Mooring at the Chicago Harbors

Welcome to the Chicago Harbors!  With spaces for over 6000 boats and locations convenient to many neighborhoods, this is the best way to enjoy all that the lake has to offer.  The harbor season lasts from May 1 to October 31 each year and moorings are assigned on a seasonal basis (mooring permits can be renewed each year for the same space).  Along the 14 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline there are 10 harbors operated by the Chicago Park District from which boaters can choose from.  Each harbor has it’s own unique neighborhood feel and often boaters will make their decision based on location, atmosphere, and friends.  We encourage you to take a look at our “Explore the Harbors” page and browse through each harbor to determine what works best for your boating needs.

Mooring Types


Slips offer convenience and amenities. They represent the majority of moorings offered by the Chicago Harbors. With walk out accessibility, each slip has electric and water and the ability to have a dock box installed. Found at every harbor except Monroe.

Mooring Can

Mooring cans are floating buoys anchored to the lakebed. Accessed by paid tender service or private dinghy these moorings offer affordability. Many boaters like the nostalgia associated with being on a can. Found at Montrose, Belmont, Monroe, Burnham, and Jackson Park Outer.

Star Dock

Star docks bridge the gap between slips and mooring cans. They consist of wooden docks in a “spoke” pattern floating freely in the harbor and anchored to the lakebed. They require a private dinghy to access. Star docks offer economical pricing with the ability to have a dock. Found at Montrose, Belmont, Burnham, and Jackson Park Outer.

Dry Storage

Dry storage is available at Montrose, Belmont, and Jackson Park Outer. There is small keelboat and dinghy storage as well as Laser and Vanguard racks with crane service available.

What’s included with my mooring?

Along with your slip, each mooring includes one parking pass for that particular harbor.  Additional parking passes can be purchased at the harbors.  Monroe Harbor boaters also get 2 tender passes.  Water usage is billed at a flat rate each year and electric is metered.   Dock boxes can be installed at an affordable rate as well.

Your perfect spot isn’t available?

No problem.  Each year many of our harbors have occupancies of more than 95% and while it can be hard to get your perfect spot it’s doesn’t need to keep you from the water.  Existing slip holders in the harbor system are given priority to transfer to other spaces, thus, we recommend you take the first available spot in the harbors and then submit a transfer for your perfect spot.  Often this is not at your first harbor of choice.  This route is faster than applying as a new applicant and a good way to make sure you’re queued up for that space.