Arrival Day

Option 1: Friday Afternoon Arrival

Optional Events (June through September):

  • 3pm - live “hands on” exhibit of Marine Life Center
    • Location: in the marina, behind Harbor Center Bldg
    • Free (donations for the Marine Life Center welcome)
  • 4pm – Marine Naturalist Slide Presentation
    • Location: next to our office, Bellingham Yacht Club
    • Free

Order of Events:

  • 2 pm - 4:30 pm - check in at San Juan Sailing/San Juan Yachting office.
    • At this time we provide you with your boarding time, onboard checkout time, slip location and gate codes. Please note that your vessel will not be available for boarding until your official boarding time.
    • We apologize, but early arrival doesn’t mean early boarding. Our docks become “service docks” between noon and 6:30pm Fridays, as we work like crazy to get your boat ready for you.
  • 4:30pm – 5:15pm Safety Briefing
    • Location: next to our office at Bellingham Yacht Club
    • Mandatory for all Skippers and NSO’s (Navigation and Safety Officers). Crew welcome if room allows.
  • 5:15pm – 6:15pm - Orientation Briefing
    • Location: next to our office at the Bellingham Yacht Club.
    • Optional for those who have chartered with us at least twice.
  • 5:15pm – 8:00 - Family Style BBQ (peak season only)
    • Location: next to our office
    • Menu: normally Polish sausages, chicken dogs, veggie dogs, potato salad, fruit, brownies, ice water, Free!
  • 6:30pm – first boarding, self-guided boat orientation with checklists provided on arrival.
    • 7pm – first round of checkouts by checkout skippers
    • 7:30pm – second boarding, self-guided boat orientation with checklists provided on arrival.
  • 8pm – second round of checkouts by checkout skippers

Note: for Friday night preboards, please remember that your charter officially begins Saturday, 9:30am. Our boats become available to cleaners and mechanics Friday noon. We do our best to clean the boats, make any necessary repairs so they are in top condition, AND, if we can get to you, complete your checkout as scheduled. It’s an “extra”. Please understand conditions may require us revert to the standard Saturday morning checkout. However, IF all is in order, you are welcome to leave anytime after daylight Saturday morning.

Also please note that for “after hours” questions/needs, we give you a green sheet to put in our box by the door. Our staff will be in at 8:30am to respond.

Option 2: Saturday Morning Arrival

Our office will open at 8:30am on Saturdays when charters are departing. If you have not preboarded and will be arriving for your charter on Saturday morning, please plan to arrive at 9 AM (or shortly after).

Order of Events:

  • 9 AM - 9:30 AM - check in at San Juan Sailing/San Juan Yachting office.
  • 9:30am – Safety Briefing
    • Location: next to our office at Bellingham Yacht Club
    • Mandatory for all Skippers and NSO’s (Navigation and Safety Officers). Crew welcome if room allows.
  • 10:15am – Local Orientation Briefing
    • Location: next to our office at the Bellingham Yacht Club.
    • Optional for those who have chartered with us at least twice.
  • 11:15am – Boat Boarding for self-guided boat orientation with checklists provided on arrival.
  • 11:45am – Onboard checkout with Checkout Skipper
    • After onboard checkout, load gear and prepare for departure.

A few words about boat boarding and your self-guided boat orientation:

IMPORTANT: Please STUDY the Notes from the Owner for your vessel before you arrive. Take an hour or so, relax and absorb. It is a pre-requisite for your checkout. (If you haven’t had time to study the Owners Notes before you arrive, we will postpone your checkout time to enable your study.) You will find a link to these notes on your vessel's web listing page. If you are unable to locate them please let us know and we can e-mail you a copy.

Why this study and the self-orientation?

Three reasons: Your safety, enjoyment and your time.

  1. We have found that guests learn better—and faster—when they tour the boat at their own speed.
  2. Study before arrival gives a solid acquaintance with the boat and systems; the self-guided orientation translates the book knowledge into “hands on”.
  3. Your Checkout Skipper is a “reference encyclopedia” not a boat tour guide. He/she clarifies any unfamiliar equipment, but doesn’t waste your time telling you things you already know.

Our guests have found that this process is not only faster, but improves retention, which makes you more confident and comfortable handling the boat.

We have a checklist for the Skipper, another for the NSO (Navigation and Safety Officer). Please complete these FIRST thing when you board the boat. Completed checklists become your ticket for the Checkout Skipper when he/she arrives. If you haven’t had enough time, the Checkout Skipper will leave so you can complete your review of essential safety and boat systems.

Again, our goal is to have you be comfortable and competent handling your boat. Please let us know anything we can do to assist you in that process, including piloting the boat out of the slip for you the first time (especially if it’s windy!)

HINT: Experienced charter guests wait until after their checkout to put gear aboard (except refrigerated groceries) because they know gear just gets in the way and delays their checkout. (We have iceboxes by the office for your convenience before boarding.)

Caribbean Learn-n-Cruise: Catamaran or Monohull Spring Guided Flotilla: 10-day Sunshine Coast Spring Guided Flotilla: 21-day Desolation Sound & Princess Louisa Summer Guided Flotilla: 7-day San Juan Islands & Gulf Islands Summer Guided Flotilla: 7-day San Juan Islands & Victoria Late Summer Guided Flotilla: 14-day Victoria, Vancouver, San Juans & Gulf Islands Fall Guided Flotilla: 14-day Desolation Sound
February 2018 May 2 - 11, 2018 May 12 - June 1, 2018 June 23 - 29, 2018 June 30 - July 6, 2018 Aug 25 - Sept 7, 2018 Sept 22 - Oct 5, 2018
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