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Old     (nwsjake10)      Join Date: Feb 2007       09-27-2007, 8:13 AM Reply   
for those of you that have taken house boat trips before, i have a few questions for you...i have been thinking of setting up a trip with some buddies to rent a housebout and what not, but since i live in nebraska i have NO knowledge what-so-ever of how to set something like this here are my questions..

1. Where is the best place to go to rent a houseboat?
2. How many people can they hold?
3. Is there any way to rent a houseboat, along with a wakeboat too?
4. Where do you "stay", can you just pull up to any beach and set up camp? or is there specific areas designated?
5. much to rent house boat for 1 week, wakeboat, gas, ect.

that pretty much sums up my basic questions, i really don't know any other questions to ask at this point, if anyone can provide info, i'd really appreciate it...and for those of you that have taken house boat trips before..maybe explain what steps you took in setting up the trip..that would help too..thanks guys!
Old     (nwsjake10)      Join Date: Feb 2007       09-27-2007, 9:34 AM Reply   
bump..come on guys i know some of you have done this..
Old     (wakeboardlasvegas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       09-27-2007, 10:01 AM Reply   
depends on the lakes i would think

but think S H A S T A
Old     (ceres1312)      Join Date: Jun 2007       09-27-2007, 10:28 AM Reply   
first look up the lake that you want to go to then look up their web site to see if they have house boat rentals and boat rentals. I know for sure that Shasta has both rentals in place on their web site. They also have the costs broke down by week and day. I just looked up lake powell in my search engine and came up with a lot of house boat rentals. Good luck... and as always post some pics of the trip.
Old     (kcampos)      Join Date: Jul 2007       09-27-2007, 10:32 AM Reply   
obviously depends on where you live but Don Pedro for sure.
Old     (sanddragon2004)      Join Date: Jul 2005       09-27-2007, 10:32 AM Reply   
new melones is fun,

really any lake is fun when ur on one. depends on size ive loaded up to 20 peopleon a boat before.

56' with a hottub.
Old     (ss1234)      Join Date: Jul 2005       09-27-2007, 11:07 AM Reply   
1. Everybody has their opinions. My experience is limited to CA (Orrovile, Shasta, DonPedro, Bullards).
2. Depends on your style. Back in the day we would put 18 on 12-sleeper. Bodies everywhere. Today with a family we stay at or below the published sleeping capacity. It is important to have a crew that is easy going and can all get a long. It is tight quarters and it only takes one that can't roll with it to be disruptive to the whole crew.
3. Yes, out here many marinas have "tag along discounts" where they give you a break on the smaller boat rental when rented with a's only money.
4. Where we rent (mostly shasta) you stay anywhere. Our spot criteria: Water deep enough to jump off the back of the houseboat (kids), cove protected from lake rollers, not too tight of a spot so you can ride off the back of the boat, try to find trees to tie off to rather than the re-bar stakes (long story), and the daily crew "discussion" of morning or evening sun. We rarely set up "camp" on a shore. We just stay on the boat.
5. Costs: Find a lake and hit the website for boat costs. Remember that the rental is only part of it. For the other costs, estimate what you think you will need, then double it. One thing we always did is had all crew members bring a set amount of cash that went into the jar. Pre-defined group expenses came out of the jar (mainly gas and ice), we aimed high for the cash deposit and divided up the remainder at the dock when unloading. This eliminated having to chase down cash when things were needed.
Old     (nwsjake10)      Join Date: Feb 2007       09-27-2007, 12:10 PM Reply   
nice, thats great info..thanks guys!
Old     (phatboypimp)      Join Date: Apr 2005       09-27-2007, 1:39 PM Reply   
Grant West has set up the best houseboat trips period. Essentially they go out and purchase all of the food and drinks (alcohlic and non-alcoholic) for a four day trip. Since they have done 6-7 of these, they understand the cost and are able to make large purchases at a discount from Costco, etc. Essentially they combine the cost of the boat and the food/beverages and each person pays a cover usually around $300 a head for the entire weekend and everything is covered and they get the money up front. We usually have 15-20 people on a 56' (I think) boat with the hottub. The boat has a full kitchen, satellite television and air conditioning. Pretty sweet set up. I haven't been to Shasta, but I have heard it is awesome. Our favorite place in CA in New Melones because the lake isn't too busy and you can get into pretty secluded areas to stay away from the boat traffic. We usually will pick a small cove and beach the front of the boat and then tie it up to shore. We haven't had the need to rent a wake boat since we all have them, but the experience is a lot of fun. It wouldn't be nearly as fun without the wake boats. Four days seems short to me, I would rather stay for a week. I am not sure of the costs, since I haven't ever set one of these trips up.
Old     (nwsjake10)      Join Date: Feb 2007       09-27-2007, 1:41 PM Reply   
awesome thanks a lot
Old     (bstroop)      Join Date: Apr 2005       09-27-2007, 1:42 PM Reply   
Another thing to consider is food. We break everybody into groups of 2. Each group is responsible for making a dinner and a breakfast. It really works out well because everyone can relax and enjoy themselves without having to cook every night. No hot dogs & chips either, people make full meals. Because people are on and off the water all day you have to fend for yourself for lunch.

