Boating in N.H.

Saltwater Marine Fishing Regulations New Hampshire Saltwater Fishing

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 you are boating on.
  4. In an Accident Your first obligation is to save lives and help the injured. Call N.H. Marine Patrol: (603) 293-2037.
  5. Water and Alcohol Don’t Mix Sixty percent of recent boating fatalities in N.H. are alcohol-related. Don’t drink and boat—the .08 law applies to boaters, too!
  6. Use Your Lights All boats operating after sunset 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 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, subject to strict hunting and fishing regulations.
  10. Take a Boating Safety Course For info call Boating Education at (603) 267-7256.

General Boating

N.H. Department of Safety,
Marine Patrol Headquarters
(603) 293-2037

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

See “Restricted Bodies of Water”

Boating Safety Courses

  • Classes offered year-round by N.H. Marine Patrol
  • Many locations throughout the state.
  • Open to any boater over 14 years of age.
  • Online study materials: boat-ed.com/nh
  • NASBLA approved.
  • Satisfies requirements of mandatory boating education law.
  • For class schedule, call N.H. Marine Patrol at 1-888-254-2125.
  • Be smart — boat safe!

It’s the Law: Clean & Drain

To avoid the spread of aquatic invasives, N.H. State law requires boaters to drain their boat and other equipment that holds water, including live wells and bilges, when leaving a waterbody (including saltwater).

Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire

The official non-profit partner of the N.H. Fish and Game Department, the Wildlife Heritage Foundation raises money and works with wildlife professionals and conservation education partners to fund Fish and Game’s conservation of wildlife and natural places. The foundation has supported a wide range of projects, including tracking and mapping of ovigerous female lobsters and monitoring river herring passage over the breached Wadleigh Falls Dam on the Lamprey River. Funding for the foundation’s grants program comes from individual and corporate donors and from the annual auction of fish and game permits and licenses. The foundation accepts general and targeted cash donations, as well as planned gifts and tangible assets; in most cases, contributions are tax-deductible.

To learn more about the foundation or make an online donation, visit nhwildlifeheritage.org or contact (603) 496-2778 or admin@nhwildlifeheritage.org. Thanks for your support!