U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jul 15, 2024

§ 207.750 - Puget Sound Area, Wash.

(a) Waterway connecting Port Townsend and Oak Bay; use, administration and navigation—(1) Works to which the 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 northern 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) [Reserved]

(3) Trading, landing, etc. No business, loading, or landing of freight or baggage will be allowed on or over the canal piers or bulkheads.

(4) Refuse. No person shall throw material of any kind into the canal.

(5) [Reserved]

(6) Obstructions. On the canal's being obstructed by a vessel, raft, or other craft, by sinking, grounding, or otherwise, the District Engineer, Seattle, shall be notified by telephone or telegraph as soon as possible by the person in charge of the obstructing vessel, raft, or craft.

(b) Lake Washington Ship Canal; use, administration and navigation—(1) Definitions. The term “canal” as used in the regulations in this paragraph shall include the water area in the locks and the channel and adjacent waters from a point 5,500 feet northwest of the Burlington Northern, Inc. railway bridge to the east end of the channel opposite Webster Point, Lake Washington. The term “canal grounds” shall include all grounds set aside for the use of the canal or occupied in its construction.

(2) Supervision. The canal and all its appurtenances shall be under the supervision of the District Engineer, Corps of Engineers, Seattle. The District Engineer will detail as many assistants as may be necessary for the efficient operation of the canal and the enforcement of the regulations in this paragraph. The movement of all vessels and other floating things in the canal and approaches thereto shall be under the direction of the District Engineer and his authorized assistants. All orders given under the regulations to any master or person in charge of any vessel, raft, or other watercraft by the District Engineer or his authorized assistants, either in person or through any canal operative, shall be acknowledged and obeyed. Failure to see, understand, or comply with signals or instructions shall constitute a violation of the regulations. Any person refusing to comply with the regulations or any orders given in pursuance thereof may be denied the privileges of the canal or canal grounds.

(3) Speed. To avoid damage to other vessels and to property along the shores, all vessels shall proceed at reduced speed in the canal as follows:

(i) From the west entrance of the Lake Washington Ship Canal to the western end of the west guide pier of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, and from the east end of the easternmost guide pier of said Locks to the white flashing dolphin located south of Webster Point on Lake Washington, including all of Salmon Bay, Lake Union, Portage Bay, and Union Bay, it shall be unlawful for any person to operate any watercraft or vessel at a speed in excess of 7 nautical miles per hour within 200 feet of any shoreline, pier, restricted area or shore installation.

(ii) From the western end of the aforesaid west guide pier to the eastern end of the aforesaid east guide pier at said Locks, it shall be unlawful for any person to operate any watercraft or vessel at a speed in excess of 4 nautical miles per hour.


Signs are located along the canal to indicate permissible speeds.

(4) Traffic signal lights. In addition to the lock signal lights described in paragraph (g)(5)(ii) of this section, a red light, and a green light are installed on the west side of the Ballard Bridge, on the east side of the Fremont Bridge, 1,000 feet west of the Montlake Bridge, and 1,000 feet east of the Montlake Bridge, for the guidance of vessels approaching the sections of the canal between Salmon Bay and Lake Union and between Lake Union and Lake Washington, respectively. Vessels of 300 gross tons and over and all vessels with tows, except as hereinafter provided, shall not pass the red lights. The green lights will indicate that vessels may proceed. Vessels of less than 300 gross tons without tows may disregard these signals, but they shall travel at very slow speed when passing other vessels. Vessels of 300 gross tons and over and vessels with tows, except logs, whose destination is easterly between the Ballard Bridge and a point 2,500 feet east of the Ballard Bridge, may pass the red signals on the Ballard Bridge, provided, such passage will not interfere with approaching traffic.

(5) Approaching and passing through locks—(i) Signals for locks. Vessels with tows desiring to use the locks shall so indicate by two long and three short blasts of a whistle, horn, or megaphone. All other vessels desiring to use the locks shall so indicate by two long and two short blasts.


The term “long blasts” means blasts of four seconds duration, and the term “short blasts” means blasts of one second duration. Signals for the opening of drawbridges are prescribed in § 117.795 of chapter I.

(ii) Lock signal lights. Red and green signal lights are installed on the guide pier west of the Burlington Northern, Inc. railway bridge below the locks. The green light will indicate to vessels bound for the large lock that the lock has been made ready. If the red light is burning, vessels bound for the large lock shall moor at the pier. Vessels bound for the small lock shall be guided into the small lock by traffic signals thereon. The masters of all vessels approaching the locks from Puget Sound shall be alert to receive and shall immediately comply with instructions by voice or signal from the employee on the west pier.

(iii) Precedence at locks. All vessels approaching the locks shall stop at the points indicated by signs placed on the canal piers or as directed by a lockman until ordered to proceed into the lock. Unless otherwise directed by the District Engineer or his authorized assistants, vessels owned or operated by the United States or the City of Seattle and passenger vessels operating on a regular schedule shall have precedence over all others in passing through the locks. Registered merchant vessels shall have precedence over pleasure craft, which shall pass through in the order of their arrival at the locks, and both shall have precedence over vessels towing floated timber or logs. Tows of floated timber and logs may be denied the use of the locks during certain hours when both locks are busy passing other traffic. However, advance notice will be given towboat companies as to the periods when log tows will be denied lockage.

