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  • Lake Powell Houseboating Advice

    We’re planning our first Powell trip in August on a 75ft Excusion Houseboat out of Wahweap. I’ve rented 50ft houseboats before on Lake Shasta so I have some experience towing and anchoring. There we typically find the same cove year after year then anchor off and use it as our home base for the week without it really ever moving. Being new to Powell I’d really appreciate some advice:

    1) Are there any particular arms/areas that are better or worse for morning ski water? Suggestions on where to park the houseboat? We usually go through a tank a day on the MC skiing, wakeboarding, and surfing so even with the toy tank I’d like to be within 10 miles or so of Dangling Rope marina for an afternoon top off and an ice cream
    2) What kind of water can we expect in the mornings, mid day, evenings?
    3) Is the strategy to find a nice central beach for the week then use the MC for excursions such as rainbow bridge and afternoon sight-seeing a decent plan?
    4) I’m worried about fuel consumption in the house boat and running out of fuel – any rough estimates of gal/hr? The web site note of 2 gal /mi seems limiting since it would barely make it the closest marina before running out
    5) Similar for the generator consumption – any estimates? Do you need to run it 24/7 in the summer or just during the heat of the day?
    6) I’ve read all the links on towing so will avoid those risks through the narrow areas but any other suggestions or itinerary thoughts?

    Thanks!
    2016 Metallic Blue X10
    ex 1998 Sportstar 19
    ex 1972 17’ Tahati I/O

  • #2
    My top suggestions:

    1. Can you find a boat to rent out of a different marina? Wahweep is a total cluster and it will take you hours to load up and you’ll be bumbling down the dock bumping into all the other people loading up.

    2. Let me re-iterate my own experience: Lake Powell sucks for waterskiing. If you’re the 1st boat out, you’ll get good water once. Then every other pass, your wake will bounce off the canyon walls for the next hour and the water will calm down to ‘busy’ AT BEST.

    3. Parking the houseboat… Study the map and find a BEACH. You MUST be parked by NOON no later or you will struggle to find a place for the night. Aramark says your boat will do 12-15, think more like 8. Plan how far you think you can go before noon so you can scope it out on the map. It would be smart to send the ski boat out ahead and claim the spot.

    4. Morning water is your best bet for good water, and it will be chilly, even June – August…

    5. For your question #3: Yes.

    6. Your Question #4 – take a bunch of 5 gal containers.

    7. You will need to run generator any time the boat is not running or your fridge won’t run and your food will spoil.

    Other tips: send 2 people to the houseboat 101. take good binoculars, it will save you from traveling 45 min in the wrong direction. if it gets windy, get out of the main channel and drive the ski boat bow up high (dont tow it). be very cognizant of the wind/weather forecasts, it will save your arse. take an extra handheld marine radio to communicate with the ski boat. Aramark gives you one shovel - take an extra shovel so you can dig multiple anchor holes at the same time. take a drysuit if you're cold natured.
    The sea, once it casts it's spell, holds one in it's net of wonder forever - Jacques Cousteau

    Comment


    • #3
      My advice for houseboat or lake trips:

      1. Take half the clothes you thing your going to wear

      2. Take twice the amount of beer you think your going to drink
      OH-IO!

      Comment


      • #4
        We rent every year out of Antelope Point (AP), their boats are solid and nice. AP has better food, better service, and gas docks are great. We usually head up to Rock Creek or even more north, you can always find good water, even when wind is blowing. You will fill up the MC at Dangling Rope marina before heading north to Rainbow Bridge, but hit all the canyons on the way up, all very cool and worth a look. Houseboats do well on gas, just keep at the RPM that is suggested by the rental. We always get a toy tank, keep if for emergency incase we need fuel in the houseboad, can dump it right in the main tank. We also carry 6 5 gallon gas cans, for mastercraft. Fuel has never been an issue. We run the AC at night, usually fire it up a couple hours before bed, and turn it off in the am, they are very easy on gas. Once we park the houseboat, we leave it there, no real issue ever getting back to marina. When towing MC, go easy but steady, don't want the MC pickle forking into the water. Ssk a lot of questions, write them down and ask the rental management. Dig the anchors well, or tie up to solid rocks or structure. You want to see what Powell can bring, grab a beer, and watch youtube Powell weather. It can get nasty, very, very nasty. We head up canyons, and make sure the houseboat will ride out weather. I have seen weather at Powell that make you never go back ha ha, but if prepared, all good. When in the MC running around, watch for low levels, rocks and structure appear quickly. Main channel is safe, but off that, need to be on your toes. Powell is proof there is a God, and that he loves us.

