What Boats are Best for the San Juan Islands

Sailboat San JuansWhen it comes to getting into the water in the San Juan islands a boater has several hundred options to choose from. For the sake of simplicity I will not go into all of the different sub categories of boats due to the vast and extensive nature of the different boat types. However I will focus on the general categories that you will often see around the San Juan islands.


Sailboats are frequently seen around the San Juan islands as their is ample room to navigate the boat. Sailboats use large canvas fabric to catch the winds which is then used to guide the boat around the water. Sail boats come in many different sizes of length and are also measured in terms of their sail. The larger the sail and mast that holds it the larger the boat. Operating a sail boat can be very invigoratingĀ  because you are able to move freely with the winds and water. It is a very powerful sensation. The downside of a sailboat is that you have to a considerable focus and attention to detail because the winds and currents can change which means you could be moved off course. Most sail boats are equipped with a motor in case you need it.

Power Boats

A power boat is a boat that uses a fuel powered engine to move the boast across the water with different degrees of speed. Like sailboats, power boats come in many different sizes of engine and length of boat. Typically, the longer and larger the boat the larger and more powerful the motor on board. This type of boat is very effective and efficient in terms of how it move across the water. Also, the movements can be very nimble in the water making it easier to dock the boat when not in use and move around tough spots in the water. The potential negatives to consider when operating this type of boat is the frequent expense of fueling the boat prior to use and the loud nature of the motor. The sailboat is nice because it is quite and provides an element of serenity while on it, but the power boat is more about getting to your destination quickly.

Self Powered Boats

These types of boats are powered by you. This would be a raft, kayak or canoe. These types of boats provide many positives to them. They are the most cost effective to purchase or rent as well as maintain. Power boats and sailboats need a great deal of maintenance to ensure they are safe and effective in the water, and these self powered boats do not need much. They do not need fuel or the intense focus like sailboats. The negatives that come with these types of water craft is that they are self powered and as such rely on the user to ensure it is moving at a good pace. They are also not at suited for deeper water and are more effective near the shore.


Photo Credit – www.sailthesanjuans.com