semiahmoo marina looking east

If you’re like many northwest retirees, you’ve spent years planning and saving for that Puget Sound adventure. You easily envision your bright new 44’ Catalina or just slightly over-powered Hatteras anchored out at Sucia or Orcas in the San Juan Islands, while you take in the view and soak up the sun. You look forward to the days of sharing boating stories with your other maritime compatriots at the marina’s local pub.

The big question is just where will those stories be told? A quick sampling of Puget Sound marinas seems to indicate you may have a very long wait for a parking space for your pride-and-joy. In fact, Bellingham’s Squalicum Harbor marina may find you waiting almost five years before a 40’ slip becomes available. Other regional marinas don’t fair that much better, with one exception.

Anacortes Marina, as well as Cap Sante Marina, have waiting lists for 40’ boats more than a year. Seattle’s Shilshole Marina and nearby Edmonds Marina will force your boat onto the ‘hard’ for one to two years before a slip becomes available.

There is, however, a little-known boating gem that sits comfortably between the San Juan Islands and the Canadian Gulf Islands, just south of the Canadian border and only a few miles from I-5. According to Harbormaster Doug Romano, Semiahmoo Marina has slips available for boats 40 to 55 feet in length. This 300-slip marina sits adjacent to the Semiahmoo Resort and Spa, with restaurants, pool, and golf courses just moments away.

“The marina and resort sit at the terminus of Semiahmoo Spit with views of Mt. Baker and the North Cascades to the east and White Rock B.C. and the Canadian Coastal Range to the north,” says Romano.

Less than an hour from Bellingham or Vancouver, Semiahmoo Marina might be a good moorage alternative to putting that retirement adventure on hold a few more years. You can learn more about Semiahmoo at


Big wait for big boats with one notable exception — No Comments

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