        Comment


        • #5
          Question #6 - houseboats have a large “toy” fuel tank that is for your boat or PWC. This tank is separate from the tank for the HB. We went for a week with 2 boats, 18 teenagers and did not have trouble running out of fuel.
          Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Footin View Post
            My advice for houseboat or lake trips:

            1. Take half the clothes you thing your going to wear

            2. Take twice the amount of beer you think your going to drink
            Seriously! I go a week out of a backpack and somehow the truck is always packed high with bags from the family!
            2016 Metallic Blue X10
            ex 1998 Sportstar 19
            ex 1972 17’ Tahati I/O

            Comment


            • #7
              All Good Tips above.
              Dont need much clothing for Sure....Lots of drinks and ICE, prolly 1/2 the food you think. LOL
              This our 1st trip to Powell ...1st year we had a boat too.
              Powell is where we dicovered MC's, I joined this forum right after we returned from the trip

              ....and yes, if there is a God, she made Lake Powell

              short clip of trip

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxuepbqfzyI


              ...
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              • #8
                Good tips so far. A couple of things:
                -Many rental boats don't have toy tanks, or they are disabled. Verify if yours does. Ours didn't. We hauled (12) 6 gallon fuel tanks with us. We had to run to the marina every 2ish days for something or another, and filled the boat and cans then. If we didn't go to the marina, we would have been SOL given the MC and Jetski was thirsty.
                -We took WAY too much $hit. We used almost none of it. We ended up using two popup shades in the water to keep us cool, but didn't touch the tents, tables, other camp chairs, etc. Was hot enough in late June we were in the water most of the time.
                -We should have bought box fans for the nights that it didn't have a breeze. It was WAY too hot otherwise.
                -We barely used our Generator or Fridge. We packed it like a raft trip, so one cooler full of the day's food. The further out days (3-5, etc) we used dry ice layered in there. Kept it all nice and cool. We did need more ice on those Marina runs for beer.
                -Speaking of, not sure how you're doing food but plan it well. It gets annoying to figure out that each food group brought a ketchup or something stupid, so you end up hauling multiples of many things down to the boat and back, or finding places for it. We could have saved a ton of space if we didn't have so many duplicates. Next time we'll have one person do the shopping for the whole trip.
                -Bring a spare bilge pump, spare prop, plus nuts, cotter pins and a wrench you can afford to lose as you'll be doing said prop replacements underwater. There's all sorts of weird spikes and spires and when we were scouting for a spot for the Houseboat, we found one. Quite literally hit one spire underwater that was at max, 6"x6" wide at the top, but stuck up 20' above the rest of the lake bottom. Total bad luck but that ended up being a PITA to deal with later.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lashburn1 View Post
                  All Good Tips above.
                  Dont need much clothing for Sure....Lots of drinks and ICE, prolly 1/2 the food you think. LOL
                  This our 1st trip to Powell ...1st year we had a boat too.
                  Powell is where we dicovered MC's, I joined this forum right after we returned from the trip

                  ....and yes, if there is a God, she made Lake Powell

                  short clip of trip

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxuepbqfzyI


                  ...
                  Sweet video! Excited for our trip!
                  2016 Metallic Blue X10
                  ex 1998 Sportstar 19
                  ex 1972 17’ Tahati I/O

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tenmile View Post
                    Good tips so far. A couple of things:
                    -Many rental boats don't have toy tanks, or they are disabled. Verify if yours does. Ours didn't. We hauled (12) 6 gallon fuel tanks with us. We had to run to the marina every 2ish days for something or another, and filled the boat and cans then. If we didn't go to the marina, we would have been SOL given the MC and Jetski was thirsty.
                    -We took WAY too much $hit. We used almost none of it. We ended up using two popup shades in the water to keep us cool, but didn't touch the tents, tables, other camp chairs, etc. Was hot enough in late June we were in the water most of the time.
                    -We should have bought box fans for the nights that it didn't have a breeze. It was WAY too hot otherwise.
                    -We barely used our Generator or Fridge. We packed it like a raft trip, so one cooler full of the day's food. The further out days (3-5, etc) we used dry ice layered in there. Kept it all nice and cool. We did need more ice on those Marina runs for beer.
                    -Speaking of, not sure how you're doing food but plan it well. It gets annoying to figure out that each food group brought a ketchup or something stupid, so you end up hauling multiples of many things down to the boat and back, or finding places for it. We could have saved a ton of space if we didn't have so many duplicates. Next time we'll have one person do the shopping for the whole trip.
                    -Bring a spare bilge pump, spare prop, plus nuts, cotter pins and a wrench you can afford to lose as you'll be doing said prop replacements underwater. There's all sorts of weird spikes and spires and when we were scouting for a spot for the Houseboat, we found one. Quite literally hit one spire underwater that was at max, 6"x6" wide at the top, but stuck up 20' above the rest of the lake bottom. Total bad luck but that ended up being a PITA to deal with later.
                    Thanks! Adding box fans and a few more 5 gallon jugs to the list. Totally Agree on the shopping list, for all of our lake trips I’ve been doing the shopping for everybody and we split the cost after.
                    2016 Metallic Blue X10
                    ex 1998 Sportstar 19
                    ex 1972 17’ Tahati I/O

