Houseboats Permit

A houseboat anchors in between the marsh. Trees are behind the boat. Tall grass is in the foreground
A houseboat anchors at Cape Lookout National Seashore

NPS Photo

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.


Permit Pricing

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

Obtaining a Houseboat Permit
In order to obtain a long-term parking permit for your houseboat, you must first fill out an application. Download the application, fill out with your information, scan copies of your license, reregistration, and insurance and email all documents to it to

Application for Houseboat Permit

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 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

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

131 Charles St
Harkers Island, NC 28531


252 728-2250

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