newfound lake

If you have spent any time on the lakes around New Hampshire, you may have encountered a new breed of boaters. Those with a lack of concern for safety and etiquette. Boaters who only care about themselves and forget the rest. Their theory is, if the warden doesn’t see me, who cares if I break the law. Or, maybe just maybe, they cheated on their boat license and just don’t know the rules. Below are a few of the major boat etiquette and laws some captains may have forgotten.

Ramp up

When you are getting ready to put your boat in the water, remember, getting it done quickly and safely are important. Load your gear and equipment before it is your turn to launch. You do not want to take too long if there is a line of people at the ramp behind you waiting to get out on the water.

150 Feet

Your boat should not be moving past anything closer than 150 feet unless you are doing MINIMUM SPEED. I think lots of people don’t know how long that is; 2 ski ropes, half a football field, home plate to middle outfield of a little league field, 4 school buses, or a 12 story building. It is a lot further than you think! This includes 150 feet from boats, kayaks, sailboats, and paddlepoards. This is much more than being a nuisance or disrupting others’ experience on the water. It’s dangerous. The law is that you must be 150 feet but be polite and stay at least 200 feet from the shoreline and other boaters. That kayaker you are heading straight at, they don’t know if you are going to turn or if they are about to get hit. I’m not waving at you, that’s my finger when you cruse by 50 feet from my boat. Know the 150 ft rule…2 ski ropes apart.

Lower the Volume

Sound bounces, reflects and travels far over the water, so have your music at a reasonable level. Other people on the lake may not want to hear your music but it is also a safety concern. Not only is it a disturbance to others but the operator may not hear the spotter. If you are sitting at the sandbar,the people next to you don’t want to hear your 80’s easy listening coming from your supped up Tige’.


When waiting in line, don’t cut people off. Pay for your gas and get out of the way. The boats in a line behind you, do not want to wait. Run your blower before you take off. No one wants to blow up with you.