Lake Norman boasts plenty of water for boat lovers to enjoy a ride. No boat? No worries! Different rental companies are available for boat and jet ski rentals. For those keen on watersports, some providers even offer tubes, boards and skis, while others include captained chartered cruises . To assist you in navigating the process of renting a boat at Lake Norman, we've put together this guide to ensure you're well-prepared for your visit and ready to set sail.

Boat on Lake Norman

Boaters License 101

Before you take on the lake, someone in your traveling group has taken the North Carolina Boater Safety Course. Any person born on or after January 1, 1988 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course before operating any vessel propelled by a motor of 10 HP or greater. A boaters license is not required for people born before 1988, but it is recommended and can be acquired online. Boat rental companies may have their own restrictions when setting up your rental booking.  For anyone new to navigating Lake Norman and wants to try fine tune your boat driving skills, you can contact Captain Andy for Expert Boat Lessons. There are several options of boat rental companies with captains for anyone that does not have a boaters license mentioned below or visit the Chartered Cruise page.  


Captained Boat Rentals

If you're seeking a boat rental with a captain, several options are available. For those interested in lake-side bar hopping, Party Pontoon is a fantastic option! They offer excursions to various bars and restaurants on the lake. While cruising, Captain Kevin provides insightful commentary on the lake's history. Feel free to bring along your own cooler stocked with beer and wine for pit stops at popular sandbars. With a capacity of up to 25 passengers (10 on one boat and 15 on another), their boat also offers designated reservation slots, perfect for booking a sunset cruise.

Carolina Cruising Charters

Carolina Cruising Charters

Carolina Cruising Charters offers luxury boat rentals for up to 8, 10, 13, and 15 guests per boat and can be reserved for 1-5 hours. Charters are captained by USCG Master Captains so you can sit back and enjoy the boat ride. Tubes, wakeboarding, rafts and karaoke are fun things to do while cruising with them.  Famous guests of Carolina Cruising Charters are the cast of Jersey Shore, who came to Lake Norman for their Family Vacation Series.

77 Watersports offer boat tours Monday through Thursday and rates start at $300 for four hours, not including fuel prices. This includes a stop at one of the area's waterfront restaurants. The price does not include the food, so don't forget your wallet. 

Carolina Boat Rentals is another excellent option for renting a boat with a captain. Their captain will meet you at either Ramsey Creek Park or Blythe Landing. They offer renting flexibility, seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm. Prices cover gas and refreshments for your enjoyment during your adventure on the water. Additionally, you can rent tubes to enhance your experience, and you can even make a pit stop at the famous Lake Norman Sand Bar for a quick dip in the lake.

For those who aren't expert water skiers or wake surfers, Ride LKN provides personalized lessons to help you get started. If you're looking to elevate your surfing skills, they'll teach you professional-grade techniques. And yes, if you just want to sit back and relax, Ride LKN also offers private charters inclusive of tubing and wakeboards!

Ride LKN

Ride LKN


Non-captained Boat Rentals

If you've completed a boating education course, you'll find several more options for securing your boat rental.

Explore the fantastic selection of rental boats available at Lake Effects Boat Rentals. Their fleet of boats include a luxury tritoon, ski boats, surf boats with surf boards included in every rental, and of course you cannot forget the jet ski rentals for a fast paced fun day on the lake!

Cornelius Pontoon Rentals offers a fantastic lake experience for lake lovers that wish to navigate themselves. They conveniently deliver the boat to Blythe Landing. Each reservation includes gas, snacks, water, and ice. Water noodles are also provided for both kids and adults to enjoy. Choose from 4-hour or full-day reservations to suit your outing needs.

More options for non-captained boat rentals include What's Up Watersports and Carolina Boat Rentals. Specific driver requirements can be obtained by contacting each business directly.

(Tip: Based on feedback from past visitors, it's wise to bring along a sweatshirt during colder seasons as the lake breeze can feel chilly. Check out our range of LKN-branded sweatshirts!)

Jet Ski Rentals

If you're seeking an added thrill on the lake, renting a jet ski is a great option! Jet Ski Rentals at Lake Norman LLC offers Jet ski as well as pontoon rentals to insure you have a memorable day on the lake. With half day, full day, multi-day and week-long rentals to best suit your need Jet Ski Rentals at Lake Norman LLC insures to be flexible to your needs. 

What's Up Watersports provides jet ski rentals that can be delivered to almost any location on Lake Norman. Rentals are available for a few hours up to multiple days, with flexibility to fit your schedule.


After reading this guide, we hope you feel confident about renting a boat or jet ski on Lake Norman. For a comprehensive list of boat and jet ski rental companies around Lake Norman, visit the Lake Rentals page. Each listing includes a phone number for direct inquiries about pricing and availability. Don't forget to share your boat ride adventures by tagging us in your photos on social media @VisitLakeNorman!