Skip to Primary Navigation Skip to Primary Content Skip to Footer Navigation

Lake of the Ozarks - Frequently Asked Questions

We no longer rent houseboats at Lake of the Ozarks.
Please select Houseboat Lakes for a full list of where we do have houseboats.

Presented below are frequently asked questions about houseboat rentals and houseboating on Lake of the Ozarks. If you need additional assistance, please contact us toll-free at 888-454-8825 or click here to submit a request for more guidance. Our friendly and knowledgeable Houseboat Rental Agents are always happy to help.

How do I get to the Lake?

Lake of the Ozarks is located just 2 ½ hours south of Kansas City or St. Louis, in the heart of Missouri. The marina is 1 ½ hours northeast of Springfield on HWY 5, north of Camdenton, Missouri.

Click here to view a map of Lake of the Ozarks and the surrounding areas.

When do I pick up the boat?

You may pick up your boat any time after 8:00 AM on the first day of your rental. In some cases, you may arrange for a "pre-board" on the night before; call us for more information.

Your boat is due back at the marina at 2:00 PM on the final day.

How many people are allowed on the boat?

Lake of the Ozarks is a National Recreation Area, and the government rules allow for no more than 12 people on a moving houseboat, no matter the size. Many people "get around" this rule by bringing or renting a powerboat for additional members of their party.

Larger groups may want to consider renting an additional houseboat. When the boat is not in motion, there are no restrictions on the number of people you may have onboard.

What will the temperatures be like on my trip?

The lake is warm from mid-summer through late fall and pleasantly cool in the shoulder seasons. Winter and early to mid-spring water temperatures are too cold for extended swimming without a wetsuit. View a month-by-month list of temperatures here.

How difficult is driving a houseboat?

Driving a houseboat is different than driving a car, but is not that difficult. When you reserve your houseboat, we will send you a video or DVD in the mail with a basic overview of houseboat operations. The marina staff will also walk you through driving the boat when you pick it up. Most people get the hand of maneuvering the boat within a few minutes.

If you're concerned about your ability to handle the boat, you may arrange for a captain to guide you out of the marina or drive you to a specific destination on the lake.

What is the billing schedule?

At the time of booking, you must pay a deposit to confirm your reservation of the houseboat. Sixty (60) days prior your trip, the full balance of your rental must be paid. The deposit is held throughout your trip, and then refunded once you return the boat undamaged.

How do I check availability or reserve a houseboat?

Give us a call at 888-454-8825, and one of our reservation agents will be happy to check availability for you. It's helpful if you already have an idea of when you want to go and what boat you're most interested in when you call.

Alternatively, you can contact us online with your availability request, and one of our agents will be happy to get back to you with the information you need.

How early do I need to reserve?

Lake of the Ozarks is a very popular destination. Some of our boats have been known to book out more than two years in advance. The earlier the better is a good rule to follow, particularly if you have an exact date in mind for your trip, or if you're planning a trip over a holiday weekend.

However, if you're flexible with your dates or the exact houseboat model, we can almost always find a trip for you even a few weeks before hand.

Are linens included with my houseboat rental?

Linens are included on all houseboat rentals at Lake of the Ozarks. This will include sheets, pillows, blankets, and bath towels. You will need to provide your own beach towels.

Are pets allowed on my houseboat?

Pets are allowed on the houseboats for a non-refundable $100 fee per pet.

Where is the nearest grocery store so I can stock up before my trip?

Just about two miles from the marina is a large grocery store called Wood's Supermaket. The marina also stocks a convenience store for last minute items you may have forgotten.

How old do you have to be to rent the houseboats?

The renter needs to be 21 years of age with a valid drivers license.

Do I need a license to operate the houseboats, or is a skipper provided?

Any renters born after January 1, 1984 will need to show proof of completion of a NASBLA approved boating safety course. Missouri residents are still required to have the Missouri boating education course. Non-residents can have Missouri's course or any NASBLA approved boating course. These are required to operate any vessel on the lake, including personal watercraft. You may click on this link for more information.

Will I get seasick on a houseboat?

Houseboats are on pontoons and there is very little motion. Seasickness is basically unheard of on fresh water.

What is the best time of year to go houseboating?

It is always a good time to go houseboating! Summer is the most popular and busiest season. Fall offers Indian Summer days and cooler nights. Springtime is good for viewing abundant wildflowers, waterfalls, and wildlife. Winter is favorable for the anglers, when fishing is at its best. And the rates are significantly lower between September and May.

Can I fish from the houseboat?

Yes! Fishing is a very popular activity. You will find a variety of fish such as largemouth bass, crappie, white bass, stripers, rainbow trout, walleye, and catfish.

Knowledgeable fishermen use deep-diving crankbaits and jig-n-frog lures when fishing the cool spring waters. Summer anglers find their bass around deep points, drop offs and boat docks. And, just when you think the action's going to end, the cool weather of October and November brings the bass back in the shallows for some more fast fishing action.