I know it's a minor detail but lots of people enjoy this type of plan.
Old     (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       09-28-2007, 12:41 PM Reply   
Hey, the guy said he lives in Nebraska. Shasta is a great place to houseboat, but there is no way that I would dive past Lake Powell to get to Shasta.......

I have never been there, but Kentucky seems to be the houseboat capital of the world. It is certainly where the bulk of the luxury houseboats are manufactured so I assume the lakes around there are well suited for it.

From Nebraska it would be a toss up between Lake Powell and some place in Kentucky. I know Powell, and I recommend it highly. The water level in Powell is really low these days after years of drought. I believe that the lakes in Kentucky are natural so they are always at the same water level, which is nice because there will be trees along the shore line instead of a mile up.

Do an internet search and find a marina renting houseboats. It has been a while since I priced them but I would expect weekly rates around $5000 or so.

How many people you can support on a houseboat will depend on how friendly you all are and how comfortable you want to be. I have had 18 people on a 50 houseboat and it worked okay. I have also had 12 and it was miserable.

On Lake Powell you can easily get away with having lots of people sleep on the roof. Not too many bugs, doesn't rain much, night time temperatures are just fine to be outdoors.

If it is hot and muggy at night you might prefer to be inside and run the air conditioning. If it rains every night being out in the open might not be too good of an idea.

My best bit of advice is to not bring too many toys/boats with you. My rule of thumb is that you need two full crews for every ski boat. That means two drivers, two observers, two riders, etc. 8 people for one ski boat is perfect. 12 people for one ski boat is okay. 12 people with two ski boats and you will be towing one most of the time. Towing a ski boat is a major PITA and slows the houseboat down dramatically.

Same with PWC. If it isn't going to be available for everyone to ride, don't bring it. It is 4 times the PITA to tow a PWC and a ski boat.

The biggest logistical problem in a houseboat trip is often the food and drinks (beer especially). You don't want 10 different ice chests scattered around the houseboat, or to try and keep straight who's beer is whose. Pool your beer money and have everyone drink from the same cooler.

What has worked best for us is to collect cash up front from everyone. I recommend taking the cost of the houseboat, doubling it, divide by the number of people. Yes, it could come out to about $2000 a head. A large chunk of the cash will be paid well in advance for the reservation on the houseboat. The rest goes into a cash "kitty" and then everything is done with cash transactions: Gas for the cars going to and back, food, drinks, gas for the houseboat, etc. When you get home you divide up what's left and give it back.

On most lakes you can park the houseboat just about any place you want to, but there are places you really don't want to. The water level on a lake usually doesn't change very quickly so you can pull up close and tie off to the beach. On a pontoon boat you can get away with driving the hulls up onto the beach if it is soft (sand or mud, don't do it on rocks!).

Places that are good to tie up will be places where you are at least a little bit protected from other boat wakes. You will have better luck if you are tied up facing into or away from the wind instead of having the wind blowing across the side.

Good Luck!

Old     (nwsjake10)      Join Date: Feb 2007       09-28-2007, 12:59 PM Reply   
Old     (boardridesurf)      Join Date: Aug 2006       09-28-2007, 3:34 PM Reply   
I have planned and made all of the arrangements for several trips to Powell (including this year). I can send you my spread sheet of what everything costs for the houseboat, gas, food, beer, etc.

