WANT TO TAKE A HOUSEBOAT EXCURSION? FOLLOW THESE TIPS.
TAKE A HOUSEBOAT COURSE
Operating a large houseboat is not the same as running a runabout or express cruiser. Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas offers houseboat education courses, and you can earn a discount on your rental.
HIRE A PILOT
If you’re still nervous about maneuvering in and out of the slip, hire a marina pilot. They can also help you choose the right spot for anchoring.
BRING A SECOND BOAT
A second watercraft lets you scout for beach campsites, explore more of the lake, and enjoy activities like tubing and wakeboarding. If one of your crew can run it, you don’t need to worry about towing it around, but you might need to carry extra fuel for the second boat.
TEAMWORK IS DREAM WORK
Before you depart, assign jobs to your crewmembers. Discuss each step and what they’ll need to communicate to the captain. Again, it’s a really big boat.
DON’T FORGET THE GENERATOR
You’ll need to run it for approximately six hours daily to keep the house batteries charged. We chose to break it up: three hours in the morning and three in the evening. Turn the genny off while beaching. It uses lake water, so it will suck up sand and other debris in disturbed shallows. When the water settles down, you’ll be able to run it without a problem. Keep it off while the kids play. Carbon-monoxide poisoning is a real risk if children are swimming off the stern or using the waterslide.
Bury your anchors in 3-foot-deep holes. Water levels can fluctuate up to 10 inches, and storms turn the canyons into wind tunnels; if you’re unprotected, any wave or wake could be threatening.
You’ll need to plan everything, from meals and first-aid supplies to fuel.
Our houseboat filtered lake water for drinking and cooking. This is a remote canyon wilderness with no easy way in or out.
KEEP AN EYE ON FUEL
Be vigilant about monitoring the houseboat’s fuel tanks, the tanks aboard bonus watercraft, and the auxiliary tank for refueling those toys. Calculate fuel-consumption rates and understand how far you can go with what you have.
Bring along a registered personal locator beacon (PLB) so rescuers can find you if needed. File a float plan with friends too.
DON’T PUSH THE ENVELOPE
In this wild pocket of the desert, it’s incredibly dark at night. Buoys are not lit, and exposed rocks might not be on your charts at current water levels, so limit your boating to daylight hours. Then enjoy the moonrise from the top deck.