Houseboat FAQs - 101 Boat Dock
Piloting a houseboat is easy

Houseboating FAQ's

Q. "How do we prepare for our houseboating vacation?"

A. Pre-trip Package
The management and staff of 101 Boat Dock hope that you have great anticipation for your houseboat vacation to come. With this in mind we have written some information to help you prepare for a trouble-free vacation by anticipating some of the questions you may have about houseboating, travel arrangements, what to bring, what to do, how to handle the boat, what is provided, and so on. Also, details about our marina are in this package. A lake map will be provided on the boat and at the marina office.

Please read and study carefully everything we have sent to you before your arrival. You will be better prepared, have a smooth check-in, be more confident about your houseboat, and will enjoy your vacation much more.

Q. "What kind of paperwork do you require to rent a houseboat?"

A. Charter Rental Agreement
Upon check in you will sign a rental agreement at which time you have entered a contract to charter. You will be totally responsible for the safe operation and care of the boat and its equipment. You are "Captain" and temporary "Owner". Please share this concept with your crew to ensure they too conduct themselves accordingly and have lots of fun!

Q. "What about insurance for the boat, our belongings, etc.?"

A. Insurance
101 Boat Dock carries insurance covering the boat and its liability requirements, but does not cover you, the crew, your personal belongings, nor the cancellation or curtailment of your trip. In many cases, a persons health, accident and home-owner’s insurance covers the above items, but you may wish to check with your own insurance agent. Many homeowner policies will not cover your legal liability while renting a houseboat. Ask us about Houseboat Renter's Insurance to be safe.

Q. "What else is required to rent a houseboat?"

A. Deposits
When you made your reservation you were asked to put up a security deposit to hold your boat for you. When you arrive for your boat, that deposit then becomes a fuel/damage deposit which will be applied to the following outstanding charges: fuel, damage to the prop, lost, broken, or damaged inventory, late returns, excessively unclean boats, or any damage from negligent or irresponsible operation of, or activity on the houseboat. This deposit will also be applied to a 9% Sales Tax. Houseboat deposits are non-refundable for any reason.

Q. "Who pays for gas?"

A. Fuel & Oil
The houseboat is sent out with a full tank of gas, L.P. gas, and oil ( if equipped with oil injection). Upon return to the marina it is refueled. Charges for refueling will be deducted from your fuel/damage deposit. At which time your deposit will be refunded provided a credit is due. NOTE: L.P. gas is provided in the price of boat rental.

Q. "Do you advise renting a ski boat or fishing boat to pull along with the houseboat?"

A. Additional Rental Boats
A houseboat is okay for fishing if you are not going to do a great deal of it. If people in your party want to do quite a bit of fishing, it is a good idea to rent a bass boat and tow it along. This way the fishers can enjoy a day's fishing while the rest of the party stays on the houseboat. The same is true for those who want to water ski. Rent a ski boat and tow it along.

Q. "What happens if the boat breaks down out on the lake?"

A. Mechanical Failure
To provide you with comfort and conveniences that you will enjoy, some of our boats are built with complex equipment. A maintenance program is carried out by our staff on each boat before it leaves the dock on each trip. We make every possible effort to ensure everything works well. However, we recognize that mechanical failures do occasionally occur. We recommend that if you have a cell phone that you bring it along just in case of an emergency.

Should you experience a problem, first check the operation’s manual in the houseboat, to see that you have followed correct operating procedures. Failing that, please do not try to fix it yourself, contact us via phone, in person, marine radio if equipped, or getting word back to us by another person on the lake. When reporting please try to let us know your name, boat #, location and a brief description of your problem. Rest assured that we will try to solve the problem as soon as possible.

Q. "When we arrive at 101 Boat Dock, what is the first thing we should do?"

A. Arrival
When you arrive invite only your Co-Captain to accompany you to the marina office. Our check-in person will proceed to :

  1. Check & update your charter account
  2. Collect rental fees ( if not yet paid)
  3. Have you sign rental agreement
  4. Explain how to complete the boat inventory check list
  5. Assign a loading time
  6. Assign and direct you to your boat

Appoint the Co-Captain to check off each item on the inventory check list while the crew load their gear onto the boat with the handcarts provided. Be particular when going through your check list because you are responsible for the boat, its equipment and any losses or damages not noted once you have signed the check list.

