Bellingham’s Community Boating Center (CBC) recently announced the completion of its long-awaited Wheelhouse Building Project, marking a significant milestone in the organization’s journey to enhance accessibility and inclusivity in recreational boating.

The Wheelhouse Building will provide fully accessible, heated spaces with real restrooms and showers, along with classroom and community facilities to support their ever expanding programs. These programs offer the chance for people of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities to get out on the water, learn safe boating skills, and build confidence and community, while promoting marine stewardship through therapeutic recreation. 

The completion of the Wheelhouse Building is just the first phase of CBC’s vision for the future. With plans to incorporate adaptive boats and equipment and electric safety boats, the CBC is committed to further enhancing its ability to better serve all community members. These phase two initiatives will align with the future completion of the Port of Bellingham’s Small Watercraft Dock adjacent to CBC’s campus. This will be the first accessible dock north of Everett, to offer unprecedented access to the water for all. 

To celebrate this milestone and to support CBC’s continued growth, the organization will be hosting its first annual “Seize the Bay” event on June 23, 2024. Folks will have the opportunity to get on the water and try out boats and activities. And after your fun on the water, you can enjoy a food truck and onsite beer garden—celebrating the “Seize the Bay” beer release with Stones Throw Brewing. 

The main project, which broke ground last fall, has been made possible through the generous support of donors and partners. With their commitment and contributions, the CBC is almost across the finish line with fundraising. However, they are still working to close a $70,000 gap, with $20,000 of matching funds left from the Whatcom Community Foundation. All gifts made by the end of May will be matched 1:1! 

Their fundraising campaign represents a significant investment in CBC’s mission to expand access to the bay and provide transformative experiences on the water. As founding board member Deb Dempsey remarked, “This has been a community effort in every sense, with an amazing number of wonderful people contributing whatever they can to make the project a success. We are so grateful for everyone’s support.” The completion of the Wheelhouse opens up a host of new possibilities for the CBC to expand access to the bay and inspire marine stewardship. With your support, we’re working toward a future where nobody is left onshore! 

For more information about CBC and to support the Wheelhouse Building Project, please visit