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New Hampshire Boating Safety

Boating on New Hampshire rivers and lakes, especially with one of our Lake Sunapee boat rentals, is a fun and relaxing way to enjoy leisure time. However, to maximize the enjoyment for everyone on the lake, it’s important that everyone participates with safety in mind. Sadly, some New Hampshire boaters have suffered injury and even death because they were neglectful or unprepared.

Don’t become a statistic. For the safety and enjoyment of yourself and everyone on your craft, observe the responsibilities of licensed boaters in New Hampshire.

Who Needs a Boating License

New Hampshire law mandates boating education and certification for every person 16 years of age and older who operates a motorboat of over 25 horsepower on New Hampshire waters. A boating education certificate is obtained by taking a classroom course or the online New Hampshire Boat Ed course and passing an exam based on the rules and regulations outlined in The Boater’s Guide of New Hampshire.

If you have a boating education certificate from another state whose education program is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), New Hampshire will honor the certificate.

In addition to the licensing requirement, Goodhue Boat Company at Sargent’s Marina requires that all persons requesting Lake Sunapee rentals be at least 21 years of age.

Why a Boating License Is Important

If you’re an educated boater, you’ll likely be a more responsible boater. Going through the boating education certificate process ultimately helps you to:

  • Guard the safety of yourself and others. You’re responsible for the welfare of everyone on your craft.
  • Comply with the law. All boating laws are conscientiously enforced by the New Hampshire Marine Patrol.
  • Ensure the safety of the marina and its staff. At Lake Sunapee, boating licenses make good customers!
  • Protect wildlife. New Hampshire’s lakes and rivers are the habitat of fish, birds and other animals that play important roles in our ecosystem. Preventing the spread of invasive species in our waterways is a priority of New Hampshire boating safety.

Getting a Boating License at Sargent’s Marina

If you’re interested in Lake Sunapee boat rentals at Sargent’s Marina but don’t have a current New Hampshire boating education certificate, you can acquire a temporary license at either of the marina locations. Requirements:

  • Take the exam based on the content of The Boater’s Guide of New Hampshire.
  • You must score more than 80 percent on the exam to obtain the license.
  • The license is good for just 14 days from the date of issue.
  • Cost is $20, payable by cash or credit card.

Things You Should Know About Boating in New Hampshire

There’s more to know than you know! The Boater’s Guide of New Hampshire is filled with information required for boating safety, especially for those who are new to boating. The online Boat Ed course will lead you through the contents of the whole guide, but here’s a brief sampling of some of the areas covered:

  • Everyone needs a boating license to drive a craft with 25 horsepower or more on New Hampshire waters.
  • Life vests. There must be one life vest available for each person on the boat.
  • Be intentional. Have a pre-departure checklist for planning your trip. Be familiar with your vessel, make sure you have enough fuel and the proper equipment, and know the capacity of your boat so you don’t overload.
  • Observe the rules for safe navigation, including knowing the shapes and colors of buoys and channel markers and what they mean. Be considerate when encountering other vessels, and don’t obstruct navigation by anchoring in the wrong spot. Study up!
  • Emergency situations and extreme weather. Study the techniques for avoiding accidents and collisions with other boats. Get a current weather forecast before starting out, and learn to interpret signs paper writers of coming changes in the weather. Know what to do if your boat capsizes or one of your party falls overboard. Be trained in the basics of in-water rescue and CPR.
  • Boating and alcohol. Boating while intoxicated is against the law and there are stiff penalties if you are apprehended and fail a sobriety test. Penalties are especially severe when you have kids under 16 aboard, or if you should cause the death of someone due to your intoxication.

Learn More

For more information on safe boating, see the Official New Hampshire Boating Safety Course Online, or call Goodhue Boat Company at Sargent’s Marina with specific questions about getting a Lake Sunapee temporary boating license.

NH State Rules and Regulations / Licensing Requirements

Every person operating our rentals are required to have a Safe Boater Education Certificate to comply with New Hampshire boater education law. To obtain a certificate, you must successfully complete a boater safety course or equivalent exam. Take the exam online at www.boat-ed.com or call 1-888-254-2125 for the next boater safety course in your area. This certificate must be carried onboard.

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