Houseboats are a relaxing way to experience the park from the water.
If you are interested in anchoring your houseboat at Cape Lookout National Seashore, the following information will be helpful. A Long Term Parking Permit is required to leave your houseboat within Cape Lookout National Seashore’s boundary. Follow the guidelines outlined below to ensure that your permit is in place in time for you to anchor at Cape Lookout National Seashore.
Note: Be aware that a houseboat anchored overnight in park waters is considered "camping" and is subject to the same time limit restrictions as a camper on land. All camping is limited to 14 consecutive days. If the houseboat is left unattended for 24 hours or more, it is required to have a permit.
The authority for the National Park Service to recover and retain costs associated with managing special park uses is found at 54 USC 103104 and 54 USC 200101. Charges established for a Special Park Use under this authority are intended to recover costs associated with managing that activity and not to generate revenue beyond actual cost.
Weekly Houseboat Permits are $15 a week. If you wish to add additional time to your weekly permit, you may do by calling the Visitor Center at (252) 728-2250
No decals will be issued without all requested documentation (complete application, copy of license, vehicle registration, and insurance). License, registration, and insurance must be valid at time of purchase. Updated documentation will be the responsibility of the permittee.
After sending your application, you will be contacted within 7-10 business days to collect payment. Once we receive your payment, a permit will be emailed to you for a signature. Permits decals for will be mailed or can be picked up from Harkers Island Visitor center by appointment only.
Note: If you are unable to fill out application digitally, you may print application, complete, and scanned copy to CALO_SUP@nps.gov. If you are unable to submit the application digitally, call Harkers Island Visitor Center (252) 728-2250 to request an application to be mailed to you.
If you have any questions regarding houseboat permits, please feel free to contact Tonya Seely, Lead Recreation Fee Technician, at Harkers Island Visitor Center (252) 728-2250.
Last updated: May 15, 2023