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Shilshole Bay is between Meadow Point and West Point. It is an open bight from which the Lake Washington Ship Canal is entered, and is the site of the largest marina in the Seattle area.
Shilshole Bay Marina, the small-craft basin just N of the canal entrance, is administered by the Port of Seattle. A 4,400-foot breakwater, marked at each end by a light, protects the basin on its W side. The basin has two entrances. In 2009, the controlling depths were 14 feet in the S entrances, and 15 feet in the N entrance.
There are berths at the concrete floats for 1,400 craft to 250 feet long, including a guest pier and transient berths. The marina can provide electricity, gasoline, bio-diesel (#1 and #2), diesel fuel, water, ice, marine supplies, and a pump-out station at the 600-foot pier at the midpoint of the basin. Two 3-ton hoists are at the S end, and one 3-ton and one 4-ton hoists are at the N end of the basin. A 55-ton marine travel lift, for haul-out, is available at the boatyard at the S end of the basin. Dry storage is available for 82 boats on movable trailers at the N end of the marina. A boat launching ramp is located immediately N of the marina in Golden Gardens Park. The marina can be contacted on VHF-FM channel 17.
In addition to the Shilshole Bay Marina, numerous small-craft facilities line the shores of Lake Union, Lake Washington, Lake Washington Ship Canal, Elliott Bay, and Duwamish Waterway.
Washington State Ferries operates three ferry slips at the Colman Ferry Terminal (Pier 52) in about 47°36’09″N., 122°20’22″W. Ferries operate between Seattle/Winslow and Seattle/Bremerton 24 hours a day.
Click the “Map View” button above to see a chart of this harbor.
Seattle, the largest and most important city in the Northwest and one of the major ports of the Pacific Coast, extends as a densely populated greater metropolitan area from Everett, the city to its N, almost to Tacoma, the major city to the S, and E beyond the limits of Lake Washington and its shores.
The Port of Seattle includes an outer and inner harbor. The outer saltwater harbor includes Elliott Bay; East, West, and Duwamish Waterways; Shilshole Bay, and the portions of Puget Sound adjacent to Ballard on the N and West Seattle to the S of the entrance of Elliott Bay. Seattle’s freshwater inner harbor consists of Lakes Union and Washington, which are connected with each other and with Puget Sound by the Lake Washington Ship Canal.
The East Waterway is separated from West Waterway by Harbor Island. Most of the E side of West Waterway and the area W of the entrance are occupied by the facilities of two large shipyards. The SW side of the waterway is the site of the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5, which receives considerable deep-draft traffic.
The Duwamish Waterway, extending S from West Waterway, is fronted by factories and industrial plants for more than 4 miles.
The Lake Washington Ship Canal extends from Puget Sound through Shilshole Bay, Salmon Bay, Lake Union, Portage Bay, and Union Bay to deep water in Lake Washington. The canal is the only entrance from Puget Sound to Lake Union and Lake Washington and is highly trafficked by recreational boats, fishing vessels, and commercial vessels. Federal project depth through the canal is 30 feet, which is generally maintained.
Depths of 34 feet or more are available to the Seattle waterfront in Elliott Bay. A Federal project provides for a depth of 34 feet in East and West Waterways.
There are no bridges over the Seattle waterfront in Elliott Bay, and none over East and West Waterways. The 4.5-mile-long Duwamish Waterway is crossed at Mile 0.2 by the SW Spokane Street swing bridge, with a clearance of 44 feet (55 feet at center); thence a fixed bridge with a clearance of 140 feet just above the swing bridge; thence at Mile 0.3, the Burlington Northern Railroad bascule bridge with a clearance of 7 feet; thence at Mile 2.1, the lst Avenue S dual bascule bridges with a clearance of 22 feet (32 feet at the central 100 feet); thence at Mile 3.3, the 16th Avenue S bascule bridge with a clearance of 21 feet (34 feet at center.)