When is the best time to sail in the USA?

Posted Dec 16 2021 in Guides

Planning a boating trip starts with choosing a destination and a vacation period. But what if you choose a location that is not good for sailing on the dates of your planned visit? How do you know when is the best time to sail? Is there an off-season for boating in the USA?

With this short guide, sail.me will answer these questions and help you make the perfect boat trip itinerary:

East Coast

Best time to sail on the West Coast: 

December to February

March to June

The US East coastline is home to some of the most famous destinations for sailing in the states. Stretching for over 6,000 miles, there are endless opportunities to discover new boating spots and explore the seas by boat.

With warm springs and cold winters, you can plan a boating trip according to what time and activity work for you. The only time to avoid going out at sea is during the hurricane season in the late summer and autumn months.

The very worst time to sail on the central East Coast would be between August and November. That’s when the storms are most hostile. The best time to sail the coast is from December to February when the weather is freezing cold but the waters are calm and welcoming.

Some of the northern boating destinations like Boston and New York are best for sailing right before summer. Between March and June, you can enjoy the warmth of spring and the tranquility of the seas.

West Coast

Best time to sail on the West Coast: 

September to January

Contrary to a popular belief, the summer season is not the best time to sail on the West Coast. The best boating period is between September and January when the shores are sunny and the waters are relatively calm.

There is a small chance of hurricanes in Southern California from June to December. Yet, such storm occurrence is quite rare. To be safe, if you are going at sea during that period, follow the weather forecast and local updates closely. Be smart and reschedule your boating trip if there is even a small possibility for a hurricane.

If sailing to the northern parts of the Pacific West Coast is on your itinerary, the months of February and March are great for whale-watching boat tours. 

Southeast

Best time to sail in the Southeast: 

May to July

November to February

Florida is the boating heaven of the USA. The weather is consistently good, temperatures rarely drop and the waters are quite serene all year round. Sailing in the Southeast offers unique opportunities to explore the keys, the national parks, or practice water sports and go diving to see underwater wrecks and reefs.

Don’t get too excited though. Because even though the temperatures are rarely dropping, you need to be extra cautious when boating from June to November. During those months is the hurricane season, with strong tropical storms. Staying updated on the weather is a must.

The best time to explore the Southeast for winter boating is from November to February. If you prefer a more hot and summery experience on the water, set your sailing dates for the peak season between May and July. 

Alaska

Best time to sail in Alaska:

May to August

This US state is one of the coldest places you can visit for a boating adventure. Due to the freezing temperatures, the Alaskan waters are not always good for sailing. That makes boating opportunities quite limited. 

The best time to sail in the northwest is from May to August. Then you can enjoy better climate conditions and fully savor the beauty of Alaska. Enjoy fishing, admire the splendid natural sceneries, and visit the cute cozy coastal cities you can access by boat.

Hawaii

Best time to sail in Hawai: 

All-year-round

Hawaii is the tropical paradise of the United States and a top destination for sailing. Sailors and boating enthusiasts adore the Hawaiian weather, stunning views, and tranquil waters. A great place for cruising, sea life watching, surfing, diving, and practicing water sports. The isles are ideal for all kinds of boating activities, and great to visit all year round. 

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