When summer hits, families are wanting to go out and have fun on the lake or river to cool off and spend time together. One of my favorite things to do is for my family to rent a houseboat for a week. Since houseboats are so big, they can hold a lot of people without feeling cramped, and there is no better place to be than playing in the lake on a hot day. It is always fun for the kids and whole family to sleep out on the water.
The average price for a 3 day trip on a houseboat is around $800 – $1200 dollars depending on the length of the boat, and what lake you want to stay at. Houseboats will normally not be rented by the day, but more by the trip which will usually be a 3, 5, or 7 day trip minimum. There are lakes where houseboats can be rented for a whole month. Houseboats will also hold 6 to 20 people depending on size.
How Big Are Houseboats
Houseboats are made in a variety of lengths which will normally start at 30 feet and go all the way up to 90 feet in length. A usual size houseboat for 6-10 people will be around 35-40 feet in length. Most houseboats are giant pontoon boats that are two to three stories in size, and will have all the amenities of home including A/C, Refrigerators, and even bathrooms. These houseboats are like floating RV’s which is why they are gaining a lot of popularity, especially since they can be parked out in the lake, or nestled in a nice quiet cove for the night.
Is Gas Included
Typically, A houseboat will come with a full tank of gas, and after you use that, it will be up to the renters to purchase more at the dock. There will be no need for you to pull the houseboat out and take it to the gas station because most of the time there will be at least one or two pumps available at the dock. Be careful though, the price of gas a at a dock can be almost triple what gas a pump would cost you. I have seen gas prices at some docs reach almost 6$ which can be a lot of money trying to fill up a 35 foot houseboat, so watch how much you drive around the lake.
Does A Houseboat Come With All The Gear
A houseboat will usually come stocked with pots, pans, kitchen utensils, and dishes like plates, cups and silverware for at least a family of four. Bigger houseboats can come stocked for more plates and silverware, but it is always best to use plastic forks and paper plates to conserve water. Each bedroom will come with a sheet and pillow case set, and a blanket, and sometimes even towels for the bathroom, but dont assume it will, always check. Each bathroom will come equipped with special toilet paper, and some even come with paper towels. Make sure you check and make sure to bring extra toilet paper that is made for RV’s if you have a big family, normal toilet paper will not work.
Are Houseboats Hard To Drive
Houseboats are typically very easy to handle in the water, and even a first time boater can take it slow and get the hang of it. One of the biggest challenges that you will face driving is the actual size of it because it is much larger than a car. One good thing is that houseboats are NOT speed boats, so you are not going to be going 45mph in it. If you are new to boating, take it nice and slow and you will be fine, but give yourself plenty of room to turn, and do not go into a place where you will not have room to turn around. Follow those two tips, and you will not have any anxiety about driving. If you are still worried about driving it, go out and practice early in the morning before any other boaters get on the lake and you will be fine.
How Many People Can Fit On A Houseboat
Houseboats can fit a varied number of people on them depending the size. Here is a breakdown of the typical size houseboat and how many people will fit:
- 33ft – 4 people
- 36ft – 6 people
- 42ft – 8 people
- 50ft – 8 people (but private rooms)
- 60ft – 14 people (penthouse suite)
- 64ft – 10 people (only staterooms)
- 74ft – 12 people
- 84ft – 14 people
As you can see, there is a variety of lengths and people capacity for houseboats, and that is just the average. There are houseboats that only have private rooms, some will have bunkbeds and private rooms, and there are some that have one whole floor that they call a penthouse suite for only 2 people. Check out all the different styles when you go to rent a houseboat.
Houseboats are a ton of fun, and are a good idea for anyone that wants to take friends and family out to the lake for a 3-7 day trip to spend on the water. The main reason I love them is that you do not have to own a boat, or even be a seasoned boat driver to feel comfortable out on the water. Houseboats are great for people that live in areas where it can be extremely hot because anytime you want to cool off, you can go jump in the lake. Houseboats are also good for people that have fishing or ski boats because you can tie up to the houseboat when you are not at the lake, and do not have to trailer it everyday.
Do You Need A License To Drive A Houseboat
No, you do not need a drivers license to operate a boat in most states, but you might have to get your boater card. There is the same age limit that you will need to be at least 16 years old to get your boater to operate a boat that is 15hp or more, or if it is a sailboat that is more than 30 feet in length. You will always want to check with your local department of motor vehicles office to make sure you have the proper license for your boat.
Do You Have To Carry Boat Insurance
In most states you are not required to have insurance on your boat like you have to for a car, but that does not mean you should not carry it. Boats can be very expensive to fix, or replace because of damage. It is always a good idea to carry at least liability insurance on your boat, and can be fairly inexpensive if you do not use your boat all year long. There are certain marinas and slips that will require you to have at least liability insurance since you are parked so close to all the other boats. Check with the marina or dock before you rent a monthly slip from them.