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Old 05-22-2024, 11:14 AM   #1
jayhawk_nation
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Default New to the lake

Hey everyone. I am a boater who has been boating on Cape Cod and the ocean for a few years now. We have found a spot for our boat, and we are moving it up there soon. Do you have any tips to start off? Also, where should we visit first? We also like tubing and skiing, so any good places for that? Thanks in advance for everyone's help!
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Old 05-22-2024, 12:30 PM   #2
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"Red-right-returning" does not apply...
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Old 05-22-2024, 12:30 PM   #3
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Welcome to the lake (and forum)!

Step #1: Winni is rocky, so get a chart. Bizer makes the most popular one, and it can be found at most marinas in the area.

Step #2: Winni is big. Let us know where you'll be keeping the boat, and we'll send some suggestions your way.

Cheers!

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Old 05-22-2024, 01:05 PM   #4
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Default Welcome

Welcome to the Forum. Yes, geography is important. Helpful to put locations on your profile so it shows up with every post. Congratulations on finding a place for your boat. This can be very difficult. If you will need it in 2025, sign up now.

NH requires a safe boater certificate; we recognize ones issued by other states as well as the Coast Guard and Power Squadron.

Unique to NH is the 150' rule. This requires headway speed boat to boat as well as the more common headway speed from shore and docks. You will see some violations, especially from folks who we refer to here as Captain Bonehead.

Go north or east of a black top buoy and south or west of a red stripe buoy. (The stripe is so color blind folks can tell the difference between red and black.) But not always. For example there is a black top buoy south of Welch Island (#76, almost exactly in the middle of the chart) You go east of this one, as the instructions imply, but if you go north, you're too close to Welch Island. Follow the dotted line on the chart.

Have fun.
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Old 05-22-2024, 04:00 PM   #5
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Coming from the coast, this is a big one!
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"Red-right-returning" does not apply...
Here’s a quick overview of NH markers.

Pay close attention to your chart, and don’t assume the boater in front of you is taking the correct path around a marker. Whenever in doubt, slow down and refer to your chart.

Pay attention to the weather, including the wind. The lake can get very choppy particularly out in the Broads and more open areas. Traffic in some areas like the Weirs on a weekend will create heavy chop as well.
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Old 05-22-2024, 04:09 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of the info so far. We are keeping our 27 foot boat in North Water Marine, near Weirs beach. It used to be called Thurston I think?
Few questions, first how choppy will it get on a bad day? Our boat has been out in the ocean plenty of times, does it compare? I have heard bad things about weirs channel, any tips on navigating it? I have also purchased myself a map and have been reviewing it closely. The last thing I would want is to hit some rocks, so I will make sure to stay far away from any rocks, like the witches.
Lastly, the 150 rule is confusing. If I understand it correctly go at idle speed if I am 150 feet your shore or another boat? Thanks for everyone’s help!
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Old 05-22-2024, 04:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for all of the info so far. We are keeping our 27 foot boat in North Water Marine, near Weirs beach. It used to be called Thurston I think?

Few questions, first how choppy will it get on a bad day? Our boat has been out in the ocean plenty of times, does it compare? I have heard bad things about weirs channel, any tips on navigating it? I have also purchased myself a map and have been reviewing it closely. The last thing I would want is to hit some rocks, so I will make sure to stay far away from any rocks, like the witches.

Lastly, the 150 rule is confusing. If I understand it correctly go at idle speed if I am 150 feet your shore or another boat? Thanks for everyone’s help!
Honestly, I think the area just outside the Weirs Channel is the absolute worst on the lake—usually busy, super choppy (especially on imperfect weather days), tight, and full of boneheads. Outside of that ~1/2 mile changes things a lot, and Paugus Bay can be pretty chill.

Your interpretation of the 150' rule is correct, though there are also a significant number of no-wake and no-rafting zones you'll want to familiarize yourself with.

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Old 05-22-2024, 04:51 PM   #8
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Ocean... is where all waves are coming from the same direction.

Winni... is sometimes like a blender set to 11

Welcome!
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Old 05-22-2024, 05:57 PM   #9
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Honestly, I think the area just outside the Weirs Channel is the absolute worst on the lake—usually busy, super choppy (especially on imperfect weather days), tight, and full of boneheads. Outside of that ~1/2 mile changes things a lot, and Paugus Bay can be pretty chill.

Your interpretation of the 150' rule is correct, though there are also a significant number of no-wake and no-rafting zones you'll want to familiarize yourself with.