Q. "What do you recommend for luggage and packing our things?"

A. Packing Suggestions
Since houseboating is an outdoor adventure, houseboat features are designed to capitalize on this fact. As a consequence, storage space is limited and packing assumes great importance. Repeat houseboaters know that you pack light and smart. Use duffel bags or any soft-sided type luggage ( they are easier to stow away). Store any boxes or hard suitcases in your car to keep living space free and uncluttered on the houseboat.

Q. "What items should we bring along?"

A. What To Bring
Do remember to bring binoculars and a camera for those unforgettable vacation experiences. Suntan lotion, beach towels, air mattresses, personal life jackets, cassette tapes, cards, games, insect repellent, and swim gear are all recommended. Fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, water skiing and personal watercrafting are sports you may want to pack for.

Q. "What about groceries and sundries - do we need to bring those with us?"

A. Provisions
Our marina sells snack foods, soda, ice, souvenirs, T-shirts, most boating supplies, ski and scuba equipment. We are located 10 miles from reasonable shopping such that you can get your major provisions on, or before arrival. It is not necessary to pack grocery items from home. It is a good idea to shop for your groceries and sundries just before arrival.

Q. "When can we board our houseboat?"

A. Boarding
Please be prompt but not too early. Our boats are not always ready for early departure, but is possible. Also if you are running late, please let us know for we will have our crew waiting to give your lesson. Late arrivals after 5:00pm may be required to stay the night in the houseboat at the marina and receive the captains lesson in the morning.

Q. "We have never driven a houseboat before. Can we really do this?"

A. Operational Instructions
You will be given a captains lesson approximately one hour, either aboard your boat, on a similar model, or at a group captain’s lesson. All captains must receive the lesson no matter how experienced they are since every boat may differ. During the lesson the prop will be checked and noted on the check list. All controls, features, systems, and their maintenance and safe operation will be shown and explained to you. Navigational procedures such as beaching, anchoring, water safety, boating courtesy, and boat maneuvers will be demonstrated. Over the years we have found that if people pay attention during the captain's lessons they have little or no trouble piloting a big houseboat, even on their first try!

Q. "We have never been on Lake Norfork. Will you help us with fishing information and where to go?"

A. Where to go
During the captain's lesson you will have an opportunity to ask questions about local fishing holes, favorite beaches, and other local tips that will enhance your cruise.

Q. "What if we forget some of the details you give us during the captain's lessons?"

A. On-Board Manuals
You will find a detailed operators manual on board to help you operate the boat should you have problems, forget, or not understand the instructions given during the captains lessons. Specific local information such as the marine VHF radio channels, emergency telephone numbers and details concerning your specific boat model are all listed and explained in detail.

Q. "What are the tank capacities of your various houseboat sizes?"

A. Tank Capacities

Boat Fuel Fresh Water Sewage
60’ 200 gal. 320 gal. 320 gal.
56’ 200 gal. 300 gal. 300 gal.

Q. "How does the rental period come to an end?"

A. Returning The Boat
All good things must come to an end. Return times are assigned to best accommodate our customers at check-out. Late returns will be charged by the 1/2 hour, so plan your return accordingly. Before you arrive at the dock, sort and fold the linens so they can be counted for. Bag the garbage. Have your luggage on the front deck ready to disembark upon arrival.

Return the houseboat to the same place that you left from. Please do not take the boat to the gas dock unless otherwise directed. For safety reasons, the crew should unload and go to the assigned waiting area. The captain should report and agree charges for any losses or damages. Check the boat, fuel, prop, and inventory. Please advise our dock staff at this time of any mechanical problems or things that need attention so that the boat will be properly serviced for next charter.

Upon completion of servicing, our staff will report the end of cruise documents to the marina office. At this time the captain is no longer responsible for the boat. For those charters with planes to catch or other imperatives, you may request a "Easy Check-Out". When checking in, arrange to leave a open, signed credit charge slip. You will only agree to losses, damages and mechanical problems if any with the dock hand upon arrival. You may proceed to unload your boat and depart the marina immediately. We will refuel the boat at our convenience, charge it to your account and send you your itemized receipts by mail.

Q. "What is the best advise you can give for having a great time on a Lake Norfork houseboating vacation?"

A. Houseboating
Years of experience have shown that the people who enjoy houseboating the most are the ones that travel the least. It is not a means of transportation to get from point A to point B, it is a way of life, a time to relax and get away from it all.

There are no phones, no schedules, no external pressures. So don’t plan your itinerary; instead, plan to do what you want to do when you want to.

Thank you for your time, we are looking forward to making this a great vacation for you!!

Rob & crew

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