Lake Barcroft Boating Rules

LBA Stickers

  • Residents must pay the required annual boat fees and are issued an LBA registration sticker for each boat.  Lot Number stickers are available from the LBA Office gratis, upon request.  
  • All boats used on the lake, including windsurfing boards and rubber boats with oars, must display a current registration sticker plus the resident’s Lot Number on the left front of the vessel.  (Lot numbers of prior owners should be removed)

Limitations on the Size and Power of Watercraft With Motors

  • Water vehicles with internal combustion power are not permitted on the Lake, except for work and rescue boats authorized by LBA.
  • In order to preserve the quality of the Lake, and to ensure that excessive size and speed of watercraft do not jeopardize other legitimate uses of the Lake, watercraft with electric propulsion systems generating more than a maximum forward thrust of 195 pounds, or which have a manufacturers maximum rating greater than 4.0, are not allowed on the Lake.
  • Pontoon boats and all other watercraft shall not exceed a maximum length of 28 feet and a maximum width of 8.5 feet.  (Pontoon boats and motors exceeding these standards owned by Lake Barcroft residents and moored on the lake on or before October 1, 1995, are exempted from this rule.)
  • The use of any motor, including electric outboard motors intended for powering pontoon boats, on any watercraft with design capacity for speed or racing (such as hydroplanes, for example) is prohibited.  No motors, other than trolling motors specifically designed for fishing, are to be used on rowboats, canoes, sail boats or other small craft.
  • To minimize damage to shorelines and provide for a safe Lake environment, electric powered watercraft may not exceed a no-wake speed and must remain at a reasonable distance from the shoreline when underway (except when mooring).

Age and Educational Qualifications and Certifications and Certification for the Operation of Watercraft

  • No person under the age of 12 years old may operate a mechanically powered watercraft, other than a canoe or rowboat powered by a trolling motor, unless he or she is accompanied by a parent or an adult specifically authorized to stand in place of his or her parent for that purpose.
  • Unless he or she has attained an approved level of proficiency in watercraft operation or is accompanied by a parent or an adult specifically authorized to stand in place of his or her parent for that purpose, no person between the ages of 12 years old and 16 years old may operate a mechanically powered watercraft, other than a canoe or rowboat powered by an electric trolling motor. Please see the Lake Barcroft website for updated information.
  • LBA periodically offers instructional classes designed to promote the safe use of watercraft, to teach skills necessary for such safe operation and to convey the letter and spirit of the LBA rules and regulations with respect to the safe use of the Lake and its environs.

Boating Safety Standards and Rules

  • Persons operating watercraft on Lake Barcroft shall conform to the generally accepted rules and standards of conduct of the United States Power Squadron. These rules shall be in force at all times.  Boaters are specifically referred to the rules against operating a boat under the influence of alcohol, to the rules against operating without a continuous unobstructed forward view, and to the rules of right-of-way.  Mechanically-powered craft must yield to sail-powered craft, sail-powered craft must yield to craft powered by oars or paddles, and all watercraft must yield to swimmers or persons who are in the water for any other reason.  Two power boats meeting should keep to their right, just as they would in automobiles.  In a crossing situation, the power boat on the other’s right hand has the right-of-way.
  • No boat in motion may be closer to a swimmer (excluding swimmers from the boat) than 30 feet, other than to provide assistance in a bona fide rescue situation.
  • In no case may watercraft enter guarded and demarcated swimming areas other than to provide assistance in a bona fide rescue situation.
  • Jet skiing, water skiing, and other water sports depending on mechanical assistance for propulsion are specifically prohibited.  (The intent of this rule is not to prohibit towing of inflatables at a reasonable distance behind party barges provided that there is a person other than the barge operator observing the towed inflatable at all times.)
  • All motorized watercraft, except rowboats and canoes propelled by trolling motors, must display running lights when operating at night.  Party barges should carry a white light visible from front and back, a red light on the left side, and a green light to the right.
  • At night any boat out on the water should have at least a flashlight with which to signal its presence when approached by another boat.
  • All boats should carry Coast Guard approved life preservers appropriate to the number of boat occupants.
  • In view of the dangers inherent in operating any watercraft in a situation when clear forward vision is not possible, all boaters facing backwards, and especially scullers, because they attain high speeds, are uniquely responsible for the safety of others in the water.  In keeping with the commonly accepted rules of right-of-way on the water, occupants facing backwards in any boat, including scullers, are reminded that they never have the right-of-way over persons in the water.  It is recommended that rear facing boaters use mirrors to assist, but not replace, forward vision.
  • In addition, “slow zones” are established in areas of greatest danger to swimmers.  These “slow zones” include all areas near the five beaches; between Beaches Two and Three; between Beach Four and the two points of land across from that beach; in the cove extending out from Beach One; in the Ridgeway Narrows; and within twenty feet of all shorelines, docks, demarcated beach swimming areas and other structures.  The existence of these slow zones in no way relieves scullers of their special responsibility for the safety of other watercraft and swimmers.
  • Any boat that has been in another body of water must be power washed and thoroughly scrubbed before it is used in the lake (to prevent the introduction of invasives).

Boat Storage

  • Residents having valid boat registration stickers may, at their own risk, store small sailboats, rowboats, canoes, paddle boats and kayaks on the racks adjacent to the beaches.  Boats not displaying a current sticker and Lot Number are not allowed on the boat racks and will be removed and sold without individual notice to the owner.  Chaining boats to trees or to the racks in a manner that impedes others’ access to boats is not allowed.
  • All boats stored on LBA racks must be locked.
  • Boats should not be moored in launching areas.  Where available, piers should be used to embark and disembark from boats.  Permanent or unattended docking of boats on or near the beaches is prohibited.  Rafts, floats or boats may not be permanently anchored in the Lake.
  • Boat rack spaces that are permanently vacant may be taken by registered boats as they become available on a “first come, first serve” basis.
  • Residents should be mindful that temporarily vacant boat rack spaces (i.e., vacant space on racks where boats have been vacated for active use) should not be taken up by other boats.  
  • To confirm that a space is occupied but the boat is in current use residents should leave their chains attached to the vacant space on the rack.
  • If a boat is "in use" but a chain is locked on the rack space (to indicate that the space is temporarily vacated because a boat is being used) and another boat is improperly placed in the temporarily vacated space it will be removed upon request to the Lake Manager or the Water Safety/Beach Maintenance Chair.
  • No boat shall be placed on top of another boat, or any part of another boat, without the permission of the owner of the boat already on the rack.  Boats that are improperly placed on the racks (i.e., chained to another owner’s boat, stacking of boats on another owner’s boat, etc.) will be removed as necessary.
  • Resident complaints regarding improperly placed boats should be directed to the Lake Manager or the Water Safety/Beach Maintenance Chair.

Fishing Rules

  • Fishing by residents or their guests is permitted from boats or from the shore of the common properties in all Lake areas other than the swimming areas.  Guest fishers must be accompanied by a resident who has a current beach tag. 
  • Anchoring areas are restricted as shown on the Fishing/Anchoring map (see website at to protect WID equipment. 
  • There are no catch restrictions except for largemouth bass, which must be over 12 inches and limited to two (2) per day.  In order to avoid ecological contamination, use of live bait is prohibited, except for worms from area yards. 


Revised May 2019