Heading to interior British Columbia for a weekend of relaxation on the Shuswaps? You’re a lucky man! I’ve travelled to a lot of great places around North America, and the world for that matter, but houseboating with a great group of friends is still one of my favourite summer vacations. Whether you’re a houseboat virgin or a seasoned vet, here are ten awesome tips that will guarantee one hell of a good time on the water.
Not to sound like your mother, but make sure you’ve brought everything you’ll need prior to leaving. That includes booze. Yes, there is a floating liquor/convenience store in the middle of the lake, but do you really want to spend $80 on cheap tequila because you accidentally left it in the car?
No Boring People
Houseboating is not for the faint of heart or unadventurous. Leave the introverts at home. This may sound a little harsh, but if one of your friends is more inclined to head to bed before 10 p.m. on the regular, chances are they won’t enjoy your late night dance party on the top deck.
Optimize Guy-to-Girl Ratio
I’ve seen many-a-boat set sail full of men in hopes of finding beautiful ladies on the shores ahead. Truth be told, the lake is generally male-dominated, so bring some of the ladies along that you already know and love. Don’t be those guys.
Not just for toddlers . . . weather-permitting, you’ll probably be soaking up the sun all day long in between swimming, Sea-Doo-ing and general daily misbehaving. A quick one-hour nap just before dinner will leave you recharged and ready for a night on the party beach. Behave yourselves.
Assign different groups of people to take care of different meals throughout the trip (i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner). That way, each group is only responsible for one meal over the weekend. Less shopping for everyone, and you won’t end up with 17 cartons of eggs in the fridge with different names on them. Absolutely genius!
Keep It Clean
A clean boat is a stress-free boat. It’s OK to wake up in the middle of a pile of empty beer bottles, but a quick daily clean sweep before the shenanigans begin again is ideal. Nothing cures a hangover like a solid cleaning shift, ceasar in hand, of course. Everyone likes starting with a (relatively sober) clean slate.
Unless you are more of a #2 (in which case, you should not be on the boat in the first place), expensive electronics + boats = a recipe for disaster. After a few beers, it might seem fun to bring your laptop on the deck to watch some funny YouTube videos and chill in the hot tub. Yes, because that sounds like a great idea…
Dock at Different Beaches
Neilson Beach (a.k.a. the party beach) is undeniably fun, but flickering strobe lights and pounding DJ music will make it hard to fall asleep any time before 5 a.m. Take a break and sail to a quieter beach for a better night’s rest and a change of scenery.
Hopefully, this goes without saying, but it does happen. If you happen to spot a thief, houseboating commandments, dating back to the early times, state you have permission to immediately slap them in the face.
Turn Off Your Phone
In this social media-crazy world we live in, I think we can all agree that it’s hard to let go of our digital companions. The first few hours separated from your phone might leave you jonesin’ for a Twitter update, but by day two you’ll be feeling happily disconnected.
Want to go houseboating? Check out Twin Anchors or Waterway Houseboats for more info on the Shuswaps experience and rental prices. Depending on the boat size and time of year, an awesome four-day weekend on the lake with a group of 15 will cost only about $300-$350 per person. It should be noted, the good boats go fast, so plan to book about 8 months in advance. Seriously!
Image courtesy of plusgood.