Participants under the age of 14 must have a parent or guardian present to participate in Open Boating, the parent or guardian can be on the same watercraft as the child, a different watercraft on the water, or on land.
Safety and education are top priorities at the Community Boating Center, and we take our wind policy seriously. Conditions can change quickly on Bellingham Bay and planning ahead is one of the best tools to stay safe on the water.
Please refer to the wind policy below for classes and rentals. Information and links for current conditions on the Bay can be found below.
Green Status – Up to 10 mph (9 knots)
All equipment can be rented;
Sailing dinghies must stay in dinghy-specific restricted area;
Keelboats must stay in keelboat-specific restricted area;
All sea kayaks, sit-on-top kayaks, paddleboards, and rowboats must stay in designated rental area;
All rowing sculls must stay in the designated rental area.
Yellow Status – 10 to 15 mph (9 – 13 knots)
All sea kayaks (experienced & w/ spray skirts), sit-on-top kayaks, and sailing dinghies must stay in restricted area (red triangle);
Keelboats must stay in Bellingham Bay;
No paddleboards, rowboats, or rowing sculls allowed on the water.
Red Status – 15 to 20 mph (13-17 knots)
Only sailboats are allowed out; renters must be Skills Tested for this wind level;
Youth and Adult Programs may run at the discretion of the instructing staff in accordance with program policies.
Over 20 mph (17 kts)
No one is allowed out on the water without management approval;
CBC closes for all rentals – Waterfront Staff post “Closed Due to Weather Conditions” sign on fence near front gate;
The CBC safety boat will be dispatched with an instructor or manager to direct all on-water boaters to return immediately to the Community Boating Center. Assistance will be provided as needed.
If the wind status changes, renters already on the water may be asked to return to shore and be escorted back by CBC staff.
Useful Forecast & Conditions Links:
Forecasts & Predictions
- NOAA Marine Weather Forecast – San Juan Islands
- NOAA Weather Forecast – Bellingham, WA
- NOAA Tides & Current Predictions – Bellingham Bay
- NOAA MADIS Weather Station Map (colored squares represent individual weather stations)
- Northwest Washington Weather Radar
- Weather Station on Cruise Terminal (Bellingham)
- Weather Station at Locust Beach (Bellingham)