Lake Norman Boating Rules & Regulations

Lake Norman Boating info
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Lake Norman Boating Rules & Regulations

Boating on Lake Norman ranges from sail boats and power boats to personal watercraft and stand-up paddle boarding. It can become dangerous if you don’t know the lake or the local boating laws.

Whether you live on Lake Norman or are just visiting, Lake Norman offers a lot to do! Boating activities include wake boarding, water skiing, tubing, fishing and beaching your boat to enjoy a day swimming and splashing in the sun. You can also use the lake to paddle board, kayak, canoe or row. Whatever your boating pleasure Lake Norman has it!

There are many full service marinas and boat clubs nestled along Lake Norman’s shoreline. They offer everything from covered boat slips to long-term dry storage. There are also many lake access ramps maintained by state & local authorities. We also have waterfront parks, swimming on Lake Norman at Lake Norman State Park and a new beach and swimming area at Ramsey Creek park in Cornelius.

Required Equipment

For a safe day on Lake Norman, the following is the required equipment on all boats. Further detail by class of boat can be found on the North Carolina Wildlife Commission website https://www.ncwildlife.org/Boating/Laws-Safety

  1. Lights – Red to Port (left), Green to Starboard (right), 360 degree white all around light or 135 degree stern light and 225 degree masthead light. Sailboats under sail alone shall exhibit the combined lantern (red to port, green to starboard) and 135 degree stern light, but no 225 degree masthead light.
  2. Wearable PFD for each person on board (Type I, II, or III may be onboard or Type V if worn).
  3. Fire extinguisher sized appropriately for vessel.
  4. Whistle or sound producing device.

Lake Norman is regulated by the laws and statutes of North Carolina, the Lake Norman Marine Commission, NC Wildlife Resources Commission and by the counties that surround Lake Norman: Catawba County, Iredell County, Lincoln County & Mecklenburg County.

For more information visit Lake Norman Marine Commission website: https://lnmc.org/boating-laws/

Here is a list of websites with Lake Norman boating rules and regulations as well as departments & agencies in charge of keeping Lake Norman safe for boaters and other lake users.


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