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Mapwpd

To houseboat vacation or not?

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Mapwpd

So I live in Massachusetts and I have been to Powell on a houseboat before, but solo and now I have a large family. I am wondering if anyone know a place to rent within a days travel to rent a houseboat. I will tow my boat so only thing needed is the houseboat. Also for those with a large family is it good times or National Lampoon vacation time?

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Bozboat

So I live in Massachusetts and I have been to Powell on a houseboat before, but solo and now I have a large family. I am wondering if anyone know a place to rent within a days travel to rent a houseboat. I will tow my boat so only thing needed is the houseboat. Also for those with a large family is it good times or National Lampoon vacation time?

While I can't help you with locating a HB in your area, This last summer we had a great time with three houseboats, 39 people on board, with 20 or so of those being between 6 years old and 16 years old. A complete blast. One of the best things we did was to hire a chef to come out to the boats every afternoon and handle the food.

Edited by Bozboat

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jetskipro550

Like Boz, I can't help with locations, but if your family is cool you'll have a blast houseboating!

Instead of doing traditional Christmas gifts this year, my parents asked if us 'kids' if we would rather go on a vacation. They offered to put us all up, we just had to pay our way there. We went round and round on places and settled on houseboating on Shasta Lake. We used to houseboat as a family when we were all younger and it was tons of fun. We haven't been as a family in 10 years and we are all pretty excited about going together again!

The great thing about being on a HB, is that you aren't 'stuck' on the ski boat all day. My wife likes the lake, but doens't care for being in the boat hours on end. She would rather lay on a raft or launge chair getting a tan. Those that want to ride, can do so all day. While others can sit and read a book. As long as your family can stand being 'confined' in close quarters to each other, they should have lots of fun.

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shawndoggy

Boz that chef idea is awesome. Did your chef have a boat?

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Koop

Again can't help with a boat.....house boating with family & friends is a great time. I grew up in the houseboat capital of Canada (sicamous b.c.) & have great memories of spending time house boating with close friends & family. A little tip when choosing a rental.....you don't need the biggest, fanciest, most expensive boat to have a great time! Just get one that's big enough to fit your crew comfortably, & don't try too see the whole lake in the house boat! The "Big Barge" doesn't get the best fuel mileage wide open!!! You'd be surprised home many people make this mistake.

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Bozboat

Boz that chef idea is awesome. Did your chef have a boat?

Chef was Independent of boat. I found the Patti the personal chef on a chamber web sight near the Lake. She was awesome. She did all the grocery shopping and prepared the meals, brought them to the dock, HB company pontooned her out to our island, where she heated and plattered the evening meal. Plenty of left overs for lunch the next day. Very reasonable when divided by six families. (<$500 total cost for week per family). Happy hour snacks, theme nights, cleaned up and we ran her back to the dock just before dark or the HB company took her back.

Wives, sister in laws etc free to float, without "kitchen stress"

Edited by Bozboat

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jetskipro550

Chef was Independent of boat. I found the Patti the personal chef on a chamber web sight near the Lake. She was awesome. She did all the grocery shopping and prepared the meals, brought them to the dock, HB company pontooned her out to our island, where she heated and plattered the evening meal. Plenty of left overs for lunch the next day. Very reasonable when divided by six families. (<$500 total cost for week per family). Happy hour snacks, theme nights, cleaned up and we ran her back to the dock just before dark or the HB company took her back.

Wives, sister in laws etc free to float, without "kitchen stress"

That's pretty awesome!

I think the best (aside from Boz's deal) is to pre-marinate and freeze meat and chicken that you can BBQ. it's simple, quick, and takes care of the 'main course' of dinner.

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IXFE

.

We've been on three houseboat trips... all to Shasta Lake. So we've learned a few things:

  1. I personally think a full week is overkill. 4-5 days is perfect for us.
  2. Don't go if you are the only family bringing a boat. In fact, don't go with any family that is not a serious boating family, or prepare to pull tubes
  3. Houseboat vacations are ALOT ALOT ALOT of work. It's compounded when you are the only "boat guy" on board (see item #1).
  4. Pick a spot close to the marina and park the boat. Don't wander 2.5 hours away in search of the perfect spot... trust me on this!
  5. Pick a spot with afternoon shade, or prepare to bake.
  6. Know that your kids will rather use the water slide and go out on the boat.
  7. Your houseboat will break down at least once during the week. Bank on it (see item #4)
  8. Be prepared to spend ALOT on ice bags (see item #4)
  9. Whoever you go with, no matter how much you like them, no matter how big the house boat, you will hate them by the end fo the week. Cabin fever is real (see item #1)
  10. Being surrounded by water and wakeboats all week is awesome... it's a boaters paradise, especially when the water is 80+ degrees

