|HOUSEBOAT RENTAL FAQ's
What "other" expenses will there be?
Tax is not included and generally you'll pay for the fuel you use. If you stay overnight at a marina besides where the boats depart from there will be dockage charges and you'll be required to leave a security deposit. Some operators rent additional "toys," i.e. kayaks, jet skis, dinghy's, etc., if you're interested.
How much will fuel cost?
It depends on the boat and how much you drive. Diesel boats tend to be much less expensive to operate. Most rental boats are gasoline powered and weekly fuel costs are generally a low of $300.00 to $400.00 or higher.
Where do we get more fuel and water?
Ideally the boat will hold enough of both so you don't have to stop for more. Find out from your rental company how much of each the boat holds and if it will be necessary to refill.
What should I look for in a rental company to know they are good?
Word of mouth is always best or even call the marina they work out of. Short of that you should find out how long they've been in business, how old their boats are, how old the photo's they show are, and what their policies are if you are not satisfied with the boat when you arrive. Ask about their policy in the event there is a breakdown also.
What do we need to bring?
First find out what is included from whichever company you've chosen. Below is a general guide as to what most companies offer and what you should bring.
What should be on the boat:
Dishes & Cutlery
Hot & Cold Water
AM/FM stereo/CD player
Life Jackets (emergency use only)
First Aid Kit
What you should bring with you:
First Aid Kit
Cell phone and charger
Games & Cards
What kind of meals can you cook on a houseboat?
Most houseboats have a full kitchen but you should check with the company you choose to find out how the kitchen is equipped and the size of the refrigerator/freezer. Try to plan meals that are simple to prepare and easy to clean up.
Is it OK to take along toddlers?
A young toddler on a boat is fine, and as long as you take proper precautions you and they can have a great houseboat vacation. Make sure they have a comfortable life vest and keep it on them at all times. Have things for them to stay busy with during slower times so you don't end up having to entertain them nonstop. Some companies provide netting around the deck which is also a help.
Do we have to clean the boat before we leave?
You should return the boat in the same condition it was when you took it.
Can we tow a small boat or jet ski?
Check with your rental company, generally they will allow it. Keep in mind it can be difficult when docking or maneuvering in tight areas if you're towing. Be sure to have proper tow equipment.
Are pets allowed?
Many companies do allow pets, you'll need to call each one to find out. Keep in mind that it can be difficult for a dog on a boat, a wet dog doesn't mix well with upholstery and carpet and what to do if your pet needs to go to the bathroom when you're not near a shore.
How much experience is needed to drive a houseboat and is a license required?
There are no formal licensing requirements. Most houseboat companies offer instruction; some more extensive than others. The more boating experience one has the better, but it depends more on the type of person and what they are capable of than experience.
Can we hire a Captain to drive the boat for us?
Most companies will provide a licensed Captain at an additional cost if you would like one.
Is insurance included?
All rental companies insure their boats. Some offer additional insurance for you to purchase. The renter is responsible for any damages or the deductible if it is necessary to file an insurance claim.
How many people can sleep on a boat?
It depends on the boat and size, your rental company will tell you. Never bring more people than they allow, and you should ask how many the boat will sleep and how many it will sleep comfortably.
Where do you stay overnight?
Generally you can either anchor out or stay at a marina. Most companies offer free dockage at their marina but if you stay at another marina there would be a dockage fee.