Locking Requirements for Safety

Safety is the prime consideration when locking any type of vessel through a lock.

The lock operator has full authority over the movement of boats in the lock and its approaches.

Operators must require all passengers to wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket and turn off engines.

Notice to Navigation: 2019-001 Canaveral and Okeechobee Lock Procedures


Locking Through SAFELY Pamphlet

Safety in Locking Through Pamphlet    Safety In Locking Through Pamphlet Back Side

Canaveral Lock

Canaveral LockWelcome to Canaveral Lock, the largest navigation lock in Florida. Located between Port Canaveral's West turning basin and the Banana River, Canaveral Lock was constructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1965 to secure safe passage of vessels from the Banana River to Port Canaveral and the Atlantic Ocean. The lock reduces tidal-current velocities in Canaveral Harbor, prevents entry of hurricane tides into the Banana River and prevents salt water intrusion. This lock was built larger than originally planned  to allow passage of the Saturn rocket's first stage, used to put Apollo rockets into space.


Location of Canaveral Harbor: 145 miles south of Jacksonville and 70 miles north of Fort Pierce
Canaveral Harbor history: Created in 1951 by an artificial cut through the barrier beach to provide access to a turning basin in the Banana River, jetties completed in 1954

Lift of lock: Varies by tide stage in Canaveral Harbor and water level in the Banana River. Normal maximum difference in water levels is 3 to 4 feet.

How water level is changed: By releasing water from the ocean side to the Banana River side or vice versa

Lock staff: Five Corps of Engineers personnel

Major commodities through lock: Petroleum, NASA Shuttle booster rockets, commercial fishing vessels

Lock usage: Any vessel with draft up to 12 feet, no charge for lockage. Lockage takes 20 to 30 minutes.

Lock cost: $5.6 million total (includes bridges, roads, barge canal enlargement), cost of lock $2.96 million

Technical Details

Gate type: Sector gate (pie-slice shape), similar to gates on the Okeechobee Waterway Gate size: 23 feet high, 54 feet wide, 54 feet across the end

Gate weight: 47 tons (similar to the weight of 40 cars)

Lock chamber type: Earth walls, stone bottom, stone riprap on walls

Water seal type: Rubber cushion

Gate skin plate thickness: 3/8 inch

Concrete in gate monoliths: 15,000 cubic yards

Concrete slab thickness at bottom of gate: 10 feet, widest point between gates is 184 feet

Hours of Operation

Normal lock hours are 6 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. 

Contact Information

General information: 863-983-8101
  • Navigation Locks monitor Marine VHF radio channel 13.
  • Bridges monitor channel 9.

To contact lock: 321-783-5421