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Thanks for that. I plan on going out on the weekdays in the coming weeks so I can get used to getting around this area. The whole area, just looking at it from land, looks sketchy for the boat. I will be sure to be very comfortable before venturing out on busy weekends. One quick question, my 14-year-old son has a boating license/certificate from Massachusetts. Does it work in NH? I read that the law to operate is higher, so is he allowed to? I also own one. Do I need an NH one? Thanks
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Old 05-22-2024, 06:25 PM   #10
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Thanks for that. I plan on going out on the weekdays in the coming weeks so I can get used to getting around this area. The whole area, just looking at it from land, looks sketchy for the boat. I will be sure to be very comfortable before venturing out on busy weekends. One quick question, my 14-year-old son has a boating license/certificate from Massachusetts. Does it work in NH? I read that the law to operate is higher, so is he allowed to? I also own one. Do I need an NH one? Thanks
Here you go—this is from the State Police website. Anyone under 16 must be under the supervision of someone 18+ with a boater's license. This applies to 25 horsepower or above. Anything under is the Wild West (and why so many boat renters get in trouble).

Also, great idea on exploring during the week—it's a significantly different landscape—though Saturday mornings (before 11/12) and Sunday afternoons (after 3/4) are often totally fine.



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Old 05-22-2024, 08:18 PM   #11
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Thank you for that. I will make sure to track down my boating license. I am planning on heading out on the water for the first time next week, is there any particular spot I should visit? I plan on also doing some water skiing during the earlier morning with my son, does any place on the lake work for that? Is it better is a cove somewhere? Super excited for my first time out there, praying I don’t hit anything
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Old 05-22-2024, 09:41 PM   #12
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Water skiing early next week?

The water might be uncomfortably cold.

But then again, I'm old so who knows.
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Old 05-23-2024, 04:00 AM   #13
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Agreed on the water temps and skiing—I'd just take a leisurely cruise around whatever section you choose to start familiarizing yourself with the lake.

In terms of hitting something: in 10 years of boating Winni, starting completely from scratch, I have not hit a single object, and I boat primarily up north, the area many people think is the most challenging.

Use the chart, know where you are at all times, and take your time, and everything will be awesome.

Good luck!

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Old 05-23-2024, 05:30 AM   #14
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This lake is so big with so many coves and wide open spots. Give it a few trips and you will find the quiet spots even on busy holiday weekends. You will also learn very quickly the places to stay clear of. If you are able, do you several trips on weekdays, pick a destination, look at a Bizer map for rocks and have fun. It will take some time but you'll be fine.
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Old 05-23-2024, 05:55 AM   #15
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Thank you for that. I will make sure to track down my boating license. I am planning on heading out on the water for the first time next week, is there any particular spot I should visit? I plan on also doing some water skiing during the earlier morning with my son, does any place on the lake work for that? Is it better is a cove somewhere? Super excited for my first time out there, praying I don’t hit anything
.
Ragged Island is a nice spot! You can traverse the island on walking trails and use their docks for free. Some also anchor in shallow water but there are several beaches along the trails.
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Old 05-23-2024, 06:19 AM   #16
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Default Welcome to Winni boating.

Old school boater here. So here are some pointers.

General rules of boating on the seacoast also apply on NH inland waterways.

Get familiar with the hills and mountaintops around the lake. They can be your guide to your general locations on the lake. Red Hill is usually North of Winnipesaukee.

Stop at Marine HQ in Glendale. They have a sticker you can apply on your dash panel to remind you of the buoys' descriptions.

If you are lost, seek the nearest light buoy. They are numbered. Match up the number on your chart and you will have an idea where you are.

Always be defensive! Never assume others will adhere to navigational rules of order.

Take it slow the first year! Better to be safe than sorry!

Have fun boating!
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Old 05-23-2024, 06:32 AM   #17
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This lake is so big with so many coves and wide open spots. Give it a few trips and you will find the quiet spots even on busy holiday weekends. You will also learn very quickly the places to stay clear of. If you are able, do you several trips on weekdays, pick a destination, look at a Bizer map for rocks and have fun. It will take some time but you'll be fine.
Many boaters do not have a clue as to what 150 feet looks like on the water. I like to think of it as half the length of a football field. That rule applies to the shorelines, another boat, person, dock, raft, etc. and applies to both sides of your craft. So, to pass between any of these, you need 300 feet plus the width of your craft. any distance less than that is at idle speed.
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Old 05-23-2024, 07:09 AM   #18
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If your boat is registered in MA, it can only be operated in NH for 30 consecutive days before it needs to be registered in NH. Make sure it has a good cleaning before putting it into the lake to keep all the ocean critters away.

Be prepared to wait for docking space at any Town Dock on the weekends, be patient and wait your turn. Meredith Bay has a very long no-wake zone leading to the Town Docks, worth it though - many restaurants and stores within walking distance.

Thank you for taking the time to learn the lake and the rules of the lake, it is much appreciated!

