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What size boat is best in the San Juans? Bigger Boats - Smaller? Anything Goes

              Sometimes I see micro yachts being paddled or sailed across straits and marvel at them just as much if not more than the mega bruisers with the eight foot freeboard.

              The difference in expense, crew requirements, and comfort are obvious, and if you drill down into the pros and cons of mega versus micro, each skipper will have a laundry list rationalizing and justifying their choices.

                In the end, the boats we use in the San Juans are the ones we have, it's as simple as that.  It's not a matter of what is appropriate or proper, it's a matter of making proper choices for the conditions, and your boat's ability to handle those conditions.

               From a 14 foot open fishing boat, kayak or canoe, to the Queen Mary, all have a time and place in the San Juans.

                The boats in the pictures below are likely to be found just about everywhere.

So if it floats -- get going.

Taking a day sailor to the san Juan Islands
Everything but the kitchen sink

Echo Bay Tall ship cruises
And the kitchen sink

Mega Yachts in the San Juan Islands
Too big to fit in picture (please remove shoes!)

Camping in the San Juan Islands with ski boats
Runabouts - ski boats - open boats
Common at Jones Island

Mega yacht won't be using any of the park facilities.
These guys anchor out and dinghy into the coves and floats
See the tender on top?

Camping cruising  near Thatcher Pass and James island in the San Juans
Another camper on a runabout

runabouts and daysailers at James Island float
They may be using tents onshore at one of three campgrounds on James Island, or just a lunch stop.

Sail and human powered campground at James Island
Kayak  campers use campground at top of steps

old dock at Jones Island north cove
At Jones Island, its a full float of  day-trippers.

Olympia swantown ramp before facelift
This trailer sailer just rolled down the ramp

towing dinghy in Lopez Sound in the San Juans
becalmed in a car-topper in Lopez Sound

Cypress Island camping at DNR reserve
This boater paddles the final feet to Pelican Beach
Mega Yacht taking all of transient dock at Friday Harbor on 4th of July
Here's a shot that captures mega to mini.
The sailboat is a 70's Catalina 22 towing an inflatable. The mega is 164' Eileen , built in Italy with an 31' beam.  If you look closely you can see the 35 foot center console dinghy attached crosswise at Eileens stern.
This was at Friday Harbor on the 4th of July 2016.