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Old 26-07-2019, 15:36   #1
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Mooring balls outside Ballard Locks (Seattle)

I frequently go through the Ballard locks on Friday evenings from my slip on lake union and spend the night in Shillshole marina before heading out on the sound for the weekend. I have seen mooring balls in the small bay right outside the sound side of the locks and was considering tying up to one of those for the night rather than pay for guest moorage at Shillshole.

Does anyone know if this is a feasible plan? I know it gets reletively shallow there, ~6' at low tide. Are there any other considerations?
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Old 26-07-2019, 15:51   #2
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Re: Mooring balls outside Ballard Locks (Seattle)

I believe they are commercially owned for tying up barges.
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Old 26-07-2019, 16:17   #3
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Re: Mooring balls outside Ballard Locks (Seattle)

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I frequently go through the Ballard locks on Friday evenings from my slip on lake union and spend the night in Shillshole marina before heading out on the sound for the weekend. I have seen mooring balls in the small bay right outside the sound side of the locks and was considering tying up to one of those for the night rather than pay for guest moorage at Shillshole.

Does anyone know if this is a feasible plan? I know it gets reletively shallow there, ~6' at low tide. Are there any other considerations?
well the charts say there are submerged pilings and those buoys are for fish pens .

Page out of the booklet chart
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Old 26-07-2019, 16:19   #4
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Re: Mooring balls outside Ballard Locks (Seattle)

Just run up to Appletree cove and drop the hook there.
In Kingston .
Or crossthe to eagle harbor for the night drop the hook just stay clear of the ferries
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Old 26-07-2019, 17:00   #5
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Re: Mooring balls outside Ballard Locks (Seattle)

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Originally Posted by amontyg View Post
I frequently go through the Ballard locks on Friday evenings from my slip on lake union and spend the night in Shillshole marina before heading out on the sound for the weekend. I have seen mooring balls in the small bay right outside the sound side of the locks and was considering tying up to one of those for the night rather than pay for guest moorage at Shillshole.

Does anyone know if this is a feasible plan? I know it gets reletively shallow there, ~6' at low tide. Are there any other considerations?
I've anchored here a few times. I've seen fishing boats anchored there too. I wouldn't make a habit out of it or the Port might get its nose in a snit and round up a patrol boat to chase you out.

Try to stay as far out of the way as possible, leave early before the Port staff get in the office. Oh, be well lighted.

Not sure what the rules actually are, I was never rousted.
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Old 27-07-2019, 10:02   #6
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Re: Mooring balls outside Ballard Locks (Seattle)

We lived in Shilshole for a while. All the permanent mooring balls we saw were commercial and not available for recreational boaters. That said - don't know what would happen if you snagged one and then left early unless a tug pulling a barge happened to return at 1:00 am

Agree with Newhall - just go to Eagle Harbor for the evening; or farther north up Bainbridge to Port Madison
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Old 27-07-2019, 16:02   #7
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Re: Mooring balls outside Ballard Locks (Seattle)

I’ve gone across to Eagle Harbor several times. You can anchor almost anywhere further in than the ferries. Although way in is fine at high tide and at low tide you can walk around your boat. Ask me how I know!
I also like the little inlets at the north end called Port Madison and just near Agate Pass named Manzanita. Last time I was at the north end there was a reciprocal yacht club dock and the rest was probably moorings for the nearby property owners, but I found a spot to sit for a few hours.
I’ve overnighted several times at the one by Agate Pass, but the last time it was overrun with some waterskiing people who probably didn’t want me there, but they stopped at dark and I left early.
Further south there are spots in the bay behind Blakley Rock and lots of moorings around Blake Island.
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