Enjoy your first year on Winni, lots of fun to explore!
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Old 05-23-2024, 07:20 AM   #19
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Many boaters do not have a clue as to what 150 feet looks like on the water. I like to think of it as half the length of a football field. That rule applies to the shorelines, another boat, person, dock, raft, etc. and applies to both sides of your craft. So, to pass between any of these, you need 300 feet plus the width of your craft. any distance less than that is at idle speed.
I alway taught my kids that 150’ is the length of two water ski lines
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Old 05-23-2024, 09:16 AM   #20
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Default Sandbar at the Margate

As you're near the Weirs channel, an option is the sandbar to the right (from the water) of the Margate resort on Paugus Bay. Easy to walk your boat in. Make sure you have 2 good anchors (bow and stern) to secure your location. Pack beverages and lunch for a fun day relaxing and saving gas money. Try to get there early (8-10ish) as it fills up early. On the way to/from, you can tube and ski as Paugus is typically calmer.
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Old 05-23-2024, 09:27 AM   #21
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Jayhawk Nation...You're worrying too much. Just go out with your chart. Go slow at first. Get familiar with certain areas. Then go fast and have fun.
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Old 05-23-2024, 11:33 AM   #22
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Thanks for that. I plan on going out on the weekdays in the coming weeks so I can get used to getting around this area. The whole area, just looking at it from land, looks sketchy for the boat. I will be sure to be very comfortable before venturing out on busy weekends. One quick question, my 14-year-old son has a boating license/certificate from Massachusetts. Does it work in NH? I read that the law to operate is higher, so is he allowed to? I also own one. Do I need an NH one? Thanks
Welcome to the Lake !
IMHO, I would do my boating on the weekdays 'if you can' !
Weekends tend to bring out a lot of crazy boaters, who don't know the rules of the road, or who just don't care. Be careful and enjoy all the Lake offers !
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Old 05-23-2024, 12:09 PM   #23
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Thanks for all the tips, everyone. I didn't even think about how cold the water would be next week. I will try and track down some wet suits to use to stay warm. My plan is to go out next week and go slow at first. I will try and navigate around new places slowly at first, before picking up the speed. I will also map it out beforehand on my map so I can find any rocks to avoid.

One registration question: As of now, my boat is registered in MA. How quickly do I need to get myself an NH one, if I need to at all, and where would I go about finding one of these?
I know in MA, there were a few laws regarding tubing and skiing and needing a spotter; it is my understanding that I need a spotter in NH, too. Are there any other rules around this topic, time of day restrictions, or anything else? Appreciate everyone helping me out; I can't wait to have fun on the lake this summer!
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Old 05-23-2024, 01:15 PM   #24
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Here you go—this is from the State Police website. Anyone under 16 must be under the supervision of someone 18+ with a boater's license. This applies to 25 horsepower or above. Anything under is the Wild West (and why so many boat renters get in trouble).

Also, great idea on exploring during the week—it's a significantly different landscape—though Saturday mornings (before 11/12) and Sunday afternoons (after 3/4) are often totally fine.



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I believe where his son is 14 years old, he is allowed to drive up to a 25 hp engine without anyone else with him, and without a license. It says if over 16 years old and driving a boat with an engine that's over 25hp, they need someone older with them who has their license.
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Old 05-23-2024, 01:38 PM   #25
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I believe where his son is 14 years old, he is allowed to drive up to a 25 hp engine without anyone else with him, and without a license. It says if over 16 years old and driving a boat with an engine that's over 25hp, they need someone older with them who has their license.
Yup—I noted that with my comment about it applying to 25 horsepower or above, etc.

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Old 05-23-2024, 04:43 PM   #26
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You can pick up a free copy of the NH Boater’s Guide at many marinas, and I know in the past they’ve had them at Thurston’s/North Water. They’ll have them at Marine Patrol HQ in Glendale as well.

Having been a long-time slip renter at Thurston’s and being familiar with the new dock configuration with North Water:
- the dam flow at Lakeport (end of Paugus Bay) defines the water flow through the channel. When wide open the current is running very fast making it more of a challenge to get in and out.
- the channel can get very busy particularly on weekends. Heading out before 10am can help avoid the heaviest traffic.
- Best to exit the dock area towards Paugus Bay, then once the channel widens towards Winni Marine swing around and head back to the main lake. Same thing coming back in, go past the dock entry, swing around and approach coming into the current to have better control.
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Old 05-23-2024, 04:49 PM   #27
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Having been a long-time slip renter at Thurston’s and being familiar with the new dock configuration with North Water:
- Best to exit the dock area towards Paugus Bay, then once the channel widens towards Winni Marine swing around and head back to the main lake. Same thing coming back in, go past the dock entry, swing around and approach coming into the current to have better control.

This is the best advice I’ve seen on the Forum! A big thank you! I wish everyone else followed this advice as well!


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Old 05-23-2024, 08:16 PM   #28
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You can pick up a free copy of the NH Boater’s Guide at many marinas, and I know in the past they’ve had them at Thurston’s/North Water. They’ll have them at Marine Patrol HQ in Glendale as well.

