Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Do I need to have boat operating experience to rent a boat?
Yes, we do require customers to have some boat operating experience.  Our top concern is the safety of our customers.

Is a Washington State Boaters License required to rent a boat?
No.  We have a form from Washington State Parks & Recreation our customers fill out which is a temporary boating license.

Do you offer charter services or a captain?
We currently are not licensed to offer this type of service.  There are several companies that offer charter services.  You will find these through the San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce or San Juan Island Visitors Bureau shown on our links page.

How many passengers can your boats carry?
Per USCG regulations our 21' boats can carry up to 6 passengers and the 16' skiff can carry 4 passengers.  On occasion we have allowed 7 passengers on the 21' boats when there are young children, but the maximum weight capacity is 900 lbs total for passengers and gear.

How far am I allowed to go in your boats?
The boats must stay within 25 miles of Roche Harbor and in US waters, so you can explore anywhere within the San Juans.

Am I allowed to beach the boats?
We do not allow our boats to be beached.  They must be secured to a dock or buoy.

If I rent a boat for more than 1 day, can I keep it off site?
Yes, we do allow our boats to be kept off site provided there is a verifiable dock location where it will be kept.

What if I have a reservation and the weather is bad?
We do our best to accommodate our customers, but if the winds are too severe we will not allow our boats to be taken out.  Safety is our top priority.

What if one of your boats is out of service?
In the event a boat is out of service and we have multiple reservations, we will honor reservations based on the earliest date of booking.

Fishing Questions

Do you rent out crab pots and fishing gear?
We do have crab pots for rent which includes everything you need for crabbing except the bait & license.  We have manual Scotty downriggers available (with weights and clips) for salmon fishing as well as fishing nets.  We do not offer rods, reels or tackle.

Do I need a license to fish?
Yes.  You need a license for fishing or crabbing, which are available at the Roche Harbor General Store or at several locations in
Friday Harbor listed on our links page.

What are the seasons for salmonfishing and crabbing?
Typically crabbing and salmon fishing open in July.  The state sets the fishing regulations to run July 1st-June 30th each year, so often times we don't know until mid-June what the regulations are going to be for July and August.  The best way to get information is to visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website (see our links page).  Keep in mind we are located in Marine Area 7.

Whales & Wildlife Questions

Is there a chance I will see the Orca whales?
There is always that possibility.  The last few years there have also been humpback whale sightings.  The orca whales fall under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.  Please keep in mind there are federal regulations regarding boating and marine wildlife.  To understand these regulations and avoid the possibility of civil or criminal penalties while boating, please be sure to read the information from Be Whale Wise and NOAA at the links below.

Federal Regulations & Marine Wildlife Guidelines for Boaters  

Federal Regulations regarding marine animals, including potential penalties listed at the bottom of the page.

What other animals am I likely to see?
Chances are you will see sea lions, seals and bald eagles; just to name a few.  You may even see Dall's porpoises or a Minke whale.

Where can I learn more about the orca whales?
There are several organization that have information about the orcas.
The Whale Museum, located in Friday Harbor, and the Centers for Whale Research are a couple of good resources.