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Old 01-04-2008
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Puget Sound: Help planning surprise trip for dad

Hello everyone,

My siblings and I are planning a surprise sailing trip for my dad. He loves sailing and owns two boats (sorry, I have no idea what type they are). Anyway, he has always dreamed of sailing in Puget Sound and we are trying to get a trip planned up there. I thought there may be some expert Puget Sound Sailors on this site that could help me out.

Thanks in advance!

Here are some things I would be intereted in knowing:

1- What is the best time of the year to sail at Puget Sound?

2- Does my Dad need some sort of license to rent a sailboat?

3- Any recommendations of places I could rent the boat from?

4- Any other tips or advice for Puget Sound sailing?
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Old 01-04-2008
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I'd recommend the San Juan Islands in July or August. It's close enough to the Sound that you could venture down for a few days. Might want two weeks to do them both justice though. I've not chartered, but have heard that Anacortes Yacht Charters is pretty good.
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Old 01-04-2008
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Yep, AYC is good. If your Dad doesn't have ASA certs, they can provide a Captain.
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Old 01-04-2008
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My wife's boss has rented from one of the Anacortes Charter companies. I don't think he has any certifications, but he did provide them a resume of his experience and they took him out on one of their boats to see if he knew the pointy end from the smokey end.
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Old 01-04-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daughterofsailor View Post

1- What is the best time of the year to sail at Puget Sound?

2- Does my Dad need some sort of license to rent a sailboat?

3- Any recommendations of places I could rent the boat from?

4- Any other tips or advice for Puget Sound sailing?
Best time of year is relative. July/August is the nicest in terms of consistent weather, but Sept/Oct can be equally as nice. Just not as reliable. Problem during July/Aug is that is when this area is most crowded. Which means slips can be scarce, mooring buoys go early, lots of powerboat morons, and so on.

Anacortes Yacht Charters are very well regarded. I used them once 4 years ago and they were great. As long as your Dad can answer some basic questions and prove his experience level, he'll not have a problem chartering.

When you say Puget Sound, are you including Seattle, or more north into the San Juan Islands. If you want to stay down sound in the Seattle area, Gig Harbor and Poulsbo are fun places to visit. If he is a baseball fan, put in at Bell Harbor Marina in downtown Seattle and walk to a Mariner baseball game. However, I definitely recommend the San Juans for natural beauty and the ever-present Orcas, with Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula a very cool place to spend some time. As is Victoria, BC and the inner harbor (oops, that would be harbour). For a more remote location, depending on your Dad's experience, Barkley Sound on the SW part of Vancouver Island is within closer reach than the more popular Desolation Sound further north on the BC mainland.

Lastly, I'd recommend getting one of the more popular cruising guides for the area. Fine Edge Publishing has some good ones.

Have fun! Nice present, BTW...
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I agree that Sept can be one of the best times..nice and quiet and with some luck some terrific weather. San Juan Islands are terrific as well as the Gulf Islands (Pets Cove - Bedwell Harbour etc). Im not sure when you plan to originate but if its on Vancouver island then Island Cruising has had very good reviews and its close to the airports and the destinations above..I havet really heard of a bad charter company in the area.
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Old 01-04-2008
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Haven't sailed Puget Sound but I've chartered in the San Juans a number of times. I have always used San Juan Sailing in Bellingham and they've always been great. May,June or Sept. are good months. The kids are still in school so the crowds aren't nearly as large. The winds will probably be better than July and August and everything will be open.Taking two weeks and including a swing into Puget Sound would be a great holiday. It's hard to beat the Pacific Northwest.
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