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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!

Business members supporting CMHF and schooner Suva

  • 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)

    Whidbey Island Maritime Heritage Foundation is seeking additional volunteers to help sail the schooner Suva and support our efforts to preserve the maritime heritage and traditions of Whidbey Island and surrounding waters.

    Come join us if you have any interest in sailing or the maritime history of our area. If you are interested please send an e-mail to and we will be in touch!

    The schooner Suva is a 68 feet long two masted wooden boat that was designed to sail in our local waters. She was built for a Coupeville resident in Hong Kong 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 always welcome to join. 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!

    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.  

  • 04/18/2020 3:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Updated: Jul 1, 2021

    WIMHF has been focused on the safety and well being of our passengers from its inception. We are acutely aware of the Covid19 threat, and remain vigilant in our efforts to minimize any risk of infection with our guests. Our ship is cleaned regularly, and surfaces with frequent hand contact such as the wheel are wiped down after every sail. Should you, or anyone in your party, feel ill on the day of your scheduled event, we would ask that you reschedule or request a refund. It is important for us that you enjoy your sail and important for you to stay healthy.

    For more information go to:

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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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