If you missed the Seattle Boat Show Live event with the Waggoner Editorial Team for Covid-19 Updates on what’s open. Watch the video. You will need to register, then the video will play.

Download the list of Q&A that were not answered on during the Seattle Boat Show Live Covid-19 What’s Open webinar from May 7th.

Questions & Answers
1. Are State Park Mooring Buoys Open?
Mooring buoys are open for day-use. Overnight stays on a mooring buoy appear to be
prohibited. In practice, State Park Rangers might not ask boaters to vacate mooring buoys for overnight stays.

2. Will I be required to vacate a Park Mooring Buoy at the end of the day?
Parks and DNR policy indicates that they have the right to ask a boater to vacate a mooring buoy at night. However, this seems impractical and is contrary to past precedent. If requested to vacate a buoy, be courteous and understanding; move to a safe nearby anchorage. If it appears unsafe to leave the secure moorage due to impending darkness, potentially unsafe nighttime sailing/motoring or sea/weather conditions, then politely request a variance in the interest of safety.

3. Are State Marine Park Docks Open?
Marine park docks are open for day-use and should not be used for overnight stays.

4. What about Anchoring?
There is no specific restriction on anchoring. Only go ashore at State Park and DNR Public Lands and only during the daytime hours. Do not go ashore at other locations where local
communities are not welcoming visitors.

5. What about boating in the San Juan Islands?
San Juan County Council extended their ban on non-residents visiting the islands through May31st and continue to prohibit any transient overnight accommodations, including marina guest moorage. Marinas in San Juan County remain closed to guest/transient moorage.

6. Are State Parks in San Juans Open?
State marine parks within San Juan County are open for day-use. Park docks, mooring buoys, linear side-tie, uplands, trails, and beaches are open for day-use.

7. What about Anchoring in the San Juans?
Anchoring is allowed but do not go ashore for any reason, this includes taking the dog on shore. Residents do not want visitors anywhere on inhabited islands. The only uplands open are state parks, and only for day-use. Refrain from going ashore at state parks where island residents reside (for example, Spencer Spit, Stuart Island, English Camp etc.).

8. What is local boating?
The State proclamation and its guidelines do not define or qualify ‘local’ in terms of distance, time, or jurisdictional boundary, such as city or county. It is left to the individual boater to determine what is local. Some things to consider might be the boat and skipper’s preparedness for the planned trip. Is the planned itinerary self-reliant and without the need of fuel, water, provisions, and contingencies? Keep in mind that San Juan County doesn’t want any visitors for any reason.

9. Can I sail/motor at night?
The state directives imply that recreational boating should be confined to daylight and daytime hours. Combine this with the State’s request to boat locally. Also, nighttime boating is inherently not as safe as daytime; and during these Covid-19 times, it is best to avoid taking risks.

10. Can I boat to a destination marina that is open to guest boaters and stay overnight?
Yes, traveling by boat for non-essential travel is allowed and staying overnight at a marina that is open for guest moorage is allowed. Check the status of your planned destination.

11. Can I stay overnight at a State Park?
No, State Parks are open for day-use only. Overnight stays are not allowed on park docks,
mooring buoys, or linear side-tie. Camping and any overnight facilities are closed.

12. Can I anchor overnight at a Marine State Park?
Yes, anchorable waters near a marine state park are available for overnight anchoring. You may only go ashore during daytime and only on state park uplands.

13.  What about DNR Public Lands & Marine Facilities?
DNR Public Lands and Marine Facilities are open for day-use. This includes DNR mooring buoys, uplands, beaches, trails, and facilities.

14. Is recreational boating limited to Day-Use?

Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-25.2 authorizes the following outdoor recreational activities to commence effective May 5:

  • Recreational hunting, fishing, and boating
  • Outdoor exercise, including hiking, running, walking, and biking
  • Golfing
  • Day-use activities at public parks and public lands

By this proclamation, activities at public parks and public lands are restricted to Day-Use. There is no qualifier on Recreational hunting, fishing, and boating.

A separate document referenced in the proclamation offers Guidelines and Recommendations in three sections, one of which applies to Recreational Boating and Fishing and one of the seven Recommendations in this topic states, “Recreate locally and refrain from overnight stays.”

15. Does the Governor’s Proclamation restrict boating to local?

The Governor’s Proclamation makes no reference to local. Local is a recommendation found in the separate document noted in the answer to the previous question.

16. How do I go boating and remain in compliance with Stay-Home Stay-Healthy directive?

Governor Inslee’s 20-25.2 Proclamation specifically provides an exception to Stay-Home Stay-Healthy directive when participating in any of the Outdoor Recreation Activities authorized by proclamation 20-25.2.