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    Lake Norman Ski Club
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    Lake Norman Sail and Power Squadron members Hal and Happy Bloom aboard their boat “Young-n-Happy” during the organization’s annual Leaf Peeping Cruise and Raft-up.
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    NC Community Sailing and Rowing offers recreational and competitive sailing and rowing classes for teens and adults.
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    Lake Norman Ski Club
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    Lake Norman Ski Club
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    NC Community Sailing and Rowing students prepare their boats for a day on the lake.

Boater’s Paradise

By Terry Hoover

Posted: Thursday, May. 02, 2013

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With summer officially starting next month, folks are itching to get on the water. To help make this experience as fun and safe as possible, we’ve put together a helpful guide designed for everyone from yacht captains to kayakers.

Sailing and Rowing

The nonprofit NC Community Sailing and Rowing offers recreational and competitive sailing and rowing classes for teens and adults, and use of the organization’s 75-vessel fleet, which includes sailboats and rowing shells and sculls. After a “check out” from an instructor, experienced sailors and rowers can skip the classes and head straight to the water.

“Access to the lake is so limited unless you live on the water or own a boat,” says NC Community Sailing and Rowing executive director Sean O’Donnell. “We want to make it easier for everyone to get out and enjoy it. It’s healthy, it’s great fun, and you don’t have to be a chiseled 20-year-old to do it. We have many members in their 40s, 50s and 60s who are great rowers.”

The organization, which is headquartered at Blythe Landing in Huntersville, also offers corporate rowing classes and competitions that foster team building and networking.


Ski Club

For folks who would rather be behind the boat than at the helm, the Lake Norman Ski Club offers water skiing and wakeboarding classes for all ages in the cove behind Vinnie’s Raw Bar and Restaurant on Williamson Road in Mooresville. The next classes are scheduled for June 22 and July 27.

“It’s so much fun,” says Roger Myers, 69, a long-term member and former president of the club. “It’s healthy, gets you outside in the sun and fresh air, and sure beats sitting on the sofa watching Oprah.”

The classes are open to all ages—the club’s youngest skier is 6 years old—but children under 15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and all participants under 18 must have a signed waiver-release from a parent or guardian.


Safety First

Despite the fun they provide, boats aren’t toys and it’s just as important to know the rules of the water as those of the highway. As of 2010, operators of boats (over 10 hp) younger than 26 must complete a National Association of Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA)-approved boating education course and receive certification. No one under age 14 may operate a personal watercraft unless supervised by an adult over age 18 or unless he or she can show proof of having completed an approved safety education course.

Steve Smith of Lake Norman Sail and Power Squadron, which offers five NASBLA certification classes each year (see sidebar for details), says even experienced skippers can benefit from the courses.

“I’m a certified U.S. Coast Guard captain and have piloted boats since I was 12, but I’m always learning something new,” he says. “The classes allow boaters to feel more comfortable on the water, have fun and earn the respect of others. If you don’t know what you’re doing out there, it can get a little tense at times.”

Lake Norman Sail & Power Squadron Boating Education Classes

June 1

Mt. Mourne Volunteer Fire Department

1577 Mecklenburg Hwy., Mooresville


July 13

Mt. Zion United Methodist Church

19600 Zion St., Cornelius


August 17

Lake Norman Volunteer Fire Department

1518 Brawley School Road, Mooresville


September 14

Navigation class for boating class graduates

Mt. Mourne Volunteer Fire Department

1577 Mecklenburg Hwy., Mooresville

All classes are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $45, which includes manual and lunch. For details go to

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

The CGAUX also offers local boating safety courses as well as vessel safety checks, which cover life jackets, registration and numbering, navigation lights, ventilation, fire extinguishers, distress signals (flares, horn, etc.), and battery cover and connections. For schedule and cost details, go to to

Marinas and Public Access

Nearly 20 marinas provide boat slips and dry dock storage for skippers who prefer to gas and go. A dozen public access areas with boat launch ramps offer (mostly) free and easy access to the water for those who trailer their vessels.

Lake Norman Marinas

All Seasons Marina

827 Langtree Road, Mooresville


The Boat Rack Marina

7565 Hwy. 150 E., Sherrills Ford


Holiday Marina

20139 Henderson Road, Cornelius


Inland Sea Marina

114 Bowfin Circle, Mooresville


Kings Point Marina

18020 Kings Point Drive, Cornelius


Lake Norman Marina

6965 N.C. 150 E., Sherrills Ford


Long Island Marina

8400 Long Island Road, Catawba


Midway Marina

8693 N.C. 150 E., Terrell


Mountain Creek Marina

7515 Stonewall St., Sherrills Ford


North Harbor Marina

100 North Harbor Place, Davidson


Peninsula Yacht Club

18501 Harbor Light Blvd., Cornelius


River City Marina

155 Pinnacle Lane, Mooresville


Skipper’s Landing

1152 Perth Road, Troutman


South Harbor Marina

100 North Harbor Place, Davidson


Stutts Marina

571 Stutts Road, Mooresville


Vineyard Point Marina

17505 W. Catawba Ave., Cornelius


WaterStreet Seaport Marina

17505 W. Catawba Ave., Cornelius


Westport Marina

7879 Water Oaks Drive, Denver


Public Access Areas

Long Island Access Area

Sherrills Ford

Lake Norman State Park


Stumpy Creek Access Area


Pinnacle Access


McCrary Creek Access Area


Hager Creek Access Area


Little Creek Access Area


Beatties Ford Access Area


Ramsey Creek Access Area


Blythe Landing County Park


Boat Clubs and Rentals

Landlubbers can get in on the fun by renting a boat for the day or joining one of the four local boat clubs, which operate something like a hybrid country club and timeshare. Members pay a one-time membership fee and monthly dues for unlimited access to any of the vessels in the club’s fleet.

Boat Rentals

Saltshaker Marine


Lake Norman Boat Rentals and Jet Ski Rentals/Lake Effects Marine


Carolina Boat Rentals


Pontoon Rentals Happen On Lake Norman


Lake Norman Marina


CS Rentals/Lake Norman Jet Ski and Boat Rentals


Lake Norman Pontoon Rentals


Morningstar Marinas/Skipper’s Landing


Duffy Electric Boats of Lake Norman


Boat Clubs

Freedom Boat Club

10705 W. Catawba Ave., Suite 150, Cornelius

Boat Club of Lake Norman

827 Langtree Road, Mooresville

Carefree Boat Club

18020 Kings Point Dr., Cornelius

Aquaventure Watercraft Rentals

7515 Stonewall Street, Sherrills Ford

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