Docks at the following locations may be used for loading and unloading passengers and gear.
- just north of the lighthouse in Bardens Inlet
- westside of Shackleford Banks, near Beaufort Inlet
- Haulover dock on the westside of Portsmouth
- Wallace Channel dock on the northeast side of Portsmouth
Boats may not moor (tie up) to these docks for longer than it takes to load/unload. For long stays, boats must anchor away from the dock and out of the way of other boats.
There are a number of areas that provide easy access to the soundside beaches or a place to stay overnight on your boat. Where you drop your anchor will depend on the draft (depth) of your boat.
- Sailboats and deep draft vessels - in Cape Lookout Bight behind the spit - deep water runs close to the spit in this area.
- Houseboats and shallow draft vessels - in Cape Lookout Bight behind the spit and along Shackleford Banks from Whale Creek to Wades Shore.
Vessels may anchor for a total of 14 days in water within the boundaries of Cape Lookout National Seashore.