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Best Boating Photos of 2019

Announcing the winners of our biannual BoatUS Magazine photo contest.

Taking photos from the unique perspective aboard a boat is just another wonderful element to our lifestyle. So who is better qualified than you to capture that unique image from your favorite aquatic spot? We asked you to send us your best photos, and you delivered — big time! More than 1,200 photos came over our transom. Enjoy some of our favorites here, and look for more entries throughout the issue and in galleries on social media, and in our monthly eMag.

Congratulations to all! Each category winner received an ACR Personal Locator Beacon Survival Kit courtesy of ACR Electronics, one year of Unlimited Towing Membership, and a swag-bag filled with BoatUS-branded items.


Winner | Wall of Water

Action Winner, Wall of Water by Mark Straub

Mark Straub of New Berlin, Wisconsin, captured this dynamic image while attending the Malibu Open Water Ski Tournament at Veterans Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. "I was in awe at the skill level of the water skiers," he says.

Finalist | Just Another Day At Work

Action Finalist, Just Another Day at Work by Joanne Ryan

Joanne Ryan of Delray Beach, Florida, captured this image of early morning bait fisher Paul Rafferty tossing an 8-foot bait net. "This was taken while on my morning volunteering with a sea turtle rescue group in Highland Beach Florida," she says. "Paul runs his little skiff up from Fort Lauderdale to catch bait as a commercial fisherman."

Finalist | Gone In A Flash

Action Finalist, Gone in a Flash by Bill Klipp

Bill Klipp of Key West, Florida, snapped this photo of Key West World Championship Offshore Powerboat Races. "The most unique element of these races is watching the boats and their chase helicopters scream past at 125 mph," he says. "It's an incredible experience."

Finalist | Deep Dive

Action Finalist, Deep Dive by Stanton Englander

Stanton Englander of Clearwater, Florida, shared this photo. He and his grandson Rocco snorkeled the Sombrero Reef off Marathon in the Florida Keys. "He is only 8, but an excellent swimmer and diver," he says. "In this case, he hooked up with me for a free ride."


Winner | A New Kind Of Anchor

Lifestyle Winner, A New Kind of Anchor by Philip Zasadny

Philip Zasadny of Los Alamitos, California, captured this unique image of Koop the dog helping to beach a boat. "The dog was determined to pull the boat onto shore and was working against the wind, but he was successful," he says.

Finalist | Sandy In The Wind

Lifestyle Finalist, Sandy in the Wind by Andrew Pfaff

Andrew Pfaff of Indian Harbour Beach, Florida, captured this image near the Isla Grande area off of the Caribbean coast of Panama. "My spouse and I joined my best friend as he broke in his ‘new-to-him' 1968 classic wooden Cheoy Lee Robb 35 sailboat," he says.

Finalist | Take My Picture!

Lifestyle Finalist, Take My Picture by Debbie Peters

Debbie Peters snapped this shot of her Uncle Virl in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin, "We celebrated his 80th birthday doing his favorite thing, boating and fishing at our family cabin in Wisconsin," she says. "The two of us went on a short river trip adventure in a canoe. As he was stepping out, he slipped and fell backward into the canoe. I panicked and exclaimed, "What do I do?!" He grinned from ear to ear and replied, "Take my picture!"

Finalist | Humpbacks To Port

Lifestyle Finalist, Humpbacks to Port by Keith Miller

Keith Miller of Pleasant Hill, California, captured this moment in Monterey Bay of a 48-foot Navigator surrounded by humpback whales. "We were about 100 yards off their port side when the whales sounded and I took the photo," he says. "We were motoring from Santa Cruz to Monterey Harbor and were treated to whale sightings the entire way."

Finalist | Halfway To Bermuda

Lifestyle Finalist, Halfway to Bermuda by John Ring

John Ring of Beverly, Massachusetts, took this selfie during the Marion-Bermuda race. "The boat is my Cape Dory 36 Tiara, and I took this shot just after we cleared the Gulf Stream southbound for Bermuda," he says. "We did pretty well, finishing second in Class D."


Winner | Apostle Dreams

Scenic Winner, Apostle Dreams by Michael DeWitt

Michael DeWitt of Ashland, Wisconsin, snapped this winner at sunset. "A spectacular summer evening comes to an end in the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior," he says. "I took this while anchored up along the coastline of Hermit Island."

