Accessible, recreational, water sports
By Rachel Alexander, Tanner Thompson and Molly Workman
The Community Boating Center, or CBC, is a non-profit organization that aims to be a “go-to” location for those seeking access to Bellingham Bay for recreational water sports. The CBC is located on Harris Street in the Fairhaven district of Bellingham, Washington, and offers full-service access to all things water. The most advanced sailors can be re-certified and launch their small dinghy’s off of the CBC’s launch, while the most beginner kayakers can learn how to safely enter and exit the watery wonders of the bay.
We want to do the best that we can, for as many people as possible.” – Travis Patten
Local organizations use the CBC for safe storage of equipment and the ease of access for crews. The Bellingham Bay Outrigger Paddlers, or BBOP, store their outriggers in the middle of the CBC’s shipyard to avoid transport of the lengthy vessels.
In addition to the list of services they offer, the CBC also reaches out and collects grants for communities that would not otherwise be able to access the space. Greg Moran, the lead instructor and fleet manager, noted that while larger grants help pay for equipment at the CBC, some grants are targeted for special programs, for example Lummi Nation youth and programs for veterans, to facilitate access the water in a safe, affordable, and meaningful way.
The crew at the CBC urge the community to come and enjoy what they have to offer. Staff emphasize that the CBC is unlike a yacht club because there are no membership fees or dues to be paid but services and classes to be offered.