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Footin View Post
                      My advice for houseboat or lake trips:

                      1. Take half the clothes you thing your going to wear

                      2. Take twice the amount of beer you think your going to drink

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Not sure this has been stated yet:

                        When you set your anchors, use the houseboat to pull and set the anchors.

                        Depending on time of year the lake level will be varying every day, so you will either be loosening or tightening your anchor lines daily. When we were there in early June 2014, the lake was coming up almost a foot a day.....

                        If you aren't going to run the generator and air-conditioner all night (which drives me crazy) then make sure you have enough pads to sleep outside.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by swardco View Post
                          Not sure this has been stated yet:

                          When you set your anchors, use the houseboat to pull and set the anchors
                          You jogged my memory... Do not think for one second that you can cheat with regards to the depth of the anchor holes... If you don't dig them deep enough for your particular size houseboat, they will come loose. Ours was 56' and we needed 3'x3' holes.

                          Another few items you could make very good use of: dry ice for your coolers and rain jackets. Put MP3s on your android smart phone micro sd card and bring a bluetooth speaker to play them. Take lots of games to play @ night - poker, uno, skip bo, cards for humanity, trivial pursuit... Take a book... It was super nice that someone on our boat brought a guitar and played for us.
                          The sea, once it casts it's spell, holds one in it's net of wonder forever - Jacques Cousteau

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            When you dig your anchors, when replacing the sand back in the hole on top of the anchor, pour water from a bucket as you fill in the hole. Wet sand will help pack that bad boy in there good and tight, making it harder for the anchor to pull free. Great advice on the clothing, you'll need old tennis shoes, flip flops, a bunch of tee shirts and board shorts, and maybe some sleeping gear. Beer, take more than you think, buy in Page, Utah beer is water. I know this, I live in Utah. Also MasterCraft takes 91 fuel, at Dangling Rope Marina they don't sell 91, so bring octane boost to help bring up the octane number. We use two heavy duty tube ropes for towing the boats behind the houseboat, never an issue but make sure they are stout. Take ship to shore radio on the boat, so you can talk to the houseboat, and for emergency. Tip money, small bills like $10’s and 5’s, tip money helps out around the dock. Money Talks!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Huskie05 View Post
                              When you dig your anchors, when replacing the sand back in the hole on top of the anchor, pour water from a bucket as you fill in the hole. Wet sand will help pack that bad boy in there good and tight, making it harder for the anchor to pull free. Great advice on the clothing, you'll need old tennis shoes, flip flops, a bunch of tee shirts and board shorts, and maybe some sleeping gear. Beer, take more than you think, buy in Page, Utah beer is water. I know this, I live in Utah. Also MasterCraft takes 91 fuel, at Dangling Rope Marina they don't sell 91, so bring octane boost to help bring up the octane number. We use two heavy duty tube ropes for towing the boats behind the houseboat, never an issue but make sure they are stout. Take ship to shore radio on the boat, so you can talk to the houseboat, and for emergency. Tip money, small bills like $10’s and 5’s, tip money helps out around the dock. Money Talks!
                              I agree to all of this.

                              However, at least since 2012 no Mastercraft both require anything other than 87 pump gas.
                              That is not to be confused with crappy ethanol gas, not much of a choice for dangling rope, you get what you get
                              sigpic
                              2014 Chap 264 Sunesta
                              2019 XT25 GEN2 5500
                              2015 X20 SS GEN2 6.0
                              2016 G21 Coastal 5.3
                              2014 X46 GEN2 7.4
                              2014 X30 GEN2 5.7
                              2006 VRS200 SS 5.7
                              2013 X30 GEN2 6.2
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