Tennis and Pickleball Courts of the Salish Sea

A brief survey of 10 boater friendly tennis/pickleball courts in the Salish Sea

Some time ago Pacific Yachting published an article entitled “The Golf Islands” and detailed boater friendly golfing destinations in our BC cruising area. Now it’s time to cover tennis and its upstart offspring, pickleball. Here are a few locations discovered over the years. All are located within the coastal cruising areas popular with West Coast boaters and all have something different to offer. For the most part, unlike golf, no fees are involved. If we have missed a few gems, we’d love to hear about them.




If staying at Port Sidney Marina, it is just a short walking distance to the courts at Iroquois Park, adjacent to the San Juan ferry terminal (unfortunately shut down, at least until 2030). The Sidney Parks Department maintains two courts here. Pickleball lines have been superimposed on one of the courts, but the tennis net is a permanent fixture so pickleball players have to adjust accordingly. However, just yards away there is a multipurpose court, mostly used for basketball, which has pickleball lines with net and posts available. This equipment is housed in a piece of black piping attached to the fence. During busy periods, players are requested to limit playing time to 45 minutes.

Sidney Parks has one more dedicated tennis court at Resthaven by the Sea. It is, like the other Sidney courts, well maintained and is right next to Resthaven Park. Signage says that play should be reduced to one set if others are waiting. No pickleball is available here. If moored at Van Isle Marina, it’s just a five-minute walk. This marina has other advantages. It offers complimentary bikes and is close to the government dock in Tsehum Harbour where, in season, fresh BC prawns may be purchased.










Mayne Island

Two nicely appointed courts on Felix Jack Road are only 1.5 kilometres from the CRD docks at Miners Bay, in Active Pass. Moorage here is free for two hours, otherwise it’s .50 cents a foot for longer daytime periods and $1 a foot for overnighting. The docks here have been recently reconfigured to mitigate the wash and wake of the ferries. The courts host tennis and pickleball. There are specific times allocated to club play and public play of both sports. Check out for all details. Like most places, club players often welcome new blood. If walking back to Miners Bay via Fernhill Road, the Mayne Island Brewing Company will soon appear on your left. Here, you might just be on the receiving end of the shot of the day!


The new Anson Road CRD docks in Horton Bay, offer a more tranquil overnight stay, but are more distant. However it’s always possible to work your way to Felix Jack Road by way of the ubiquitous car stops that have been put in place on the Gulf Islands to help folks without transport to get around. The fine Mayne Island courts, costing well over $100,000 to put in place, were the result of a decade of fundraising by a dedicated group of Mayne Islanders.









North Pender Island

The court at Port Browning is no more, having been transformed into a small RV parking area. However, if tied up at Browning or Otter Bay, you can always car stop to a couple of great tennis/pickleball courts near Magic Lake on North Pender Island. There is drop-in tennis here on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and there is drop in pickleball on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday mornings. Cost is $3 a day for visitors. See the website, for more information.

If you do drop in, you will be most welcome and will be guaranteed a good time as long as you are willing to slug it out with the rest.


South Pender Island

Poet’s Cove Marina’s recently resurfaced tennis court is the only marina tennis court on the island. There is no pickleball court, but paddles and balls can be borrowed for improvised games on the tennis court. Playing is free of charge for guests staying at the marina. Close by, within the marina complex, you will find two swimming pools, providing the perfect tonic for weary limbs. And speaking of tonic, it’s all downhill to the bar.   















Lyall Harbour, Saturna Island

From Port Browning it’s just a short trip to Lyall Harbour on Saturna Island. Anchoring near the head of the bay, the boat ramp is within easy reach and then it’s just a couple of minutes’ walk along Sunset Boulevard to the two courts by the school. One is for tennis only and the other, the busier court, is for pickleball. There is no charge at this welcoming venue. Take in the sunset from the beach here while you cool down from your match.


Roche Harbor, San Juan Island

If your buck stretches that far, it’s well worth a trip to our closest US marine neighbours at Roche Harbor Resort. Once you’ve paid your moorage fees, you can take advantage of their courts. One court is tennis only, the other has been adapted to accommodate four pickleball courts. The friendly staff at the hotel will gladly lend out rackets, paddles and balls. The courts are well used, so it’s advisable to reserve playing times. Here’s yet

another place where you can quickly go from the court to the swimming pool. This pool is the only outdoor heated pool on the island.






Cowichan Bay

For tennis nirvana try booking a court at South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club. There’s usually space to tie up at Cowichan Bay Fisherman’s Wharf, where it’s a question of first come, first served. If you carry bikes it’s a four-kilometre ride, otherwise it’s a short five minute taxi ride, but you will be rewarded at your destination. The club has seven grass courts and two hard courts. It was founded in 1887 and is one of the oldest clubs in the world. There are only three other places in Canada where you can find lawn tennis: Toronto, Prince Edward Island, and West Vancouver. The cost is $25 per person for a two-hour period, including access to all the amenities of the clubhouse. Reservations are mandatory and all pertinent information may be gleaned from the SCLTC website:

















Tribune Bay, Hornby Island

After anchoring in the bay, it’s a short dinghy trip to the court at the head of the bay. This single tennis court, maintained by the Hornby Tennis Club, is situated at the northwest end of Tribune Bay, right next to the beach and is free of charge. Resident players welcome new blood. The bay is a very good place to drop your hook, but leave the courts and your anchorage if a south easterly is forecast.



The Comox Harbour Authority Marina is a good place to tie up because of its proximity to several tennis courts and to the fresh seafood that is sold right on the docks in season. It’s just a five minute walk from the marina to the six courts at Anderton Park, four of which are used by the Comox Valley Tennis Club, with two left for public use. However, club members are like boaters, a friendly welcoming bunch and should you want to join them, they’d be more than happy. Again, the courts are cost free.

There are six dedicated Rotary sponsored pickleball courts, but they are farther away at Torrence/Guthrie and sometimes their use is scheduled by the neighbouring secondary school.


Savary Island

Finally, for a novel tennis playing experience, try out the wooden tennis courts near Mace Point. There are two courts, both fairly recently refurbished with yellow cedar. The cost is $10 per person. The courts are set up to accept pickleballers too. Adult times are from 10:00 to 14:00 and children and families from 14:00 to 19:00. It is best check out their website at and make sure you have settled conditions before anchoring out.

So there you have it. If you are boater and relish racket sports, you can now add extra enjoyment to your summer cruising itinerary. You may not win all your games, but you will certainly be rewarded for getting off your boat and meeting the locals at something they love doing. It’s interesting, too, to see how many of the various tennis organizations have adapted to meet the needs of the growing population of pickleball players.

















The beautiful wooden courts at Mace Point on Savary Island.