Having been a long-time slip renter at Thurston’s and being familiar with the new dock configuration with North Water:
- the dam flow at Lakeport (end of Paugus Bay) defines the water flow through the channel. When wide open the current is running very fast making it more of a challenge to get in and out.
- the channel can get very busy particularly on weekends. Heading out before 10am can help avoid the heaviest traffic.
- Best to exit the dock area towards Paugus Bay, then once the channel widens towards Winni Marine swing around and head back to the main lake. Same thing coming back in, go past the dock entry, swing around and approach coming into the current to have better control.
So you're saying go down the river coming out of the marina and spin around when it is safe before heading back up? And go past the marina coming back before spinning back? My only question is, how fast does the current get moving, and when is it the worst? I feel like the current adds stress to an already stressful and busy area. Are there any days when it is too fast for your boat to handle, or at least too fast, where you feel unsafe?
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Old 05-23-2024, 08:28 PM   #29
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Welcome to the lake!!

I remember my first year! Lot's to learn and I'm still learning.

I'm often around during the week also, normally Wednesday on, but it varies. I'm happy to meet up or take you for a ride.

Get your chart, find the following to know where they are so you can avoid problems and be prepared:

1) The Witches (off Governer's Isle and Timber Isle)
2) Spindle point, find the navaids, it's sort of an S turn get through the area
3) No wake zones, for example Eagle Island and Governor's Island pass, inside Governor's Island pass, through the Weirs Channel until south of the area about at the Ice Cream shack.
4) The graveyard (yes).

If you have the Bizer chart (highly recommended), find the 'suggested path' that will show you how best route yourself past many islands and the markers (some don't make sense, sometimes you pass between the marker and an island, other times you stay on the far side of a marker from the island).

Remember the Navaids !!!! :

Red-Top Stay south or west of them. (if you're going north/south stay west, if you're going west/east stay south.

Black-Top: Stay north or east of them. (if your going north/south, stay east, If you're going east/west, stay north).

All Red, and companion all Black. Go between Red and black.

How to remember the above?

Think of Red as a warm color, and is warm like the South West USA
Think of Black as a cold color, and is cold like the North East USA.

Good luck and enjoy the lake. Learn the surrounding hills and features, for example Gunstock Mountain ski slopes can be seen from most parts of the lake, it helps you get your orientation.

Take a ride and watch your chart, never follow another boater thinking he must know where is safe. Often they do, but often it's someone just as confused are you are!

Good luck and have fun! Feel free to ask for help or go for a ride together.
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Old 05-24-2024, 04:44 AM   #30
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So you're saying go down the river coming out of the marina and spin around when it is safe before heading back up? And go past the marina coming back before spinning back? My only question is, how fast does the current get moving, and when is it the worst? I feel like the current adds stress to an already stressful and busy area. Are there any days when it is too fast for your boat to handle, or at least too fast, where you feel unsafe?
It's always easier to control your boat when going against the current rather than with it. Now think of what happens when you squeeze the end of a garden hose while water is running through it. The amount of water flowing doesn't change, but the pressure increases greatly...all the water flowing towards the dam is squeezed into that small channel which causes the currents to increase. It's not dangerous like under the General Sullivan Bridge in Dover / Newington, but it can push you around a little, so to maintain more control going against it really helps!

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Old 05-24-2024, 06:39 AM   #31
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Welcome to the lake!!

I remember my first year! Lot's to learn and I'm still learning.

I'm often around during the week also, normally Wednesday on, but it varies. I'm happy to meet up or take you for a ride.

Get your chart, find the following to know where they are so you can avoid problems and be prepared:

1) The Witches (off Governer's Isle and Timber Isle)
2) Spindle point, find the navaids, it's sort of an S turn get through the area
3) No wake zones, for example Eagle Island and Governor's Island pass, inside Governor's Island pass, through the Weirs Channel until south of the area about at the Ice Cream shack.
4) The graveyard (yes).

If you have the Bizer chart (highly recommended), find the 'suggested path' that will show you how best route yourself past many islands and the markers (some don't make sense, sometimes you pass between the marker and an island, other times you stay on the far side of a marker from the island).

Remember the Navaids !!!! :

Red-Top Stay south or west of them. (if you're going north/south stay west, if you're going west/east stay south.

Black-Top: Stay north or east of them. (if your going north/south, stay east, If you're going east/west, stay north).

All Red, and companion all Black. Go between Red and black.

How to remember the above?

Think of Red as a warm color, and is warm like the South West USA
Think of Black as a cold color, and is cold like the North East USA.

Good luck and enjoy the lake. Learn the surrounding hills and features, for example Gunstock Mountain ski slopes can be seen from most parts of the lake, it helps you get your orientation.

Take a ride and watch your chart, never follow another boater thinking he must know where is safe. Often they do, but often it's someone just as confused are you are!

Good luck and have fun! Feel free to ask for help or go for a ride together.
Thank you for that. My only question is how well-marked is those spots with rocks. The Witches and graveyard? Are they easy to navigate around and avoid?
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Old 05-24-2024, 07:12 AM   #32
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Thank you for that. My only question is how well-marked is those spots with rocks. The Witches and graveyard? Are they easy to navigate around and avoid?
They're well-marked, and there's plenty of room to navigate, BUT if one gets confused or isn't 100% on how markers work, or is approaching too quickly, it/they can become a problem...and often do.

