U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: May 23, 2024

§ 162.235 - Puget Sound Area, Wash.

(a) Waterway connecting Port Townsend and Oak Bay; use, administration, and navigation—(1) Works to which regulations apply. The “canal grounds” when used in this paragraph shall mean that area between the south end of the jetties in Oak Bay and the northerly end of the dredge channel approximately 400 yards northwest of Port Townsend Canal Light. The “canal” is the water lying between these limits and the banks containing the same.

(2) Speed. The speed limit within the canal grounds shall not exceed five miles per hour.

(3) Signals. All boats desiring to use the canal shall give one long and one short whistle. Southbound boats shall sound the signal within 600 yards of Port Townsend Canal Light. Northbound boats shall sound this signal at least 500 feet south from the end of the jetties in Oak bay. If no other boat answers the signal the first boat shall have the right of way through the canal. Any approaching boat that is in the canal shall answer by giving the same signal and the first boat shall not enter the canal until the second boat shall have passed through the canal. In the case of boats going in the same direction the boat which is in the canal shall not answer the signal of the boat desiring to enter.

(4) Passing. Steamers shall not under any circumstances attempt to pass each other in the canal, either when going in the same or opposite directions.

(5) Anchoring. No steamers or boats shall anchor or tie up within the canal grounds unless they are well over on the tide flats to the west of the dredged channel, and off the right of way belonging to the United States.

(6) Tows. No tow shall enter or pass through the canal with a towline more than 200 feet in length.

(7) Delaying traffic. No person shall cause or permit any vessel or boat of which he is in charge, or on which he is employed, to obstruct the canal in any way or delay in passing through it.

(b) West Waterway, Seattle Harbor; navigation. (1) The movement of vessels of 250 gross tons or over and all vessels with tows of any kind through the narrow section of West Waterway between the bend at Fisher's Flour Mill dock and the bend at the junction of East Waterway with Duwamish Waterway, and through the draws of the City of Seattle and Northern Pacific Railway Company bridges crossing this narrow section, shall be governed by red and green traffic signal lights mounted on the north and south sides of the west tower of the City Light power crossing at West Spokane Street.

(2) Two green lights, one vertically above the other, displayed ahead of a vessel, shall indicate that the waterway is clear. Two red lights, one vertically above the other, displayed ahead of a vessel, shall indicate that the waterway is not clear.

(3) A vessel approaching the narrow section and drawbridges from either end of the waterway shall give one long blast of a whistle and shall not enter the narrow section until green lights are displayed.

(4) One vessel may follow another vessel in either direction, but the channel shall not be kept open in the same direction for an unreasonable time if a vessel is waiting at the other end.

(5) Tugs, launches, and small craft shall keep close to one side of the channel when vessels or boats with tows are passing.

(6) All craft shall proceed with caution. The display of a green light is not a guarantee that the channel is clear of traffic, and neither the United States nor the City of Seattle will be responsible for any damage to vessels or other property which may be chargeable to mistakes in the operation of the signal lights or to their failure to operate.


The Corps of Engineers also has regulations dealing with this section in 33 CFR Part 207.

[CGD 75-082, 42 FR 51759, Sept. 29, 1977, as amended by USCG-2008-0179, 73 FR 35016, June 19, 2008]