Boatel FAQ


Welcome aboard

Welcome aboard the Griffin Bay Boatel and the sailing vessel "Goose". Boat life is very different than life a shore. Goose is off the grid. This means there is nowhere to plug in a hair drier or microwave. There is no wifi or TV or many of the conveniences and luxuries we are used to ashore but there are nights rocked to sleep under the stars, phosphorescent dingy rides, beautiful sunrises to the sound of raven song in the cove and a taste of boat life that many pay a great deal for. For two people, staying aboard is cheaper than the local hostel and you can bring your furry friend.

If you would rather spend the night tided up in the marina that can be arranged. Moorage and power comes to $40 a night extra. When in the marina Goose has a working microwave, refrigerator, hot water and of course outlets to charge your devises. Please inquire in advance if this is something you and your party would like arranged. There is a two night minimum for this service and high season will require advanced reservations.

Every time the boat is prepared for new guests water has to be filled, propane checked and refilled linens replaced, laundry done, boat washed and tanks emptied. This is what the cleaning fee covers. That said, letting your furry friends aboard is a not something that many boats allow so please make an effort to keep the spread of hair to a minimum. Please also avoid wearing dark soled or hard soled shoes on the boat.  I would recommend dressing for fall. The days are hot but the evenings get cold quickly.

Be careful on low tides as the water near the dinghy dock gets skinny

Be careful on low tides as the water near the dinghy dock gets skinny

There is 8 hr parking by the courthouse but if you plan to bring your car please look into ferry reservation early.



The marina is walking distance from the ferry. Goose is currently anchored 0.3 nautical miles north of the Friday Harbor Marina dinghy dock in a beautiful cove. The Dinghy is a 3 person Olympian with a two horsepower Honda outboard. The dinghy or "tender" will be tied up at the dinghy dock next to the main ramp. It has 42 on the side. please take some time to educate yourself on the proper operation of outboards.
-Fuel on
-Vent open
-Choke out
-1/4 throttle
-One hand on top of motor one hand to pull cord gently
-Choke in
-Throttle up for forward

There will be PFDs in the boat with gas. You dont have to wear them. please be careful when getting in and out of the boat and please refrain from operating the dinghy drunk or at very low tide. The dinghy is rated for 3 people at a time some if your party is bigger you will have to shuttle. the first person off the dinghy steps off with the bowline or "painter". Keep an eye on the gas levels. Tie the boat to Goose with boat and stern lines so the tender stays on the fenders. Never tilt the motor without closing the vent and turning off the gas. There is gas at the gas dock. Always use ethanol free fuel. There is a clip on the end of the painter if you dont trust your knots.

If its windy a garbage bag for your clothes might be a good idea or if you are already a savvy waterman or woman, a dry bag is best.  There is a 3 burner stove and a briquette BBQ. The cooler is an ice chest next to the microwave. Unfortunately previous guests destroyed the banks of batteries aboard and now power is not available so bring your own power pack for your devices and headlamps are a plus. There are battery powered lights bellow for reading and two solo powered lights in the cockpit. The water in the kitchen sink is operated by a foot pump.

here is a video explaining the use of the toilet


Do not flush any TP down the head!!! 

The Stove

The propane is in the box mounted to the rail and needs to be turned on to light the stove. Please turn it off when done.

Have fun and feel free to ask any questions.

Welcome to off the grid boat life.


Captain Rhys Balmer
Griffin Bay Adventures



Griffin Bay Adventures is a sailing school and yacht charter company in the San Juans. Our focus is on providing educational adventure afloat. If you are receiving this email you are staying aboard one of our boats while visiting the islands or taking a class. Let me start by saying that this is not your typical bed and breakfast. We offer stays aboard anchored out or in the marina at the dock and those that are staying aboard at anchor will enjoy the peace of off the grid boat living. If you are interested in going out for a day sail or a sailing class please look at the web site for options available or give us a call. Our other vessels are avalable for “skippered charter” which means they come with a captain to sail you and your party to any of the amazing harbors, anchorages, and sites only seen from a float. Rates are as low as $600 a day.