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Boating & Watersports

New Hampshire’s lakes capture the hearts of the nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and families who need a break from the stresses of everyday life. Sit back, relax, enjoy the fresh air, and have fun on the water as you explore this unforgettable region.

Register Your Boat

All motorized vessels must be registered, in addition to sailboats and sailboards 12 feet or longer. Nonmotorized canoes, kayaks, and small sailboats do not need to register.

New boat: The new boat owner must register in person at any NH Department of Motor Vehicles substation. Some marinas, sport shops, and town halls also can provide boat registrations; call first. The owner will be asked to show proof of ownership (such as bill of sale) and a photo ID.

Renewal: Once a boat is registered, registrants will receive a renewal form in the mail. In subsequent years, boat registrations may be renewed by mail or in person.

Reciprocity: Any vessel that is registered in another state may operate on New Hampshire waters for 30 consecutive days or less without a NH boat registration. Operators must have the appropriate Safe Boating Certificate.

Ten Tips for Safe Boating:

1. Don’t overload. Carry only the specified limit for your craft and don’t sit on the gunwales or the transom.

2. Wear life jackets or vests. State law requires one wearable life preserver for each person in a boat. Kids 12 and under must wear a life preserver.

3. Know the water. Always carry a chart (map) of the waters on which you are boating.

4. In an accident, your first obligation is to save lives and help the injured. Call NH Marine Patrol at (603) 293-2037.

5. Water and alcohol don’t mix. Sixty percent of recent boating fatalities in NH are alcohol-related. Don’t drink and boat—the .08 law applies to boaters, too!

6. Use your lights. All boats operating after dark must display lights to be visible to other boaters.

7. Use caution when passing within 150 feet of another boat, swimmers, rafts, shore, docks, or mooring fields. You must be at the headway speed.

8. Don’t use the water as a dump. It is illegal to litter or discharge sewage into the water.

9. Don’t harass wildlife. All wildlife are protected on the state’s waters which are subject to strict hunting and fishing regulations.

10. Take a boating safety course. For information, call Marine Patrol at (603) 267-7256.

New Hampshire Lakes

The 273 lakes and ponds in the Lakes Region ensure excitement and fun throughout the seasons. Opportunities abound for on-water (or on-ice) fun year-round. The largest lakes in the region include Lake Winnipesaukee which has 72 square miles with more than 200 miles of shoreline and 274 habitable islands; Squam Lake, where “On Golden Pond” was filmed, offers 65 miles of shoreline and 30 islands to explore by motor or paddle; Lake Winnisquam; Newfound Lake; and Ossipee Lake.

Activities & Lodging

Cottage Place on Squam Lake

Cottage Place is a perfect destination for a quick getaway or lengthy vacation. Situated on the shores of the pristine Squam Lake in Holderness, Cottage Place is in the heart of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region and the foothills of the spectacular White Mountains. Relax in one of the many Adirondack chairs on the grounds, sunbathe and swim on the private beach, paddle a kayak around Evans Cove, have lunch on one of the many picnic tables, cook dinner on an outdoor grill, and enjoy a camp fire in the evening. Cottage Place rents kayaks and a paddle boat for a nominal fee.

Riveredge Marina

Riveredge Marina is a certified service center for MasterCraft boats, Indmar, and Ilmor engines and provides certified service for Honda, Mercury/Mercruiser, VolvoPenta, and PCM.

Lake Winnipesaukee Boat Tours (Group)

Mount Washington Cruises offers Scenic Daytime and Sunset Dinner Dance Cruises on Lake Winnipesaukee, NH from late May through October. The M/S Mount Washington visits five ports on Lake Winnipesaukee and takes on passengers in Wolfeboro, Meredith, Center Harbor, and Alton Bay on alternating days of the week with daily cruises from Weirs Beach. The Mount Washington Cruises fleet consists of the 230-ft. M/S Mount Washington and two smaller vessels, the US Mail Boat, Sophie C., and M/V Doris E. Catch a glorious sunrise or breathtaking sunset and perhaps you’ll spot a loon or other wildlife along the way.

Lake Winnipesaukee Boat Tours (Private)

Enjoy the splendor of 72-square-mile Lake Winnipesaukee on a private cruise aboard a custom-built “Down East Cruiser.” Morning, afternoon, and evening cruises are available. A private cruise allows guests to enjoy Lake Winnipesaukee at its very best. The Latitude 43° vessel cruises in many areas that are not accessible to larger boats and allows route changes along the way. Come and see the many islands, magnificent mountains, and hidden coves that surround and are part of Lake Winnipesaukee.

Explore Squam Cruise

This unforgettable guided tour has something to delight everyone. Learn about the natural history of the lake, the wildlife that makes Squam so special, and the people who have enjoyed these lakes for more than 5,000 years. View locations where the movie “On Golden Pond” was filmed and watch for Common Loons, Bald Eagles, and other wildlife.

For more information on reservations and pricing: explore Squam and cruise today!