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Whidbey Island Maritime Heritage Foundation

Maritime Heritage and Sail Tours on Whidbey Island

Photo above  by Gary Mathieson

Whidbey Island Maritime Heritage Foundation was founded to preserve the maritime heritage of Coupeville, Penn Cove and Whidbey Island through education and public awareness.

The WIMHF proudly owns and operates the schooner Suva, whose carefully trained volunteer docents and crew members proudly operate Suva according to Coast Guard requirements for an inspected small passenger vessel. Whidbey Island enjoys a rich maritime history with countless stories dating back to the discovery of the island in the late 1700’s. It is our hope to gather all we can and share them far and wide, making new ones along the way.

To learn about joining the WIMHF, visit our Membership page.

If you would like to make a donation to help our Foundation achieve these goals, see our Donate Here page!

As you may know, we started a petition to have a custom charitable License Plate added to the possibilities for Washington State residents. Unfortunately, our plate was not reviewed and voted on in the last legislative session. There is still a chance! Let your State Legislator know you support Bill HB1364 for Whidbey Island’s own Nautical Northwest License Plate!

Locate Your District And Representative Here!

Please contact your state legislators to express your support for House Bill 1364 creating the Nautical Northwest specialty license plate during the January 2024 legislative session.

If you live on Whidbey Island, you are in Legislative District 10. Your current House legislators are Rep. Dave Paul and Rep. Clyde Shavers. Rep. Julia Reed of Seattle’s 36th LD is also a co-sponsor of the bill.  You may click on their name and be sent to a form to message them!

Where will the proceeds go?

Proceeds from the program will be evenly shared between the Whidbey Island Maritime Heritage Foundation and Historic Whidbey, both 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations. Funds support public heritage programming on board s/v Suva and at the 1866 Haller House in Coupeville. Learn more at:

  • 06/12/2022 3:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    WIMHF is a proud member of the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association.  Check it out....

  • 01/30/2022 7:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Schooner Suva is a 68 foot long two-masted wooden boat that was designed to sail in our local waters. She was built in Hong Kong for a Coupeville resident in 1925 and once delivered to her original owner has remained in the Salish Sea. During the sailing season, May through October, we sail her from the Coupeville Wharf every weekend, weather permitting. Typical sails are approximately two hours as we enjoy the fresh air and unique scenery of Penn Cove. We also accept private charters that may last longer and visit nearby destinations.

    There are lots of other opportunities to help out if you can volunteer some time. While our primary need is for crew and hosts there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to make it possible to show and sail our historic schooner.

    New crew members are welcome to join between January 1 and April 30 of each year.  We are looking for volunteers with the desire to learn about the Suva and who want to take her sailing. We offer free training for all experience levels, from non-sailors to experienced race captains and blue water sailors. Training starts in early spring and we begin sailing with passengers in the late spring. You can learn more details on our website.

    Hosts are an indispensable part of our organization. Our hosts are our ambassadors to the public, and give onboard tours to visitors when Suva is on the dock in Coupeville. A number of people who become passengers on Suva first take the free dockside tours. Becoming a host is experienced host will show you how, and when you are comfortable you may sign up to host at your convenience!

    So come join us!  Dockside hosts are needed during the Summer on Thursdays through Sundays for 2-hr. shifts.  It's easy and fun!  Invite passers-by to come aboard and tour our beautiful boat.  If you know about some of our maritime history and/or some of the fauna inhabiting these waters-so much the better. 

    If you're interested and like meeting people please send an email to and we will be in touch!

    There are also opportunities to help in administering the non-profit Whidbey Island Maritime Heritage Foundation which owns and operates Suva and to carry out our mission, which is To preserve the maritime heritage and traditions of Whidbey Island, Coupeville, and Penn Cove through education and public awareness.

    Planning, coordinating, and carrying out programs that enhance our mission are the responsibility of various committees. If you are interested in participating in these activities, or have skills that can help us out, let us know via email and we will put you in touch with the committee chairs!

    Some of our committees include:

    Steering Committee: provides oversight, management, and planning of WIMHF and Schooner Suva operations.

    Finance Committee: The Finance Committee is responsible for developing and reviewing fiscal procedures, fundraising plans, grants, and the annual budget.

    Maintenance CommitteeThe Maintenance Committee is responsible for planning, prioritizing, budgeting, and conducting maintenance and repairs on the Suva.

    Membership Committee: The Membership Committee actively supports current members, recruits new members, and develops professional relationships with the Whidbey Island business community.

    Outreach Committee: Purpose: The Outreach Committee prepares and presents information about the WIMHF and Suva to the greater Whidbey Island community.

    Let us know where you primary interests are by sending an email to and we will get you on the email list that sends out meeting notices and sign-up opportunities.

  • 11/28/2021 3:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In 2021, the Coupeville Maritime Heritage Foundation changed it's name to Whidbey Island Maritime Heritage Foundation, to better recognize the scope of our endeavors.  We are working at changing all the paper work and web references to recognize our new name, so please don't be distracted by seeing links to CMHF.  

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Our Mission: To create awareness of the Maritime Heritage of Whidbey Island, Coupeville, and Penn Cove  through education of, promoting, and preserving its maritime traditions. 

Copyright 2021


PO Box 532

Coupeville, WA  98239

Whidbey Island  Maritime Heritage Foundation (WIMHF)  is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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