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What is OnBuoy?

OnBuoy is the easiest and most environmentally responsible way to find and reserve short-term guest moorage anywhere in the world. OnBuoy, SPC is a Washington State Social Purpose Corporation committed to preserving and restoring the marine environment by increasing the availability of safe mooring options for recreational boaters, so they do not need to drop anchor. OnBuoy is an online community that gives owners of private docks and mooring buoys an easy way to help minimize damage to the marine environment while offsetting the cost of maintaining their mooring equipment by sharing their moorages with fellow boaters.

Images of crowded marina, dock in disrepair, and environmental damage by boat anchors

Problem: a shortage of guest moorage While the popularity of boating is increasing, the amount of available guest moorage for boaters hasn’t increased significantly. Guest moorage typically books up quickly or is only available on a first come-first served basis. Adding new mooring capacity to our waterways is challenging. There are a limited number of suitable areas for new moorage and the placement of new mooring equipment is expensive and can encumber tribal waters and fishing rights.

Problem: the environmental impact. Faced with limited options to tie-up safely, boaters spend additional time and fuel trolling around a public dock looking for space or they choose to drop anchor. Both options are time consuming and damaging to the marine environment. Staying overnight on anchor is also potentially risky for overnight stays. While boaters struggle to find and secure guest moorage, many private docks and mooring buoys go unused for most of the year.

Problem: maintaining a moorage is expensive Maintaining a boat moorage can be costly, involving expenses for routine cleaning, painting, structural maintenance, and repairs. Additionally, moorage fees and insurance premiums are recurring expenses that owners must bear. From specialized equipment and professional services to licensing and insurance, the financial commitment adds up quickly.

OnBuoy website helps boaters find guest moorage anywhere

OnBuoy.com: a positive solution for everyone

  • If you are a boater, OnBuoy increases the number of places for you to safely tie up your boat.
  • If you own a private dock or mooring buoy, OnBuoy gives you a way to help protect the environment and offset the costs of maintaining your moorage.

Rather than let their moorage go unused for days or weeks at a time, OnBuoy enables moorage owners to loan their moorage to fellow boaters – offering them a better, more environmentally friendly option for tying up for the night. In the process, owners earn funds to help them offset the maintenance for their moorage.

Instead of trolling around a public dock or dealing with the inconvenience and risk of dropping anchor in unfamiliar waters, OnBuoy helps boaters find available community mooring spots at their destination. OnBuoy lets boaters reserve a specific tie-up completely online without having to make a phone call or leave the comfort of their captain's chair.

Safety & peace of mind OnBuoy's highest priority is ensuring the safety and peace of mind of members who use the service. All tie-ups listed on the OnBuoy platform are regularly inspected for structural integrity. OnBuoy hosts approve all requests to use their equipment and incoming requests are screened to ensure that all reservation requests are from properly registered and insured boats that meet the size and draft limitations for each tie-up location. OnBuoy staff are available 24x7 to help resolve any issues that may arise during a stay and OnBuoy provides insurance against accidental damage to equipment incurred during an OnBuoy stay.

OnBuoy is a win-win-win Membership in OnBuoy is a win for private buoy and dock owners, a win for the environment, and a win for the boating community at large. By adding their tie-up to the OnBuoy network, dock and buoy owners provide a benefit to fellow boaters, help preserve our precious marine environment, and ensure that their equipment is always in good working order. Furthermore, each time an owner hosts a fellow boater on their tie-up, OnBuoy SPC donates a percentage of the proceeds to a local marine charity.

Benefits of OnBuoy include:

  • Environmental- Less need to drop anchor or waste fuel trolling around a marina looking for a spot to tie up.
  • Convenience - Boaters have more options to tie-up for a short break or an overnight stay.
  • Safety - Buoy & dock owners are alerted quicker about possible equipment damage and owners receive an honorarium to assist in the maintenance of their equipment.
  • Community - Boaters have an opportunity to help fellow boaters.
  • Tribal interests - More efficient utilization of existing mooring spots honors tribal interests by reducing the need for additional encumbrances on their waterways.
  • Oversight - Only properly registered and inspected buoys and docks are able to participate in this service, discouraging illicit or illegal tie-ups and ensuring that tie-ups are safe and well-maintained.

*A word about the importance of eelgrass

Anchors pose a significant threat to eelgrass habitats. By offering your moorage to visiting boaters you can make a real difference in protecting those habitats by removing the need for visiting vessels to drop anchor. OnBuoy seeks to provide a safe and sustainable way for you to make a difference. Check out the video below to learn more about the importance of eelgrass.