That being said, if you've got your chart and know where you are—and keep to that "safe passage" line—you'll have no problems.

If you get mixed up, turned around, etc. just slow down/stop until you figure it out. There's no rush out there, right?

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Old 05-24-2024, 07:50 AM   #33
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So you're saying go down the river coming out of the marina and spin around when it is safe before heading back up? And go past the marina coming back before spinning back? My only question is, how fast does the current get moving, and when is it the worst? I feel like the current adds stress to an already stressful and busy area. Are there any days when it is too fast for your boat to handle, or at least too fast, where you feel unsafe?
The issue is that at Thurston's Marina (I forget the new name), it is very narrow and the current when the lake is high is somewhere between 6-10 MPH, so it's strong. When coming out of the marina and going towards the "big lake", when there is heavy traffic, it is difficult to feather your way into the line of traffic, especially with the heavy current. So when coming out, if you go towards Paugus Bay and turn around where it is wider and the current has less effect, it is easier to go to the "big lake". When coming in from the "big lake", often the marina is filled with boats and traffic in the small area, and with the current, it is difficult to make the righthand turn into the marina. As noted above, it is easier to make a lefthand turn against the current.

Those of us who travel into and out of the Weirs Beach channel are often encountered by some sort of S-show from someone trying to enter and exit the marina. This was great advice as to how to navigate it.
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Old 05-24-2024, 12:38 PM   #34
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I alway taught my kids that 150’ is the length of two water ski lines
For me it's seven boat lengths. But it's whatever works, right?
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Old 05-24-2024, 12:48 PM   #35
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Welcome to the Lake !
IMHO, I would do my boating on the weekdays 'if you can' !
Weekends tend to bring out a lot of crazy boaters, who don't know the rules of the road, or who just don't care. Be careful and enjoy all the Lake offers !
Like you I do most of my boating during the week, usually right after work. It's a great way to unwind.

I usually find that boating on the weekend is hard work, particularly for the reason you cite - the crazy boaters. I always feel exhausted because I have to work hard between the wake driven chop, the Cap'n Boneheads who can't tell 150 feet from 15 feet and aren't really paying attention. My head is constantly on swivel, but at 4 times the rate than when I am out during the week.

If I do go out on the weekend I usually find a place to anchor away from the traffic, with one of my favorite places being...umm...a place that shall remain nameless.
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Old 05-24-2024, 03:42 PM   #36
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Ocean... is where all waves are coming from the same direction.

Winni... is sometimes like a blender set to 11

Welcome!
This is a great example of the Weirs area as you enter or exit Paugus Bay.

I also boat on Buzzards Bay and Lake Winnipesaukee and the only place I have experienced like that on the Cape is the entrance to the Cape Cod Canal from Buzzards Bay.

The current coming from the canal and the wind blown waves make it like a Blender on 11... a great quote

A 27 foot boat can handle it , but you will definitely get knocked around and will have to keep the bow up.

Also where the rivers and inlets meet the ocean the tides and current keeps a boater on their toes.

My favorite You Tube CH is Haulover Inlet down in FL.

I have also had 100 foot yachts pass me on the Cape Cod Canal within 150 ft , so the ocean can be intense as well. Even though the canal has a speed limit , it only seems to be observed when the harbor master is around.
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Old 05-24-2024, 06:33 PM   #37
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So you're saying go down the river coming out of the marina and spin around when it is safe before heading back up? And go past the marina coming back before spinning back? My only question is, how fast does the current get moving, and when is it the worst? I feel like the current adds stress to an already stressful and busy area. Are there any days when it is too fast for your boat to handle, or at least too fast, where you feel unsafe?
Major and Steve-on-Mark have clarified things well. In general, the current is worst in the spring due to snowmelt, and the Lakeport dam operators having to let more water out to compensate. Outflows can also be raised during the season if there have been extensive rains, raising the level too high. So it’s never a case of Tuesdays being fast current days or anything like that.

I got into the habit of checking the state website showing dam output as a way to gauge the current. Wide open, which is in the 1800 cfm range, means the channel is running very fast. 250 cfm is about the minimum flow, with minimal affect on channel velocity. This post from JeffK has the details on where to find this info.

With the current dock setup, you’re exiting a bit further down the channel which helps. The gas dock area can be very difficult to navigate when the current is running hard. Exiting towards Paugus Bay helps in dealing with faster current, though if it’s a busy day with lots of traffic it gets hairy trying to hold position trying to get out.
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Old 05-25-2024, 09:59 AM   #38
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Make a stop at the Wolfeboro town docks. Great town for food, ice cream and shopping. Stop at the Yum Yum Shop for baked goodies. Your wife will love it.
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Old 05-25-2024, 10:02 AM   #39
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...
I got into the habit of checking the state website showing dam output as a way to gauge the current. Wide open, which is in the 1800 cfm range, means the channel is running very fast..
Has anyone determined the channel cross section area at various places? That would let us divide flow by area to approximate current speed at those places.

