Boating and Watersports in New Bern, NC

Located by the Neuse and Trent rivers, New Bern, NC has been a hub of boating and watersports since before the town had a name. Several marinas can be found downtown for the larger sailboats and yachts that cruise into town, however, smaller boats, skiffs, kayaks and pontoon boats have numerous boat ramps all over town to choose from. Popular for sailing, inland fishing and as an easy daytrip from the Crystal Coast, New Bern's riverfront stays busy in the summer, but rarely will you find it to be crowded.

New Bern’s most recent claim to boating fame is that it was voted one of the top 10 cities in the United States for boating. Labeled a top 10 town by BOATUS Magazine in the spring of 2013, New Bern was recognized as an ideal spot for retirees and families looking to have some fun out on the open water.

Lots of waterfront property means that a large number of residents have their boats docked right out their backdoor. But for everyone else, the city offers plenty of boat ramps for the public, while private marinas tailor to larger yachts and sailboats.

The City of New Bern has three public boat launches spread out across the town. The most popular boat launch is located in the heart of downtown at Union Point Park, which has the unique attribute of being the only boat launch at the convergence of the Trent and Neuse Rivers. A second boat launch at Lawsons Creek Park sends boaters on their way in the Trent River, while the launch at Glenburnie Park lets boaters drop in a little farther north on the Neuse. No matter which of these free boat launches your boat leaves from, you’ll have plenty of waterway to enjoy with a course that sticks close to shore or reaches all the way down to the Intracoastal Waterway in Beaufort, NC. These public launches are open during park hours, from 6 a.m. until 11 a.m., unless otherwise posted. Because these are public boat ramps, it’s still important to check ahead for availability as Union Point Park and Lawsons Creek can become very busy during the summer months with boaters and special events.

Three of New Bern’s most popular marinas can be found in the heart of historic downtown. The New Bern Grand Marina is located at the Doubletree Hilton, just off South Front Street on the Trent River, while the Bridgepoint Hotel and Marina can be found just on the north side of the Trent River with more than 125 slips available for area boaters. The Galley Marina, which offers fuel, slips and the convenience of a small store with all your grocery needs, is over on East Front Street, facing the Neuse River. 

New Bern’s love for water isn’t limited to larger boats in search of fishing spots and waterskiing either. Several watersports stores and outdoor sporting shops have sprung up in the area over recent years to accommodate New Bern’s growing interest in kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddleboarding. There’s even an active Twin Rivers Paddle Club that teaches beginners and challenges experts with clinics and events held throughout the year. This fun group is always welcoming new members to join them in enjoying New Bern’s greatest resource – its water.

Featured Local Businesses

Motor and Sailboat Rentals and Sailing Instruction

Northwest Creek Marina
Fairfield Harbour
New Bern, NC
(252) 670-3047

On the Wind Sailing Cruises invites individuals and groups on a variety of charters. Day, evening and spectacular sunset cruises are reasonably priced, and live-aboard cruises to the Outer Banks offer a first-time sailor a great taste of what it's all about. All cruises depart from Northwest Creek Marina at Fairfield...more about On the Wind Sailing Cruises

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

Discovery Diving Company New Bern Boating and Watersports
414 Orange St.
Beaufort, NC
(252) 728-2265

When you're ready to learn, Discovery can teach you to scuba dive or snorkel. On the water on Orange Street, the company offers Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Open Water Diver training ranging all the way to instructor courses. Discovery has an in-house repair shop and rents and sells just about...more about Discovery Diving Company

713 Shepard St.
Morehead City, NC
(252) 726-9432

Olympus Dive Center, a PADI 5 Star facility, charters a variety of diving trips year-round with classes from open water scuba diver thru technical diving. Join any diving trip daily during the peak season with their experienced staff, Captain Bobby Purifoy on the Olympus and Captain Buck Wilde on the Midnight Express....more about Olympus Dive Center

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