Charter Sailing FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
What about Covid-19?
We take the threat of Covid-19 very seriously and we hope you do too. To minimize the health risk posed by the pandemic, we closely adhere to guidelines established by federal, state, and local health officials. Here are the additional steps we have taken:
- Your crew is fully vaccinated.
- We have enhanced our already stringent cleaning standards by thoroughly sanitizing all surfaces before and after each charter.
- We provide hand sanitizer in the galley and both heads (restrooms)
- We utilize sanitary wipes extensively throughout your cruise.
- Your chef follows all state health department guidelines for food handling.
- We have temporarily suspended our Share-a-Cruise program. You will sail with your own party and crew.
When traveling aboard a boat, it is difficult, if not impossible to maintain social distance. By taking steps to keep yourself safe from transmission, you are also protecting your crew and thus all subsequent charter guests as well as island residents. Here are a few suggestions for you:
- Consider purchasing a travel insurance policy. We have a very lenient cancellation policy (refer to rates page for details), but it may not protect you in the event that you are forced to cancel at the last minute due to illness or travel restrictions.
- If you are immunocompromised, please let us know in advance so we can develop a plan to address your specific needs.
- All guests must be fully vaccinated.
- In the weeks leading up to your vacation, please be extra diligent in minimizing the risk of transmission by isolating as much as practical.
- If traveling from outside the area, be sure to wear masks in public and avoid those who do not. Sanitize your hands often.
- During your charter, always have a mask at your disposal. You will be visiting islands where there are no major medical services. Please respect and protect the local population.
- After your charter, please contact us immediately if you become ill.
By taking these steps and exercising due caution, we’ll all get through this together!
What if I have to cancel?
We understand that sometimes unforeseen circumstances can and do arise. Our cancellation policy is very fair. We wrote it to protect you, our guests as well as ourselves. Our company generates about 90% of its revenue over about a 12 week period. If we were to lose a week of revenue due to a last minute cancellation it could have a major impact on us. Visit our rates page for details of our terms, conditions, and cancellation policy. Guests are also encouraged to consider the purchase of a travel insurance policy for further protection. Here is a link to a source:
Are there any reviews or testimonials I can read?
Can I use my CPAP machine?
We have a small inverter which produces 120 volt AC current which is sufficient for most CPAP machines. However, if you have a serious condition such as sleep apnea, you may want to bring your own power supply (battery pack) and/or 12 volt power chord. Please advise us in advance if you require a CPAP or other medical devise(s).
Do I need sailing experience?
The great advantage to chartering your sailboat rather than hiring a bare boat charter is that no experience is required, just a sense of adventure!
Will I get seasick?
Traveling through inland waters, we usually don’t encounter the sea swells that cause most seasickness. If you feel you may be susceptible, a patch or Dramamine type motion sickness pills can help. These are often found to be unnecessary.
How often do we get off the boat?
Each day brings a new area to explore, including opportunities for hiking, kayaking, swimming, biking, and yes, even shopping! Explore quaint villages and luxurious resorts.
What should I bring?
The Pacific Northwest can be unpredictable, even in the summer. In addition to personal items you will want layered clothing and a waterproof jacket. Hats, gloves, two pairs of non-skid/hiking shoes are recommended. All linens, towels, and bedding are provided for you. We recommend soft sided suitcases, or duffel bags. Bring a day pack for exploring. There is plenty of storage in each stateroom for your belongings.
Can we charge our phones and cameras?
Yes, there are 12 volt chargers for that use. Be sure to bring your car phone charging cord with you.
Is there heat on the boat?
Yes, we have heat available if needed. We find that during the summer months it is not needed.
Can I use a hair dryer aboard?
Yes… and no. Any appliances using 120 volt A/C can only be used while the boat is connected to shore power while docked in a marina, such as Friday Harbor.
Can we bring alcohol?
Yes, please note all alcoholic beverages must be purchased and brought on board by guests.
Marijuana is legal in Washington State. Can I bring it along?
We operate under US Coast Guard jurisdiction under which Marijuana is illegal. Also, our route sometimes carries us into Canadian waters. Marijuana IS NOT permitted aboard.
Do you have drinking water?
Yes, we have a good supply of bottled water. We also have highly filtered cold water at the galley sink available to drink.
Do you allow smoking?
Diminuendo is a non-smoking, no drugs allowed boat.
Are there showers on board?
Diminuendo is equipped with two heads with sinks and showers. The aft head provides a separate area for showering. The forward head is known as a “wet head” in that the shower is part of the head so when you shower the room gets wet. The walls can be wiped down after showering. Some guests prefer to shower at coin-operated dockside facilities. You will be given specific instructions about toilet use after boarding.
Do you take families with kids?
Children over five are welcome. However, if your kids are the sort who prefer to be surgically attached to their iPhone or game console, this type of adventure might not be for them. If they enjoy beaches and swimming and exploration more power to them! We can work out special rates for families wishing to book the entire forward section of our boat. Before we add a family group to a charter we check with other guests to see if they are compatible with having children aboard.
When should I book the charter?
We recommend that you book as soon as you know your preferred dates. July and August are very busy months and we book up fast.
What about tipping the crew?
Although tipping is not required, some charterers have had such a great time they want to tip the crew. 10% – 20% is customary in the business.
Will we be able to see the Orca whales?
If the whales are in the area we will likely see them! In addition to the Killer Whales, we may see Humpback or Minke whales, Gray whales, California Sea Lions, Steller Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, Dall’s porpoises, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, River Otters, Bald Eagles, Ospreys, and Great Blue Herons. Bring your camera!