Lake Norman Magazine

Boater’s Paradise

Lake Norman Ski Club
Lake Norman Ski Club

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 RowingThe 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. Details:

Ski ClubFor 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. Details:

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 Department1577 Mecklenburg Hwy., Mooresville July 13 Mt. Zion United Methodist Church19600 Zion St., Cornelius August 17 Lake Norman Volunteer Fire Department1518 Brawley School Road, Mooresville September 14Navigation class for boating class graduatesMt. Mourne Volunteer Fire Department1577 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 AccessNearly 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 Marina827 Langtree Road, Mooresville

The Boat Rack Marina
7565 Hwy. 150 E., Sherrills Ford

Holiday Marina20139 Henderson Road, Cornelius704-892-0561

Inland Sea Marina
114 Bowfin Circle, Mooresville

Kings Point Marina18020 Kings Point Drive, Cornelius
704-746-3753www.kingspointmarina.comLake Norman Marina6965 N.C. 150 E., Sherrills

Long Island Marina
8400 Long Island Road,

Midway Marina8693 N.C. 150 E.,

Mountain Creek Marina
7515 Stonewall St., Sherrills Ford704-483-0077

North Harbor Marina
100 North Harbor Place, Davidson704-892-4619

Peninsula Yacht Club
18501 Harbor Light Blvd.,

River City Marina
155 Pinnacle Lane, Mooresville
www.rivercitymarina.comSkipper’s Landing1152 Perth Road,

South Harbor Marina
100 North Harbor Place,

Stutts Marina571 Stutts Road, Mooresville

Vineyard Point Marina
17505 W. Catawba Ave., Cornelius

WaterStreet Seaport Marina17505 W. Catawba Ave., Cornelius704-892-4619

Westport Marina
7879 Water Oaks Drive,

Public Access AreasLong Island Access Area Sherrills Ford

Lake Norman State Park Troutman

Stumpy Creek Access Area Mooresville

Pinnacle Access Mooresville

McCrary Creek Access Area Mooresville

Hager Creek Access Area Mooresville

Little Creek Access Area Denver

Beatties Ford Access Area Denver

Ramsey Creek Access Area Cornelius

Blythe Landing County Park Cornelius

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 Marinewww.lakenormanboatrentals.com704-892-5990

Lake Norman Boat Rentals and Jet Ski Rentals/Lake Effects Marinewww.lakeeffectsmarine.comlakenormanboatrentals.com828-478-2058

Carolina Boat Rentals704-614-2118

Pontoon Rentals Happen On Lake Normanwww.jetski-pontoonrentalshappenonlakenorman.com704-655-0881

Lake Norman Marinawww.lakenormanmarina.com704-483-5546

CS Rentals/Lake Norman Jet Ski and Boat Rentalswww.lakenormanjetskirentals.com877-312-2195

Lake Norman Pontoon Rentalswww.lknPontoons.com704-746-1808

Morningstar Marinas/Skipper’s LandingSkippers-landing.morningstarmarinas.com704-528-3328

Duffy Electric Boats of Lake Normanhttp://diffylkn.com704-756-9143

Boat Clubs

Freedom Boat Club10705 W. Catawba Ave., Suite 150,

Boat Club of Lake Norman 827 Langtree Road,

Carefree Boat Club18020 Kings Point Dr.,

Aquaventure Watercraft Rentals7515 Stonewall Street, Sherrills