Ski Craft (Jet Ski) –  Prohibited

New Hampshire law RSA 270:74 states that the Operation of  “ski craft” is prohibited on any pond or lake less than 75 acres in area. Lake Ivanhoe has a total area of 68 acres. The law defines a “ski craft” as any motorized vessel that is less than 13 feet in length, is capable of exceeding 20 miles per hour, and has the capacity to carry no more than two persons (2 persons or less).

Unlike a Ski Craft, a personal watercraft (PWC) has the capacity to carry more than the operator and one passenger (3 persons or more) and must follow the regulations set forth for a motor boat. A PWC may look like a ski craft or may look like a motor boat. The difference from a motor boat is that PWC’s utilize water jet propulsion instead of a propeller and are more conducive to operation in shallow waterways. PWC’s are NOT classified as ski craft and as such enjoy the same legal treatment as a motor boat. PWC’s are allowed on Lake Ivanhoe.

The residents of Lake Ivanhoe expect that all watercraft are operated responsibly and with safety as a priority. If you are unsure of the boating laws affecting Lake Ivanhoe, please send a message to info@ivanhoeroundpond.com.

New Hampshire Boating Laws

The following is a summary of a few of the basic New Hampshire boating laws. It is recommended that everyone fully understand all of the New Hampshire boating laws and adhere to them while enjoying Lake Ivanhoe. Note: the following laws pertain to boats, PWC’s and jet boats.

  • All motorized and certain non-motorized vessels exceeding 12 feet in length require on-board registration and decals
  • A Safe Boating Certificate (or commercial license) must be carried on-board by the operator while operating a vessel powered by more than 25 horsepower
  • Operation at greater than headway speed may not take place within 150 feet of shoreline, docks, rafts, swimmers and other vessels
  • A person under 16 years of age may operate a vessel if accompanied by a person 18 years old or older who has a valid Safe Boating Certificate
  • All vessels must carry one wearable (Type I, II, III, or V) USCG–approved life jacket (PFD) for each person on board. Type V PFDs must be worn to be acceptable. Children 12 years of age and younger must wear a USCG–approved life jacket at all times while underway
  • A person using a stand-up paddleboard must have a Type I, II, or III life jacket on board. New Hampshire law requires any person under the age of 13 to wear a life jacket
  • No more than two persons may be towed from a single vessel at any one time. If two persons are being towed, there must be two observers on board, in addition to the operator, who must be at least 13 years of age
  • Boating while intoxicated (BWI)—that is, operating any vessel (including vessels propelled by a motor or sail, canoes, and kayaks) while under the influence of alcohol is prohibited

The following NH Boating Laws FAQ by the USCG provides a nice summary of the NH laws pertaining to boats, PWC and other watercraft.

Boat Ramps

Lake Ivanhoe has two boat ramps or launches. The public ramp is located on the Northeast side of the lake between lots 6 and 20. The private ramp is located on the Northwest side of the lake at the Aker’s Pines Association beach. The private ramp is restricted for use by the Aker’s Pines Association members only.After launching from the public ramp we advise you to stay to the center of the waterway as there are shallows especially near the peninsula as you exit the cove. The shallows extend rather far from shore and may emerge quickly especially during times of low lake water volume.

Neither ramp is actively monitored and it is therefore expected that all boaters understand NH laws regarding boat preparation, drain plugs, organism and plant removal, and safe, lawful operation of your boat on the lake. If you have any questions, please Contact Us.


The Round Pond Association requests that anyone who navigates Lake Ivanhoe with watercraft please follow a counter clockwise rotation around the lake whenever possible. This will help contribute to a safe boating experience for all especially when multiple watercraft are using the lake at the same time.

Please make every attempt to observe a no wake policy especially when starting out or returning to shore.  This means limiting your vessel to headway speed (slowest speed that still allows you to maintain steerage) until you are away (150+ feet) from shore. Given the size and shape of the lake, it may be difficult to always maintain the proper distance from shore when boating at speed, but we ask that you please do your best to stay toward the center of the lake when operating at speed.


The size and permanence of a dock is subject to the size of the lake and the shoreline frontage of the property hosting the dock. Lake Ivanhoe has a total area of 68 acres and is therefore subject to the NHDES law RSA 482-ARSA 483-B and Env-Wq 1400 for lakes or ponds less than 1000 acres. Here is a summary of the law as it pertains to Lake Ivanhoe:

  • Permanent docking structures are prohibited. “Seasonal” or removable docks are required
  • Construction of a new dock or modification to expand or change the footprint of an existing dock, requires a Shoreline Permit Application
  • Maximum dock size
    • Shoreline frontage is 75 feet or greater: maximum size = 6 feet x 30 feet
    • Shoreline frontage is less than 75 feet: maximum size = 4 feet x 24 feet
  • New docks or additions to existing docks must be located at least 20 feet from abutting property boundaries, including the imaginary extensions of those property boundaries over the water
  • Repairing a dock does not require a permit as long as the footprint of the existing dock is not altered. If the plan is to modify the dock footprint during repair then a Shoreline Permit Application must be submitted to Wakefield Town Hall
  • Maximum number of boat slips
    • Shoreline frontage less than 75 feet: 1 slip
    • Shoreline frontage from 75 – 149 feet: 2 slips

Sheds & Structures

Installation of sheds and other structures must comply with the Town of Wakefield Zoning Ordinance. The summary information provided here assumes a standard residential 1 or residential 2 (shorefront) lot that is not serviced by municipal or community water and/or sewer. Please consult the ordinance and/or contact the Wakefield Town Hall for information and instructions specific to your property as there are many factors that may affect your specific property such as grandfathered lots.

Building Permits

  • Sheds less than or equal to 200 square feet do not require a building permit
  • Construction or placement of a shed requires a setback affidavit which must be submitted to the Town of Wakefield prior to any work


Standard setback requirements are as follows:

  • 20 feet setback from road [1]
  • 20 feet setback from side (property lines) [2]
  • 10 feet setback from rear
  • 30 feet setback from shoreline [3]
  • 30 feet setback from wetland [4]
  • 20 feet setback default [5]
  1. Measured from the center of the right of way
  2. Reduce by 50% for pre-existing non-conforming (“grandfathered”) lots
  3. Except for boathouses and docks, which are subject to the jurisdiction of the State. (Note: The State of NH Comprehensive Shoreland Act requires a shoreline setback of 50’. This setback requirement supersedes the Town of Wakefield shoreline setback.)
  4. Not applicable to setbacks from shorelines. The designated wetland setback may be reduced by the Planning Board, but in no event to less than the applicable front, side or rear setback, upon a showing that additional runoff into the wetland area will not occur
  5. This is the minimum dimension when other categories are not applicable