Anacortes  is home to the largest concentrations of bareboat charters in North America; get a list from the visitors center (360/293-3832, www.anacortes.org ). The sea kayak manufacturer Eddyline has a factory in nearby Burlington.
Learn about kayaking at the Eddyline Watersports Center (1019 Q Ave., 360/299-2300 or 866/445-7506, www.eddyline.com ) along the Anacortes marina. You can take boats out for a test paddle, rent a kayak, try on the high-tech clothing, or join classes or tours.
Founded in 1913, Marine Supply & Hardware Co. (2nd St. and Commercial Ave., 360/293-3014, www.marinesupplyandhardware.com ) is the oldest continuously operating marine supply store west of the Mississippi. The original oiled wood floors and oak cabinets are still here, along with a potpourri of supplies. It’s a fascinating place to visit, with a friendly cat. Right across the street is the large Dakota Creek Shipyard.