How do I check boat and houseboat availability?
The inventory fluctuates so your best bet is to select a vacation date and fill out the on-line request form. Otherwise, we will check availability, but please realize there is no guarantee that your boat will be available. You will NOT be required to pay a deposit at the time of reservation.
Please note, we submit your request as soon as it is received. We must wait for a reservation confirmation. Generally this takes a few days, however, unless you hear from us that your request is not available, a reservation was most likely secured for you and is being processed. Upon receipt of your request, you will receive an e-mail message acknowledging our receipt of your reservation.
If you do not hear from us within 72 hours, please check your junk email folder. If you do not have a message from us, then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond.
If the boat is indeed available, we will reserve it for you. You will then have approximately 10 days to provide a credit card to secure the reservation. If you do not respond, the reservation will be canceled. Please note that all correspondence is generally handled via e-mail so we recommend you check your messages at least once a day.
Can you please explain the check-out/check-in procedures?
At Bridge Bay, stop by the boat rental office with all paperwork in hand and the full names of everyone in your party. If you have an early board, you may do this in the evening when you arrive. This is a good time to give your group a break as only the person whose name appears on the reservation (and those paying) needs to be present. The office is small and you do not want to bring your entire group with you. The clerk will finalize your paperwork, which takes about 10 minutes -- more if there is a line. The staff is extremely competent.
Once you have completed this process, you will be directed to the docks and the houseboat office. Assemble your crew and head down the boat ramp. You will be given a very brief safety discussion, along with a current weather report and which areas of the lake are accessible. Then, you will be directed to your boat. The Captain and Co-Captain should leave the rest of the party at the houseboat to attend the houseboat operation class. While these individuals are learning to pilot the boat, the rest of the crew should be loading the houseboat. After the course, the Captain and Co-Captain return to the boat for final instructions.
If you have an early board, you will be assigned your boat that night and then attend the class the next morning.
Upon returning from your trip, a responsible member of your party should again check the inventory (such as pillows, dishes, etc.). The houseboat must be unloaded, cleaned and fueled by 4 p.m. (and there is a charge for every 15 minutes beyond this time, so start early).Once a marina employee has checked the houseboat, you will be free to leave.
As a side note, small gratuities (a few dollars tip) go a long way.
What about early boarding?
At Bridge Bay, you may board your boat between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to sleep on board and use the generator, bathrooms, etc. Should you arrive earlier than 7 p.m., and your boat is available and ready, you MAY be able to board earlier in the afternoon at the sole discretion of the marina. You MAY NOT leave the marina. If this is an option you are interested in taking advantage of, you should book this as soon as possible.
Upon arrival, check in at the boat rental office and complete your initial paperwork. You will be directed to the houseboat rental office at the docks. A marina employee (or security guard if you arrive later in the evening) will take you to your boat and instruct you on the use of the generator and bathrooms. At 8 a.m. the following morning, you will follow normal check-out procedures.
We highly recommend this option.
Can anyone pilot a houseboat and is there a special license required?
All rental boats are designed for ease of operation and durability. You must be 21 years of age and present a valid driver's license. A foreign or International driver's license acceptable, but a passport alone is not enough. No special boating licenses or skills are required but the captain and co-captain should be able to read and understand English.
Upon checkout of your boat or houseboat, an experienced instructor will be assigned to you for an orientation session. This individual will show you how to operate all equipment on your vessel. Also, you will be shown how to pilot the boat.
How long will our orientation be?
Orientations range form 1-2 hours, depending on how many questions you have and how much houseboating experience you have. Orientations for your trip are on a first come/first serve basis starting at 7 am during summer season and 8 am during value season.
What amenities and equipment are provided on the houseboats?
All Bridge Bay houseboats are fully stocked with all eating utensils provided for the maximum capacity allowed on the boats, e.g. if you have a houseboat with the capacity for eight passengers, you would be provided with all necessary eating utensils required for eight people. We strongly urge you to bring disposable utensils, plates and napkins.
Cooking utensils include bowls, pots, pans, cheese grater, cutting board, cutlery, pitcher, coffee makers and filters, toaster, microwave, can opener, blender, hot pads, ice pick, ice chests and wine opener. We recommend you bring your own plastic storage containers.
Also included on each boat is a broom, dustpan, mop, bucket, fly swatter, garbage cans, garbage bags, toilet paper, toilet bowl brush, soap, dish drainer and mat, dish rags and pot scrubbers.
Outdoor equipment and supplies include two anchors and lines, deck chairs, captain's chair, ash trays, 2 built in ice chests, hammer, anchor stakes, personal floatation devices (life vests), and gas grill.
