More people want to sail Bellingham Bay. Here's what they're doing about that.

Check out Bellingham Community Boating Center's new sailboats

The Community Boating Center in Bellingham, WA, introduces its newest sailboats, RS Quest.
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The Community Boating Center in Bellingham, WA, introduces its newest sailboats, RS Quest.

The Community Boating Center has launched a new fleet of sailboats to meet growing demand for sailboat lessons and rentals.

The six RS Quest sailboats can be used by beginning and more experienced sailors. They're available for sailing lessons and summer camps, as well as rentals, starting this summer.

"There is growing desire in Bellingham for quality sailing instruction, and these boats help us to enable our community of sailors to continue to grow. The Community Boating Center has dedicated 2018 to growing our sailing programs and offerings for our community," said Erica Reed, the center's operations manager.

"With this in mind, we were able to devote a large portion of our budget to building our sailing fleet," Reed added.

Located at 555 Harris Ave., the nonprofit center provides boat safety information and classes to those who want to explore Bellingham Bay via a small watercraft. The center also rents and stores boats.

It focuses on making boating affordable and accessible to as many people as possible.

The RS Quest is big enough for a sailing instructor and up to three students. It can be used by youths and adults learning to sail, as well as those who want to develop intermediate skills.

"People have responded to the RS Quests with great enthusiasm," Reed said. "We are seeing our Intro-to-dinghy courses and our dinghy rentals jump in popularity, and we keep hearing glowing reviews from the students and renters who have taken out the Quests."

More on the Community Boating Center's programs and rentals, including the RS Quest sailboats, can be found online at boatingcenter.org.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea

Try it out

The Community Boating Center is offering free paddles on Tuesday evenings, through Aug. 14.

From 4:30 to 9 p.m., people can get free one-hour rental of sit-on-top kayaks, paddleboards, rowboats and sea kayaks. The boats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The goal is to encourage people to get out onto Bellingham Bay, and to make it possible for them to do so by removing barriers to boating.

The center is at 555 Harris Ave. in Bellingham.

More details are on its Facebook page and on its website at boatingcenter.org. Or call 360-714-8891.