0EED8C80-5496-4DA0-B961-07830760136C-1817-0000028DD46E8CBA.jpg

1D8DA857-7FFA-4F69-90B6-8CB72C00FAD1-1817-0000028DD1914E74.jpg

D2CE8314-B474-4914-BD89-C255D67D11CE-1817-0000028DCE2D0AED.jpg

0E9869F9-A982-48E9-A69B-B961E90ED9A1-1817-0000028DD76FD455.jpg

95EB6E11-AB06-420B-9AC7-FB9C7114A262-1817-0000028DDC913C7D.jpg

07A2DC11-D792-497A-A224-AB0431DC4EEE-1817-0000028DDADF5ABD.jpg

Edited by IXFE

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Slayer

My wife and I have been talking about a trip like this with 3-4 other couples. All are boating fanatics yet only 2 of us have Malibu's. The thought was to hit the road to Dale Hollow with 2 Malibus and (cough, cough) a seadoo and be there for 4-5 days. Haven't yet finalized plans but I do like the idea of the Chef. We would be doing this without kids since we've never done a HB trip. That and the kids are super young and it would be nice to have an "adult" vacation. We'll bring them when they're both out of diapers.

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jetskipro550

2 boats + 1 jetski + 8 people = awesome HB trip :)

I wouldn't take a kid younger then 2 houseboating, but that's personal preference.

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CTSunsetter

So I live in Massachusetts and I have been to Powell on a houseboat before, but solo and now I have a large family. I am wondering if anyone know a place to rent within a days travel to rent a houseboat. I will tow my boat so only thing needed is the houseboat. Also for those with a large family is it good times or National Lampoon vacation time?

I have not been here but I've always been curious: http://www.7pointsmarina.com/

I have been to Norris and rented a floating house. It was a great time! They also have houseboats but I felt the floating house was a better deal: http://www.flathollowmarina.com/

Ten years ago to the day, I was on Powell. We did a three day house boat rental only and it was painful not having a ski boat! :-(

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vlxjeff

Like CTSunsetter, I found the 7 Points Marina in PA. I also found http://www.vrbo.com/280795 which is up on the NY Finger Lakes. I did see some rentals on the Erie Canal, but I don't think a wakeboard boat would do well there. Good luck in your search.

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Bozboat

HB = Plenty of time to find something to do, off line.

8E9A4E4B-A0FE-4D30-A1DE-D14635814409-153-00000007C054C3C6.jpg

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Malibudude

.

We've been on three houseboat trips... all to Shasta Lake. So we've learned a few things:

  1. I personally think a full week is overkill. 4-5 days is perfect for us.
  2. Don't go if you are the only family bringing a boat. In fact, don't go with any family that is not a serious boating family, or prepare to pull tubes
  3. Houseboat vacations are ALOT ALOT ALOT of work. It's compounded when you are the only "boat guy" on board (see item #1).
  4. Pick a spot close to the marina and park the boat. Don't wander 2.5 hours away in search of the perfect spot... trust me on this!
  5. Pick a spot with afternoon shade, or prepare to bake.
  6. Know that your kids will rather use the water slide and go out on the boat.
  7. Your houseboat will break down at least once during the week. Bank on it (see item #4)
  8. Be prepared to spend ALOT on ice bags (see item #4)
  9. Whoever you go with, no matter how much you like them, no matter how big the house boat, you will hate them by the end fo the week. Cabin fever is real (see item #1)
  10. Being surrounded by water and wakeboats all week is awesome... it's a boaters paradise, especially when the water is 80+ degrees

A week....if it's 110 degrees and no way to cool off then yes, otherwise a week is perfect imho. finding afternoon shade for the boat is always a good idea.

If you go with others that boat than its not an issue for me but having two boats is better in case one has issues. I don't consider a hb trip more complicated than boat-in or land camping w/ the boat.

For the first time(s) I'd stay close to the marina but after you've done it a few times....go explore imho.

If you come away with anxiety with others can experience cabin fever you have the wrong people, never have felt that way on any of our trips.

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LS-One

A week....if it's 110 degrees and no way to cool off then yes, otherwise a week is perfect imho. finding afternoon shade for the boat is always a good idea.

