Ballard Locks Lake Union - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-20-2009
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New boat through the locks

I bought a boat on Lake Union and had to go through the Ballard Locks the first day I had the boat. When we were approaching the locks the attendants ask us how long the boat was. I answered. Then he asked what the beam was. I told him I had just bought the boat and had no idea. After that they went out of there way to help us through. It was no sweat.
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post #12 of 12 Old 06-29-2009
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Prepare for both

While 99% of the time, small boats (those not commercial) go through the small locks requiring only normal mooring lines, the possibility always exists that the small locks could be unavailable forcing you to use the large locks. The large locks require 50' mooring lines. If you don't have them, you'll have to wait until you can raft to someone who does. How do I know? Because it happened to me several winters ago when the small locks are sometimes shutdown...and I did not carry 50' mooring lines with my 22' boat. Not much boat traffic on the Sound side, had to wait about 2 hours for a tug that was passing through. My best recommendation...call or radio ahead of time...and go watch several openings from up on the locks to get a feel for the process. It can be highly entertaining.
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