Everything You Need to Know About Classes at the Boating Center!
Why Take Classes at the CBC?
The Experience: Whether you're looking for the thrill of planing over the waves with water splashing you in the face in one of our sailing dinghies, or prefer the calm, meditative exercise of flatwater paddling, there are boating opportunities for everyone at the CBC.
Instructors: Our instructors consistently receive amazing feedback from students in our classes! They are truly invested in the helping students learn skills safely. Instructors have invested in themselves with hours of training to become certified and have the proper safety and rescue training as well.
Opens up a New World: Learning boating skills will open up a world of waterways in and around Bellingham Bay and give you a totally new perspective of and appreciation for our beautiful setting. We are in one of the best parts of the world for boaters, with access to amazing shorelines, the San Juan Islands, Gulf Islands, and even the Inside Passage!
Health: Strength, endurance, flexibility, fine motor skills, and balance are all exercised to various degrees depending on which water sport you pursue. And there's something about being on the water that is like medicine for mental health as well.
Personal Growth: Graduates often report through challenging themselves and expanding their comfort zone in our classes they've developed a stronger sense of themselves, greater self-confidence, and a healthier outlook on life.
Community: Cohorts of our classes often times stay in communication and continue boating together long after the class is over.
Information All Participants Should Know
The Community Boating Center offers a variety of boating experiences for a variety of boaters.
Our classes are sequenced so the absolute beginner can feel safe and comfortable in all of our introductory classes. No experience is required for those classes, but getting in and around in boats does require some degree of balance and agility. If you have any concerns about your ability to participate, don't hesitate to contact us. We attempt to make our classes as accessible as possible, so let us know if you have any suggestions to help us in this regard.
We continue to add classes to our line-up to help our students expand on the skills they've developed in our introductory classes. Check in often to see if we've added more, or contact us if you have any suggestions for more classes.
Registration: We have an online registration system where you can find out about our classes, fill out registration forms, and pay all at the same time. In addition to paying online, we also accept payment in person, over the phone, and via "snail mail." To register online, hover over the category in the top bar that you'd like to register for, and click on "classes."
Notice: if you are unable to register online, you can print this PDF form and mail it in to us at: PO Box 4272, Bellingham, WA 98227
We hope to see you on the water soon!
Boating Center Classes in a Nutshell
Sea Kayaking Classes: We have a freshly updated extensive sequence of classes that will take you from beginner to confident in no time. This visual diagram of class sequence will help make sense of it all. Our series culminates in wide range of classes that are designed to help you become a well-rounded paddler who is prepared for anything our unpredictable Northwest Weather can offer up. Register for Sea Kayaking Classes or Browse Class Descriptions.
Sailing Classes: For two years now, we've been running sailing programs here at the CBC, and we've continued to get excellent reviews for the intimate learning environment and thorough introductory class. This year we are adding an extensive sequence of classes (this visual diagram of class sequence will help make sense of it all) to satisfy our growing community of beginner sailors. This sequence includes racing and cruising. Register for Sailing Classes or Browse Class Descriptions for Dinghy Classes or Keelboat Classes.
Youth Camps: We've got a summer full of sailing and kayaking camps! Our camps are for youth ages 9-14, and help build skills, confidence, camraderie, and open the door for a lifetime of water sports. Register for Youth Camps or Browse Class Descriptions.
Day Trips: At the moment we offer four day trips: Sunset Paddles, Sunset Sails, Bioluminescence Paddles, and Full Moon Paddles, all of which are locally popular and highlight the amazing local and natural beauty in Bellingham Bay. Register for Kayaking Day Trips or Sailing Day Trips.
Classroom Instruction: We have two very popular classes that actually take place inside buildings...Tides and Currents and Coastal Navigation. Both of these classes are geared more towards sea kayakers but are valuable for any boater who spends time in the Puget Sound. Register for Classroom Instruction classes or Browse Class Descriptions.
What to Bring to Classes
"Hope for the best, but plan for the worst" is a good mantra to use when attending classes. While our beautiful summers are what keep Bellinghamsters around, we have our fair share of bad weather and the water is ALWAYS cold. For all of our on the water classes, plan on getting wet.
We provide all the sea kayaking and sailing equipment needed for your program. You need to provide your own outdoor suitable clothing, personal gear, and raingear. If you do not have all of the equipment, let us know and we will help you find it. We have wetsuits and paddle jackets, but you are welcome to bring your own.
Clothing – This clothing can be either worn or brought with you in your day bag. This list is intended as a reminder to you as you prepare for the trip. Please try to avoid cotton clothing as it will make you colder on cold, wet days!
- Rain Coat
- Rain Pants
- Warm Hat and/or Brimmed Hat
- Long Pants
- Sweater or Pile Jacket
- Long Underwear
- Wool Socks
- Wet Shoes (old tennis shoes and water sandals are fine, but no flip flops allowed)
- Dry Change of Clothes
- Change of Shoes
- Personal Gear
- Sunglasses with safety cord
- Lip sun block
- Water bottle 1 qt. full of water
- Medications that you need during the day
Misc. Optional Gear - Things that you might want to bring depending on the class, but you DO NOT need.
- Field Guides we carry many, but if you have a favorite
- Sketch pad or journal
- Bike gloves for paddling
What to do When You've Completed one of our Classes
We have a summer chock full of great youth camps. Whether your kids want to try out sailing, kayaking, SUP, or sample all of them, we've got a camp for everyone! With certified instructors and comprehensive curriculum to boot! Check out our Youth Camps.
Stay tuned for links to classes and events from our community partners!