If you were born after December 31, 1954, and you operate a boat with a 15 hp or greater motor, you need to carry a WA Boater Education Card. The fine for not having one is currently $87. Those born before 1955 should have one too, as Canada and Oregon do not exempt the oldsters from their education requirements. For more information on the state requirements, visit http://www.parks.wa.gov/boating/boatered/?subject=faq#2.
For information on the local Bellingham Sail and Power Squadron boating education class specifically geared toward meeting the Washington requirements, visit http://boatingisfun.org/public_courses.htm. If you have questions, you can talk to your friendly BYC Education Committee (Tom Dalgliesh or Marian Welsh).