Category Archives: Lake Gaston

30 Things You Know To Be True If You Grew Up Going To The Lake

There Is Nothing Like Summertime At The Lake

                                                           Haley Spalding in The List on Mar 29, 2016
If you’re anything like me, you have spent every summer at the lake, on the boat, fishing off the dock, tanning, and skiing. When it starts getting warm, the first thought that crosses your mind is, “man I wish I was at the lake,” and the worst time of year is when you pull the boat out for the winter.
Here’s a list of things that are true if you’ve spent your summers on the water:
1. You know how to bait a hook. DUH.
2. You’re no longer scared of ticks. You still hate them, but you check when you
shower at the end of the day.
3. Even though you’ve been told a thousand times, you still don’t wear shoes on
the dock. Honestly, splinters aren’t that big of a deal, but the dock does get really hot!
4. You’ve had to swim the boat or jet ski back to the dock because it broke down.
You probably forgot to put the plugs in, need to change the spark plugs, hit the kill
switch on accident or have a dead battery. It happens.
5. You know the best time to ski is after 4:00 when the water is smooth as glass.
When everyone else on the water goes in for dinner, you’re itching to get on the skis.
6. You’re an expert at spotting the water patrol. “Hide your drinks and don’t
7. You can tie just about any kind of knot. Tying off boats to the cleats on the dock
is something that you know how to do like a prof.
8. There’s no tube ride you can’t survive. Donuts, figure eights and having a mouth
full of water are the usual when you go tubing. You may be sore and bruised, but you
can bet you’ll be tubing tomorrow anyways.
9. You know the names of everyone at the closest marina. The marina isn’t just a
place to get gas.
10. You know exactly where Party Cove is. And it’s the place to be!
11. You have a boat hat. This is your go-to hat. It’s most likely faded from the sun
and fits just right.
12. You learned how to drive a boat before you knew how to drive a car. And the
permit test to get your boating license was much harder than the one for your driver’s
license was.
13. There is nothing prettier than sunset on the lake. A sunset over the water never
gets old.
14. “Checking the prop” is a phrase that doesn’t need to be explained. If someone
doesn’t know what that means, they shouldn’t be at the lake.
15. Being on the boat when it starts to rain is PURE TORTURE. You may as well
be being pelted by BB guns.
16. Who needs a shower when you can just bring your shampoo down to the
dock? Am I right or am I right?
17. You have most likely lost something of importance to the lake. This is most
likely your sunglasses, wallet, or phone, but never your keys because you’ve put a
floatation device on them.
18. When the sun goes down, it means it’s time for a fire. The smell of fire is
practically unavoidable at the lake. S’mores are without question part of any weekend
at the lake.
19. Waking up early to go fishing is always a good idea, the night before
anyways. It takes some serious dedication to wake up early to fish, it’s always worth
it, but always a struggle

NC and VA Boating Regulations at Lake Gaston

Each year thousands of people visit Lake Gaston to enjoy the incredible fishing, boating, and water sports opportunities that our area has to offer.  Because Lake Gaston is situated such that it spans areas in both Virginia and North Carolina, we’ve offered the basics of boating regulations here, complete with links to the full information online at each state’s official website.  Both states required the use of personal floatation devices, sound devices, fire extinguishing devices, and navigation lights, and some type of boater edcuation certification or course completion, but the regulations differ from state to state.


Required equipment for your boat:

  • Your boat MUST have at least one Coast Guard approved life jacket for each occupant of the boat.  Be sure to check the devices for appropriate fit, which can usually be found on the tag in the manufacturer’s specifications, and operational condition (no broken hardware or tears, etc.).  This tag will also state whether or not the life jacket is an approved personal floatation device.
  • All boats over 26′ in length MUST have approved and properly charged fire extinguishers aboard.  In addition, all motorboats under 26′ that have any of the following conditions MUST carry fire extinguishers: permanently installed fuel tanks; closed compartments where fuel tanks may be stored; double bottoms not sealed to the hull; closed living spaces; or closed stowage compartment in which combustible or flammable materials may be stowed.  Inboard gasoline engines must have USCG, SEA, or UL approved flame arrestors on their carburetors. The backfire flame arrestor must be securely attached to the carburetor.
  • Visual Distress Signals:  All recreational boats 16 feet or greater in length shall be equipped with visual distress signaling devices at all times when operating on coastal waters. This regulation applies to all coastal waters and those rivers 2 miles or more wide at the mouth and up to the first point the river narrows to less than 2 miles.  Boats less than 16 feet, manually propelled boats (rowboats, canoes, kayaks, etc.), and open sailboats under 26 feet with no motor, are required to carry only night visual distress signals when operated on coastal waters at night.  There are special regulations pertaining to the use of pyrotechnic distress signals that can be found online at Virginia Equipment Regulations.

  • Navigation Lights:  Recreational boats, while underway, are required to display navigation lights between sunset and sunrise and during periods of restricted visibility.  No other lights shall be exhibited that could impair the visibility of required running lights or impair the visibility of approaching vessels.

North Carolina

Required equipment for your boat:

  • Personal Floatation Devices: All recreational vessels must have one Type I, II, or III PFD of a suitable size for each person aboard and each skier being towed.  Canoes and kayaks 16 feet in length and over are exempted from the requirements for carriage of the additional Type IV PFD.  Sailboards, racing shells, rowing sculls, racing canoes and racing kayaks are exempted from the requirements for carriage of any type PFD. No person may use a recreational vessel unless each child under 13 years old on board is wearing an appropriate PFD approved by the Coast Guard.
  • Fire Extinguishers:  All vessels must carry fire extinguishers unless the craft has a built-in fire extinguishing system.
  • Sound-Producing Devices: Sound-producing devices include horns or whistles and bells.  Vessels less than 12meters (39.4 feet) in length, while not required to have a horn or whistles and bells, shall be equipped with some means of making an efficient sound signal.
  • Navigation Lights: Vessels operating at night are required to display navigation
    lights between sunset and sunrise.

The full link to North Carolina’s Vessel Operator Guide can be accessed by clicking HERE