Originally Posted by daughterofsailor
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...