Boating Recreation Around the San Juan Islands Washington


Boating recreation through the San Juan and Gulf Islands is beautiful, serene, and... well, hard to describe. When you're cruising around the Islands, you realize just that -- nothing is better than a great day on the water in one of the most amazing places on the planet. There are a few preparations to make and some things to keep in mind before getting into the boat: be familiar with the Washington State boating laws, pick up some boating safety tips, and find out what the boating weather is going to be like (7-day wind and weather forecast chart at the bottom of this page). Whether you are gunkholing, sailing, kayaking, or just enjoying some boating recreation, the information you'll find on this page will be useful and convenient. (Since kayaks are their own category of boat, click here to jump to Kayak Travel.)


Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing-
absolutely nothing- half so much worth doing
as simply messing about in boats.

Kenneth Grahame,
"The Wind in the Willows"


The following ideas, suggestions, photos, and products will help make your boating recreation experience both safe and memorable.


Basic Boating Needs

Do you know the basic needs for boater recreation? To start with, you'll always need to know what the tides are doing, a guide for local currents, and wind conditions. If you don't have your own "Current Atlas: Juan de Fuca Strait to Strait of Georgia," plan to get a copy -- every boater should have one. It can be used year after year, with the Washburne's Tables, which are purchased additionally each year with the current updates to complement the Atlas. You can pick one up at Amazon or any good Marine Center, like King's Marine, 160 Spring Street, Friday Harbor.


Boating Marinas and Launches

Friday Harbor Marina
360-378-2688 -- VHF: Channel 66A

Friday Harbor's Marina has 500 slips with every imaginable boating recreation service available. The Port can accommodate boats ranging in size from dinghies to 150 foot yachts. Services/facilites available: fuel dock, vessel repair, laundry, showers, and everything else just a few steps into town. Fairweather Park at the top of the Marina has tables, sculptures, and an incredible view. Check out the Port of Friday Harbor webcam!


Jackson Beach Boat Launch

The Jackson Beach boating recreation launch offers a 2-sided, paved float. Restrooms are available.



Jensen Boatyard & Marina
1293 Turn Point Road | PO Box 666
(360) 378-4343
In operation on San Juan Island since 1910. They offer permanent dock moorage, as well as space for boat repair, and dry dock boat storage.



Roche Harbor Marina
248 Reuben Memorial Drive | P. O. Box 4001
378-2155 ext. 450, or 1-800-586-3590 Roche Harbor Marina, San Juan Island.
Can accommodate 377 vessels from 20 to 150 feet and offer 30 to 100 amp power and water. Cable TV and telephone hookups are available only on the new docks. Please monitor VHF 78a as you arrive into the harbor so we will be aware of your arrival and be able to direct you to your slip. Offers a pumpout station at the end of the fuel dock, as well as a mobile pumpout. Get a map of Roche Harbor Marina for your boating recreation convenience.

A marine mechanic is available if your vessel needs repair while at Roche Harbor, or to watch your boat during winter. Call 360-378-6510 for more information.

The Marina offers a covered, floating, 40ft x 40ft barge with 2 propane barbecues and plenty of chairs and tables for rent to boating guests. Contact the marina at 800-586-3590 for availability.

Facilities include laundry area, bathrooms with showers, a grocery store, post office (with limited hours), and a seasonal transit bus.


Egg Lake
Sign at Egg Lake, San Juan Island.
Egg Lake is a small lake with good fishing for Rainbow Trout or Small Mouth Bass. Has a small dock and boat launch, and allows human-powered boats only, no motors. Located on Egg Lake Road, between Beaverton Valley Road and Roche Harbor Road.


Sportsman’s Lake
Just around the corner from Egg Lake, Sportsman's Lake is a 66-acre lake with a small boat ramp.


Turn Point Beach
A lesser-known boat launch (kayaks & canoes only), often used as the setting off point for the short ride to the Turn Island wildlife refuge. The beach is also where Wolf Hollow releases rehabilitated wildlife. Parking area is a short walk up from the beach -- boats have to be carried. Located along Turn Point Road, about 2.5 miles SW of Friday Harbor. Easily accessible Puget Sound boating launch site.


Snug Harbor
1997 Mitchell Bay Rd., (360) 378-4762
The marina holds more than 50 boats of varying sizes, with services including a gas dock, a boat launch, and a store.


San Juan County Park
50 San Juan Park Road
(360) 378-2992
Best known as a favorite kayak launching beach, the Park also has a public boat ramp.

Boaters! Enjoy these private and unique boat camping sites around the San Juan Islands. You can only get there by boat! And remember, before you go out, consult a tide guide!


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