Dry Sailboat Storage

The Bellingham Yacht Club, in cooperation with Etchells Fleet 16, has entered into a monumental agreement with the Port of Bellingham with a lease of 4 spaces in the Boat Display Space (BDS) which are designated as “Dry Sailboat Storage”. Prior to this agreement, storage of sailboats on trailers was prohibited in the Marina parking lots, net storage and upland areas. Etchells and other One-Deign sailboats were required to make ‘unofficial’ arrangements with business owners at the marina This designated Dry Sailboat Storage would not have been possible if it were not for the tireless efforts of Etchells owners Pete Ambrose, Jonathan Knowles, and others who attended countless Port and Marina Committee meetings and one-on-one discussions with the Harbor Master over the past 4 years.

The lease agreement with the Port includes a $20/mo Crane Usage Fee. This fee approximately matches what a typical Wednesday Night racer would pay monthly if paying for each launch and haul out individually. With this Crane Usage Fee, the Port able to manage access better by preventing “piggy backing” and able to incorporate a uniform liability release. The current cranes have a 4000 lbs capacity and are shared cooperatively with the commercial fishing fleets and marina businesses.

Although 4 spaces may seem insignificant especially since there are currently 10 active racing sailboats requiring Dry Storage, but it can be viewed as the foundation of a new era of sail boating in Bellingham Bay. Most major sailing centers across the county (and world for that matter!) have built renewed interest in sailing and racing through One-Design Fleets which are typically dry sailed. Dry Sailboat Storage offers a more affordable entry into competitive sailboat racing with moorage rates much lower than that of In-Water. It eliminates the need, costs and toxic effects of weekly bottom cleaning as well as excessive ware and tear from the elements. It offers more flexibility, reduces costs and time in travel to regatta and championships. This new Dry Sailboat Storage along with the BYC Laser Storage Dock at Gate 5 and the Junior Sailing Dock at Zuanich Point puts sailboat racing within reach of a broader demographic and who might be on restrictive incomes.

With the agreement, the Port has defined an official designation of “Dry Sailboat Storage” which lifts a major barrier for One-Design Fleets to flourish and opens the pathway towards a future “Sailboat Racing Center” on Bellingham Bay.

If you are interested in Dry Sailboat Storage and/or joining or forming a One-Design Racing Fleet, please contact Jonathan Knowles at 360-303-5464 or e-mail: jon@latitude48north.com.

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