A freestanding mooring is a stationary device used for attaching a boat, ship, floating structure or other watercraft. Freestanding moorings include mooring buoys, buoyed anchors and pilings that are not part of a pier, dock or boathouse.

To qualify for a mooring permit, you must either own the waterfront property in front of the mooring location (general permit or major permit), or you must be planning to install the mooring buoy in a designated mooring area that meets the requirements of a local water use plan (requires a major permit).

Figure 4.14

If you plan to install a mooring, you must meet the following standards {15A NCAC 7H.0208 (b) (10) or 7H.2200}: Moorings must not interfere with navigation or with public use of the waters.

    • Moorings may be located up to a maximum of 400 feet from the no

    • Normal high water line, or the normal water line, whichever is applicable.

    • You may have up to four moorings, if you do not have other docking space in front of your property. If you do have other docking space, the combined docking spaces and moorings must not total more than four.

    • Freestanding moorings along federally maintained channels must meet Corps of Engineers guidelines.

    • When you plan the location of your mooring, you must consider the boat as well. The space for a mooring must include a radius around the mooring that could be occupied by the boat at any time (see Figure 4.14).

    • Moorings and associated boats must be located at least 15 feet from adjacent riparian property lines, as extended into the water – unless the adjoining property owner waives this setback.

    • Moorings must not significantly interfere with shellfish franchises or leases. You must notify all owners of a shellfish franchise or lease over which your mooring would extend.

    • Moorings must be marked in accordance with US Coast Guard and NC Wildlife Resources Commission requirements, and they must bear the owner's name, state vessel registration numbers and/or US Customs documentation numbers. Mooring buoys must be a minimum of 12 inches in diameter.

    • If a mooring is not used for 12 months or more, it must be removed.