Houseboat in the water

5 Things You Need to Know Before Renting a Houseboat

Thinking about renting a houseboat on Lake Mead? We’ve come up with five things you need to know before making your reservation. 

1. You don’t have to pack as much as you think

Most of everything you need will already be waiting for you on your houseboat. Items like pots and pans, cups, bath towels, cooking utensils, trash bags, a microwave, and more are available on each model. This leaves room for the essentials you won’t want to skip out on like bottled water, sunscreen, sunglasses, clothing, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, beach towels, etc. Still not sure what to pack? We’ve created a checklist on what to bring on our website.

2. You’ll want to rent watercraft

If you want to go all out on your houseboat trip, (and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t?) you’ll want to rent a personal watercraft or two. This gives you the chance to explore smaller regions of the lake as well as get your adrenaline pumping. Plus, they’re great to have around when you need to scout out places to beach your houseboat. From our experience, we’ve found that having a smaller watercraft drastically reduces undercarriage damage to the houseboat because they’re often the first to see dangerous rocks ahead. 

At Callville Bay Marina, we offer powerboats, fishing boats and personal watercrafts to rent alongside your houseboat. To learn more about our watercrafts, visit our website

3. You’ll need to food prep

Unless you plan on catching your dinner each night, you’ll need to pack a substantial amount of food that will last you throughout the duration of your trip. We encourage our guests to designate one or two people to be in charge of the food. That means making sure you pack enough food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the whole crew. Keep in mind you will be preparing everything onboard, so try to keep things simple. Think premade meals, pancakes, eggs, hamburgers, hot dogs, microwaveable goodies, sandwiches and snacks. 

You’ll also want to make sure to bring your favorite spices from home and any ingredients you normally use on a day-to-day basis. Consider creating a food calendar and sharing it with your group so they know what’s on the menu for each day. If they have any discrepancies, they can feel free to bring along any additional meals to add to the freezer on board. 

4. There are costs you’ll need to be aware of

When you’re going on a houseboat trip with friends and you’re all paying separately, it’s important to quote a more accurate amount so you’re not stuck paying more than you should. These costs include the reservation deposit, fuel/oil, pet fee (if you plan on bringing your pet), early boarding (optional), and trip cancellation protection (optional).

While most ask for the money upfront from their group, we actually suggest you wait until the end so all costs can be accounted for. This allows you to avoid the headache of asking your friends for even more money after they’ve already paid. 

5. You don’t need previous houseboat driving experience

If this is your first time operating a houseboat, don’t worry. Our staff will give you the proper instructions and training you need to feel confident navigating the water on your own in no time. Just make sure to pay attention during the instructions and ask any questions while you’re there. Of course, we will always be available by phone or radio in case there is an emergency.

Be aware of other boaters and large rocks, and you should be just fine. It helps to have a co-captain looking out as the second pair of eyes for the captain. It never hurts to have more than enough help, especially in the beginning when you are just getting used to the operation.

Ready to take the plunge and rent a houseboat at Callville Bay Marina? Give us a call at 1-800-255-5561 or visit us online to start your reservation today!

POSTED IN: Houseboat Tips, Houseboat Vacations