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Old 10-22-2018, 01:50 PM   #1
Bruce
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Default Navigating from Lee s mill launch in moultonboro.

Hi, I just joined a couple of days ago and have a question that I was hoping I could get some info. on. We bought a 19' bow rider 2 seasons ago for our first boat. My wife and I are retired and used it just in Squam lake. We traded it in for a 20' pontoon boat last week, and are hoping on doing some boating on lake winnipesaukee next season. I plan on installing a chartplotter/fish finder combo. to help with navagation. My question is, how difficult is it to go to say center harbor or Meredith bay from the Lee's Mill launch and how long would it take? Thanks in advance for any help or advice you can give me.
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Old 10-22-2018, 03:03 PM   #2
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Off the top of my head I would say it would take a good hour + (or more) to get to either location seeing as you (1) new to the Lake (2) only have a 20' toon.


SERIOUS NOTE: Be sure that when you plan such a trip that the weather is favorable - a 20' toon in the Broads can be quite an experience !

Regarding the Navigation -- the Lee's Mill side of the trip, until reaching the Broads, would be the more challenging (more Spars to contend with) than the second half of the trip.

If you are trailering -- I would HIGHLY suggest that you consider launching in Center Harbor and simply enjoy learning the Lake from there.


Oh -- and welcome to the Forum !!
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Old 10-22-2018, 03:48 PM   #3
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Hi, I just joined a couple of days ago and have a question that I was hoping I could get some info. on. We bought a 19' bow rider 2 seasons ago for our first boat. My wife and I are retired and used it just in Squam lake. We traded it in for a 20' pontoon boat last week, and are hoping on doing some boating on lake winnipesaukee next season. I plan on installing a chartplotter/fish finder combo. to help with navagation. My question is, how difficult is it to go to say center harbor or Meredith bay from the Lee's Mill launch and how long would it take? Thanks in advance for any help or advice you can give me.
Ok, so some qualifications need to be understood, are you considering doing the Winnipesaukee trip on the weekend or during the week? If on the weekend early in the day or late in the day?

These are huge factors because of water conditions... to make this trip your first obstacle is Moultonboro Bay... on the weekends, and when the wind is blowing this area can get rough.... The next area that can get rough on the weekends and when it is windy is over by the Graveyard. Off course the broads will be rough... etc... in a 20' pontoon boat dependent on conditions, and capabilities of your boat... you are looking anywhere from 1:30 to 3 hours one way....

Having said that it is a great ride as long as you mind the markers....

You could also brake this trip down, by using the state ramp on Long Island...Or the Moultonborough ramp on Long Island as well....
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:45 PM   #4
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Nobody has mentioned your motor. If you've got a 20' with a 70HP, like my first 'toon, it'll take you a day and a half to get to Center Harbor from Lee's Mills. If you've got a 20' tritoon with 150, like I have now, you can make it in 45 minutes or so, assuming open areas along the way. There are a few channels you'd have to go through that, if busy and requiring you to slow down, will add minutes each time.

My question would be why--are you looking to explore, or grab dinner at a port, etc.?

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Old 10-22-2018, 06:11 PM   #5
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The amount of time it will take is impossible to guesstimate without knowing which way you are going to go, how fast you plan on going, (depending on conditions), but I would definitely plan on 2 or 3 hours to get to Center Harbor, and longer to Meredith Bay. You don't even have to go through the broads to get to either place, so I wouldn't worry about that. I would just fill my gas tank, study the chart for a course, know where you can get gas, (if needed) and set out for an adventure. There are many different ways to go, around many different islands, so it can get a little confusing on that part of the lake, but it is all well marked so if you take your time, you will be fine, especially if you have a gps of the lake which you mentioned. I think the fastest way to Center Harbor would be taking a hard right after going through the graveyard and going by Trexler's marina through Braun Bay, or you could go through the "hole in the wall", all depends on how much time you want to spend on the water, but if you get up on plane and do some easy cruising, (20mph or so), you can go to Center Harbor and Meredith Bay, and back, in one day no problem IMHO. Definitely not a trip you want to do at headway speed, or it will take you a day and a half!! Weekend or week day, I would get an early start and see what happens, you can always turn around and hit it another day if the weather kicks up, or you get lost, or whatever...