If you go with others that boat than its not an issue for me but having two boats is better in case one has issues. I don't consider a hb trip more complicated than boat-in or land camping w/ the boat.

For the first time(s) I'd stay close to the marina but after you've done it a few times....go explore imho.

If you come away with anxiety with others can experience cabin fever you have the wrong people, never have felt that way on any of our trips.

Remember the last Memorial day bash we had on my houseboat before I sold it ? What did we have 14 peeps crunched inside a boat that slept 6 while it poured rain all weekend? We made the best of it.

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shawndoggy

If you go with others that boat than its not an issue for me but having two boats is better in case one has issues. I don't consider a hb trip more complicated than boat-in or land camping w/ the boat.

Zactly. Less complicated than camping for sure. There's a stove in there! and it's like a floating tent! Everything else is gravy.

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Malibudude

Remember the last Memorial day bash we had on my houseboat before I sold it ? What did we have 14 peeps crunched inside a boat that slept 6 while it poured rain all weekend? We made the best of it.

Ya great time... other than the rain you guys got on your bed. I think we watched Juno (ladies pick) while we drank beer and had crap food. 6 boats tied up w/ covers on...lol

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Slayer

2 boats + 1 jetski + 8 people = awesome HB trip :)

I wouldn't take a kid younger then 2 houseboating, but that's personal preference.

Thanks JSP! We have one that just turned 4 and another that's 8 months. The other couples have silimar age children so we think hat we should not take the at all.

Edited by inlandlaker

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Mapwpd

Thanks so much for all the advice :-). I am super pumped, any problem people will be made to walk the plank lol.

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Malibudude

Thanks JSP! We have one that just turned 4 and another that's 8 months. The other couples have silimar age children so we think hat we should not take the at all.

Bring the 8 month old, they wear a vest on the boat period just like they do on the Malibu. Does it require more vigilance sure, but that's just having kids around water.

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jetskipro550

Bring the 8 month old, they wear a vest on the boat period just like they do on the Malibu. Does it require more vigilance sure, but that's just having kids around water.

Mine at 8 months would never have been down with wearing a vest for hours let alone all day. They are barely crawling at 8 months right? Then they only need a vest in the water IMO. Life jacket laws don't apply to houseboats around here...but I agree you have to watch em like a hawk.

My brother's (soon to be) kid will be 9 months when we go next year and I sure hope they don't bring her. My almost 2 year old would have a blast HB'ing, she loves the water

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-BS-

We took our 14 month old on our week long Shasta trip this year and had zero problems/stresses. I was worried going into it, but it was honestly much easier than a non houseboat vacation. Not that we didn't keep a constant eye on her but there is always someone within arms reach on a houseboat. Easy stuff. (probably harder when shes 2-3 and way faster and motivated tho? we'll see)

As far as National Lampoon v Good family fun: I think it's a blast. There is nothing I'd rather do than spend a week with my family (and a couple other families) on a houseboat. I could go on for days on how much fun houseboating is.... DO IT, you won't be disappointed! If you want tips, start a thread on that....there is plenty of info that would make your life easier (i guess it looks like you're already getting a ton)

edit: no life vest on the houseboat for our little one either. nothing even remotely close to a 'close call' in 7 days on the water.

Edited by -BS-

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Slayer

Bring the 8 month old, they wear a vest on the boat period just like they do on the Malibu. Does it require more vigilance sure, but that's just having kids around water.

We considered it however with the crew we plan to go with, kids that young really don't fit in the mix. As it is here at home, the 8 month old spends little time on the Malibu. He's on the pontoon more than the Bu. Typically, our Bu is used more for tugging a skier than anything. Living on the water, we're no strangers to having young kids in, on, and around the water. 4-5 days on a HB trip with our friends would be welcome without the kids. We'd rather wait until they're a little older, particularly the 8 month old, so they will have fond memories of trips like that. I hate to be selfish, but we adults need adult time, which from time to time includes 5th grade humor. :biggrin:

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IXFE

I think you guys might have taken my list too seriously. It was meant to be funny.

Houseboating is GREAT. Hopefully the pictures depict that.

Already planning next year's trip...

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skiersareus

I can't help you with location or the houseboat company you would be using , but I can say that our family has gone houseboating 10 out of the last 12 years for a week, on Shuswap lake in western Canada. We have gone with friends and family, on average there is 10-12 people. Every year was a blast, the kids now bring a friend each and they just luv it. I am already booked for next July. Give it a try, you won't know until you do.

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