San Juan Islands Schooner Race

San Juan Islands Schooner Race



Date: June 20 – June 24, 2024 (5 days)
Standard Bunk: $1045 per person; includes all meals.
Stateroom: $1185 per person double occupancy
Boarding Bellingham 09:30
Return Bellingham:  15:00

“Sailing is a good sport.  You don’t have to beat up the other guy like you do in boxing and football; you just try to outsmart him, and then you go out and have a beer with him.”

-John Kolius

Feeling a little competitive? Want to sail with a fleet of beautiful classic sailing yachts? Join the crew of the Zodiac to participate in the 2024 Captain Raynaud International Schooner Race (aka CRISR)! ( Sailors of all experience levels will work with, and become part of, our crew as we teach you everything you need to know to sail the Zodiac through the pristine waters of the San Juan Islands. Never sailed? No worries – no experience is necessary!

We’ll spend the first day of the voyage teaching you the basic in’s and out’s of sailing on a 220 ton gaff rigged schooner. Everyone will be assigned a sailing station working with our experienced crew (unless you want to come along just to enjoy the ride!), and we’ll have a class on sail theory to explain how our sails propel us through the water and how all the different stations work together. In the evening, we will rendezvous with the schooner fleet and scope out the competition! The only requirement for a boat to race in CRISR is to have a schooner rig (two or more masts with the forward mast shorter than the aft mast), so we will see all types of boats, from tiny to huge, classic to modern hull designs, and staysail-, gaff-, or hybrid- rigged.

Friday through Sunday, we’ll race through the islands! There will be plentiful opportunities to practice and fine-tune our sailing skills, taking turns at the helm and jumping to man the lines when the captain calls “Sailing stations!” Don’t worry, there will also be time to relax, take photos, and enjoy the sailing, too. At the end of each day’s racing, we’ll drop anchor in a different secluded bay or harbor with the rest of the schooners, maybe rafting up or exploring the other vessels, watching the sunset, and eating fabulous home-cooked meals from our ship’s galley. If you haven’t had enough sailing, take our ship’s sailing dinghy out for a little more fun! We will conclude the race by hosting an awards ceremony and potluck dinner with the rest of the fleet on Sunday evening, an event which celebrates not only the winners, but also the entire spirit of the race. The next day we’ll bid adieu to newfound friends on the other schooners, and sail back to Bellingham.

CRISR, held (almost) annually since 1997 in memory of Captain Adrian Raynaud, is a celebration of schooners, seamanship, and camaraderie in the Pacific Northwest. Some boats take the race seriously! Most boats don’t. Some years the big boats have the advantage, some years it’s the little ones that win. Owing to the vagaries of Puget Sound summer winds, sometimes we all have to concede to Mother Nature. Although there’s a beautiful trophy and bragging rights on the line, the purpose of the race is to have fun, and on Zodiac, we never lose sight of that goal.


To book a reservation please call us at (206) 719-7622


  • 5-days, 4-nights of cruising Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands
  • Exciting hands-on sailing, steering and navigating aboard a classic tall ship.
  • 3-days of racing the region’s other schooners with relaxing nights at anchor
  • Hearty meals and snacks served fresh from the ship’s galley
  • Plenty of wildlife viewing including porpoises, bald eagles, seals and whales

Part of the adventure of sailing is that wind and tide may alter your course. For this reason the Zodiac may deviate from it’s intended route at the captain’s discretion. Bearing this in mind, the captain and crew will always endeavor to give passengers the most incredible experience possible. Already booked and wondering what to pack? See our handy packing list.

“What an adventure! This is a hands-on experience! Duty rotations include chart room, helm, bow watch and messenger. And everyone helps to raise the sails. The captain and all-volunteer crew are fun and ever-watchful over their charges. No surprise here…good food and plenty of it for very hungry people….”
– TripAdvisor Review 2016