(iv) Entering locks. Masters of vessels shall exercise the greatest care when entering either lock. The forward movement of vessels while taking position in the locks shall be very slow, and boats entering the small lock shall reduce their speed to not more than two and one-half miles per hour when within 200 feet of the outer gate and come to practically a full stop before entering the lock so that in case the engine mechanism fails to operate properly the momentum of the boat may be stopped easily by its lines. The masters of vessels entering either lock from either direction shall be alert to receive and shall immediately comply with instructions by voice or signal from the lock attendants.

(v) Mooring in locks. Vessels entering the locks shall be equipped with adequate lines, at least 50 feet in length being required fore and aft. While in the large lock vessels and rafts will be moored at the top of the lock wall. While in the small lock vessels shall be moored to the floating mooring wall. Lines shall not be released until the signal has been given by the lock force to leave the lock, after which there shall be no delay in leaving. All vessels not equipped to handle tie-up lines with power winches shall be equipped with suitable mooring lines of manila, or other suitable fiber, of sufficient size and strength to hold the vessel against the currents to be met within the lock chamber. The use of wire rope for tie-up by vessels not equipped to handle such lines with power winches is prohibited. Vessels may be denied the use of the locks if their lines are not in good condition, or if the mooring bits on barges are not accessible or are not equipped to prevent lines from slipping off when the water is lowered in the lock. All vessels entering the locks should have, in addition to the master, at least one person on deck to handle lines. Mates and deckhands, when preparing to moor within the lock chambers, should not throw heavy mooring lines at the lockmen on the walls, but should wait for a heaving lie to be passed to them unless otherwise directed. All towboat crews, while locking or moving a tow out of the lock chamber, should station themselves so as to preclude the possibility of being injured by the parting of cable or lines under strain. Persons attempting to take vessels through the locks without assistance on deck may be required to wait until the lock is clear of other traffic before passing through. All operators of vessels are especially cautioned to use extreme care while crowded in the locks to avoid accident or fire on their boats. Under no circumstances will small craft, such as rowboats, launches and houseboats, or any other type of pleasure boats, be locked through with barges used for carrying any type of petroleum product or other hazardous material. At the discretion of the lockmaster, small craft as described above may be locked through with barge tows containing other than dangerous material. Operators of small vessels and larger vessels operating in the proximity of each other shall be alert to the danger arising from the limited maneuverability of the larger vessels, and shall exercise all precautions to prevent accident.

(6) Damage to locks or other structures. (i) The regulations in this paragraph shall not affect the liability of the owners and operators of vessels for any damage caused by their operations to the locks or other structures. The sides and corners of all vessels and rafts passing through the locks should be free from spikes or projections of any kind which might damage the locks or other structures. Vessels with appurtenances or projections which might damage the locks or other structures shall be fitted with adequate fenders. Lockage of leaking vessels or vessels with overhanging loads may be refused. Such barge or craft shall be moored in a location outside of the channel approach to the lock so as to not interfere with passing navigation. Vessels of unusual dimensions, or other characteristics which, in the opinion of the lockmaster, pose a threat to the integrity or safety of the locks or canal will be refused passage until written permission to pass is provided by the District Engineer. Sufficient written data and drawings shall be provided the District Engineer that an engineering determination can be made as to the safety of the vessel. The District Engineer shall have the right to inspect any such vessels prior to passage. The operators of all vessels shall use care to avoid striking the guide walls or other structures pertaining to the canal.

(ii) In the interest of safety and fire prevention, all woven rope fenders used with barges carrying flammable cargo should be water-soaked or otherwise fireproofed prior to entering the lock approaches.

(iii) Burning fenders should be dropped overboard immediately rather than being placed on the deck of a barge or towboat.

(iv) A minimum of one man with a portable fender shall be stationed at the head end of every tow of hazardous cargo and at the aft if the lockmaster so directs so as to protect the lock and guide walls from damage while entering or departing the lock structures.

(v) All cylinder or containers holding gases under pressure, or any other chemical or substance, shall be securely fastened to the hull of the vessel to prevent their rolling overboard into the lock chamber and becoming a hazard.

(vi) All containers holding paint, gasoline or other volatile materials shall be securely fastened with tight-fitting covers. To preclude a concentration of potentially explosive vapors, no paint will be allowed to be applied to the exterior of vessel hulls, houses, machinery, or other equipment while the vessels are in the lock chamber.

(vii) All hatches of tank barges must be closed prior to entering lock. Tank barges with open hatch or hatches will be denied lockage.

(viii) No smoking will be permitted aboard vessels with cargoes of fuel or explosives.

(ix) All vessels carrying hazardous cargoes shall so be identified with the lockmaster. They shall be in compliance with Department of Transportation (U.S. Coast Guard) regulations (CFR title 46, parts 30 thru 40, parts 146 thru 154, and 49 CFR parts 171 thru 179 and shall accordingly carry required markings. All DOT safety regulations for transit of hazardous cargoes shall be adhered to, whether or not specifically cited or duplicated herein.

