boating safety intro

Fresh Water

The fresh water tank on your boat provides all of the clean, filtered water for the sinks, showers, dishwasher and ice makers. (The capacity of this tank will vary depending on your houseboat type.) There is a water gauge on the helm to check your supply levels. If you are running low, you will need to head to the marina for a fill up, however, careful water use by your whole crew should help avoid running out before you return.

The tank has its own filter and the pressure and flow is controlled by two fresh water pumps. You can control the water pressure with a switch on the 12 volt panel at the helm for the water pumps. The switch has three positions; The center position is “OFF.” Use this position when no water is needed. You can turn the pumps on by switching either direction. If one fails, switch to the other. There is limited water pressure so don’t try to use too many faucets at once.

Houseboat Tip: The hot water heater runs on generator power. It is important to make sure the generator is switched on BEFORE you step into the shower.

Waste Water

All of the sinks, showers and toilets on your boat drain into a common waste holding tank (The capacity of this tank will vary depending on your houseboat type). None of your wastewater goes into the lake. This tank is emptied back at the marina when you return your houseboat. Conservation is very important to avoid filling up your tanks too quickly. A gauge at the helm will show tank capacity and “Tank Full” warning lights will alert you to the need to have your tank pumped out sooner.

Marine Toilets

It looks similar to a normal toilet, but you will find that there are some big differences in how a marine toilet works compared to the one you use at home. The marine toilet on your houseboat draws water from the lake for flushing and the water is discharged into the same tanks that all of the sinks and showers drain into. This way nothing goes into the lake. The whirring sound you hear when flushing is the in-line macerator grinding up the waste on its way to the holding tank.

Simple steps to help conserve your fresh water supply and make it last for the whole trip:

  • Don’t leave the water running when you are washing, brushing your teeth or shaving
  • When showering, turn the water off while lathering up
  • Use the dishwasher with a full load as opposed to washing dishes in the sink
  • Make sure your whole crew is “on board,” and knows what to do

*Conservation is also very important to avoid filling up your waste holding tank too quickly.

The Wet Slide

Many houseboat models come equipped with a water slide. When you push the button on the top of the slide a pump draws water from the lake and gets it wet for that perfect slide into the lake! The water will stop flowing when you release the button.

Hot tub

If your houseboat features a hot tub, you will be pleased to learn that it has its own dedicated water system, filling and draining into a separate water tank. It will take at least 4 hours to heat your hot tub so you will need to plan ahead before getting in. The houseboat instructor will review your boat’s specific hot tub system during your orientation.