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Smith Mountain Lake - Frequently Asked Questions

Presented below are frequently asked questions about houseboat rentals and houseboating on Smith Mountain Lake. 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.

Houseboating season on Smith Mountain Lake is typically beginning of April through September. Summer (between Memorial Day and Labor Day) is the most popular and is the busiest season. However, fall offers Indian Summer days with cooler nights. View a month-by-month list of temperatures here: Average Temperatures

The maximum capacity on any houseboat is the amount it sleeps. This is a regulation set by the Coast Guard.

36' Deluxe Keycraft Cruiser: 6 people maximum

53' Deluxe Keycraft Cruiser Houseboat: 10 people maximum

53' Millie T Houseboat: 10 people maximum

To rent from Parrot Cove Marina, the renter must be at least 21 years of age with a valid drivers' license.

Unfortunately, pets are not allowed at Smith Mountain Lake.

There is no special licensing or prior experience required to operate these houseboat rentals; just a valid drivers' license. The marina staff will go over operations and regulations in an orientation upon your arrival.

Marina staff will also pilot you in and out of the marina itself; you'll take over on open water.

The cost of a houseboat vacation is based on a few variables: what time of year you plan to visit, what size of houseboat, how long of a trip, etc. See the Pricing Page for more details

Generally, people reserve about 6 months in advance. But it's always a good idea to make a reservation as soon as you're ready, especially if you have specific dates in mind or if you're planning a trip over a holiday weekend or on a special promotion.

Give us a call at 888-454-8825. Our reservation agents are happy to check availability or confirm your vacation.

Alternatively, you may Contact Us Online with your availability request, and one of our agents will get back to you with the information you need.

To reserve:

  • 1/3 of the base rental fee is due upon booking by credit card over the phone. This amount applies toward your total like a down payment.
  • The remaining rental amount is due upon your arrival as well as a $500 refundable security deposit.


  • More than 30 days notice: deposit is refundable
  • Less than 30 days notice: deposit is non-refundable

Basics such as cookware and serve-ware (pots, plans, plates, glasses, utensils, etc.) come equipped on the houseboat. You are responsible for bringing all of your food, beverages, and spices down to salt and pepper.

More specifics can be accessed on the houseboat page under Amenities and Items Provided. There will also be more included in the attachments of your confirmation email.

Fuel is not included in the houseboat rental. Like a rental car, you'll pick up the houseboat full and you'll be responsible for the final refueling at the end of your trip to pay for what you've used.

Typically, we recommend that you budget about $100 per day for fuel. Of course, it may be more or less based on how much you drive the houseboat each day and how much you run the generator.

Linens are included on all houseboat rentals. This includes:

  • a fitted sheet
  • top sheet
  • blanket
  • pillow and case
  • bath towels
  • kitchen towels

You will need to provide your own beach towels.

You may pick up the houseboat as early as 10am, and it is not due back at the marina until 4pm on your final day. The marina advises to be at the water break by 3pm as to avoid any late charges.

Parrot Cove Marina operates on a set schedule:

  • 3 day (2 night) weekend: Friday-Sunday
  • 4 day (3 night) midweek: Monday-Thursday
  • 7 day (6 night) week: Friday-Thursday or Monday-Sunday

Please make prior arrangements with the marina if you are to arrive later than 2 or 3 pm.

You may be able to load the houseboat and sleep on it that night in the marina, then go through the check in and orientation process the next morning before you go out on the water.

Smith Mountain Lake is conveniently located just 35 minutes southeast of Roanoke. See our Map/Directions page to view a map and directions to the Smith Mountain Lake area.

Parrot Cove Boat Rentals
16441 Booker T Washington Hwy, Moneta VA 24121

*The above address is for driving directions only. Do not mail payments to this address

There are a few grocery stores (Kroger, Shopright, Food Lion, etc) located within 3 miles from the marina.

The marina has a marina store stocked with limited convenience items and ice.

You will want to come fully prepared with all groceries as there are no grocery or restaurant opportunities along the lake.

See the following article for more information on what to do on and off the lake: Smith Mountain Lake: Virginia's Blue Ridge Jewel.

Yes! Fishing is great on Smith Mountain Lake! In fact, it's one of the most renowned fisheries on the East Coast!

There are a variety of fish found in these waters including: Striped Bass, Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Crappie, Catfish, Brook Trout, Sunfish, and Muskie.

A Virginia state fishing license is required and will allow you to fish anywhere on Smith Mountain Lake. Be sure to purchase a license Online ahead of time.

Seasickness is very uncommon on fresh water because the lake is mostly calm and houseboats are wider and more stable than smaller boats. However, if you get sick easily we recommend that you take necessary precautions.