FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. What's the weather like? Does it rain a lot?
A. The weather is generally mild all year long. The summers are mostly sunny with temperatures ranging from the low 70's to the low 80's (19û - 25û C). Much of the cruising areas of the Pacific Northwest are in the "rain shadow" of high mountains that block many of the weather systems that come in off the Pacific Ocean. The result is rainfall can be as little as 20 inches annually in some areas.

Q. What are the qualifications to charter a boat?
A. Each charter company has their own qualification guidelines. However a good rule of thumb is that a charterer needs verifiable experience on a similar vessel and adequate knowledge of the cruising area.

Q. What if the qualifications are insufficient to charter the boat?
A. Each charter company can either arrange for training for the charterer or help to provide a professional skipper to pilot the boat. Some vessels come with a skipper.

Q. What are the water and currents like?
A. The waters are mostly sheltered and there are no ocean swells. The currents vary with location and tide cycle. The tidal range can average between 6 - 10 feet and currents can exceed 4 knots in some areas. The waters are generally very safe to navigate with proper piloting precautions.

Q. What are the winds like?
A. 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 in the afternoons in the more open areas and the lighter and more variable winds occurring among the island archipelagoes.

Q. Where should we go?
A. Each charter company has a wide variety of suggesting cruising itineraries. The cruising options are nearly endless. You can stay along the waterfronts of big metropolitan cities, the harbors of beautiful resorts and villages. You can also anchor in secluded coves and off uninhabited islands.