By Nanda Olney
With five private marinas and a city governed open water marina at its heart, Eagle Harbor is home to an ever evolving liveaboard population. At any given time, approximately 80 to 100 people live on boats in Eagle Harbor. Many are solo occupants but couples and families are also among the vessel dwellers.
With 238 slips, Winslow Wharf Marina is the harbor’s largest and consequently has the most liveaboards. According to marina manager Brenda Pipo, it’s liveaboard limit of 50 is consistently met and maintains an extensive waitlist.
Among the remaining shore based marinas Eagle Harbor Marina, Harbour Marina, Eagledale Moorings and Williamson Landing it is estimated that less than 10 percent of the total slips are occupied by liveaboards, a limit set by the Department of Ecology.
Eagle Harbor is also home to Washington’s only open water mooring and anchoring area, which was formally established by COBI in 2010 and comprises 600,000 square feet of moorage. Its harbormaster Tami Allen said the the city recognized that the anchored the community was part of the island’s housing resources and wanted to protect it.
It was renamed the Dave Ullin Open Water Marina in 2017 to honor Ullin, who was, according to the city resolution, “the public face of the liveaboard community.”
Currently, DUOWM accommodates 16 vessels and is 100 percent residential. Liveaboard resident Rich Seubert says the harbor’s inhabitants contribute to the island while living close to the earth and conserving valuable resources.