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Lake Norman is a boater’s playground located in the heart of the Carolinas, just 20 miles north of Charlotte. For visitors and residents of North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina and beyond, this gigantic freshwater lake welcomes boaters and group travelers looking for an adventure to cruise around and enjoy the 520-miles of shoreline. Families with young children, couples, and groups of friends can find luxurious lake houses, rolling hills, and woodsy forests to explore to complement their on-water adventures. Lake Norman touches several popular southern towns — Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, and Mooresville — offering a variety of activities to try both on and off the water.
When planning your boat rental outing on Lake Norman, consider these popular boat rental styles:
Pontoons are fun boats ideal for a great day out on any lake. Cruise Lake Norman’s vast waters in style and comfort, with flexibility for handling a list of on-water activities. This infamous party-barge-style boat is perfect for families with small children or for friends looking to celebrate bachelorette/bachelor parties or birthdays.
Ski boats and wake boats will give you and your crew a thrill ride. If you’re interested in tow toys, tubing, wakeboarding, or even wakesurfing, these boats are for you.
Boating License/Education Rules: Residents born after January 1, 1988, who operate powered watercraft 10 hp or greater, have completed a NASBLA-approved boating safety course. No one under 14 years of age may operate a PWC. Persons 14 years old up to 16 years of age may operate if they are accompanied by an adult 18 or older or have a certificate of competency from a NASBLA-approved boating education course and some form of ID.
Life Jacket Recommendations: 13 years of age and under must wear a PFD.
For more information, visit the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
Where to dock your boat, or meet your rental:
All Seasons Marina and BoatYard
Safe Harbor Kings Point
Safe Harbor Westpoint
To learn more, be sure to read Things to do on Lake Norman.
Summers in North Carolina tend to be hot and muggy; while, winters are very cold and wet. People typically flock to the water in the summertime to cool off. The best times of year to visit Lake Norman for on-water activities are from mid-May to mid-August. In some seasons, moderate temperatures allow the local boating season to be extended into the end of September or even early October.
Avg. Temperature High: Peaks around 92°F in July
Avg. Temperature Low: Around 29°F during winter months, from December through March
Avg. Water Temperatures in and around Lake Norman:
60°F in the Spring (March, April, May)
75°F in the Summer (June, July, August)
60°F in Fall (September, October, November)
43°F in Winter (December, January, February)
Lake Norman is a popular destination for avid anglers—not only because of its booming bass population but also because it serves as host to several national fishing tournaments. While this lake is teeming with fish year-round, the best time of year to go fishing is during spring and/or early winter. Not only will you make your trophy catch around this time, but you’ll also be among other experienced local anglers on the water. Up your game and book a fishing charter while here! Keep in mind that you’ll be required to have a basic fishing license, or sportsman license, to fish here. Your charter captain can help ensure you’re ready to fish with gear and appropriate licenses.
Pro Tip: Target species in this area include: Catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, striped bass, and yellow and white perch.
Location: Google Maps Link
Closest marinas or docks: Ramsey Creek Boat Ramp
Lat/Long: 35.4643° N, 80.9015° W
Located in Cornelius, Jetton Park is the perfect place for families. Also close by is the Lake Norman Sandbar. Drop your anchor here for some solid quality time spent with your loved ones. You’ll pretty much have this slice of the lake all to yourselves, so enjoy. Make sure to pack berries, power drinks, plenty of water, and perhaps your favorite sandwiches for when the hunger bites. Float on a lily pad and bring fun water toys, too! End the day by watching the sunset on the lake.
Pro Tip: Other great areas to catch the sunset on the lake include Cocktail Cove, Ramsey Creek Park, and Toucan's Lakefront.
Location: Google Maps Link
Sunset hours: The sun typically sets around 8:30pm during the middle of summer. Be sure to secure a spot on The Sandbar at least an hour to 30 minutes before so you can enjoy the sunset to its fullest.