OP: there have been discussions on this forum about definition of "headway speed" as it relates to boat operation within 150 ft of anything. At times, proceeding north through the Weirs channel can't be done at idle speed, as current speed is greater than what normally would be "headway speed."
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Old 05-26-2024, 11:30 AM   #40
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Default Water Skiing

If you are looking for a calmer spot for water skiing, avoid open water and look for calmer coves. Winter Harbor would be a good choice.
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Old 05-26-2024, 02:12 PM   #41
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Update everyone: I know I said I wouldn't go out on the weekend, but we couldn't resist this morning. We went out very early and went cruising around. We had an excellent time cruising around. We checked out a few spots and went around a few of the harbors. We went to Long Island, and I checked the map, and it said that the bridge had 14-foot clearance. That was a lie!!!! I was pulling in thinking, wow, that looks small, and the good thing I put on her is in good old reverse. Otherwise, things would have turned out much, much differently. We then went to Meridith for lunch, and the traffic had started to pick up. We had a great lunch before returning to the dock. Weirs was absolutely packed!!!! We went slow, but holy smokes it was crowded. Lesson learned. After 10:30 AM on Sunday is not good.
Only a few questions after this trip for the next time: Are the docks next to Meridith Docks restaurant free? We are also doing a Valet service at our Marina, and I was wondering if I am expected to tip them? I tipped the nice service man who turned around our boat quickly after winter, but should I tip everyone else?
Thanks again for everyone's help!
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Old 05-26-2024, 02:39 PM   #42
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Update everyone: I know I said I wouldn't go out on the weekend, but we couldn't resist this morning. We went out very early and went cruising around. We had an excellent time cruising around. We checked out a few spots and went around a few of the harbors. We went to Long Island, and I checked the map, and it said that the bridge had 14-foot clearance. That was a lie!!!! I was pulling in thinking, wow, that looks small, and the good thing I put on her is in good old reverse. Otherwise, things would have turned out much, much differently. We then went to Meridith for lunch, and the traffic had started to pick up. We had a great lunch before returning to the dock. Weirs was absolutely packed!!!! We went slow, but holy smokes it was crowded. Lesson learned. After 10:30 AM on Sunday is not good.
Only a few questions after this trip for the next time: Are the docks next to Meridith Docks restaurant free? We are also doing a Valet service at our Marina, and I was wondering if I am expected to tip them? I tipped the nice service man who turned around our boat quickly after winter, but should I tip everyone else?
Thanks again for everyone's help!
The docks at Lago's are free to patrons. Meredith Harbor was packed when I went by at 4pm Saturday!
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Old 05-26-2024, 08:12 PM   #43
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Update everyone: I know I said I wouldn't go out on the weekend, but we couldn't resist this morning. We went out very early and went cruising around. We had an excellent time cruising around. We checked out a few spots and went around a few of the harbors. We went to Long Island, and I checked the map, and it said that the bridge had 14-foot clearance. That was a lie!!!! I was pulling in thinking, wow, that looks small, and the good thing I put on her is in good old reverse. Otherwise, things would have turned out much, much differently. We then went to Meridith for lunch, and the traffic had started to pick up. We had a great lunch before returning to the dock. Weirs was absolutely packed!!!! We went slow, but holy smokes it was crowded. Lesson learned. After 10:30 AM on Sunday is not good.
Only a few questions after this trip for the next time: Are the docks next to Meridith Docks restaurant free? We are also doing a Valet service at our Marina, and I was wondering if I am expected to tip them? I tipped the nice service man who turned around our boat quickly after winter, but should I tip everyone else?
Thanks again for everyone's help!
I always tipped for good service at WINNI Marine.
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Old 05-26-2024, 09:03 PM   #44
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Default Long Island bridge is 7' 7"

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayhawk_nation View Post
Update everyone: I know I said I wouldn't go out on the weekend, but we couldn't resist this morning. We went out very early and went cruising around. We had an excellent time cruising around. We checked out a few spots and went around a few of the harbors. We went to Long Island, and I checked the map, and it said that the bridge had 14-foot clearance. That was a lie!!!! I was pulling in thinking, wow, that looks small, and the good thing I put on her is in good old reverse. Otherwise, things would have turned out much, much differently. We then went to Meridith for lunch, and the traffic had started to pick up. We had a great lunch before returning to the dock. Weirs was absolutely packed!!!! We went slow, but holy smokes it was crowded. Lesson learned. After 10:30 AM on Sunday is not good.
Only a few questions after this trip for the next time: Are the docks next to Meridith Docks restaurant free? We are also doing a Valet service at our Marina, and I was wondering if I am expected to tip them? I tipped the nice service man who turned around our boat quickly after winter, but should I tip everyone else?
Thanks again for everyone's help!
My Boat Chart by Bizer says that the Long Island Bridge is only 7' 7" when the lake is at full lake, which is about where the lake is now. No way that it would be 14 FT. You may want to recheck your chart or get a GPS Charter plotter.

