Renting a yacht is a very viable option.
We have rented and recommend you consider renting too, why? see below.
Lets see why you would rent:
- you may not have a boat
- your boat is not trailerable from Kansas or Kentucky
- your drift boat is trailer ready but it sucks for camping
- renting is a chance to try something different, like a bigger boat
- because it doesn't make sense to own a boat and only use it once a year (unless your afflicted with boaters syndrome where you may own many boats you don't use)
- switch from power to sail or sail to power
- because you can't afford to throw your money into a hole in the sea
- to find out if sailing/boating is ok with your family pet, wife, kids, self
Now lets dispel some myths that are true some of the time:
- renting is cheaper than owning - yes, with some exceptions
- you must have a competency certificate to rent - absolutely not but you must have your state issued boaters card anytime you operate any boat.
- is it safe to do this as a novice that has good sense - yes
- is it safe to do this as a novice if some relatives that know you well caution you not to - no!
(listen to friends and relatives) they know if your an idiot and a menace to all around you - just kidding but bring a level headed 1st mate to help with tough choices like - red on the right! or red on left! or red on bottom?
- can a power boater but non sailor rent a sailboat and have a great vacation and learn to sail - absolutely, but the competency thing may come up for bigger boats so bring a sailor friend
- can you rent power and sailboats in the San Juans - yes
- how much will it cost - small boat $100 - $200 a day (power or Sail)
- how much for a bigger rig - $500 and up, up and away
- should I get the added insurance offered - probably talk to your agent
- how many days should I plan for - 5 / 7 days is very nice but two weeks would be awesome
- only go in mid June to mid Sept. - yes, unless you can save big and don't mind a little snotty weather tossed your way, then go anytime but be prepared for unpleasant things.
The 38 foot boat we rented for about $3000 a week, slept eight and handled bad weather very nice, but as you can see, the weather was not bad. Rental boats should be fully equipped with safety gear and navigation supplies for your travel area but don't assume anything. The boat above came with a 12 foot sailing tender, economical single diesel, thruster, chart plotter and radar.
Rent boats in Anacortes or Bellingham, but do some online research and find private rentals too.