The Rafting Committee was formed in 2004 to deal with problems in rafting at Cocktail Cove located near The Point Golf Course. The task of the Committee was to modify the then existing Lake Norman Marine Commission’s “Rafting Safety Ordinance” which outlined specific regulations for rafting at the Sand Bar but did not adequately address other parts of the lake. The Committee developed several alternatives to improve the situation. As a result, these alternatives were submitted to the Marine Commission and a revised Ordinance was approved. Initial results were promising but if problems persist or develop in other parts of the lake then the Committee will be used to address any new problems.


SECTION 1.  SHORT  TITLE  These regulations may be cited as the “Rafting Safety Regulations”.

SECTION 2.  JURISDICTIONAL BOUNDARIES   These regulations shall be applicable on the waters of Lake Norman, the Boundaries of which are described in Chapter 1089, House Bill 1324 of The Session Laws of 1969 of the State of North Carolina.

SECTION 3.  DEFINITIONS   As used in these regulations, unless the context clearly requires a  different meaning:

  • (a) “Commission” means the Lake Norman Marine Commission.
  • (b) “Rafting” means the anchoring, tying, fastening, linking, or joining of any combination of three (3) or more vessels together.
  • (c) “Vessel” means every type of watercraft or structure used or capable of being used as a means of transportation or habitation on the water.
  • (d) “Shoreline” means the full pond contour as defined by 760 feet elevation above sea level and does not include islands unless they fall within 300 yards of the shoreline.
  • (e) “Underway” Neither anchored nor moored to a fixed object.
  • (f) “Making Way” Boat movement attributed to intentional guided motion.


  • (a) Rafting of three (3) to ten (10) vessels shall be conducted at least 100 yards from the shoreline.  Such vessels shall be located at least 200 yards from any other vessel or group of vessels that are tied or anchored together.  Rafting of eleven (11) or more vessels shall be conducted at least 300 yards from the shoreline. Law Enforcement has the right to make all vessels disperse within three hundred yards of the shoreline, if it they can not determine who was there first, failure to disperse would constitute a violation of this ordinance.
  • (b) One (1) or two (2) vessels may be tied or anchored within 100 yards of the shoreline, but they must be at least fifty (50) yards from any other vessel or group of vessels tied or anchored together.
  • (c) Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the area know as the Sandbar, rafting and/or anchoring are prohibited within three hundred yards from shore and to a point defined by signs installed by the Marine Commission. All vessels in this area must be underway and making way at no wake speed or greater, and
  • (d) In the area west of the I-77 Causeway, from Exit 28 to Exit 33, rafting and/or anchoring are prohibited within three hundred yards from shore. All vessels in this area must be underway and making way at no wake speed or greater.
  • (e) The Commission may place signs stating “NO RAFTING – MAXIMUM FINE $500.00” in areas where rafting is prohibited.
  • (f) A special event permit that allows rafting in areas where it is otherwise prohibited may be issued by the Commission.  Permit approval will be conditioned on an assurance by the applicant(s) that reasonable care will be taken to ensure that residents or boaters in the vicinity of the event will not be subjected to unreasonably loud or disturbing noise, that event participants will not engage in any disorderly conduct, and that any islands that are used will be cleaned-up after the event.  A permit application may be denied if the applicant(s) was/were previously issued a permit for an event and the event resulted in a serious complaint from a citizen and/or law enforcement response.  A $50.00 permit application fee will be required.  A permit application must be received by the Commission in writing at least forty-five (45) days before the event.

SECTION 5.  VIOLATIONS  Any person who violates the regulations set forth in Section 4 shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and shall be subject to a maximum fine of five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each violation.

SECTION 6.  ENFORCEMENT   Law enforcement officers with territorial jurisdiction are  authorized to enforce these regulations.

SECTION 7.  EFFECTIVE DATE  These regulations shall take effect on May 15, 2007, and shall Supersede the “Rafting Safety Ordinance” dated August 1, 2004.

Click Here to Download a Rafting Application