Welcome to the Lake and enjoy.

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Old 05-27-2024, 07:17 AM   #45
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This could be helpful: On our Youtube channel I posted several videos passing through various bridges and other areas on the lake: Long Island Bridge, Black Cat Island bridge, Governors Island bridge, Back Bay bridge, Sally's Gut, Six Pack and others.

Here's the one for the Long Island bridge:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_riE59aFkg
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Old 05-27-2024, 08:02 AM   #46
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If you are looking for a calmer spot for water skiing, avoid open water and look for calmer coves. Winter Harbor would be a good choice.
No. Stay away from Winter harbor. It's still iced in.
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Old 05-27-2024, 10:56 AM   #47
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Default Winter Harbor

I get it. We get tubers all day long in front of our place because it is a wide open area. The boat chop is relentless. Unfortunately, the lake belongs to everyone and you can't do anything about it.
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Old 05-28-2024, 07:14 AM   #48
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No. Stay away from Winter harbor. It's still iced in.
You forgot to mention the fresh-water sharks...with frickin' lasers!
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Old 05-28-2024, 07:53 AM   #49
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For me it's seven boat lengths. But it's whatever works, right?
I think the easiest reference is about how far I can throw a football. About 30 yards.
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Old 05-28-2024, 12:23 PM   #50
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I get it. We get tubers all day long in front of our place because it is a wide open area. The boat chop is relentless. Unfortunately, the lake belongs to everyone and you can't do anything about it.
I know, worth a shot anyway.
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Old 05-28-2024, 02:16 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by jayhawk_nation View Post
Update everyone: I know I said I wouldn't go out on the weekend, but we couldn't resist this morning. We went out very early and went cruising around. We had an excellent time cruising around. We checked out a few spots and went around a few of the harbors. We went to Long Island, and I checked the map, and it said that the bridge had 14-foot clearance. That was a lie!!!! I was pulling in thinking, wow, that looks small, and the good thing I put on her is in good old reverse. Otherwise, things would have turned out much, much differently. We then went to Meridith for lunch, and the traffic had started to pick up. We had a great lunch before returning to the dock. Weirs was absolutely packed!!!! We went slow, but holy smokes it was crowded. Lesson learned. After 10:30 AM on Sunday is not good.
Only a few questions after this trip for the next time: Are the docks next to Meridith Docks restaurant free? We are also doing a Valet service at our Marina, and I was wondering if I am expected to tip them? I tipped the nice service man who turned around our boat quickly after winter, but should I tip everyone else?
Thanks again for everyone's help!
Docks at Lago are for guest staying at the hotel and those dining there.

Meredith Town Docks are free and have about a 3 hr limit.

Town Docks Restaurant has 2 dock. Last I knew they needed some work though, not sure if they are being used.

Docks at Church Landing are only available to those staying there.

**Take the kids by Blueberry Island and watch the Eagles nesting. They also may like Sally's Gut (AKA the Jungle Cruise) and boating by Becky's Island (the smallest island on the lake with a "house" on it.
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Old 05-28-2024, 07:36 PM   #52
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I get it. We get tubers all day long in front of our place because it is a wide open area. The boat chop is relentless. Unfortunately, the lake belongs to everyone and you can't do anything about it.
Several years ago, a huge landslide of driveway gravel washed into the beaches of three abutting landowners--including us'uns (as the last and most distant. The rough-edged gravel made wading near shore sorta painful.

Now, there is room for three tubers in the main body of Winter Harbor, and while the chop is certainly "relentless", I've noticed the gravel is being slowly abraded and pounded into fine sand!

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Old 05-29-2024, 04:49 PM   #53
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Welcome to the lake! All great advice. I would add:

1. Always carry both your boater's license and your auto driver's license. Not that I know this from first-hand experience , but Marine Patrol expects both should you be pulled over by them. They'll also always check that you have PFDs, a throwable float, working horn and a properly charged fire extinguisher.

2. In addition to having physical charts on board, I always have Navionics app up on my phone to confirm I'm where I think I am and which way to go around each spar buoy. Very reassuring, especially when traveling at night.

Enjoy!
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Old 06-05-2024, 06:10 AM   #54
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I did not see anyone else mention this. "No Wake" on Winnipesaukee is not the same as "No Wake" on the ocean (and pretty much everywhere else) where it pretty much means don't plane or plow. People get really worked up if you make even a small wake in a no wake zone on the lake.
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Old 06-05-2024, 11:30 AM   #55
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The issue is, some people don’t want to accept that “No Wake” now means headway speed i.e., the slowest you can go and maintain control of your boat. But we really don’t want to start down that rabbit hole again.


