The Best Spots to Anchor Your Boat on Lake Winnipesaukee
If you are a newcomer to boating on Lake Winnipesaukee you are in for a treat. Around here we call Lake Winnipesaukee the “Big Lake” or “Winni”. It is NH’s largest and busiest lake. Winni has a length of 22.9 miles, is 7.5 miles wide, and has an average depth of 62 ft. There are some 44,586 acres and 274 inhabitable islands to explore around. You can get lost out there! And, you definitely want to have a chart with you!
Winnipesaukee is a great lake for boating, sailing, and all kinds of water sports and activities. The Big Lake is bordered by eight unique communities; Alton, Center Harbor, Gilford, Laconia, Meredith, Moultonborough, Tuftonboro, and Wolfeboro. You’ll find great shopping and restaurants at each of these ports of call.
But where do you go when you just want to anchor your boat, hang out, go for a swim, have lunch, or take a nap on the bow? Following is our list of some of the best spots to enjoy a lazy, sunny day on the water!
Where to anchor!
- Braun Bay in Moultonborough has been the favorite for the party crowd for years, especially on the weekends! There is a shallow sandy bottom so you are likely to see dozens of boats there. Get ready for music, frisbees, and lots of beverages at this hot spot. It might not be the place to look for peace and quiet.
GPS:43.6670° N, 71.3727° W
- Patrician Shores is in Meredith just before entering Center Harbor Bay and just west of Two Mile Island. You’ll find a great sandy bottom but it can get very busy on the weekends. Watch the markers coming in and make sure you are on the right side. There are some big rocks here.
- Check out the back side of Timber Island in Gilford across from Mark Island. This spot is sheltered from the wind and there is great swimming here. Not too busy at all.
- Down in Alton by the West Alton Marina across from Sleeper is a great sandbar and chest deep water.
- Paugus Bay by the Margate is nice but can get a little choppy there from the boats buzzing up the bay.
- Twenty Mile Bay in Tuftonboro is also pretty nice and fairly quiet.
- Check out Chestnut Cove and Peggy’s Cove in Alton.
- Johnsons Cove in Wolfeboro (Winter Harbor.) This location is calm and sheltered.
- Saunders Bay and around the corner by the Gov. Island Bridge.
Another great option on a calm day is to just go out to the Broads (the widest part of the lake), shut off the engine, and just drift! But please be careful swimming…other boats may not see you out there.
You will often see boats anchored and tied together in a “raft.” Be aware that rafting is not allowed in certain areas! Rafting as defined in RSA 2760:42 V shall be prohibited in the following areas of Lake Winnipesaukee unless covered by one of the exceptions specified in RSA 270:45:
1) The Kona Mansion, so called, in Moultonborough, east of an imaginary line running north and south from the red top marker buoy located on the western tip of Avery's Point on the south to the Kona Farm gas docks on the north.
(2) Small's Cove in Alton, southwest of an imaginary line running southeast northwest from the light 75 on the northwestern end to the northernmost point of land marking the entrance to the first cove, south of Small's Cove on the south.
(3) Wentworth Cove, southwest of Governors Island Bridge west of an imaginary north-south line, running from light 43 on the north to the black top buoy located off Wentworth Cove Estates on the south.
(4) Braun Bay - There shall be no rafting within 300 feet of both fish and game property lines as delineated by Marine Patrol with orange mooring balls.
(5) Braun Bay at a distance less than 75 feet from shore lines as delineated by Marine Patrol with orange mooring balls.
(6) Cedar Cove, specifically identified as the area opposite Plum Island which borders Alton tax map 18, lot No. 12 through 20 and 55.
(7) Winter Harbor from the southern boundary of the Tuftonboro tax map 63, lot No. 14 to the southern boundary of tax map 51, lot No. 20.
(8) The entire area known as Green's Basin, in the town of Moultonborough.
(9) Orchard Cove, on the east side of Cow Island, in the town of Tuftonboro.
(10) The entire area known as Buzzell Cove, in the town of Moultonborough.
(11) Brickyard Cove, encompassing a described area that would run south of an imaginary line running about 2,300 feet from the northern tip of Clay Point to the southern tip of Barndoor Island.
(12) The entire area known as Black Cove, in the town of Meredith, encompassing an area in Meredith tax map S-7, east from the northern most point of Lot 5-1 to the southeastern most point of Lot 1.
(13) The entire area known as East Cove, in the town of Moultonborough.
(14) The entire area known as Advent Cove, in the town of Meredith.
(15) Roberts Cove, in the town of Alton, encompassing a described area as between the body of water in Roberts Cove, east of a line running north to south from the westerly boundary of lot 41 on tax map 48 to the westerly boundary of lot 1 on tax map 48.
I am sure there are a lot more places to go on Winnipesaukee to kick back and relax. That’s half the fun of exploring the big lake. Find your own special, secret spot, and don’t tell anyone else…except us!