Chicago Harbors Take Step Toward Potential Opening for Boating Season

Winter storage boats will launch from Chicago's boatyards on Thursday

Though docks, lots and ramps are closed to boaters through the end of May, Chicago Harbors received permission to launch winter storage boats from boatyards beginning May 21, officials announced Saturday.

Boatyards at Montrose and 31st Street will temporarily hold storage boats until the official opening of Chicago Harbors.

During this time, boaters will not be charged for the temporary mooring and will continue to receive their pro-rata slip fee credit.

As of May 4, boatyard access is open with amended policies, such as:

  • Only two people are allowed on a boat at any time
  • Boat work must be prearranged with boatyard managers 24 hours in advance
  • Approved individuals entering the yard must check-in
  • Boat work must occur between the hours of 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Anyone in the boatyard must wear proper face masks if within six feet of another individual

The Chicago Harbos COVID-19 task force started a virtual petition to show Illinois officials the community should be allowed to open boating this summer.

The Boater's Pledge explains that boating can resume safely, while complying with safe distance requirements.

"We have been developing a pathway towards opening the Chicago Harbors -- one that allows for responsible social distancing on vessels, practical and safe procedures for commercial operators, and new health and safety guidelines for the harbors themselves that are consistent with the highest government standards," the pledge read.

Chicago's 2020 boating season has been extended to November 15 with permission from the Chicago Park District.

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