Boat Permit Information:

Canoes and kayaks are a common sight in Marina Bay on Lake Lure

As the name implies, Lake Lure does indeed 'lure' many people to enjoy its unique beauty. And because it is both a home to our residents and a popular destination for visitors, it is necessary to establish regulations aimed at a balanced use of the lake.

Lake Lure is a very small man made lake with less than 27 miles of shoreline. It is not an inexhaustible resource and it is not easily compared to other lakes in the region in terms of their regulations for use or to the unique challenges that all lakes have. 

As stewards of the lake, The Town must carefully and consistently manage the challenges and limitations of the lake.

This is done in consideration of the ecosystem, wildlife, marine life and certainly in consideration of all who wish to enjoy it for generations to come -  residents, businesses and visitors. 

With that in mind, we want your use of the lake to be enjoyable and safe for you, your guests and our visitors.

General Information

  1. All watercraft of any kind must obtain and display an annual boat permit issued by the town in order to be on Lake Lure for recreational, commercial and/or fishing activities.

  2. For the enjoyment and safety of everyone, the following boat types are not permitted on the lake:
  •  Any pontoon boat, canoe, kayak, rowing shell, row boat or any motorized craft that is longer than 28 feet
  • Any other type of boat that is longer than 20 feet, 11 inches, such as a runabout, ski boat, deck boat or sail boat

Requirements for Private Boats: Insurance
  • Lake Lure requires that all private boat owners must obtain and maintain marine liability insurance with at least $300,000 in coverage for each motorized boat permitted.
  • The Town does not need to be listed as a co-insured. Proof of insurance must be shown in order to receive a permit (either an agency letter or a copy of the policy).


  • Owners and spouses of an improved property parcel (with dwelling) within the Town of Lake Lure may have up to 3 motorized boats permitted at the resident rates.
  •  An unimproved parcel may have 1 motorized boat permitted. Additional boats must be permitted at the non-resident rates.
  • No more than 3 boats may be moored per 100 feet of shoreline (exception: approved marinas and cluster moorings).

Information Required to Obtain a Permit

NOTE: Motorized daily boat permits are now available during peak season, excluding weekends and holidays.

  • Address of Lake Lure property (if applying for a resident permit)
  • Name, address and contact information of boat owner (name must match property tax records for resident permits)
  • Boat information: make, model, year, length, color, mooring location. If motorized: motor make, year, horsepower.
  • For motorized boats: Proof of state registration
  • For motorized boats: Proof of liability insurance (marine policy or homeowner's policy or a certificate of insurance)
  • Check or cash to pay for permit fees

Requirements for Commercial Boats:

Commercial use
Commercial boat use is considered any use of the lake in a manner that will generate direct or indirect revenue.  Note that rental homes are considered a commercial operation. Any boat utilized in conjunction with the rental must obtain a Commercial boat license before being granted a commercial boat permit. The following eight commercial classifications have been defined for Lake Lure :
    1. Rental livery (including boats accompanying rental property)
    2. Resorts
    3. Camps
    4. Ski schools
    5. Tour boats
    6. Fishing guides
    7. Service boats
    8. Realtors

Getting Your Commercial Boat License:
  • Applications are due by November 1st for the following year.  Download the application here. 
    • In order to control overcrowding and maintain safe boating conditions on the lake, the Marine Commission limits the number of commercial operations permitted each year. This is done to balance commercial boating activities with non-commercial boating activities.
    • All applications are reviewed and a calculation is made that estimates the impact of each of the company's boats on the lake (by season and time of day). In granting licenses, priority will be given based on a number of factors, including lake impact, age and location of business and licenses from previous years.

    • Lake Lure requires that all commercial boating operations obtain and maintain commercial liability insurance with at least $1,000,000 in coverage for each boat permitted (motorized and non-motorized).
    • Service boats and realtors must obtain $300,000 in coverage. In addition, the Town of Lake Lure must be listed as a co-insured on the policy. Proof of insurance (an current agency letter) must accompany the commercial license application.

    Operator information required (each year):
      • Name
      • Date of Birth
      • Address
      • Course Certificate

    • Mooring Restrictions - Commercial operations must moor vessels at lake structures adjacent to lots zoned CG, GU, R3 or R4. Exceptions are allowed for:
      • Class 1 rental livery associated with rental homes
      • Class 7 service boats
      • Class 8 realtors

    • Residency - It is the intent of the Marine Commission to limit lake commercial licenses to those business entities which are principally located in the corporate limits of the Town of Lake Lure. The Marine Commission reserves the right to cancel lake commercial licenses if it is later determined that the representation of residential status was incorrect. Non-resident real estate agents, fishing guides, contractors and boat repair companies hired by residents of Lake Lure may apply to the marine commission for special permits. If approved, non-resident commercial licenses will be allocated one motorized boat permit. The boat permit fee will be adjusted to represent the non-resident annual fee plus the commercial surcharge as applied to resident annual permit fee.

    • Maximum Permits - Commercial operations will be subject to the following limits on the number of boats operated:
    Commercial Classification Maximum per owner or business entity

    Class 1 (Rental Livery)
    Class 2 (Resorts)
    Class 3 (Camps)


    Class 4 (Ski schools)
    Class 5 (Tour boats)
    Class 6 (Fishing guides)
    Class 7 (Service boats)
    Class 8 ( Realtors)