Boating in New Hampshire

Please note that boat registrations are issued by the N.H. Department of Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles (click to 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

Stop by your nearest NH Visitor Center to pick up a copy of the NH Boating & Fishing Public Access Map!

List of N.H. boating and fishing public access sites

How Boat Access Sites are Developed

Public Water Access Advisory Board (PWAAB)

General Boating Info

For general boating information, contact:
Marine Patrol Headquarters
(603) 293-2037 or

Motor Restrictions - Division of Safety Services
(603) 293-2037 or

Boating Safety Courses from NH Marine Patrol

Register Your Boat

Click here for 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

Safe Boating Tips

Prevent the spread of didymo or "rock snot"

stop aquatic hitchhikers!Aquatic Nuisance Species in New Hampshire
Some species of aquatic wildlife and plants have become unwanted invaders in New Hampshire's waters. Click here to 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

About Us
NH Fish and Game Dept.
11 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301

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