Apr 07 2021

State proposes doubling annual boater’s excise tax!

This is something that affects all of us boaters so please take a moment to review this message from the Northwest Marine Trade Assoc. and the Recreational Boating Assoc. of Washington

All Boaters,

This morning I testified before the Senate Transportation Committee opposing a new proposal to double the watercraft excise tax. This is the tax Washington boaters pay annually when they register their boats.

Boaters are the only user group that pay an excise tax and we think it is unfair and inappropriate to increase this tax.

The funds from this Vessel Excise Tax go directly into the state general fund.

Please take action now and let our state senators know you do not support this increase. It only takes one minute! Click this LINK now to send a message to your state senator.


George Harris

NMTA President/CEO

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Apr 07 2021

Life jacket survey

from the Washington State Parks Boating Program….

Life jacket survey for recreational boaters:

Do you have three minutes to spare? As a recreational boater, your feedback matters.
In recent years, Washington state legislators have proposed potential bills to address gaps in recreational boating safety and education. The Washington State Parks Boating Program would like your feedback about one of those recent proposals — mandatory life jacket wear on human-powered watercraft.
The survey is five questions, your answers are confidential and no personally identifying questions are asked.  Take the survey

Thank you for your time, we appreciate the feedback.

About the Washington State Boating Program
Washington State Parks administers the state’s Boating Program, which provides leadership in boating safety and environmental education and outreach. The program is funded primarily by the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund through federal grants. The goal of the program is to reduce accidents and fatalities, increase stewardship of Washington waterways, and keep recreational boating a safe, accessible and enjoyable pastime. For more information on the Boating Program, visit: www.washingtonstateparks.us/Boating

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Apr 01 2021

EarthDay 2021

Published by under Liveaboard Topics

As boaters, we have an especially close relationship to our environment-we live and play in it every day!  There are resources here for clean green boating.

To paraphrase Ghandi..”Be the change we want to see”.

The Starfish Parable:

One day, an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.

Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up from his task, the boy simply replied, “I’m saving these starfish, Sir”.  The old man chuckled aloud, “Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?”

The boy picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and turning to the man, said, “I made a difference to that one!”

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Mar 28 2021

Do I have to register my motorized dinghy?

Better to be registered and avoid the hassle, expense and embarrassment of family and friends some weekend when you are out boating…

As a resident of the State of Washington, YES, with one minor exception.  Rules in other states may be different, but in Washington, per Chapter 88.02.020 RCW Dispositions VESSEL REGISTRATION

(1) Except as provided in this chapter, a person may not own or operate any vessel, including a rented vessel, on the waters of this state unless the vessel has been registered and displays a registration number and a valid decal in accordance with this chapter. A vessel that has or is required to have a valid marine document as a vessel of the United States is only required to display a valid decal.

Exception for motorized vessels:

(7) A vessel equipped with propulsion machinery of less than ten horsepower that:
(a) Is owned by the owner of a vessel for which a valid vessel number has been issued;
(b) Displays the number of that numbered vessel followed by the suffix “1” in the manner prescribed by the department; and
(c) Is used as a tender for direct transportation between the numbered vessel and the shore and for no other purpose;
Many boaters seem to think that putting “tender to” on their inflatable in lieu of registration numbers will suffice.  Nope. (See 7b above), and “registered vessel to shore” (moored or anchored mothership) means just that…no fishing, crabbing, visiting other boats, etc.  (tickets have been handed out in Shilshole in the past)
Here is an article that summarizes the requirements in understandable language…


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Mar 24 2021

Renewing Your Vessel Documentation

Published by under Liveaboard Topics

If your boat is documented with the US Dept of Homeland Security, (NVDC-National Vessel Documentation Center), then you have received in the past, a notice approximately 45 days prior to your documentation expiration.  The fee is $26 for a 1 yr renewal and can be done completely online.  NVDC is now also offering a multi-year renewal.  See their website for more details.

Last year, several boaters, myself included, got a letter from a company (there are several) soliciting renewal prior to the regular letter they receive from the NVDC.  These companies’ fees were approx. $70 for 2 years.  Their paperwork and websites look very “official” and have caught many boaters off guard, including a neighbor of mine who had direct conversations with one of them.

These are 3rd party companies that have obtained the publicly available information on documented vessels and their owners.  They may be legit companies and are counting on us boaters to quickly make a decision or not verifying our GOOGLE search.  (Please read the NVDC site about 3rd party awareness information.)

If you want to remove yourself from any (non political) solicitations you can contact these opt out options posted on the Federal Trade Commission’s site.

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