Frequently asked questions

What is appropriate clothing for my charter?


Depending on the weather, comfortable clothing ranges from swim suits to layered, waterproof foul weather gear. Being on the lake can be a great escape from the heat in 85 degrees, but you may find sailing to be chilly if the air temperture is 70. Like most mountain areas, the air usually cools as the sun goes down. Therefore, we recommend coming prepared with layers of clothing, such as a light coat or sweatshirt. Please wear shoes that do not leave marks.




What about food and alcoholic beverages on the boat?


Due to Covid-19, Guests are temporarily asked to provide thier own food, drinks & a cooler Food Guests are welcome to bring food and drinks with you on your charter. Sandwiches and small containers of food are much more convenient and easier to consume while sailing than food that needs to be served on a plate. Alcoholic Beverages Guests are welcome to bring alcoholic beverages aboard Cloud Nine. We do not provide any adult beverages for our Guests. Excessive consumption of alcohol, as determied solely by the Captain, will be grounds for ending a cruise early with no refunds. Inebriated passengers are a safety threat to themselves and everyone else on the boat.




What happens if there is no wind, heavy wind, or thunder storms?


What happens if there is no wind? Lake Pend Oreille occasionally has light wind. We will make every effort to sail the boat as much as Guests desire, but if there is no wind, we will use the diesel engine to provide a relaxing tour of Lake Pend Oreille in the Hope area. Winds of less than 3-4 knots are difficult to sail in, but a beautiful cruise can still be had. What happens if there is heavy wind? Cloud Nine is a large boat, capable of reducing the amount of sail area to minimize the effects of heavy wind. We can sail comfortably in wind speeds up to 25 kts. By special arrangement we can sail in higher winds, but some Guests will not be comfortable in the waves generated by high wind on Lake Pend Oreille. Will the sail boat get blown over? No. Cloud Nine is a capable cruising sailboat designed to heel. Heeling is the natural lean of the boat as the wind pushes against the sails. The more the wind blows, the more the boat leans, but as it leans more, the sails start to spill the wind and the weight of the keel has more leverage to right the boat. In other words, Cloud Nine will not get blown over. How do I figure out how much wind we will have? Guests can check local weather forecasts. I like Weather Underground's 10 day forecast, because it offers an easy to understand graph of predicted wind speeds. On the boat, I listen to NOAA forcasts on the VHF radio. What if there are thunderstorms in the area? We can sail unless there is lightning in the immediate area. For safety, I will bring the boat back to the marina if lightning is withing 4-5 miles of where we are sailing.




What kind of boat is Cloud Nine?


Cloud Nine is a 1974 Cal 2-29 sloop. She has a 29' long fiberglass hull and is equiped much like a rustic cabin. There is a head (bathroom), kitchen sink, propane stove, ice box, barbeque, and room for six Guests and crew. There is a diesel engine that will move the boat at about 5 knots per hour. Cloud Nine has undergone numerous upgrades and improvements aimed at improving her reliability, comfort, and aesthetics.




What about safety on a sailboat?


Guest safety is our top priority. Therefore, we start each cruise with a biref safety talk. We will provide appropriately-sized life jackets for each Guest. Our boat is big enough that wearing life jackets is not required, but Guests are welcome to do so if that makes you feel more comfortable. Guests are welcome to sit anywhere on the boat, but care must be taken when moving around on the deck. Please see the FAQ regarding wind conditions and thunderstoms for weather-related safety information.




Can I learn to sail on Cloud Nine?


If Guests are interested in learning to sail, I will be delighted to coach them in sailing techniques. Provided there is sufficient wind, learning basic sailing can be accomplished in just a couple of hours. My focus is to build your confidence and understanding of how sail boats work. Please use our online booking system for sailing lessons or contact us if you have additional questions.




What does it cost to charter Cloud Nine?


Please see the booking section for all the standard booking options and costs. The basic rate for chartering is $150 for 2 Guests on a two hour cruise. The largest standard booking is $650 for 6 Guests on a four hour cruise. Charter time begins at your reservation time. Guests are welcome to arrive 15 minutes early. Longer charters and special purpose charters (such as team building or relationship workshops) are available by special arrangement. The cost of custom charters will be negotiated depending on services provided and length of cruise. Only skippered charters are available. Prices are subject to change without notice.




Are children welcome as Guests?


Absolutely! We encourage kids to come sailing and enjoy getting them involved in operating Cloud Nine. Per my Captain's License requirements, children count as Guests. We have a variety of life jacket sizes, but to ensure an exact fit, please bring your own if you have one. Due to the large size of the boat, the requirement that children wear life jackets is typically left to parental discretion. Children need to be accompanied and supervised by at least one paying adult.




Can Guests swim from Cloud Nine?


Weather permitting, swimming is a delightful way to spend time on the Lake. Clound Nine is equipped with a swim ladder, making it easy to get back in the boat. We will drag a line with a float behind the boat as a safety tool. Please bring your own towels.




What happens during a typical two hour cruise?


We suggest Guests meet at the boat 15 minutes before your sail time. There are restrooms at the Marina and on the boat. As I get to know you, we'll determine what kind of sailing you would like and what the weather will allow. We will leave the marina slip under engine power and hoist sails as soon as we are clear of the marina and in a suitable breeze. Depending on the boat's speed, we should be able to sail out to and around one of several islands. Guests can choose between actively participating in sailing or relaxing in a comfy spot on the boat.




What is a typical experience on a longer cruise?


With additional time, we can take Cloud Nine further from Hope. There are options for stopping at another marina for lunch, viewing multiple islands, or learning more about how to sail. We also offer extended cruises for Guests engaged in team building or relationship work. Barb Perusse, my wife, is a LCPC counselor and skilled sailor in her own right. Teambuilding content can be customized to Guest's desires and needs. The cost for these cruises will reflect the additional staff and services provided.




Can Guests fish while on Cloud Nine?


Fishing is not an option while on a Cloud Nine sailing charter. The Captain is not a fisherman, and the boat is not set up for cleaning or storing fish. There are fishing charters available out of Hope Marina.




Is there cell phone coverage on the Lake?


There is good cell phone coverage in Hope Marina. Out on Lake Pend Oreille, cell phones frequently do not have reception. We recommend "unplugging" to enjoy the beauty of your charter experience, and keeping your cell phone or camera handy for landscape and wildlife pictures.




What are Bruce's qualifications as a Charter Captain?


I have been sailing since I was a teenager in Wisconsin and sailing on Lake Pend Oreille for more than 10 years. My first boat in Sandpoint was a J24 racing sloop. Barb and I changed boats to our current Cal 2-29 four years ago and have been enjoying the cruising life style ever since. I have been involved in Sandpoint Sailing Association as an instructor and Board Member for most of the last 10 years. I recently studied for and received USCG Captains Licence #7800480. I am more officially called an Operater of an Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV) and more commonly called a Six-Pac, because the license allows the Captain to take up to six paying passengers at a time.




Can I bring my pet on a Charter


Dogs are not natural sailors. Their paws do not stick to a fiberglass deck well, so they are uncomfortable and at risk of falling in the lake. While I practice man overboard drills, I do not enjoy doing them for real - for people or pets. If you have a pet, please make arrangements other than bringing them on the cruise.




What is our response to Covid-19 for safe sailing?


To balance Guests' health with beauty of sailing, Cloud Nine Sail Chaters has implemented the following protocol:





Captain Bruce Robertson

208-263-3610

208-263-3610

Lake Pend Oreille sail boat rentals

Skippered charters and sailing lessons from Hope Marina near Sandpoint, ID

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