Boating in N.H.
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.
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!
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.
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).