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Old 06-05-2024, 12:27 PM   #56
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The issue is, some people don’t want to accept that “No Wake” now means headway speed i.e., the slowest you can go and maintain control of your boat. But we really don’t want to start down that rabbit hole again.


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I really don't think that's it at all. It's just that "no wake" means something very different pretty much everywhere else. Thus, someone new to the lake may not realize they are doing anything wrong when they are cruising through a no wake zone at 5 or 6 knots, which would be perfectly acceptable and normal almost anywhere else.
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Old 06-05-2024, 01:57 PM   #57
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I wish it were only those new to the lake


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Old 06-05-2024, 03:33 PM   #58
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I wish it were only those new to the lake
Hey! That's one of my family you're talking about. And yelling and waving at somebody in the same boat has proven ineffective.
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Old 06-05-2024, 04:37 PM   #59
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I wish it were only those new to the lake


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I wish too. i think lots of people know, they just don't care.
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Old 06-05-2024, 05:31 PM   #60
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Sometimes I think that a thread about who makes the best can of beans could morph into a thread about boat wakes...
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Old 06-06-2024, 07:24 AM   #61
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I would note that NOT ALL ROCKS ARE MARKED by navigational buoys. Bizer makes a big effort to mark all dangerous rocks on their charts. If you are in a "shoal" (shallow) area, there may be unmarked rocks. Melvin Village, for example, has large rocks along the shore. Assume shoals are NOT safe unless you KNOW otherwise.

Further, while some areas are properly marked, the navigation space (between islands close together) may be tight and it can be confusing as to exactly where you should be. The Witches and Graveyard are easy to navigate. You can also go between Melvin and Chases islands to totally avoid the Graveyard. Further, the Graveyard channel is narrow. If there is a boat coming from each direction, I don't think that you can legally be going faster than 6 mph when you pass each other. That is not a problem when you go around Melvin Island.

The biggest challenge in dealing with dangerous places is to KEEP YOUR FOCUS. It is easy, while happily cruising and talking and watching your kids, to lose your attention on navigation and you find yourself coming in on a bad approach. I have done that a couple times with the Witches. This is especially true if you go out at night, even with GPS.

As to getting dock space, plan to arrive a couple hours before the meal time (10:30 for lunch, 3:30 for dinner) and before everyone else is getting there. If the docks are full, you have time to wait for an opening. If you want, you can sneak to the end of the dock and drop off passengers and wait in the boat by yourself for a spot. Then you can wander around the town, browse the shops, or just hang out. Hitting the restaurants at the very beginning of their service time for the meal is usually better for getting a table. These strategies almost always work on weekdays, even in the summer. Weekends for breakfast as well. Weekend lunches or dinner success is so so.

Last edited by jeffk; 06-06-2024 at 07:26 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-06-2024, 11:46 AM   #62
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Just a slight correction to the above and references to The Graveyard. Because the distance between boats while in the Graveyard channel would be less than 150 ft., while passing neither boat should be exceeding “headway speed.” Headway speed is the slowest you can go and still maintain control of your boat. Note that a couple of years ago the state revised the definition of “no wake” from not to exceed 6mph to headway speed.


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Old 06-06-2024, 03:37 PM   #63
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So I went out recently, and I had the worst encounter possible: the Marine Police! They pulled us over for not having registration sticker and bow numbers on the bow of our boat. I had them last year, and I honestly have no idea where they went; maybe they took them off for winter storage when I had them at the cape? Anyway, they asked for my registration on paper, and I also couldn't find that for the life of me. I was planning on grabbing an NH registration anyway, but now I will do it before I go out tomorrow. I called my Marina, and luckily, they are able to do the registration there, and I don't have to mess with the town. When the police pulled me over, they didn't ask for my boating license for some reason, but they did do the "safety cheek" for life jackets and such. I had luckily read elsewhere on a forum that they ask for these things so I knew where they were before they came, just not my registration
Other than that, we have been having a blast on the lake; though my son complains the water is too cold for swimming, I think he is soft. Kidding... I did grab him a wetsuit so he could be comfortable when skiing. I can't wait for the rest of the summer, and I thank everyone for all of their help on this forum and others, I have felt really prepared for anything on the lake. Happy boating!
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Old 06-06-2024, 04:33 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by jayhawk_nation View Post
So you're saying go down the river coming out of the marina and spin around when it is safe before heading back up? And go past the marina coming back before spinning back? My only question is, how fast does the current get moving, and when is it the worst? I feel like the current adds stress to an already stressful and busy area. Are there any days when it is too fast for your boat to handle, or at least too fast, where you feel unsafe?
Hi and welcome to Winni. We keep our pontoon at North Water and go out once a week all summer. It can be a bit tricky coming in depending on traffic and current. I mostly do a 'K' turn to position for going into the valet area. Problem is that's difficult if there is traffic. Sometimes you just have to go past and turn around when traffic permits. Occasionally, depending on wind, current, and traffic, I reverse just at the entrance and back in. Good luck and enjoy the summer!
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