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Vancouver Yacht Charter

Sailing Conditions

Near the southeast tip of Vancouver Island, Sunsail’s new Preferred Partner location offers superb access to many Pacific Northwest locales – one of the world’s top-rated sailing areas with a varied climate that allows outdoor pursuits year-round – even fishing, hiking and golfing in the south coastal areas through January!

From here, you can visit the Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound, the San Juan Islands, and of course the Sunshine Coast, which stretches along the Strait of Georgia from Howe Sound to Desolation Sound and is home to many communities.

The following Historical Weather and Sailing Conditions apply to these areas.

Weather

In these cruising grounds, the primary sailing season is from May through September. However, depending on the conditions you prefer, a great mix of sailing conditions prevails throughout the year.

  • April – May: Expect changeable weather, warming and moderate to strong winds in these “spring months”. A wonderful season to visit, Spring is the prime time for wildlife viewing around Vancouver Island… catch sight of Pacific Grey Whales en-route to Alaska, as well as grizzly and black bears emerging from hibernation to feed on the coastal shores. Also consider a visit to Cowichan Valley, renowned for its wineries and organic farms.
  • June – September: These “summer months” are generally, warm or hot with thermally generated winds, and relatively dry conditions. July and August offer great weather with lighter winds. September tends to be slightly cooler. Summers are the perfect time for sailing, exploring the island’s extraordinary national and provincial parks, biking, and golfing at the area’s world-class championship courses
  • October: Similar sailing and weather conditions to April, May and September. This month is popular for sailing before the colder winter weather arrives, and is also well-known as a time to see spawning salmon and visit Cowichan Valley.
  • November – Early April: Chilly with strong winds
Historical Average Conditions

Throughout the cruising grounds along the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, the average weather conditions do vary for precipitation, as well as high and low temperatures.

MonthAvg Temps Hi-LoAvg PrecipitationAvg Water TempAvg Min/Max Wind
January7-1◦C5.5 in (140 mm)17-21◦C5 - 15 knots
Feruary8-2◦C4 in (100 mm)17-21◦C5 - 15 knots
March10-2◦C3.1 in (80 mm)17-21◦C5 - 15 knots
April13-4◦C2 in (50 mm)17-21◦C5 - 15 knots
May16-7◦C1.1 in (30 mm)17-21◦C5 - 15 knots
June19-9◦C1.1 in (30 mm)17-21◦C8 - 12 knots
July22-11◦C0.4 in (10 mm)17-21◦C8 - 12 knots
August22-11◦C0.8 in (20 mm)17-21◦C8 - 12 knots
September19-8◦C1.1 in (30 mm)17-21◦C5 - 15 knots
October14-5◦C3.1 in (80 mm)17-21◦C5 - 15 knots
November9-3◦C6 in (150 mm)17-21◦C5 - 15 knots
December7-1◦C6 in (150 mm)17-21◦C5 - 15 knots
 
Tidal Range

There are significant tidal ranges in this cruising region. Tidal range is between minus 2ft to +18ft with the majority of anchorages having plenty of water at all states of tide. Seas throughout the cruising area are generally sheltered and calm.

Water Temperatures

The average water temperature is consistently 17-21◦C, and only varies about 2 degrees all year.

Winds

Generally, the winds blow west/northwest or east/northeast year round at 5-15 knots (8-12 knots in the summer).

Sources: Victoria International Airport and BC Tourist Authority