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A Great Boating Option on Lake Winnipesaukee

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Posted 04-18-2013 at 07:44 AM by Roy Sanborn

A Great Boating Option on Lake Winnipesaukee

Summer is coming. Trust me. It will be here before you know it! This time of year many people start to think about buying a place on the water so they can enjoy everything the Lakes Region has to offer from their own home base. We often have buyers that aren’t quite up to speed on how much homes really cost on the lakes and are looking for that “little cabin for around a hundred thousand or so…” Well, those don’t exist anymore around here (no, not even on the small lakes) and if I found one I would own it myself. As real estate agents, we often get these buyers to look at water access or water view properties as alternatives. The fact that they are more affordable and the property taxes are a whole lot less expensive are pretty compelling reasons to consider these options. The savings gained by having a property off the water can then be applied to purchasing or leasing a slip for your boat so you can enjoy those spur of the moment cruises when the spirit moves you. Hey, with the money saved, you might even be able to talk the wife into buying a little bit bigger boat!

An intriguing option for summer boating fun is being offered by The Akwa Marina Yacht Club in Laconia. It is just up past the Boardwalk in the Weirs at 95 Centenary Ave. It is owned and operated by the Mailloux family. They have 76 boat slips that they rent and can accommodate just about any size boat. The slips have modern shore power, water connection, four way ties, 24 hour video surveillance, WiFi Internet, and some pretty stunning views. But this marina is a whole lot more than just a space to keep your boat.

Akwa Marina has three different cabanas that can be rented for the season to store all the gear you need to enjoy your summer on the lake but don’t want to lug around with you. Some even have electrical outlets for that all important mini fridge. There are also large 12’ x 14’ Beach Suite Cabanas that have a glass sliders with a deck overlooking the lake and are complete with a wet-bar, mini-fridge, and cable TV. The Club also has a beautiful sandy beach, swim raft, deep water pool with a poolside HDTV, tanning deck with lounge chairs, hot tub, a barbecue and picnic area, volley ball and Bocci courts, two fire pits, and pool table.

The really great thing they offer is that if you don’t own a boat and you don’t want to, you can join the American Boat Club and take a lot of the hassle and cost out of owing your own! Based at Akwa Marina, the American Boat Club offers several different size boats either on a half day or full day reservation basis that can also be strung consecutively. Reservations can be made online and you can have up to four different times slots reserved at any one time. When you arrive for your cruise on the lake your boat will be fueled, cleaned, and ready to go. No maintenance, no fuss, just a great day on the lake and at the fraction of the cost of owning your own boat. Obviously, you need to be licensed to operate a boat so take your course before the summer gets here if you haven’t already! Right now they have three pontoon boats, two 21’ Sea Rays, and a 24’ Sea Ray in their fleet. Additional boats will be added as the club grows to maintain an adequate ratio of members to boats so you can enjoy the lake when you want. The cost for this program right now is $3,600 for the season and looks to me like a really affordable way to enjoy boating on Winnipesaukee. The only other cost is that you have to fuel up before you bring the boat back.

The big news at the Marina this year is the large covered pavilion that will house a new bar and grill providing a great place to hang out, have lunch, and enjoy the views. It will be open to the public starting in mid-May. The Akwa Marina Beach Bar will specialize in seafood and offer fish and chips, lobster rolls, seafood platters, haddock sandwiches as well as standard pub fair such as burgers and dogs. There will be healthy choices, salads, and a kids' menu. You will be able to get there by foot, car, or by boat with transient docks available so you can come for lunch by water. You will even be able to call ahead and pick up baskets of food delivered right to the docks for you to enjoy on your cruise. How great is that?

The center piece of the pavilion is the bar which is made from a 1904, 28 foot wooden sloop named the “Anona.” In the early days this boat plied the waters of the Great Lakes. There are sure to be a bunch of landlubbers congregated around it, especially on rainy days when there will be drink specials offered. Kurt Mailloux says it is “always sunny at the Akwa Bar even when it is raining.” The views from the pavilion are just amazing and I suspect that visitors and locals alike will find this watering hole to be just the ticket on a lazy summer afternoon. It really is pretty cool. I think I found my new lunch spot!

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