Five Charter Destinations in the United States

You don’t need a passport to enjoy a spectacular sailing vacation. Home is where the boat is...
Author:
Publish date:
Doe Bay on Orcas Island, a popular destination in Washington’s San Juan Islands

Doe Bay on Orcas Island, a popular destination in Washington’s San Juan Islands

You don’t need a passport to enjoy a spectacular sailing vacation. There are plenty of great places to charter right here in the States. Whether you want to go north, east or west, you’ll find fantastic cruising areas just waiting to be explored.

Here are five of them...

MAP_US-home-waters-locators

San Francisco Bay 

Golden-Gate-Bridge-Ship-in-the-Mist

Best Time to Go

The weather is pretty mild all year, though it gets chilly in the spring. If you dress appropriately it’s always a good time for sailing.

What to Watch For

In addition to the fog, there is plenty of commercial and ferry traffic to watch out for. Due to the area’s geography, conditions can change quickly from calm to blustery.

Anchoring & Mooring

North of San Francisco in the Marin County area there are several places to anchor or grab a slip.

Charter Companies

Club Nautiqueclubnautique.net 

Modern Sailing School and Clubmodernsailing.com

Pacific Yachting and Sailingpacificsail.com

Read more about chartering inSan Francisco

San Juan Islands 

Photo courtesy of San Juan Islands visitors bureau

Photo courtesy of San Juan Islands visitors bureau

Best Time to Go

June to October, but book early as August and September can be sold out way in advance.

What to Watch For

Fog. If possible, charter a boat with radar.

Anchoring & Mooring

Plenty of free anchoring available everywhere. Mid-week, slips can also be found at the main marinas.

Charter Companies

Anacortes Yacht Chartersanacortesyachtcharters.com

Ship Harbor Yacht Charters, shipharboryachts.com

San Juan Sailing (Bellingham)sanjuansailing.com

Read more about chartering inSan Juan 

Grand Traverse Bay

Photo by Adam Cort

Photo by Adam Cort

Best Time to Go

June through September are best, but for those who don’t mind layering, “shoulder season” can be great.

What to Watch For

All-in-all a pretty easy and straightforward place to go sailing: navigation is line-of-site and there’s little, if any commercial traffic. Fog can be a problem on occasion.

Anchoring & Mooring

Plenty of free anchoring available everywhere. Mid-week especially, slips can also be found at the main marinas.

Charter Companies

Great Lakes Sailing Co, greatlakessailingco.com

Read more about chartering inGrand Traverse Bay 

Chesapeake

Photo by Peter Nielsen

Photo by Peter Nielsen

Best Time to Go

May to September are the peak season. If you don’t mind bundling up, April and October can be outstanding.

What to Watch For

Shallows in the creeks and crab pots, which unlike their New England brethren have small, hard-to-see buoys.

Anchoring & Mooring

Anchorages abound, but slips can be scarce in the high season, so call ahead.

Charter Companies

Annapolis Bay Chartersannapolisbaycharters.net

Cruise Annapoliscruise-annapolis.com

Dream Yacht Chartersdreamyachtcharter.com

Fair Wind Sailing Schoolfairwindsailing.com

Horizon Yacht Chartershorizonyachtcharters.com

Sail Away Catamaranssailawaycatamarans.com

Read more about chartering inChesapeake Bay

New England

Photo by Peter Nielsen

Photo by Peter Nielsen

Best Time to Go

June through September. In July and August, these waters can be crowded. Locals know that September is a great time to cruise here.

What to Watch For

Occasional fog, strong currents

Anchoring & Mooring

You can pay $2 or more a foot for a slip in the peak summer months, and moorings can be pricy too. Either way, you’ll need to book ahead. Anchoring, thankfully, is still free.

Charter Companies

Bareboat Sailing Charters, bareboatsailing.com

Bluenose Yachts, bluenoseyachts.com

Horizon Yacht Charters, horizonyachtcharters.com

Swift Yacht Charters, swiftyachts.com

Read more about chartering inNew England 

Related

2019BestBoatsPromo-04

Best Boats 2019

Some years ago, the book Aak to Zumbra catalogued—and celebrated—the incredible diversity of watercraft that has evolved over the centuries, a diversity that remains evident to this day in the 11 winners comprising the “Class of 2019” in SAIL’s Best Boats contest. Indeed, it ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comGuaranteed result What you see on the end of this halyard isn’t a beautiful Flemish Eye worked by a rigger, but it will make a big difference when you have to “mouse” a line through the mast. If the ...read more

dometicadler-700x

How to: Upgrading Your Icebox

The time has come when the prospect of cold drinks and long-term food storage has you thinking about upgrading your icebox to DC-powered refrigeration. Duncan Kent has been there and done that, and has some adviceFresh food must be kept at a refrigerated temperature of 40 degrees ...read more

Jet-in-Belize

Cruising: Evolution of a Dream

There’s a time to go cruising and a time to stop. As Chris DiCroce found, you don’t always get to choose those timesAlbert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, ...read more

01a-rosemary-anchored-at-Qooqqut,-inland-from-Nuuk

Cruising: A Passage to Greenland

When a former winner of the Whitbread Round the World Race invites you to sail the Northwest Passage, there is only one sensible answer. No.More adventurous types might disagree, but they weren’t the ones facing frostbite of the lungs or the possibility of having the yacht’s hull ...read more

Allures-459-2018

Boat Review: Allures 45.9

Allures is not a name on the tip of many American sailors’ tongues, but it should be. After the debut of its 39-footer last year, the French company has made another significant entry into the U.S. midrange market with the Allures 45.9, an aluminum-hulled cruiser-voyager with ...read more