Finalist | Alone

Scenic Finalist, Alone by Dawn Umstot

Dawn Umstot of Tacoma, Washington, captured this quiet scene near Sucia Island State Park in the San Juan Islands. "The boat seems to be alone in the anchorage, the park's picnic tables are empty, and the trees stand tall surrounded by the glow of a beautiful sunset."

Finalist | Princess Louisa Moonlight

Scenic Finalist, Princess Louisa Moonlight by Tim Bowman

Tim Bowman of Mount Vernon, Washington, took this stunning image on New Year's Eve, 2017 in Princess Louisa Inlet, British Columbia. "It was a 13-second time exposure, the scene was lit only by moonlight — see the stars!," he says. "We were the only boat in the inlet, which is absolutely lovely in winter."

Finalist | Bahama Dreamin'

Scenic Finalist, Bahama Dreamin' by Cari White

Cari White of Bakersfield, California, snapped this scenic photo in the Bahamas with husband, Joel. "Both of my parents passed away in October 2017 and my brother and I used some of the estate money to pay for a trip to the Bahamas for our family of 16 as a tribute to them," Joel says.

Finalist | Morning Tranquility

Scenic Finalist, Morning Tranquility by Alan Kracke

Alan Kracke of Minnetonka, Minnesota, captured this serene scene. "We were in Desolation Sound, British Columbia, and saw this lone sailboat sitting at anchor in the morning fog bank and calm," he says.


Winner | Night Gracie

Artistic Winner, Night Gracie by Lauren M. Danforth

Lauren M. Danforth of Sequim, Washington, captured this dramatic shot from the bow of her 48-foot Hughes yawl somewhere in the middle of the Strait of Juan de Fuca between Lime and Dungeness lighthouses.

Finalist | Spectacular Sunset

Artistic Finalist, Spectacular Sunset by Geoffrey Ferguson

Geoffrey Ferguson of Medina, Washington, took this photo at Rolfe Cove, a small protected anchorage on the northwest end of Matia Island in Washington. "The state park provides moorage on buoys as well as tying up to a float served by this weathered walkway," he says. "Sunsets here can be spectacular, as you can see with this photo."

Finalist | Intergalactic Traveler

Artistic Finalist, Intergalactic Traveler by Peter Squicciarini

Peter Squicciarini of Norfolk, Virginia, captured this image last spring. "An old fishing boat basks in the soft glow of the Milky Way in the dark skies above Swan Quarter, North Carolina," is how he describes the photo. "I chose to shoot on this night because conditions were clear and it was a new moon."

Finalist | The Beauty Of Sailing

Artistic Finalist, The Beauty of Sailing by Dustin Gabriel

Dustin Gabriel of Toms River, New Jersey, got creative in composing this photo, combining many photos into one. "The bottom portion is from an E-Scow race on Barnegat Bay that my uncle was sailing in," he says. "I then combined that with the sky photo, which is a combination of about 600 photos taken as a time lapse. Once they were all edited, I stacked them together to achieve this effect."


Winner | Sunset Sail

Cover Winner, Sunset by Dawn Umstot

Dawn Umstot of Tacoma, Washington, captured this striking image of a racing sailboat under spinnaker during sunset, shot from inside the protective jetty of Seattle's Shilshole Bay Marina.

Finalist | Tales From The Spreaders

Cover Finalist, Tales from the Spreaders by Adam Rohrmann

Adam Rohrmann of Oldsmar, Florida, had to work for this sky-high image. "I stood on the spreader and shot this through my legs, and was able to get the entire boat in one frame," he says.

Finalist | Buddy Boating

Cover Finalist, Buddy Boating by Harvey Hochstetter

Harvey Hochstetter of Sequim, Washington, captured this image while boating around the North end of Vancouver Island.

Finalist | Supermoon

Cover Finalist, Supermoon by Russell Carlson

Russell Carlson of Salem, South Carolina, captured this image during a December supermoon. "This was taken near a marina along Lake Keowee in South Carolina."

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BoatUS Editors

Contributor, BoatUS Magazine

Award-winning BoatUS Magazine is the official publication of Boat Owners Association of The United States. The magazine provides boating skills, DIY maintenance, safety, news and more from top experts.