Boating on the Lake

Otsego Lake is a very boat-friendly body of water. All along its nine-mile shoreline you will discover boats of all shapes and sizes -- sailboats, rowing boats, fishing boats, paddle boats -- some plastic, others made of wood. Sources of power are equally varied: pure muscle or wind, gas engines or banks of batteries. Some are very old; the Chief Uncas and the Narra Matta (Iroquois for "Pure as the Driven Snow"), both built by the Electric Boat Company, have merrily plied these waters for over a century. Others are of newer design, also electric -- slow, comfortable touring double-enders with a fringed awning overhead. There are Chris Crafts, both old and new; beautiful mahogany hulls that slide gracefully through the water, often with a skier attached in tow at the stern. And the Glimmerglass Queen, which takes visitors on a sight-seeing tour from its dock in town. Canoes and kayaks snake along the shores, venturing down the river, only to be thwarted by the dam at the other side of the Village, and hiding in the reeds. And then there are the sailboats, many of them, that race on the weekends and cruise through the weeks between. The winds are variable here. The Pierstown Trades swoop down to the Lake from the west, often from multiple directions, and the skippers must pay careful attention or the race will quickly be lost. 

The glacier did its job to perfection. The Lake is very deep (its deepest point is somewhere just north of Kingfisher Tower), and the shoreline falls off quickly. The temperature, in the summer when the ice has melted and the fishing huts have been taken in, runs from (mostly) warm to very cold in the patches that mark the springs that catch you unaware and take your breath away.

There are buoys to watch for, marks both for the sailors in their races, for hazardous Sunken Island near Hyde Bay, and for the all-important no-wake zone that covers the entire shoreline. All boaters must honor these no-wake boundaries, keeping their boat speeds down so the houses and camps and wildlife and woodlands can endure.

Please take good care of our Lake.



Closed for the 2017 Season!


For rental reservations, call 607-547-2581