Lat/Long: 35.4892° N, 80.9254° W
The waters northeast of Lake Norman, near Mooresville, are buzzing with on-water activity. Thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies will want to bring their boat here to go wakeboarding. With any one of our awesome towboats within the Boatsetter fleet, you can throw off the perfect wake and ride like a pro. Don’t worry if you’re a bit rusty or if you’re new to watersports, you’ll have plenty of time with a half-day or full day rental to find your balance and try out new tricks. Plus, you can consider booking your boat rental with a captain who has experience with watersports and can help show you the ropes.
Pro Tip: Mooresville is a charming southern town, and is a part of Charlotte's metropolitan area. Since you’ll be near it, check out this small town’s buzzing Downtown made of unique boutiques, breweries, and locally owned restaurants.
Location: Google Maps Link
Marinas: Inland Sea Marina, Stutts Marina, 420 Dock
Lat/Long: 35.5020° N, 80.9180° W
Located south of Governor’s Island, Goat Island—also called Dog Island—is the place for you, the kids, and the dog to hang out and catch the sunset. It’s also home to Lake Norman’s annual ‘Dog Island Jam,’ which has become the lake’s can’t-miss event of the summer. Be ready to join the local crowd and make friends, as this is a popular area for boaters to raft up or beach with other boats. This shallow-water area is perfect for people (and pets) looking for an easy swim. If you plan to spend the day, make sure to pack a couple of sandwiches, fruit, power drinks, and towels!
Nearby marinas: Holiday Marina is located to the east, while Safe Harbor Peninsula Yacht Club is just south.
Rafting-up: Goat Island is a very popular spot for raft-up parties with other boats. Remember to check with your boat’s owner ahead of time if this is allowed; or book your rental with a captain and allow a professional to handle each step of the raft-up process.
Pro Tips: Every summer around the month of July, Dog Island hosts something like a music festival for boaters, it’s called Dog Island Jam! This festival fills up the tiny island and the water, so make sure to secure your boat rental early so you don’t miss out.
Lat/Long: 36.3446°N, -76.2213°W
Located on the northern shore of the lake at the mouth of Hicks Creek, Lake Norman State Park is one of North Carolina’s most visited parks. You can find the boat ramp conveniently located onsite, which is a perfect location to meet your boat’s owner. During your cruise, you’ll see several sandy shores. Continue to the south side of the park and you’ll reach the swimming area. If you’ve book a captained-rental, have your captain anchor your boat here, crack open a drink, and turn up the music. Take in the view of woods hugging the beach and don’t be afraid to dive right in. Lifeguards on site are on the lookout for you here.
Dockage: Lake Norman State Park Boat Ramp
Wake zone: Yes - across the entire lake, there are regulations in place stating that it is unlawful to operate a vessel at greater than no-wake speed within 50 yards of a boat launching area, bridge, dock, pier, marina, boat storage structure, or boat service area.
Pro Tips: This 1,900-acre park offers anglers several fishing opportunities. If you’re looking for where to fish in North Carolina, come here for a guided pro fishing experience. Target fishing species include Black Crappie, Striped Bass, White Bass, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Bluegill, and Yellow Perch.
Lat/Long: 35.6721° N, 80.9326° W
Located in Mecklenberg county, near Huntersville, Blythe Landing is a hotspot for boaters in North Carolina as well as boaters trying to get to know this great state. You’ll have six boat launch sites here, and several floating piers. Needless to say, all routes here lead you and your crew to the water. Anchor your boat here to immerse yourself in a vibrant crowd that typically floats here. Blythe Landing is hands down one of the spots for lake fun. In the mood for a little friendly competition? Dock here and set up your very own sand volleyball match.
Seasonality: Open from March 1 through October 31
Getting to Blythe Landing: Located in the southeastern corner of the lake, Blythe Landing is across from Jetton Park and Ramsey Creek Park.
Pro Tips: Feeling a bit hungry? Dock your boat at Dockside Cafe, which sits onsite, for a cold Coke-Cola, burger, and fries.
