—welcome! Tell our readers what you are most excited to bring to your new role.
KB: I am excited to share my expertise and experience with RBAW. Initially, I will take on a tactical role and eventually grow into strategic and public relations roles. Under the leadership of RBAW’s volunteer board, I will help grow RBAW’s membership, revenue base, and geographical presence across the state of Washington.

Click here to read more!

NEW Contributing Member Sponsorship Opportunities!

Do YOU have a referral for a potential Contributing Member?

Know of a company that would like to support the recreational boating industry?

Please refer them to our Executive Director, Katie Bohocky, CAE

Platinum Sponsor - $10,000

  • Educational Speaking Consideration
  • Exhibitor Table at Annual Member Meeting
  • Ability to Offer Discounts to RBAW Members
  • Named Sponsor & Logo on RBAW Website Home Page
  • Sponsor Directory Listing on RBAW Website
  • 2 Social Media Spotlights with Information of your Choice
  • Sponsor Logo on Exhibit Booth Banner
  • Sponsor Logo on Annual Meeting Banner
  • Named Sponsor & Logo on RBAW Member Communications
  • Business Card Ad & Logo in RBAW’s Newsletter

Gold Sponsor - $5,000

  • Ability to Offer Discounts to RBAW Members
  • Named Sponsor & Logo on RBAW Website Home Page
  • Sponsor Directory Listing on RBAW Website
  • 1 Social Media Spotlight with Information of your Choice
  • Sponsor Logo on Exhibit Booth Banner
  • Sponsor Logo on Annual Meeting Banner
  • Named Sponsor & Logo on RBAW Member Communications
  • Business Card Ad & Logo in RBAW’s Newsletter

Silver Sponsor - $2,500

  • Named Sponsor & Logo on RBAW Website Home Page
  • Sponsor Logo on Exhibit Booth Banner
  • Sponsor Logo on Annual Meeting Banner
  • Business Card Ad & Logo in RBAW’s Newsletter

Bronze Sponsor - $1,000

  • Named Sponsor & Logo on RBAW Website Home Page
  • Business Card Ad & Logo in RBAW’s Newsletter

Click here for a .pdf of these sponsorship opportunities!

Interested? Contact our Executive Director to purchase yours today!

Upcoming Events!

Board Meeting
November 2nd, 2023 | 6:00 - 7:15 PM
Held by Zoom only

Annual Membership Meeting
November 18, 2023 | 10:00 am – 1:00 pm (Lunch included). Coffee will be available at 9:30 am for social time. Held at the Seattle Yacht Club - 1807 E Hamlin St, Seattle, WA 98112 

Register Now!

Legislative "Boating" Day in Olympia
January 25, 2024 – Reception at Olympia Yacht Club

Follow us on social media and join our boating community!

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