house­boat how-to

WANT TO TAKE A HOUSE­BOAT EX­CUR­SION? FOL­LOW THESE TIPS.

Boating - - CRUISING THE CANYONS -

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.

AN­CHOR STRONG

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.

PLAN CARE­FULLY

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.

SAFETY FIRST

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.

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