The Waggoner's maps, showing the coverage of each chapter, the harbors, and individual marinas, are one of its most popular features. They show approach routes and facilities, and take much of the anxiety out of entering a harbor for the first time. Maps of individual marinas detail the entrances and markers, shoal areas, dock layout, and location of the guest moorage and key facilities.
The Waggoner is an easy reference to use. To find the page you need, turn to the index, table of contents, or the locator maps in the front of the book. Charts for each area are listed right up front in the chapters. The Waggoner's detailed listings of marine facilities are logically organized and updated each year by Editor Mark Bunzel, Managing Editor Sam Landsman, correspondents, and the Waggoner staff.
More than a catalog of listings and maps, the Waggoner is praised as a "good read." The Waggoner is full of navigation tips, weather lore, anchoring ideas, and local knowledge. Serious sidebar features and descriptions explain tide-rips, reversing tidal rapids, stern-tie lines, shellfish toxins, and more. Lighter pieces and descriptions include the "lost-in-the-'50s" flavor of downtown Olympia; the proper attitude while waiting at the Ballard Locks ("it takes as long as it takes, and that's how it is"); and the discovery of a genuine, fur-bearing trout (very rare) in Prince Rupert. These stories are intended to entertain but also instruct, giving an "insider's look" at hazards, joys, and just plain facts of Northwest boating. Things change. Don't get caught without the latest cruising information for 2019.