Lake Norman Deep Water

What is Considered Deep Water on Lake Norman?

When looking at Lake Norman Waterfront homes for sale, potential buyers often ask ‘what is considered deep water on Lake Norman?‘ While there is not an official number, if you have at least 10 feet of water at full pond where your boat will dock we consider that deep water.  Here’s the thinking behind that number.

During the primary recreational season, mid-March to October, Duke Energy has a target level of 96 ft. to 98 ft.  (Lake level is based on full pond reading of 100 ft.  Watch this video for a detailed explanation of Lake Norman Lake Levels).  So, if you have 10 ft’ of water at full pond this would correspond to a depth of 6 to 8 feet when the lake level varies between 96 ft to 98 ft.  This provides plenty of depth for most boats to get in and out.  I will note that over the last 3 years the actual level has ranged from 97 ft. to 100 ft during the primary recreational season.

If you plan to leave your boat in the water year around without using a lift, you will want to be cognizant of the lake level during winter months when the lake is lower.  (If you want to know more info about the lower extreme levels, check Lowest Lake Norman Lake Levels.)

Slide on Lake Norman

How You Use Your Dock Matters

Do you like to float and swim around your dock?  Lots of people primarily use their docks for hanging out and boating in & out.  Others like to float (with or without cocktails), swim or use sliding boards on their docks.  In this case, a foot or two can make a big difference.   For example, at a depth of 5 feet you can stand up and may bottom out when landing the classic cannon ball off your dock.  But just two feet more at a depth of 7′, you can swim without touching the bottom.

There can also be a big difference from the front of your dock to the end of your dock.  Docks will average around 30 ft in length and depending on the slope of the lake bed the depth can change quickly.  Along those same lines you may only have to go out a few extra feet from your dock to be in deeper water.

Because the lake was flooded, the lake bed follows the typography of the land below.  As result the level can change drastically.  I’ve been on parts of the lake that drop 80 feet in a very short distance.  The typography of the lake bed is why you may notice ‘Shoal’ (i.e. shallow) signs out in the middle of the main channel.   How deep is Lake Norman?  The answer varies slightly depending on the source but the stats range from between 110 to 130 ft at Lake Norman’s deepest point.

There are lots of variables to consider when buying a Lake Norman home.  Each property is unique and has its own characteristics when it comes to the house, location, dock and the water.    The houses will vary by size, style, age and layout.  The location on the lake will offer different amenities and feel.  The docks can be covered or uncovered, with or without a lift and old or new.  The water choices will include big view vs small view, cove view vs main channel view, depth of the water and the existing dock set up.   Hopefully, this article helped you further understand the term ‘deep water’ on Lake Norman.

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