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35' Hunter, "Pegasus"
36' Grand Banks, "Moondance"
37' Bayliner, "African Grace"
40' Bayliner, "Buon Amici"
41' Hunter "Dawn Treader"
41' Meridian, "Impulsive"
41' New Zealand Power Cat "Kittiwake"
42' North Pacific PH Trawler "At Last"
50' Horizon Vista, "Float Plane"

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Spring into Sailing Action with a Spring Charter

Peter Dodd could be AYC's Spring Poster Sailor. The 49-year-old veteran sailor from Bellevue, Wash., has chartered in the shoulder season three times prior to summer charters. Here is why he appreciates every aspect of spring chartering:

  • To gnash his teeth and sail like gangbusters in spring winds & wild conditions. "Sailing is more spirited!"
  • To checkout potential yachts in anticipation of chartering the same boat in the summer. "I like to get a feeling for all the boat's systems so it's smooth sailing during our vacation charter."
  • Reconnoiter. "I like to discover new anchorages for later use."
  • Different experience. "Empty anchorages and we sail more as opposed to more harbors, anchorages and people activities in the summer."
  • Pricing. "Shoulder season charters are very attractive."

As a result of this March's sailing charter on the 47-foot Bavaria "Inspirare", Peter confirmed that the vessel was roomy, performed perfectly and will be great for next summer's charter.

"Then we have more people and more expectations and the cruise is more of a holiday than a high intensity adventure," observed Peter. "The early season shakedown cruise helps me get a feeling for the boat's nuances."

AYC Offers Sail, Power and Women's Power classes through June

AYC operates an efficient boating school. Again this spring, it offers a full calendar of Power Boating Classes and ASA Certification classes now through the end of June. This spring also look for a women's power cruising class.

One of AYC's fleet captains and world traveler Captain Donna Wright invites interested women to contact AYC about scheduling a Women's Only Power Cruising Course.

"We want to encourage women and wives to take instruction so they can operate and charter boats on their own," said Wright, who holds a 100 T Masters License. "Practice in boat handling skills in the company of women makes it easier for many women to learn skills."

The instructor for a recent women's boating seminar for the Bellingham Power Squadron, Wright explains that her ability to be patient and provide lots of hands-on time operating the boat helps women gain the confidence and practice they need to manage the helm.

"Lots of times women are better at the helm because they are more cautious and the men can handle the buoys and anchoring," reports, Wright. "It's important for everyone to understand their role or job on board."

Chartering with AYC Meets Texas' "Admirals'" Needs

George and Susan Eeds of Austin, Texas live on a lake and have a little boat there, but admit that it's radically different from sailing in their beloved San Juans and Gulf Islands. In 2010 the family chartered a 54' Meridian. This summer the Eeds have reserved a 57' Bayliner to be shared with their daughter and family on a 10-day cruise.

"We're boaters but we can't do it like we want in Texas," explained George, an AYC Admiral with more than nine charter notches on his AYC belt. "Every one of our trips has been perfect; and I credit everyone at AYC, but especially Mike Lovell for this."

Actually, the charters turned out perfect and the Eeds keep coming back because when something happens (and it will and it does) the AYC team turned every trick to make things right. George recalled one AYC charter when their boat developed an engine problem.

"I didn't feel comfortable navigating out of Friday Harbor on one engine so Mike hired a captain to bring it back to Anacortes on a single engine," said Eeds. "Then, an AYC service boat staff met us at the entrance to Cap Sante Marina, took over the helm and maneuvered the yacht into its slip. AYC took responsibility!"

Drop by the AYC booth at the Oakland & Newport Boat Shows

This month look for the AYC booth at two popular West Coast boat shows: Strictly Sail Pacific in Oakland April 14-17 and the Newport Boat Show April 28-May 1. Mike Lovell and other AYC staff will be available to answer your questions about chartering, the Yacht Ownership Program, classes, and brokerage boats or to simply chat about boating in the great Northwest.

Mike says that AYC's primary goal at these prominent shows is to encourage people to visit the Northwest and charter a power or sail vessel. "We are equipped and happy to discuss all aspects of our programs, but we want to have a presence at the shows to promote our charters."

The reason AYC specifically targets these two shows, Seattle shows and the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis next fall (Oct. 13-16) is that these areas reach the majority of boaters who are interested in chartering in the San Juans and Gulf Islands.

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© 2011 Anacortes Yacht Charters, Inc.

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