Staying On a Houseboat? Here’s What to Know
Spending the week on a houseboat could prove to be the best way to get away from the stress of life. Why not enjoy the simpler things in life and have some fun while doing so? At Cottonwood Cove Resort & Marina, we encourage you to explore all that Lake Mohave has to offer, including having some fun on a houseboat. However, there are a few things you must take into consideration during this process.
Make Sure You Know What to Bring
The first step is to ensure you are bringing everything you need with you on your houseboat. We have a houseboating checklist to give you some basic ideas. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Don’t bring too much. The more you bring, the more you have to pack and unpack.
- Bring along a foldable cart to transport items from your car to your boat. It’s just easier that way.
- We recommend recycling. That means bringing items with as little packaging material as possible. There’s a recycling station at the marina that’s perfect for after your stay.
- When it comes to food, keep things moderately light. It’s a good idea to use ice-chests with dry ice for the best way to preserve your frozen items. There’s not a lot of room for frozen goods on your houseboat otherwise.
- Don’t forget your gear for hiking, cooking, birdwatching, and having fun. We recommend ski vests are purchased in advance and to bring along beach towels, a first aid kit, and water.
Take the time to bring with you what you are likely to use. Again, bringing too much can slow down your experience! You don’t want to spend hours packing and unpacking.
Remember That Safety Is a Must
A houseboat is a large system. Even if you have some experience piloting a boat, this is a bit different. That’s why it’s important to take the time to learn about the safety systems onboard and how to use them.
You’ll have a houseboat instructor to offer some guidance, but it is really up to you to ensure that you understand everything before your adventure begins. Ask questions! Your instructor wants to know you’re confident and skilled. Don’t assume – ask instead.
Onboard, you’ll find some of the most important safety equipment you need. That includes a bilge fire suppression system, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as a gas fume/vapor detector. You’ll need to know how to use a fire extinguisher and personal flotation devices. No one wants to think about needing to use these things, but it is possible an emergency can happen requiring a bit more help.
If you are vacationing with family, it is a good idea to have more than one person learn this type of the equipment’s ins and outs. If you’re the captain, assign one or two people to be your mate. Ensure they get proper training as well.
In addition to this information, it’s also important to know how to use the radio. It sure sounds easy when you see it used on television, but there are a few things to know.
- Your radio is your primary source of communication.
- You need to know which channels you can connect to – in an emergency, you do not have time to try to figure it out later.
- You’ll receive a full demonstration on how to use the radio, but please make sure there’s at least one other person that learns this as well.
View your houseboat as your home. The more information you have about using it, the safer you’ll be. Even if you’ve never used a houseboat before, you can become a pro with a bit of experience after your formal houseboat instruction course.
Anchoring and Ropes – Managing Your Houseboat Experience
Once you get moved in and ready to go out exploring Lake Mohave, one of the first things you’ll need to manage is the anchor and the roping system. Let’s be frank – if you haven’t done this before, it’s intimidating and a bit confusing. You’ll receive training to help ensure you know what to expect. Here are a few things to keep in mind about this process.
- Your houseboat must be beached, and an anchor must be set by nightfall. There is absolutely no houseboat use during the nighttime.
- The anchors on board are designed to be simple to use, but they are high quality. They are plenty strong enough to manage your houseboat.
- If you are looking for a fantastic experience, but you’re worried about getting back in time, use a personal watercraft to scout out beaches along the shoreline of the lake. This allows you to find the right spot to tie up to – just don’t wait until the end of the day to do this.
Don’t worry – you’ll receive ample training during this process. It is important for you to know how to anchor your boat and how to use the ropes to ensure safety.
Onboard Water Systems
As you plan your trip to Lake Mohave and the houseboat adventure, there’s a common question people have. How do they get and maintain freshwater?
The boat comes with several water management systems in place. That ensures you will have ample water access during your trip. You don’t have to worry about water for the most part. Most are very easy to use. They also offer a display, so you always know how much freshwater is available to use. You’ll get more details on how to do this from your instructor.
Fresh water is used for sinks, showers, ice makers, and dishwasher needs. If you are running low on fresh water for any reason, make sure you come back to the marina where we can top it up. Keep an eye on your supply levels throughout your trip, so it doesn’t become an emergency situation. Two pumps control this water, but there is a limited amount of water pressure present. That could mean too many faucets running can limit pressure. We encourage you to conserve fresh water – that’s the good thing to do. However, we also want you to have as much fun as you like.
Also, it is important to know about the disposal of waste. Wastewater comes from all sinks, showers, and toilets, including sewage. It goes into a holding tank. That tank is generally big enough to handle your whole trip, but the waste disposal absolutely never goes into the lake. Rather, when you see the “tank full” warning displayed, you need to come back to the marina to have the tank pumped out.
When you meet with your instructor, you’ll learn about your houseboat’s details, which includes the wet slide, if available, and the hot tub. You’ll learn how to manage every component of your system, too.