May is the opening of the yachting season. The Portland Yacht Club and Columbia River Yachting Association compete for awards for the fleet, its décor and seamanship. Proper dress code for the Opening Day Ceremony and Parade is a blue blazer, white pants/skirt, and white shoes. Yacht club membership offers social events and reciprocal benefits from other clubs such as transient slip access.

Every Wednesday evening in June, the Mauni Elliott series is held. The first gun (warning that the race is about to start) is at 6:30 PM each Wednesday evening. It is a casual race, with two classes – one for cruising boats, those new to racing, and more casual sailors, and one for those more serious about racing.

Every two years PYC partners with Small Yacht Sailing Club of Oregon (SYSCO) for the Opening Day Regatta, two days of races. The “small” in “Small Yacht Sailing Club” represents the minimal cost to join and enjoy club benefits; self-righting monohulls or trimarans of any size are welcome. Membership dues are $120 per year and fund a full year of racing, cruises, educational events, and monthly newsletters.

Columbia Crossing has links to nautical businesses on the island and a wonderful monthly newsletter.

The Portland Yacht Club (on Marine Drive), was founded in 1908 with the introduction of the gasoline powered internal combustion engine.

During the Spring of 1908, fifteen motor boat racing enthusiasts formed the Willamette Motor Boat Club. Powerboat cruising started in earnest in 1931, when the club traveled to Ilwaco, Washington.

The Tyee Yacht Club is also on Marine Drive, near 33rd. Here’s info on navigating Portland bridges.

The Hayden Island Yacht Club and Columbia River Yacht Club (both near Hayden Bay) also offer many events throughout the year.

The Lower Columbia River Water Trail follows the free-flowing, tidally influenced waters of the Columbia River for 146 miles, from the Bonneville Dam to the Pacific Ocean.

The Oregon Corinthian Sailing Association (OCSA), is an independent non-profit organization whose purpose is to encourage and promote sailing events, with an emphasis on racing. Cascade Locks is home of the Columbia Gorge Racing Association.

A sailing yacht is a leisure craft that uses sails as its primary means of propulsion. The length of sailing yachts ranges from 20 ft to over 70 metres (230 ft). The term skiff is used for a number of essentially unrelated styles of small boat. These are coastal craft or rivercrafts used for leisure or fishing, and have a one-person or small crew. Sailing skiffs have developed into high performance competitive classes. Sailing competitions are by class of boat.

Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe may be the best way to get your feet wet. They have classes, rentals and events for everyone.

Freshwater News, the Columbia Crossing Newsletter and Sail the Gorge Magazine have the latest news.

The Oregon State Marine Board serves Oregon’s recreational boaters. Search vessel by name and USGC Search.


  • U.S. Coast Guard – Portland: 503.240.9301 – Astoria: 503.861.6212 – Illwaco: 360.642.2382
  • Multnomah County Sheriff’s River Patrol – Columbia River: 503.988.6788 – Willamette River: 503.243.7952
  • Clark County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol (Vancouver) – 360.397.2106
  • Clackamas County Sheriff – 503.655.8218
  • Clatsop County Sheriff – 503.325.8635
  • Columbia County Sheriff’s River Patrol (St Helens) – 503.366.4614
  • Columbia County Sheriff – 503.397.2511
  • Portland Harbormaster – 503.823.3780
  • Columbia County Fireboat (Scappoose) – 503.397.1521
  • Vessel Assist – 503.247.9004
  • Oregon Marine Board – 503.378.8587

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