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houseboat rental

Phoenix, Arizona
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houseboat rental

We'll be traveling to the San Juan Islands in the summer and would love to have our family of 6 stay on a houseboat or a docked boat at a marina while we're there. We don't have experience sailing (we're from Arizona) so I don't know that I'd feel comfortable skippering it ourselves if we were to take it out. Not sure if we're looking for a yacht with a skipper to sail us around for a few days or just a stationary houseboat and then we could charter someone to take us out on a different boat. I don't suppose there's a VRBO type site for houseboats? Ideas?

Washington
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for Seattle, Family Travel
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1. Re: houseboat rental

The San Juans are one of the most beautiful destinations in the world for boating/sailing, but somewhat tricky, because of the significant tides. It's not for inexperienced sailors.

There are many charter companies with both power and sailboats that you can rent crewed and bareboat, but to the best of my knowledge there are few overnight boat rentals that you can reserve to just stay in a marina. At least in the Seattle area, that is because of local ordinances, marina rules, and always, liability. And "houseboats" as you think of them (ie; floating RVs) are not that common.

There are very few accommodations in the SJI that are "floating". Take a look at:

The Wharfside. http://thewharfside.com/

This VRBO listing: www.vrbo.com/366791…

Or take a look at Schooner's North.

http://www.sanjuansailcharter.com

If you are really interested in staying on a boat and sailing, I'd recommend a charter with a captain. It's an excellent introduction to the world of sailing. Worth every penny! There are several charter companies out of Anacortes.

Edited: 20 June 2014, 02:44
Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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2. Re: houseboat rental

Sailing requires not only knowledge of "how to sail" but of tides, reading the winds and instruments, use of depth sounders, chart and buoy comprehension, engine use, anchoring, docking, and so much more. You'd not know the terminology and could be giving the wrong directions to your crew. And in the San Juan Islands, it's complicated by the geography of the archipelago and enclosed waters. You'd be safer on open water. For the safety of your family, even if a charterer says OK, I'd not do it.

I was curious about your request and Googled: http://www.vrbo.com/366791 An old listing.

Edited: 20 June 2014, 03:45
Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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3. Re: houseboat rental

Editing: Apologies, IslandGrl, I posted the same VRBO listing; should have opened your URL first.

https://www.google.com/webhp…

Includes sailing and motor boat charters, plus whale watch charters.

You don't say how long you'll be in the islands, or where you'll base; this might help you to decide.

San Juan Islands This article provides specific information re: what to see and to do on the major islands, with key websites. The islands are best seen by basing on one and visiting the others as day trips. Recommend at least two nights. tripadvisor.com/Travel-g58727-c102104/San-Ju…

Hiking in the San Juan Islands, WA http://tinyurl.com/2furs3

San Juan Island Rental Houses http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=Vacation+Doorways+on+San+Juan+Island

Edited: 20 June 2014, 03:52
Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: houseboat rental

Houseboats are a "lake" thing. Not oceans.

If you are looking for a floating RV experience...you likely won't find it.

A charter is certainly a good idea...it won't be cheap for a family of 6 and you certainly won't find "houseboat" size room on a sailboat.

NOBODY will let you take out a large vessel on your own without a Boater Education Card (a lengthy training program).

Green Valley...
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5. Re: houseboat rental

"NOBODY will let you take out a large vessel on your own without a Boater Education Card (a lengthy training program)." I believe this applies only to motor boats with more than 15 HP. Otherwise, I agree with your points.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: houseboat rental

The OP has stated that they have no sailing experience and that they have a family of 6 to sleep on board.

Even on a large volume boat like a Jenneau or a Beneteau they would need something in the minimum range of 36 feet to maybe squeeze everyone onboard.

Vessels like that have an absolute minimum of 30 hp inboard power..

Having less than a 15hp motor on a sailboat large enough to sleep 6 would be incredibly dangerous. No manfacturer would build a boat like that. No charter operator would dream of owning / chartering one. Not a chance that they could even insure it for charter

So....I stand by my statement. NOBODY is going to charter a bareboat to them to take out that is large enough to sleep 6.

Washington
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7. Re: houseboat rental

You are both right - Washington now requires the boater education card for those operating a boat from age 12 to 59 with a motor over 15hp - (even my day-sailer has a 15 hp motor) AND/OR to lease a boat, the "skipper" will need to show proof of captains certification or the equivalency. I can't think of a reputable company that would charter a boat to anyone without the right credentials.

I don't believe that is what the OP is asking, as they say right up front that they do not have boating experience.

I do think a likely fit would be a crewed/captained/skippered charter - either power or sail depending on boats available. Again, 6 people on a mono-hull sailboat can be quite cozy, depending on the boat, but there are bigger boats that can be quite comfortable. Power cruisers are another option.

For example; take a look at Anacortes Yacht charters.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: houseboat rental

Well mediated!

Thanks IslandGrl :-)

Hope that the OP has their "ocean" experience......

Phoenix, Arizona
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9. Re: houseboat rental

This is exactly what I was hoping to find, Island Girl! You're fabulous! Thanks!

Edited: 20 June 2014, 16:11
Friday Harbor...
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for San Juan Islands
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10. Re: houseboat rental

Been away (we call it off-island here) for awhile and just saw this thread now. I'd say the best single place to look for boating information here in the San Juans is the Visitor Bureaus page at www.visitsanjuans.com/what-to-do/boating There you will find 2 full pages of listings with details and links to boating companies here in the islands that do ship cruises, charters, sailing boat trips and day trips beyond the scope of whale watching boats.