Why are some boats seldom or never seen in the San Juans? I'm going out on a limb here and speculating because I really don't know why I have never seen a pontoon boat in the islands. I may have seen a small cat once but I don't remember when.
I have read that jet skis and pwc's are forbidden in San Juan county so that explains their absence on the water. I have seen them many times on the decks of larger yachts or being towed. Small cats with limited or no storage don't lend themselves to cruising but I would think that if a kayaker can get by with minimal gear so can a wet and wild sailor in a wet suit. This leaves me with pontoon boats. Party barges as they are sometimes called are common on lakes and rivers and easily trailered. They can certainly carry camping gear and some have cabins, so why aren't they seen in the San Juan's?
I'm guessing that pontoon boats don't do well in big waves. Except with suitable weather windows big waves might be avoided (this is a big maybe). Big wakes are another thing but they happen everywhere including lakes and rivers, especially with the advent of ballast shifting wake boats. My next thought is that party barges are the boat of choice for the younger crowd and much of the cruising crowd is a more seasoned bunch preferring beds, fridges and galley sinks.
I will be on watch.