Boating in North Carolina


Boaters can explore more than 5,000 miles of North Carolina waters. Find a boat ramp near you. Title and register your vessel. Get information on regulations and safety requirements here.

Registration and Titling 

Information about vessel registration and titling requirements, fees and frequently asked questions.

Where to Boat

The Wildlife Commission manages 250 free, 24-hour public Boating Access Areas.

Boating Access Area Event Permits 

N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission issues fishing tournament weigh-in and special use permits for each NCWRC Boating Access Area (BAA) to ensure that only allowable activities occur and that multiple large events do not occur at any site, thereby helping to manage congestion and user accessibility.

Laws & Safety

Learn about no wake zone and boating regulations, safety requirements, and recommendations.

Boater Education Courses

Information about boater education courses is available.

Marina Resources

Learn about Clean Marina Program and Clean Vessel Act.

Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Program

The NCWRC inspects, investigates and removes abandoned and derelict vessels along the coastline.

Rhodes Pond Dam Updates

View a timeline on Rhodes Pond Dam dating back to 2005 and other information regarding the lake.

Vessel Operator's Guide - A convenient reference to the requirements of North Carolina boating laws and regulations.

Download the guide 

Download the guide-Spanish version 

Boating Access Area Full and Partial Closures

Boating Access Area County Body of Water Date Ranges Closed Reason for Closure
Cedar Cliff Jackson Cedar Cliff Lake Until Fall 2024 Drawdown and Dam Maintenance - see Duke Energy Water Access Alerts
East Lake Ferry Dare Alligator River Closed indefinitely  
Great Lake Craven Great Lake Until Further Notice Hurricane Damage
Surf City Pender Intracoastal Waterway 7/3/2024, 9/21/2024, 11/1/2024 - 11/2/2024 Town Events
Straits Landing Carteret North River Until Further Notice DOT Bridge Construction Work - intermittent closures and limited parking