Moorings FAQs

Frequently asked questions about moorings.

Why do I have to get a mooring permit?

The lakes in New Hampshire are a valuable public resource to be preserved for the benefit of the public as well as fish and wildlife. To balance the needs of all who use the lakes, the mooring law regulates the number and location of moorings on Lake Winnipesaukee, Squam, Newfound, Winnisquam, Sunapee, Ossipee, Bow Lake, and Pleasant Lake in Deerfield/Northwood.

Are existing moorings grandfathered?

No. Existing moorings may be permitted in their existing locations provided such moorings comply with the provisions of the mooring law.

Who can apply for a mooring?

A property owner, or a group or association which owns shorefront property. Moorings are not granted for deeded beach rights or right of ways.

How do I get a mooring application?

Applications can be requested from the Marine Patrol Unit, Mooring Program at (603) 267-6453 or online.

How many moorings am I entitled to?

None. Water is a public resource held in trust by  the state, therefore, there are no entitlements to moorings. Permission may be granted to a property  owner for one or more moorings when application is made and certain criteria  met.

How does a property owner get approval for a mooring?

The individual or group needs to show there is a demonstrated need, such as no other docking facilities for their boat(s).
When property is owned in common with others, the group must apply as a whole. Property owned in common by condominium associations or other groups shall be deemed owned by the group and shall not convey any rights to its individual members.
If more than four moorings are needed, a congregate or public mooring application is required.

How long will it take?

Depending on the season and if the application is complete, an individual mooring application will take 6-8 weeks to go through the process. The process for congregate or public mooring applications is different and those applications generally take 6-12 months for processing.

What does this cost?

There is no application fee. Once an application has been approved, the applicant will receive a mooring permit. The applicant is charged $125.00 for each mooring for the first year of the permit. The following years the costs are as follows for each mooring:

  • Individual Mooring Permits - $25.00 a mooring.
  • Congregate Mooring Permits - $50.00 a mooring.
  • Public Mooring Permits - $25.00 a mooring.

Do I lose my mooring permit if I don't use the mooring for a season?

No.  The applicant will receive a decal renewal form. The decal renewal form will request a copy of the current processed boat registration and the fee. If the mooring is not needed the form and fee should not be returned to the Moorings Program. However, the mooring buoy must not be installed. No mooring buoy can be placed in the water without a valid mooring decal affixed to it.

Is this permit permanent?

Yes, as long as ownership remains the same and the lease does not expired on moorings issued off of leased shore frontage. However, mooring permits are not transferable. The permit expires once the property is sold.

How does a Marine Patrol Officer on patrol know if my mooring is approved?

All moorings must display the current year's decal on the mooring buoy above the water line. If no decal is displayed the marine patrol will issue a warning. If the owner does not comply the mooring will be cut and the boat towed at the owner's expense.