Sailing the Hood Canal

Sailing the Hood Canal

Have you ever dreamed of sailing through crystal clear waters surrounded by breathtaking scenery? Hood Canal might just be the perfect destination for you. Nestled in the Pacific Northwest, this hidden gem offers a unique sailing experience that is sure to leave you in awe.

What makes Hood Canal so unique?

Hood Canal is a unique sailing destination that stands out from the typical ones. It boasts a deep fjord that has been carved by glaciers and provides breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains. This location offers an unparalleled experience for boaters. Despite its natural beauty, Hood Canal is still largely undiscovered, which means that some days, you may not see any other boats and have the whole canal to yourself.

Olympic Mountains view from Hood Canal

Planning Your Sailing Adventure

At only around 1 knot, the currents in Hood Canal are not a major concern. However, when planning your sailing trip, you should take into account the Hood Canal Floating Bridge. This bridge is easy to cross for powerboats and smaller sailboats, but larger sailboats may still be able to cross without the need for the bridge to open if the crossing is timed with low tide. 

At zero tide, the water level in Hood Canal drops 9.4 feet below the mean high water level, providing a clearance of 59 feet near the fixed pilling. To allow for even more clearanceit's best to plan your sailing trip during the new and full moon phases, which offer bigger tidal ranges.

If you're interested in learning more about the Hood Canal Floating Bridge crossing, you can read this detailed article.

Places to Moor

Pleasant Harbor Marina is situated near Brinnon. It is a well-equipped marina offering moorage, fuel, a convenience store, showers, laundry facilities, and more. 

Pleasant Harbor State Park is located right near the Pleasant Harbor Marina. It's the first turn after you enter the bay. It is a one-acre park with 120 feet available for overnight moorages. There are no services available. 

Potlatch State Park offers five mooring buoys* operated by Washington State Parks and a year-round moorage off its 5,700-foot shoreline. 

* As of April 2024, 3 out of 5 mooring buoys are removed. 

Hood Canal Marina is located in the town of Union. It is a full-service marina offering moorage, fuel, pump-out services, and a cafe and shop nearby.

Alderbrook Resort & Spa, also in Union, boasts a marina facility with guest moorage available for both transient and resort guests. Marina guests have access to the resort's lavish amenities for a $10 resort fee. Marina staff offers complimentary in-slip pumpouts on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. 

Twanoh State Park offers seven moorage buoys* and 200 feet of moorage dock. The saltwater beach here is one of the warmest in our state and perfect for swimming.

*As of April 2024, 3 out of 7 mooring buoys are removed. 

Overall, sailing the Hood Canal is a truly unforgettable experience. Whether you're looking for a relaxing day on the water or an adventurous sailing expedition, the Hood Canal has something for everyone. 

View of Alderbrook Resort 

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