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Frequently Asked Questions

At anchor in one of the many serene and scenic coves in the San Juan Islands and Gulf Islands.

How do I book?

Simply call or email our yacht reservation specialists. They can answer any questions and guide you through each step of yacht selection and available dates. You can also see our our How to Charter and How to Book pages for an introduction.

What is the weather like?

The weather is generally mild all year long. June through September is mostly sunny with temperatures ranging from the mid 60’s to the low 80’s. Much of the cruising areas are in the Pacific Northwest “rain shadow” in the lee of high mountains that block many of the weather systems that come in off the Pacific Ocean. The result is that rainfall can be as little as 20 inches annually in some areas. There is even a variety of cactus that flourish on the Western slopes of certain islands.

What are the qualifications and experience necessary to charter a boat?

You do not need to hold a skipper’s license or sailing permit to charter a boat from AYC. A good rule of thumb is that you need verifiable experience on a similar vessel and adequate knowledge of the cruising area. Please see our Boating Qualifications page for more information.

What if my experience is insufficient to charter a boat?

If your boating resume indicated insufficient experience on the vessel you have requested, we have a variety of boating classes to help you qualify. For example, AYC Power Cruising Classes or ASA Sailing Classes for the novice and Cruise-N-Learn’s for those who need a little bit of a refresher to bring them up to speed. We also have friendly professional skippers, who can pilot any yacht you choose, no experience on your part necessary.

What are the winds like and when is the best time of year to sail?

From May to October the winds are mostly moderate (6-18 knots). This varies by locality and time of day with the fresher breezes occurring among the island archipelagoes. Some sailors choose May through early June for their sailing charter when the weather can be brilliant and the breezes fresh.

What time of year should we charter?

Each time of year brings with it its own beauty and appeal. Although July and August are the most popular many prefer May and June or September and October when the crowds are less and the boating can be terrific. June is the month with the most daylight hours. May is a time to mix world class skiing with spectacular cruising. September and October are the favorite times to visit the myriad of harbor side villages and hospitable resorts.

What should we bring with us?

Depending on the time of year or your destinations, you will need suitable clothes for the season. Don’t forget sunglasses and suntan lotion. Check out our Suggested Packing List for other ideas. Anacortes Yacht Charters provides berth linens and towels for all charters and each vessel page on this site includes an inventory list specific to that boat. All you need are provisions! And should you require, we even have optional provisioning services available for you.

Can I bring my pets?

We are often asked about the possibility of allowing pets aboard our charter boats. Most owners are reluctant to have pets on board and our Charter Contract specifically excludes them. However, with prior knowledge, we have a limited number of boats that will allow small dogs aboard. A Pet Fee of $250 is added to your Charter Contract for an approved pet. Please see out Pet Policy for more information.

Can I smoke on the charter yacht?

Our fleet is designated as “No Smoking – Please”. Smokers must limit their smoking to above decks on outdoor unenclosed areas.