Boathouse Tour

Boathouse Tour

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Rain Date Friday, August 11, 2017

Tour departs for first time from Meredith Bay (view map) 


Thank you to our sponsors of the 2017 Boathouse Tour: 

Much of the intrigue associated with the boathouses that dot the shorelines of New Hampshire’s lakes and their islands has to do with point beach2218boathousetourwondering what’s inside.  Whether they are new and elegant or old and full of character, large or small, stylish or rustic, these boathouses are mysterious to those who cruise by them.

The history of the first boathouses on Lake Winnipesaukee is quite interesting.  When “cottagers” came north from the cities by train in the later 1800’s and early 1900’s, they would board a livery steamboat at a train station to finish their journey to their camps on the water.  The summer visitors stayed for two to three months and often the men commuted back and forth to work in Boston, New York, or Philadelphia on the Boston & Maine Railroad.  Automobiles and roads were not as we know them today, so boats were the main means of summer transportation.  Boathouses were built around the lake to accommodate the increasing number of privately owned boats.  Some of these structures even had second floors that were used for staff, as guest quarters or for social functions and church services.

In recent years appreciation of the history and architecture of boathouses has increased dramatically.  Vintage boat owners, especially, covet them because of the protection they afford wooden boats from the elements- and because this protection helps reduce the maintenance required to preserve old vessels.

Boathouse Tour 2013 (steir)With the enactment of New Hampshire’s 2008 Shoreline Protection Act, boathouses have become an endangered species.  Very few new structures are allowed, and restrictions have seen placed on existing structures that may require maintenance or modification.  This year’s tour again includes vintage and new boathouses of varying styles and sizes- and all with interesting features and details.  No two boathouses are alike!


Your ticket to the boathouse tour also gets you admission to the New Hampshire Boat Museum.  Don’t forget to stop by the museum before or after your tour to see the museum.  The museum is open from 9am to 4pm on the day of the tour.

The lake has much history that we hope to keep alive with these tours.  In the coming years we plan to continue our journey around BoathousetourcompressedLake Winnipesaukee and showcase some number of boathouses each summer.  We encourage you to join the New Hampshire Boat Museum and help up to keep history and traditions alive!






Video Courtesy of NH Chronicle and WMUR-TV.