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Sail the San Juans with these Five Breathtaking Charters

If you’ve visited the scenic San Juan archipelago, you know about the endless coastline just waiting to be explored. Instead of a powerboat or kayaking adventure this time, why not try a sailing charter? There’s truly nothing like making your way by sail, exploring new island coves in a traditional and invigorating fashion. Here are some of the best sailboat charters around for your next trip to the San Juan Islands:

 Schooners North, San Juan Island

sailboat in the san juans

Photo from sanjuansailcharter.com

Take a cruise on the legendary Spike Africa, a beautiful wooden schooner.

Constructed 40 years ago, the Spike Africa has been universally praised as one of the most beautiful schooners built in modern times. She combines the “functional elegance of the 19th century coasting schooners with unobtrusive touches of modern luxury” (sanjuansailcharter.com). The Spike Africa departs from Friday Harbor, offering several sailing experiences from May through October. These include full day, half day, and evening sails. Schooners North also offers multiple-day adventures, special events, and private sailboat charters. For more information and availability contact Schooners North at:

Phone: 1-360 378-2224

Email: info@schoonersnorth.com

Website: sanjuansailcharter.com


 All Aboard Sailing, San Juan Island

sailboat and whales all aboard sailing

Photo by Jeff Friedman

Join Captains David & Barbara aboard the Peniel, a 1956 wooden pilothouse sloop.

If you’re looking for a more intimate sailing experience, All Aboard Sailing may be the choice for you! Board the Peniel, a 42 foot Bill Garden design and embark a journey through the islands with your co-captains, naturalists, and Chef/Owners David and Barbara. The sailing tours offered are: Full day (8-9 hours), half-day (5 hours) and short sails (3 hours). Full day sails are the most popular as it allows ample time and range to circumnavigate the islands and has a significantly higher chance of seeing whales along the way. There are options available for drop off/pick up at the nearby islands. For more information and availability, contact All Aboard Sailing at:

Phone: 1-360-298-1918

Email: allaboardsailing@yahoo.com

Website: allaboardsailing.com


 Griffin Bay Adventures, San Juan Island

sailboat griffin bay adventures

Photo from griffinbayadventures.com

Griffin Bay Adventures is a sailing and general boat handling school located in Friday Harbor, also providing skippered charters.

For those who want a private charter as well as a captain to explore the beautiful Pacific Northwest waters, this is a great way to experience the Salish Sea. Sit back and relax, or plan an exotic adventure tailored to you and your crews’ interests. Also, no sailing experience is necessary! For more information and availability, contact Griffin Bay Adventures at:

Phone: 1-503-995-3943

Email: griffinbaymarine@gmail.com

Website: griffinbayadventures.com


Northwest Classic Day Sailing, Orcas Island

sailing northwest classic day sailing

Photo by Chris Thomerson

Sail with Captain Ward on “Aura”, a beautiful 1948 wooden sloop. 

If you want to expand your San Juan excursion to a nearby island, this might be just the perfect way! Hop on the inter-island ferry to Orcas Island for your sailing trip with Northwest Classic Day Sailing. Book either a group or a private tour with their crew. With a group tour, you may be sailing with other passengers on the boat. In a private tour, your party will be the only passengers — plus, the trip will be more customizable! For more information and availability, contact Northwest Classic Day Sailing at:

Phone: 1-360-376-5581

Email: wardfay@rockisland.com

Website: classicdaysails.com


 Emerald Isle Sailing Charters, Orcas Island

sailing spinnaker emerald isle sailing charters

Photo from emeraldislesailing.com

There are four ways to cruise with Captain Dave on S/V Na’Walak: Scheduled tours, custom itineraries, day charters, and Cruise & Learn trips.

If you’re looking for a day trip, Emerald Isle day charters are 6-hour sails that begin in Deer Harbor and embark on a journey to some of the most wildlife-rich and scenic areas of the islands. You can also book a custom itinerary trip, or plan the trip yourself. For more information and availability, contact Emerald Isle Sailing at:

Phone: 1-360-376-3472

Email: charters@emeraldislesailing.com

Website: www.emeraldislesailing.com


boxed lunch at harrison house Hopefully this gives you a good start in your quest to sail the San Juan Islands!  Don’t hesitate to ask your innkeepers at the Harrison House Suites or Tucker House Inn for help finding more information or booking a tour. They can also make you a hearty homemade boxed lunch to take along on your wind-powered excursion.

We’ll see you at check-in!

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