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Old 10-22-2018, 06:32 PM   #6
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The amount of time it will take is impossible to guesstimate without knowing which way you are going to go, how fast you plan on going, (depending on conditions), but I would definitely plan on 2 or 3 hours to get to Center Harbor, and longer to Meredith Bay. You don't even have to go through the broads to get to either place, so I wouldn't worry about that. I would just fill my gas tank, study the chart for a course, know where you can get gas, (if needed) and set out for an adventure. There are many different ways to go, around many different islands, so it can get a little confusing on that part of the lake, but it is all well marked so if you take your time, you will be fine, especially if you have a gps of the lake which you mentioned. I think the fastest way to Center Harbor would be taking a hard right after going through the graveyard and going by Trexler's marina through Braun Bay, or you could go through the "hole in the wall", all depends on how much time you want to spend on the water, but if you get up on plane and do some easy cruising, (20mph or so), you can go to Center Harbor and Meredith Bay, and back, in one day no problem IMHO. Definitely not a trip you want to do at headway speed the whole way!!
We went from Hanson Cove to Ragged Island to Becky's Garden to Sally's Gut to St. John's for a walk to the church for lunch to Governor's Island sandbar for an hour swim and back in half a day. 2-3 hours from LM to CH is sllooowww.

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Old 10-22-2018, 07:02 PM   #7
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We went from Hanson Cove to Ragged Island to Becky's Garden to Sally's Gut to St. John's for a walk to the church for lunch to Governor's Island sandbar for an hour swim and back in half a day. 2-3 hours from LM to CH is sllooowww.

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It's a lot faster than a day and a half like you said in your other post!! (He's not rowing!!). And we don't know which way he's going to go, what he has for power, or what the conditions will be at the time, so I tried to allow for "worst case" scenario in a realistic world knowing he's never been on the lake...
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Old 10-22-2018, 07:52 PM   #8
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It's a lot faster than a day and a half like you said in your other post!! (He's not rowing!!). And we don't know which way he's going to go, what he has for power, or what the conditions will be at the time, so I tried to allow for "worst case" scenario in a realistic world knowing he's never been on the lake...
It's called "hyperbole." Jeesh.

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Old 10-23-2018, 05:08 AM   #9
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The run from Lees Mills through MB and past the Graveyard is probably some of the most challenging waters on the lake to navigate. A good GPS, a copy of the Bizer and common sense will get you through but you have to be careful and watch the hazards. Coming from Squam...you pass through CH so I would just start there.

I know a lot of people discourage travel on the Broads in anything less than a 23 footer but I've done the entire lake in a 16 foot aluminum and now use my 19 footer and can assure that with common sense the entire lake is accessible. Once winds exceed 15 mph...I pick my destinations carefully and know I'm in for a rough ride.

Other than hazards, you will have rough water on the Broads and Moultonboro Bay. Also depending on wind conditions, the stretch from Trexlers all the way to CH can be rough. Then it will be rough coming into the Weirs area with boat traffic and all the way up to Meredith Bay.
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Old 10-23-2018, 06:11 AM   #10
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Again I ask -- if trailering, why not continue down Rte 25 another 10 minutes and launch in Center Harbor ………….. makes for a much more enjoyable day on the Lake !
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Old 10-23-2018, 06:47 AM   #11
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Lees Mill to Center Harbor is only about 17 miles and it's one of the prettier and more interesting routes you can take on the entire lake, IMO. It just so happens that I did that route a week and a half ago (when we decided that Lemon Grass would be a great place for lunch, while near Lees Mill at noon) and it took about 40 minutes, by way of Pistol Island and the LI bridge at a cruising speed of 35 MPH. Would have been quicker if not for the two no wake zones (Whaleback and LI bridge). We were seated at Lemon Grass before 1 PM.

