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Rafting in New Hampshire


Raft is defined as “any group of two or more boats which are stationary upon the waters of a lake or pond and which are congregated together, whether anchored, secured to one another, or adrift, provided that at least one of the boats in the group is occupied.” Rafting is “forming or being a member of a raft.”

There are designated locations where, and times during which, the size of rafts is limited and a minimum distance is required between boats and rafts.

Currently, there are rafting restrictions in certain locations on Lake Winnipesaukee, Lake Sunapee, and Ossipee Lake.

No one in a prohibited location or at a prohibited time may:

  • Form or allow a boat, which you are operating or in charge of, to join a raft consisting of three or more boats.
  • Form or allow a boat, which you are operating or in charge of, to join a raft if any part of such raft is less than 50 feet from any other raft or less than 50 feet from any occupied single boat that is stationary on the waters of the same lake or pond.
  • Anchor a single boat and cause it to remain stationary on the waters of a lake or pond, other than momentarily, if any part of such boat is less than 50 feet away from any raft or less than 25 feet away from any other single boat which is stationary on the waters of such lake or pond.

Exceptions to the rafting restrictions are:

  • Boats anchored or moored at marinas, yacht clubs, or private docks with the owner’s permission
  • Boats involved in or attending a fireworks display, marine events, or other designated public events
  • Boats on any body of water of less than 400 acres or on any estuary or tidal waters of the state

Check with New Hampshire Marine Patrol at 603-293-2037 if you would like more information about rafting restrictions or information on other exemptions.