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Houseboat Rental Planning

Some helpful information if you are planning or even thinking about planning to rent a houseboat for vacation.

If your schedule is flexible you can save a lot of money by renting your houseboat during the "off season" and at some marinas just by going on weekdays.

Rental Fees
Food & Beverage
Fishing License & Bait
Camera Film & Batteries


Fuel Use:
One of the main things people wonder about is how much fuel the houseboat will use. Of course this all depends on several things; fuel cost, how much you drive around, and how much you use the generator. At most marinas when you start the trip with the tanks full, and you are required to fill the tanks when your trip is complete. I think in most cases people will spend around $30 per day on gas. However, on Our houseboat Rental Vacation we were satisfied spending most of our time in one secluded cove. We only used $75 worth of gas for a 4 night trip and this included fuel for a john boat also. It probably would have been much less if we had been more conservative with the generator. 


What to Bring:
It's imperative to know what is supplied by the marina where you rent your houseboat. Some marinas will supply everything except your clothing and food, while others require you to bring your own towels and bedding. We have a Checklist of the major items we brought with us but of course this will very with personal tastes, group size and the items provided with your houseboat.



Before your trip be sure to study maps of the lake and if your familiar with the lake maybe even pick a few options for your where you will  park the houseboat at night. A GPS is a highly useful tool for navigating around the lake. Lakes such as Dale Hollow have over 620 miles of shoreline making getting lost a real possibility.


Bringing your own boat:
Can you bring your own ski boat, personal watercraft, or fishing boat? Yes, in many cases a small boat is not only recommended, but required. If you don't have one they can usually be rented with the houseboat. Be sure to be aware of the requirements when booking your houseboat. The reason they may be required is for safety and convenience. If you need a bag of ice or other small items you don't want to have to drive the house boat all the way back for this. Also if you run out of gas or the houseboat breaks down a second boat can make things a whole lot easier.


If you go anywhere for a number of days you can expect to encounter some rain. The temperature can vary greatly depending on the time of you go and the region visited. Do some research and find out the historical high's a low's and plan accordingly.
Cell phones are good to have along in case of an emergency. Know the marinas phone number and of course most places in the US use utilize the "911" system for medical type emergencies. However, you can not always get a good signal. So be certain at least two adults on your trip know how to operate the boat and get back to the marina. It is also a good idea to let the marina know the general area you will be in if you know. Two-way radios also come in handy.
Check-in & Check-out Times:
Be aware of the time you are required to return your houseboat. Late returns often hold expensive late fees.
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