Photo: Kristin S. Karlsen

Canoeing, Rowing and Sailing

You are free to travel the sea, lakes and rivers by canoe, rowboat or sailboat, and except for a few canals and locks it costs nothing. 

You can also use motorboats on the sea, stretches of river (provided they are part of a navigable river) and lakes larger than 2 square kilometres (0.75 square miles). However, there may be local bylaws restricting the use of motorboats on lakes and rivers. You are allowed to pull any kind of vessel ashore in open country for a short time. If you wish to moor at a private dock or jetty, you must seek permission from the owner or user. You can use mooring rings, bolts and similar equipment in open country for short periods so long as this does not seriously inconvenience the owner or user.

When boating in open country, remember:

  • to find out all you can about the river or lake, safety issues and local bylaws before setting out
  • to wear a lifejacket at all times
  • to dry your boat, oars/paddle and boots before moving to another river or lake, in order not to spread disease
  • to disinfect any fishing gear, boat, oars/paddle and boots used in rivers or lakes carrying infectious fish diseases
  • to be considerate of fishermen and other users of lakes and rivers
  • not to interfere with nets or other fishing gear
  • to travel quietly and not make unnecessary noise
  • not to disturb animals and birds, particularly during breeding and nesting season
  • to use established rest areas and firepits, where available, and to be especially careful around fire
  • not to pitch a tent close to an inhabited house or cabin (no closer than 150 m/500 ft unless local bylaws provide otherwise)
  • to respect the interests of people who live and work in the countryside