(7) [Reserved]

(8) Rafts. (i) No log raft exceeding 700 feet in length or 76 feet in width shall pass through the canal. Boom sticks shall be smooth, with rounded ends, and securely tied together with cables, chains, or log swifters to prevent the raft from spreading while in the lock. Rafts containing logs that do not float above water for their entire length, or are in danger of being submerged when they enter fresh water, shall not be towed in the canal until such logs are securely fastened so as to prevent their escape from the raft.

(ii) Whenever required, log rafts passing in through the lock will be given a number that shall be fastened on one of the logs in the raft. This number will identify the raft and shall not be removed until the logs are used.

(iii) Two floats are maintained in Shilshole Bay near the entrance of the canal channel to facilitate the handling of logs in the canal. Rafts bound for the canal may be moored at one of these floats, only the portion of the raft that is to be taken through at a single lockage being brought into the canal. The remainder of the raft may be left at the float until the first portion has been towed to its destination above the lock.

(9) Tows. All vessels engaged in towing shall use tow lines of the least practicable length and shall have full control of their tows at all times. Towing more than one craft abreast is forbidden if the total width of the tow, including the towboat, exceeds 70 feet.

(10) Obstructing navigation. (i) All vessels and tows passing through the canal shall be kept as close as practicable to the center or, when safer, to the right side of the waterway, except when passing other craft or preparing to moor at a pier or wharf. Slowly moving log rafts, tows, or vessels shall, whenever practicable, pull out of the way when meeting other vessels or when other traffic proceeding in the same direction desires to pass. Vessels are forbidden to obstruct the canal in any way or to delay by slow passage through the canal the progress of other vessels. Small and readily maneuverable vessels operating in the vicinity of larger, less maneuverable vessels shall, in all cases, keep clear and operate with caution in order that the larger vessels may maintain safe steerage way and that hazards to all vessels may be reduced. All vessels shall operate with extreme caution and movements shall be made only when adequate precautions for the safety of other vessels and property are being effectively employed.

(ii) The placing of logs, vessels, or other floating objects within the limits of the dredged channels or anywhere in the canal where they may interfere with navigation to or from piers or industrial plants is prohibited.

(11) Turning. Vessels exceeding 100 feet in length shall not turn around, or attempt to turn around, in the concrete revetted portions of the canal at the Fremont Cut or Portage Cut sections of the canal.

(12) Excessive working of propellers or engines. Excessive working of the propellers of a vessel for purposes of testing or for other purposes when this creates objectionable or dangerous currents in the canal is forbidden. In case of grounding, the rapid or strong working of the vessel's engines is forbidden.

(13) Landing or mooring. No business, trading, or landing of passengers, freight, or baggage will be allowed on or over the canal piers or lock walls, or over the piers or grounds forming a part of the canal or its appurtenances. All persons in charge of or employed on any boat are prohibited from landing or mooring such boat at any of the canal piers, unless in transit through the canal or specially permitted to do so by the District Engineer or his authorized assistants.

(14) Deposit of refuse. The deposit, either from watercraft or from the shore, of any oil or refuse matter in the canal or upon the canal grounds is prohibited, nor shall water discharged from the side of a vessel be allowed to spill on the lock wall.

(15) Aids to navigation. Persons in charge of log rafts or other tows, and the masters of vessels and boats using the canal, shall keep a careful watch when passing buoys or other aids to navigation and promptly report to the District Engineering or his authorized assistants any displacement or damage to such aids.


Aids to navigation and other related data are shown on Nautical Chart No. 18447 published by the National Ocean Survey.

(16) Operation of salt water barrier in the large lock of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. (i) A salt water barrier is installed across the east end of the large lock. This barrier, while in the depressed position, reduces the depth of the water available at the east end of this chamber from 36 feet to 33.75 feet at low lake elevation (20 feet above MLLW). In the raised position, the depth of water will be reduced to 16 feet. In comparison, the depth of water available for navigation at the west end of the large lock chamber is 29 feet at mean lower low water. The purpose of this barrier is to reduce salt water intrusion into Lake Washington through normal operations of the locks.

(ii) The least depth of water available over the barrier when raised will be shown on signs placed near the ends of the guide piers to the large lock. A yellow light mounted on these signs will be lighted only while the barrier is in a raised position.

(iii) Vessels transiting the lock from east to west having draft requirements that exceed the water depth available over the barrier will advise the lockmaster by sounding one long and two short blasts of a horn or whistle. When the yellow light is extinguished on the signboard, the operator of the vessel may assume the barrier has been lowered.

(iv) Vessels transiting the lock from west to east having draft requirements that exceed the depth available over the intrusion barrier will advise the lockmaster by sounding one long and two short blasts of a horn or whistle. A yellow light mounted on a standard on the south lock wall and opposite the intrusion barrier will be lighted only when the barrier is in the raised position.

(v) It shall be the responsibility of the vessel operator to satisfy himself of the position of this barrier prior to passing over it.

(c) 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.

[26 FR 11203, Nov. 28, 1961] Editorial Note:For Federal Register citations affecting § 207.750, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.