Houseboating Myths, Busted!
- Good News 'n Stuff, Tricks of the Trade
Houseboating Myths, Busted!
New to houseboating? Welcome, this type of vacation is unlike any other. And with that, there is so much unfamiliarity that comes with planning. That's where we come in. We have an abundance of information, all in one little resource: our Website. But you also have us, your houseboating gurus. We are asked many questions every day. While some questions are pretty creative, "are there sharks in the lake!?", most are simply misconceptions of the houseboating experience. Here, we've collected a few questions that are commonly misunderstood.
Myth: To drive a houseboat, you must have special licensing, prior experience, or hire a captain to pilot the houseboat for you.
- For the most part, you are qualified to drive a houseboat on your own without any of the aforementioned qualities. The marina staff will guide you through the operations upon your arrival in a 45-60 minute orientation. The marina staff will also pilot your houseboat in and out of the marina as needed, and you will take over on the open water.
- While certification and/or prior experience isn't required, it doesn't hurt to become informed. Some marinas may require drivers to watch a video and pass a certification test prior to picking up the houseboat.
- Exceptions: Lake Travis (mandatory Captain service) and Lake Ouachita (Captain service available.) Also, Florida Keys houseboats are "boatels," docked vacations where the houseboat remains docked for the duration of your rental.
Myth: Summertime is too busy and crowded to enjoy a houseboat vacation
- Quite the contrary. Generally, these lakes and waterways are large enough to accommodate houseboat vacationers while maintaining the illusion of a private experience. As a general rule of thumb, people avoid mooring their own houseboat in a cove or beach that has a houseboat already moored (they want their privacy too!) With hundreds of miles of shoreline, there's no worry of overcrowding.
- Tip: if your schedule allows, it may be recommended to visit in the early Fall: air and water temperatures will still be comfortable, and the rates are generally lower than in peak season.
Myth: Houseboats anchor in the center of the lake
- For the most part, these lakes and waterways are too deep for anchors, so houseboats are typically moored to shore or tied to the treeline overnight. The magic of this fact is that the entire shoreline is your oyster, and you can pretty much moor to shore anywhere you please. (Although the marina staff may have some suggestions for areas to steer clear from.)
- Exceptions: Kentucky/Barkley Lakes and California Delta houseboats are anchored near the shoreline but not beached, as the shoreline is rocky and there is potential for damaging the houseboats.
Myth: There are restaurants and shopping opportunities along the lake; we can make stops with the houseboat.
- Not necessarily. Houseboat vacations are more of an upgraded camping experience, where you will find you are more surrounded by nature rather than commercial businesses. This allows for activities such as hiking, water sports, and sightseeing natural arches/ruins/petroglyphs, etc.
- Exceptions: Mississippi River, Erie Canal, Sanibel-Captiva Islands, and Smith Mountain Lake each have locations to stop at along the waterway.
No question is a silly question, even if you've wondered about sharks (there are no sharks by the way.) We are always happy to answer any and all of your questions (and promise to contain our laughter.) Give us a call at 888-454-8825 or Request Information online, and we will contact you.