Boating in NH
Please note that boat registrations are issued by the NH Department of Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles (learn more about registering your boat).
New Hampshire is a boater's paradise
You're never more than a short drive away from a boatable lake, pond or river in the Granite State. There are more than 400 public federal and state-owned launch sites where you can get your motorboat, kayak or canoe into the water, not to mention town-owned ramps that you can check out.
If you're a paddler, you'll find hundreds of great destinations in New Hampshire -- some whitewater for the adrenaline-rush crowd, some glassy expanses for the stereotypical Sunday driver, and lots and lots in between. Bring your binoculars, because many of the most fantastic waterbodies are inside of state parks and NH Fish and Game-owned Wildlife Management Areas; depending on the season and time of day, you may find more than just a nice place to launch your people-powered craft. And, of course, don't forget your fishing rod and tackle box!
Public Access Sites
- See list of NH boating and fishing public access sites
- How Boat Access Sites are Developed
- Public Water Access Advisory Board (PWAAB)
- Clean, Drain, Dry: Please perform a self-inspection of your boat, trailer and gear
General Boating Info
For general boating information, contact:
Marine Patrol Headquarters
Waters with Motor Restrictions - Division of Safety, Division of State Police
Boating Safety Courses from NH Marine Patrol
- Boater Education: Sign up for a class or find online study materials.
- Many locations throughout the state.
- Open to any boater over 14 years of age.
- NASBLA approved.
- Satisfies requirements of mandatory boating education law.
- For class schedule, call NH Marine Patrol at 1-888-254-2125.
- Be smart: Boat safe!
Get information on registering your boat, or phone Marine Patrol at (603) 293-2037.
- Which boats? All motorized vessels of any size must be registered, in addition to sailboats and sailboards 12 feet or longer. (Unmotorized canoes, kayaks and small sailboats do not need to register.) You can register at many marinas and sport shops, town halls and Department of Motor Vehicles offices.
- New boat: The 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 a 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.
Any vessel that is registered in another state or Canadian province 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.
Important Boating Information
Aquatic Nuisance Species in New Hampshire
Some species of aquatic wildlife and plants have become unwanted invaders in New Hampshire's waters. Learn more about aquatic nuisance species, the laws & rules around possession and use of aquatic species, and what boaters and anglers can do to help stop the invasion!
BOATERS take note - Lake Winnipesaukee speed limits (RSA 270-D:2 X and XI):
- 25 miles per hour during the period from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise; AND
- 45 miles per hour at any other time