Boating in N.H.
New Hampshire Saltwater Fishing
Ten Tips for Safe Boating
- Don’t Overload Carry only the specified limit for your craft and don’t sit on the gunwales or the transom.
- 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.
- Know the Water Always carry a chart (map) of the waters you are boating on.
- In an Accident Your first obligation is to save lives and help the injured. Call N.H. Marine Patrol: (603) 293-2037.
- 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!
- Use Your Lights All boats operating after sunset must display lights to be visible to other boaters.
- Use Caution When passing within 150 feet of another boat, swimmers, rafts, shore, docks, or mooring fields, you must be at headway speed.
- Don’t Use the Water as a Dump It is illegal to litter or discharge sewage into the water.
- Don’t Harass Wildlife All wildlife are protected on the state’s waters, subject to strict hunting and fishing regulations.
- Take a Boating Safety Course For info call Boating Education at (603) 267-7256.
Diver There, Please Beware
N.H. State law requires boaters to stay at least 150 feet away from a red flag with a white stripe or other flags in the water. They signal that scuba divers are in the area.
General Boating Information
N.H. Department of Safety,
Marine Patrol Headquarters
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).
Share your love of fishing—
Become a Volunteer “Let’s Go Fishing” Instructor!
For more information on the “Let’s Go Fishing” program, call (603) 271-3212.
Aquatic Resources Education
N.H. Fish and Game Department