The section from Spectacle Island to Dow Island (I call it the "Pistol Island Gauntlet") is a little tough to navigate, but worth doing. I think that if you can figure that route out, you can safely navigate anywhere on the lake. If you are used to Squam Lake, this should not be too challenging.

There is no need to go through the Broads or the Graveyard to get from Lees Mill to Center Harbor.
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Old 10-23-2018, 09:02 AM   #12
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I live in Green's Basin, which is located right near Lee's Mill. I have been traveling to Center Harbor and Meredith by boat for over 50 years. If you let me let me know when you plan to go I can meet you at Lee's Mill and guide you down the lake. I will even show you how to avoid the Graveyard.
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Old 10-23-2018, 09:22 AM   #13
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Its not really too difficult to navigate as long as you have at the least a chart and compass. If you are putting a chart plotter in you will be fine as long as you know how to use it. I made a few similar trips two years ago while staying up at Buzzle's Cove and it was my first time in that part of the lake and I only had a chart to go by. Just take it a little easy in the complicated areas. It is very scenic in that area and a nice cruise, we did it on my 224 funship with three family's on board in a little over an hour.
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Old 10-23-2018, 03:34 PM   #14
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Default Navigating from Lees Mill launch

Thanks to all for replying to my post. It's a great advantage to have so much knowledge and info. at your fingertips by joining this forum. Based on what you guys have told me, I think my wife will try to launch at the Center Harbor launch. We only have a 50 go Merc. for power. Based on that and the fact that we have no experience on the lake, we better stay in calmer waters. I didn't realize how rough the lake really is in spots. Thanks again for all the help.
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Old 10-23-2018, 04:46 PM   #15
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Good luck!

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Old 10-26-2018, 08:11 PM   #16
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We have a 19 ft Yamaha jet boat and launched from Lees Mill all summer. We are first time boaters also, no GPS and we make Meredith in about 90 minutes, Wofeboro in about the same. Speed about 20.
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Old 10-28-2018, 10:56 AM   #17
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Thanks to all for replying to my post. It's a great advantage to have so much knowledge and info. at your fingertips by joining this forum. Based on what you guys have told me, I think my wife will try to launch at the Center Harbor launch. We only have a 50 go Merc. for power. Based on that and the fact that we have no experience on the lake, we better stay in calmer waters. I didn't realize how rough the lake really is in spots. Thanks again for all the help.
The Lees Mills/Greens Basin part of the lake is probably the most calmest waters on the entire lake. It is a very well protected area. Yes, Moultonborough Bay can kick up if it's extremely windy and/or a lot of boat traffic, but I wouldn't let that concern you. All of the "big" bays can kick up if it's windy and/or a lot of boat traffic, ie: Center Harbor, Meredith Bay, Alton Bay, Paugus Bay, etc, etc, but the Lees Mills area will never kick up to the point that a 50hp can't handle. You can always turn around and have all the water between Moultonborough Bay and Greens Basin to enjoy if it's too rough to get through Moultonborough Bay. That area of the lake is bigger than it looks on the chart, and you can easily spend a day cruising around getting to know that part of the lake. I have navigated that part of the lake with no problems using only the Bizer chart. Everything is well marked, and I find fairly easy to navigate. I would highly recommend checking it out, and I would also highly recommend having at least the bizer chart for ANY part of the lake you decide to launch on. Good Luck and enjoy.
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Old 10-28-2018, 12:19 PM   #18
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We went from the Greene’s Basin area to the Wolfeboro town docks in one hour. Not going super fast. Maximum speed was 29 mph and average speed was 16 mph. GPS had it at 18 miles one way.
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Old 11-02-2018, 12:57 PM   #19
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We go from Hanson Cove (between Greene's Basin and Lee's Mills) to Wolfeboro regularly and have made the trip in 35 minutes with totally calm waters at ~35mph. I can get there almost as fast by boat as by car. I find it a much quicker trip than CH or Meredith.

OP, be sure you understand the clearance at LI bridge if you do decide to choose that route at some point. If your toon has a bimini you may not fit under.
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