Lat/Long: 35.4336° N, 80.9072° W
Port City Club
Frequently asked questions
The cost to rent a boat on Lake Norman for a half-day starts at $180. For a full day on the water prices on average range from $360 and $3,600.
The cost to rent a small yacht on Lake Norman starts at $950 for a half-day on the water and $3,500 for a full day with a captain.
What makes Boatsetter different is peace of mind. Boatsetter is the first and only boat rental marketplace to offer insurance on every peer-to-peer boat rental. We know choosing the right boat rental platform is essential to your experience while on the water. That's why we've gone the extra mile to focus on safety through our exclusive partnership with GEICO Marine and BoatUS. As the first and only boat rental marketplace to offer insurance on every peer-to-peer rental, you are protected during all rentals with insurance coverage and on-water assistance through TowBoatUS.
If you operate a boat in North Carolina while intoxicated, you can face stiff penalties. This can include fines, revoked driver's licenses, and possibly jail time.
The number of people who can fit on boat rental largely depends on the boat's size and how many life jackets are on board. Currently the coast guard allows a maximum of 10-12 people on a Boatsetter boat rental.
You must be 18 years old to rent a captained boat and 25 years old if you would like to rent a bareboat charter.
Boating license requirements vary from state to state. As a renter, you are responsible for understanding local state requirements.
Boatsetter allows you to rent a yacht for the day. Single-day yacht rentals are available for a select number of yachts. To chat with a yacht specialist please visit: https://www.boatsetter.com/luxury-yacht-charters
Boatsetter allows its customers to rent a yacht for the week. Renting a yacht for a week gives you more access to the wide range of yachts available on our platform. You can either book a rental directly through the site or connect with one of our charter specialists to plan your trip here: https://www.boatsetter.com/luxury-yacht-charters
Booking a month-long yacht rental is a detailed and hands-off process when working with our team of yacht charter specialists. We tailor each yacht charter to our client's specific wants and needs. Our luxury yacht charter specialists can be reached at (954) 715-4114 or by visiting https://www.boatsetter.com/luxury-yacht-charters
Renting a private yacht is a very detailed experience that caters to your exact needs while onboard one of our luxury yachts. To plan your private yacht rentals experience please visit: https://www.boatsetter.com/luxury-yacht-chartersHow much does it cost to rent a pontoon boat?
The cost of renting a pontoon boat depends on the size, location, and rental time of the boat. Prices can range anywhere from $200 for a half-day rental or just under a $1,000 for longer rentals.
The cost to charter a yacht varies depending on the boat size and the length of the charter. Prices typically range from less than $1,000 to $5,000 plus if you're wanting to charter the yacht overnight.
In North Carolina, boat operators must obtain a North Carolina Boater Education Certificate before renting their boat.
Boat insurance typically covers loss caused by things such as fire, sinking, storms, and collisions. The extent of the coverage varies depending on the policy.
Yes. We use a system called Cognito to ensure that payment information matches the renter's identity. We also require renters taking out a captained boat to be at least 18 years old and on a bareboat to be at least 25 years old.
Yes! Listing a boat is completely free. We only take a commission when your boat is rented. We only make money when you do!
If you are not comfortable having a renter drive your boat, we have an expansive network of licensed and experienced captains. Once your boat is listed, you can filter through our network of captains and favorite captains in your area that you would like to operate your boat.
At Boatsetter, our mission is to make getting out on the water as easy as possible. With our intuitive booking system, you can rent a boat as soon as today. -First, you must determine your budget and the type of boat you want to rent. -Next, decide where you would like to boat and the kind of boat you would like to spend the day on. -Finally, determine if you will be needing a boat captain and reach out to the boat owner. That's it! You're officially on your way to a fantastic day out on the water.
The cost of renting a yacht depends on the boat's size and the amount of time you'll use the yacht. The onboard amenities and luxurious accommodations also dictate the price. You can contact our yacht specialists for a custom quote by visiting https://www.boatsetter.com/luxury-yacht-charters