January 30, 2015

Boating distance from Seattle to nearby harbors

Seattle is a world class home port for boaters. The cruising destinations are arguably better than all other west coast ports. I was docked in Seattle (Shilshole marina) for 4 years and did as much cruising around Puget Sound as possible. 

Before you untie the dock lines, its good to know how many miles from Seattle (Ballard Locks) to all nearby harbors and marinas. When I was boating around Seattle, I could never find all this information online in one spot - so, I made my own page.

Here I provide the: distance from Seattle to Eagle Harbor, distance from Seattle to Elliot Bay, distance from Seattle to Kingston, distance from Seattle to Edmonds, distance from Seattle to Blake Island, distance from Seattle to Bremerton, distance from Seattle to Port Ludlow, distance from Seattle to Gig Harbor, distance from Seattle to Tacoma, distance from Seattle to Quartermaster Harbor, distance from Seattle to Everett, distance from Seattle to Port Townsend, distance from Seattle to Oak Harbor, distance from Seattle to Friday Harbor and the distance from Seattle to Victoria.

Distance: How many miles from Seattle to nearby harbors / marinas.

(all distances from Seattle start at the Ballard Locks)

Distance in miles (nautical miles)

Seattle to Eagle Harbor                                       4.8 m  (5.5 nm)

Seattle to Elliot Bay (downtown harbor)              6.1 m  (7 nm)

Seattle to Kingston                                              6.5 m  (7.5 nm)

Seattle to Edmonds                                             7.4 m  (8.5 nm)

Seattle to Blake Island                                         8.3 m  (9.5 nm)

Seattle to Bremerton                                          13.5 m  (15.5 nm)

Seattle to Port Ludlow                                          20 m  (23 nm)

Seattle to Gig Harbor                                         21.3 m  (24.5 nm)

Seattle to Tacoma                                                23 m  (26.5 nm)

Seattle to Quartermaster Harbor                       24.8 m  (28.5 nm)

Seattle to Everett                                               25.2 m  (29 nm)

Seattle to Port Townsend                                  28.7 m  (33 nm)

Seattle to Oak Harbor                                        35.6 m  (41 nm)

Seattle to Friday Harbor (San Juan Island)          53 m  (61 nm) 
(via Admiralty Inlet)

Seattle to Victoria (Vancouver Island)               56.5 m  (65 nm)
(via Admiralty Inlet)

A nautical mile is based on the circumference of the earth. One nautical mile is equal to one minute of latitude on a chart. A nautical mile is slightly more than a land mile (1 nautical mile = 1.15 land mile)

boating distance from Seattle to friday harbor
I plotted out these Puget Sound distances the old fashioned way
     For each distance, I used the outer navigational markers from each harbor as the starting/ending waypoint. For the Seattle starting point, I used the navigational markers just outside the Ballard Locks. If you're moored down in Elliot Bay, just add or subtract a few miles, depending on your destination.

If you're heading out into Puget Sound and beyond, you need at least one good boating guidebook (cruising guide). For detailed information on boating around Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, then I like Migael Sherer's Cruising Guide to Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. This is regarded as the definitive guide book for local Seattle boaters. Lots of tips on anchorages and smaller bays.

Or, if you're looking for an old salty classic. Carl Nyberg and Jo Bailey, an older boating couple from the Northwest wrote a really cool book to help with dropping anchor in secluded bays, bights and 'gunkholes' in the San Juans, Gunkholing in the San Juan Islands: A Comprehensive Cruising Guide Encompassing Deception Pass to the Canadian Boundary, This book also helped me find some productive spots for dungeness crabs.

Seattle Boat

If you're a Seattle power boater, the distances provided should be all you need to approximate your travel time. If you're a sailor who wants to put the sails up, then your travel time will be much more variable. I've written a more thorough post, that approximates the time required to make these trips (based on a 30 foot sailboat).

ballard locks to Puget sound harbors
taking my Newport 30 through the Ballard locks

Hope this page has been helpful.

Fair winds!


bill said...

Thanks for the list. I'm in Tacoma on a
Catalina 30 but will be moving it to

Anonymous said...

just moved to seattle, this will help a bunch - thanks!

Captain Curran said...


You will love Bremerton - plus you've got the ferry to send you right into seattle when needed

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