There is only one company that you can rent HBs from at Powell, but you can launch from several marinas (We leave from Bullfrog). If you are looking for the best HB price for next year, you can book early for dates prior to around the 2nd week in June and get their early-bird special which is normally about $2000-$2500 less.

PM me your email address if you want a break down of how we do it or give me your phone number and I can try to answer all of your questions.
Old     (dirtyjerz)      Join Date: Aug 2007       09-29-2007, 5:15 PM Reply   
Wow, $5000/week! I know it varies from place to place, but I had no idea it would even be remotlely close to 5k.
Old     (nasty530)      Join Date: Aug 2007       09-29-2007, 5:19 PM Reply   
If you really think about it $5000 a week is not that much. Divide that by 10 people, its $500 a head for a weeks lodging, food, drinks, fuel, and entertainment. Its actually really cheap...
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       09-29-2007, 6:29 PM Reply   
Like some of the others mentioned, do a search with Google. I found a site in Missouri who rents houseboats here.

Looks like you can get a boat this time of year big enough for 12 people for under $1900 for a week. Add a Costco trip & you'd be in for a lot cheaper.

I have to agree that sharing the cooking like Brian mentioned is a good way to go. Sometimes you run into people who can really cook & would rather do that than clean. Easy assignment in my book!

It's a blast so make a point to do it! We just got off Roosevelt in Washington state a couple weeks ago. Also been to Shasta, Havasu, & Dale Hollow in TN.
Old     (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       09-29-2007, 7:06 PM Reply   
Shuswap Lake BC has the most houseboats in Canada. Water is clear and scenery is great. Best time is from the 2nd week in July to the middle of August.

Not exactly on the way anywhere from Nebraska or all that easy to get to from there.
Old     (deuce)      Join Date: Mar 2002       09-30-2007, 8:59 AM Reply   
1. - 100% personal preference. That will also include what you want to spend, some places(Lake Powell) are much more expensive to rent boats. But can you put a price on this....

2. - up to 20ish....obviously depending on the boat you rent. That doesn't mean you have a bed for each person, but you can sleep 20 on a boat, including air mattresses on the top. We usually stick to about 12ish.... People with the best accommodations pay the most. Meaning master bedroom pays MUCH more than someone sleeping on an air mattress up top.

3. - I am not sure you can do both from Aramark(place that rents houseboats at Powell), but you can now rent towboats from off site vendors at Powell.

4. - Anywhere you want.....just not next to anyone.

5. - Including a towboat, houseboat, gas, food, drinks, wood & various "stuff".....I assume 10K would be a safe place to set the budget and see where you end up. Biggest costs will be the boats....which could easily be 8K.
Old     (outbackls)      Join Date: May 2004       10-02-2007, 10:02 AM Reply   
We rented on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky at the end of August and the boat rental was 1500.00 from Monday to Friday. They needed a 1000.00 deposit taken on a credit card and we did the Costco thing for groceries. If you do rent in Kentucky make sure you bring all the alchohol you want to drink because the rental companies are all in dry counties. This was the first rental we ever did but I can say it won't be the last. We had a great time. One thing to plan for is gas re-fueling when you bring the boat back. It cost us about 400.00 to fill it back up. I think the entire trip dragging our boat from Michigan to Kentucky (& back), buying food and booze, boat rental, ice (lots of ice), re-fueling (houseboat & my boat), and misc. charges for stops along the way cost me 1800.00 for the week. That was actually for me, my wife, and our two kids. We shared the rental cost with my buddies family of 4. There are also rental companies in Tennessee on Lake Norris which looks really beautiful. All of the lakes in KY and TN are actually damed-up rivers as far as I can tell. Not sure if you can rent actual tow boats in this area of the country but I know for sure that they rent sea rays and other run-abouts. Let us know where you decide to go.

Old     (outbackls)      Join Date: May 2004       10-02-2007, 10:07 AM Reply   
One last shot of our rental houseboat and our Moomba.
Old     (nwsjake10)      Join Date: Feb 2007       10-02-2007, 12:30 PM Reply   
thanks for all the info guys, really helpful...i think ill have to save up some $$$, but hopefully i can have enough by this next summer and take that houseboat trip ive always wanted to do...thanks again!


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