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Old 12-28-2018, 05:06 PM   #1
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Moorage Near Chicago NOT Controlled by Chicago Parks

The Chicago Parks District charges a 10% surcharge for non-residents (of Chicago) to moor/dock their boat in any of the Chicago harbors.

Do any members in the Chicagoland area have alternate marinas they might recommend for more cost-effective moorage/dockage of a 38' Sundeck trawler?


Peace and blessings,

Larry Buchman

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Old 12-28-2018, 08:24 PM   #2
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Larry, I don't have any info for you, but I am curious about what moorage runs in your area. What would one pay for a 50' covered slip? Just curious.

Mike and Tina
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:24 PM   #3
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Moorage Near Chicago NOT Controlled by Chicago Parks


Chicago non-residents are not assessed a 10% surcharge fee . . . Rather, a 20% premium ($875 - $1150 for a 40' slip depending upon the harbor) is added on to the base charge for moorings/slips, plus an escalating charge for electrical service is also assessed depending upon the size of a slip. Three alternative marinas I would suggest worth considering are Waukegan Harbor & Marina in Waukegan, IL, Winthrop Harbor Marina in Winthrop Harbor, IL and Southport Marina in Kenosha, WI. All three charge significantly less for a slip, have outstanding facilities available, and are serviced by the METRA North train line running to/from Chicago should you wish to commute.

Another factor which should be included in your decision making process is the cost for fuel. All three suggested alternative marinas provide fuel/pump-out service. The Chicago Park District determines fuel costs (Available at selected Chicago harbors - Belmont, Burnham & 31st Street). The premium charged for fuel pumped in the Chicago Harbor System is typically a dollar or more than the cost/gallon found at other Lake Michigan marinas providing fuel service.

Finally, a non-cost but important consideration to be weighed in is the type of "Ambiance" you're looking for. Boating along the Chicago lakefront provides an amazing experience which is quite unique given this major metropolitan city being situated on Lake Michigan. On the other hand, there is a lot to be said for the peace and quiet found away from the hustle & bustle of the city. All three alternative marinas mentioned are a lazy boat trip from Chicago, so if/when you're up for it . . . ENJOY!

Go online and you will see what is available at all of these marinas. FYI, I have moored different vessels in Chicago as well as at all three suggested alternative marinas in over 20+ years of boating on Lake Michigan. It's your choice!

Good Luck,

Gene Knapp
Capt'n. - Mazie C.
Mainship 34 Pilot Sedan
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Old 12-28-2018, 11:29 PM   #4
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Thank you for your reply, Gene, and especially for the three alternative harbor suggestions, which I will investigate further while attending the Cicago Boat & RV Expo in a couple of weeks.

You"re right: when I checked actual dock slip prices on the Chicago Parks/Harbors website this evening, to reply to someone's question about 50' slip fees, I discovered that the non-Chicago-resident premium surcharge IS closer to 20% of the base/Chicago-resident fee (not just 10%).

Peace and blessings,

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Old 12-29-2018, 12:02 AM   #5
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Chicago marinas exclusively use Dockwa for transient slips- see what rates are there. If you want to stay in the boonies up the Calumet River- there is also Marine Services- very basic and way away from everything.

I concur about getting your fuel away from chicago- our taxes are high here. Try Hammond, IN or up in Racine, WI if you come down the west side. Being a chicago resident and docking in Chicago- you cant beat the surroundings though it will cost. For a few days- who cares. You will spend the difference in transportation in most cases.
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chicago, dockage, marinas, moorage

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