All houseboats have a stove and range, shower and bathroom, window coverings, air conditioner, dining room table, interior and exterior lights, as well as stairs to the roof of the houseboat which is fully accessible by you. Please note, you cannot ride on the upper deck while the boat is underway.
Seven Crown houseboats have 1 propane refrigerator. The Grand Sierra has 2 propane refrigerators
All boats have at least one bathroom with shower, the Grand Sierra has 1 and 1/2 baths
Are linens and bedding provided?
Linen packages may be rented for a nominal fee and are subject to availability. Disposable pillows are for sale at the marina store. Most people bring their own bed linens and pillows.
If the houseboat's capacity is 12, what do we do with the extra passengers in our group? Do infants count toward the number of passengers?
Infants, toddlers and small children all "count" toward the number of people on the boat. At Bridge Bay, toddler life vests are provided, but infant life vests are limited to availability. You should bring an Coast Guard approved personal flotation device for your infant. Please request toddler life vests when checking out your houseboat.
You may exceed the capacity for an extra charge of $25 for each extra person. We DO NOT recommend this as houseboats become crowded and uncomfortable.
If you have "extra" bodies that you would like to bring along, we recommend renting a ski boat or personal watercraft. The extra people will have to ride in this while you are moving on the Lake (the ski boat and/or personal watercraft cannot be towed behind with the riders in it). The advantages are many. You 'll have an extra vessel for exploring, and making trips to one of the marinas. This allows you to establish a base camp with the houseboat and to explore the lake in vessels that travel faster than houseboats and are much more maneuverable.
Can we ride on top of the boat? Can we tow personal watercraft? Can we transport our personal watercraft on the deck of the houseboat? Can we tow our rental boat?
You cannot ride on the upper deck while the boat is underway.
You may NOT tow rental personal watercraft behind your houseboat. You MAY tow rental powerboats and an instructor will show you the proper method for towing. Personal watercraft are not permitted on the houseboats as they damage the houseboat deck. Any damage caused by putting a personal watercraft on the deck will be charged against the damage deposit. You MAY tow your own personal watercraft and your own boat as well, however, you will need to provide your own tow ropes.
How much fuel will we use on our trip? How much does it cost? Can we bring extra fuel for watercraft?
You MAY NOT store extra fuel on your rental houseboat or rental powerboat. Fuel prices at Lake Shasta fluctuate throughout the season. All rental houseboats discussed here use unleaded gas and not premix.
Houseboats use approximately 6 to 8 gallons per hour depending on size of houseboat, traveling speed, weight and weather conditions. The two-cycle boat holds 200 gallons of fuel which a cruising speed of approximately 8 to 10 mph, consuming 3 to 4 gallons of oil. Every boat has a generator (110 AC plugs/9-12.5 kilowatt) which will use approximately another 2 to 5 gallons of gas per hour, depending on use. Your generator powers your air conditioner, most lights, some electrical appliances and outlets.
May I take my boat or houseboat anywhere on Lake Mohave and what destinations should I plan on visiting?
You may take your houseboat anywhere that is accessible on Lake Shasta and any closed areas will be shown to you at the time of check out. Generally, areas are closed due to submerged hazards. Marina employees can inform you of great fishing spots as well as more secluded areas of the lake.
Where do we dock at night? Can we anchor in the middle of the Lake? Are there beaches to camp on?
Dropping anchor in the middle of the lake is impossible as it is several hundred feet deep. You may drop anchor in the shallow areas of the canyons, however, shoreline is more desirable.
Please note, you should be out of the main traffic areas (main channel) before enjoying a dip in the lake.
Are slips available for overnight?
Slips are available based on the number of nights. These are reserved for lodge guests ONLY. Please e-mail for additional information.
Can we bring our household pets?
You may bring your household pets (dogs, cats, birds and turtles, etc.) on your houseboat vacation. Please note there is a $50 refundable deposit for pets in lodge rooms and an additional $10 room charge per pet.
What kind of refrigerators are on the houseboat?
Unlike the one in your home, the 8 cubic foot refrigerator on board must be lightweight and operate on propane, not electricity. Because of this, the manufacturer uses less insulation; therefore, the refrigerators don’t run as cold as your home unit.
When temperatures reach 95 F or higher, we recommend using ice chests with regular ice or dry ice (not provided) for products that are perishable, such as meat and dairy products (dry ice not available at resorts). Be sure to use frozen ice packs (e.g. Blue Ice) or put food in ziplock bags to keep melting ice out of food stored in the ice chest.
We do not recommend bringing ice cream, popsicles or an products that require the use of a freezer.
We recommend that you use the refrigerator for other food products, such as fruit and vegetables.