Now that the kids are out of school for the year, many families are counting down the days until their summer vacations. Here in Kentucky, one of the most popular summer destinations is Lake Cumberland. From camping and boating to hiking and fishing, Lake Cumberland offers a little something for everyone.
For those families interested in sleeping ON the water and not just near it, houseboats are the way to go. Before you book, however, there are a few things you should know. Below, we’ve summarized a short a list of tips from Elizabeth Smith of Demand Media, which previously appeared in USA Today. Enjoy!
Step 1: Determine if you want to sail the houseboat to get from one place to another. Be sure to check the licensing requirements for the rental location. If a license is required, make sure yours is up to code. In the U.S., many locations do not require a special boating license, but you may be asked to carry a boater education card.
Step 2: Look for a business that specializes in houseboat rentals to increase your chances of getting a quality boat. Choose a reputable rental company that offers houseboat orientation sessions, extensive safety information, maintenance reports, and detailed houseboat descriptions. Your family’s safety depends on the quality of the boat, after all.
Step 3: Check out the houseboat in advance if you can. Online photos can be misleading. Look for signs of damage to the hull. For longer voyages, schedule a dive inspection to ensure safety. If you’re unable to look the boat over in advance, ask the company for references or check online reviews. Also, never pay the full rental fee until you have seen the boat in person.
Step 4: Ask about “practical houseboat-related matters” before completing the rental process including electricity, generators, linens, food storage, and supply availability. You should also ask about local waterways, where to get fuel, emergency procedures, and basic ways to care for the boat if this is your first time aboard a houseboat.