What to Bring
ARE YOU EXCITED TO GET PACKING?
Whoo hooo! You’ve reserved your houseboat vacation on Spraot Lake. You’ve gotten commitments from your group and you’ve put a deposit down for your trip…now what? We get lots of questions from first time houseboaters on what to do to prepare in the weeks leading up to your vacation. Mostly questions about how to plan for our favourite thing…FOOD!
Sproat Lake has developed restaurants and grocery stores but are not accessible by boat along the shoreline, so it is best to be prepared when you arrive at the marina. There is the Fish and Duck Pub at the houseboat marina!
The best way to prepare for this type of vacation is to make a list of everything that you might need while you’re out on the water, then compare it with our list of what’s already on board your houseboat. Make sure to account for all the ingredients you will need for cooking (including spices and condiments, down to salt and pepper.)
It might be easiest to have the food supplied to the group rather than having each couple or family provide a meal. Get together with someone from your group and try to plan meals that are tasty, filling, and require little cooking while on the houseboat. After all, who wants to be stuck in the kitchen on vacation? Also, prepare as much food as possible in advance to keep the cooking time and cooler packing to a minimum. For example, crack eggs ahead of time, scramble them up with salt and pepper in gallon size bags and freeze them. This eliminates space for bulky cartons, and the worry of breaking eggs while transporting them in a cooler. Pre-freezing them also helps cut down on the amount of ice you need for the cooler. Throw your frozen eggs on top of a few items and voila, built in ice blocks.
Simplicity is key. Some other quick meal ideas include: tin foil dinners, hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled chicken or steak, chili and baked potatoes, etc. The possibilities are endless! Who’s hungry?
Bring lots of extra coolers filled with ice for your beverages so all the food can fit in the refrigerators and freezers supplied on the boat.
THE OTHER STUFF!
Bedding & Pillows
Towels (ones for swimming and showering!)
Bath mat, hand towels (2 are provided onboard) and washcloths
First Aid Kit – with medication for bug bites, cuts and scrapes
DVD’s for rainy days
Games and cards
Sunscreen and After-Sun for sunburns!
Coolers – lots and lots of coolers with ice!
Auxiliary cords for connecting personal devices to the music system
Paper towels, napkins, tin foil, plastic containers for leftovers
Spices, salt & pepper
Fishing equipment and fishing licences for everyone planning to fish
Deck or beach chairs
Plastic bottles and/or cans for the beach (NO GLASS BOTTLES OR CONTAINERS ON THE BEACHES PLEASE!)
How long does it take to check-in?
The whole check-in process can take up to 4-5 (2-3) hours. This includes office paperwork, then once the boat is ready and assigned to you, Orientation and loading your belongings.
Do the houseboats come with bedding?
NO, please bring your own bedding and towels from home.
Can I bring my own stereo and speaker system?
No, each boat has a stereo system on board. Please bring an aux cord with you to connect any iPods or phones to the stereo. You can have small Bluetooth stereos but no large loud speakers or speaker systems there is a noise by-law on the lake and people who abuse this will be fined.
Do cell phones work on the lake?
Some work quite well, others not very well at all or only at specific locations. You should still give family and friends our office number (250) 724-4462, as this will be your best way of ensuring their messages reach you. If necessary we will advise you where the nearest telephone is to you so you can speak to the caller in person. (There is a new ROGER’S Cell tower in the area)
Can people contact us on the houseboat?
Yes, just make sure your family has our office phone number (250) 724-4462, and we will relay any messages to you via your V.H.F. radio. However, you must be monitoring your radio to receive the message. We require all guests fill out a Boat Manifest prior to leaving dock. This manifest ensures that we know which boat every guest is on in the event of a family emergency.
What happens in a medical emergency?
In the event of a medical emergency, call 911. There is a rescue boat on the lake, they will come get you. If you can’t reach 911 by your cell, call us via radio. Cell phones do not work on all areas of the lake.
Can friends join us during our trip?
Friends can join you in the middle of your trip as long as the total number of people on the houseboat does not exceed the maximum allowed. This includes people choosing to camp on the beach as they will still be issuing the toilets and showers etc and the systems are designed for a maximum occupancy. You will need to call a water taxi if you would like to have people come join you. We suggest using Fish and Duck Water Taxi as they leave from our dock. Their number is 250-724-4462. Or the houseboat can return to Fish and Duck Marina to pick up guests.
Where do we stay at night?
Before 8pm at the latestdark you must “beach” your houseboat – houseboats cannot be safely secured in the middle of the lake as it is too deep – and we don’t provide anchors! You will be instructed on how to do this during your Captain’s Orientation. There are over 30 beaches to choose from down Two Rivers Arm and down Taylor Arm on Sproat Lake.
How fast do houseboats travel?
Your houseboat will travel up to 6 knots or 7 miles an hour. We do recommend a specific travel speed to allow you to achieve the best fuel consumption. For example the average cruising time from Two Rivers to Fish and Duck Marina is 1 2 hours.
Are there age restrictions?
The ‘Captain’ of the houseboat must hold a valid driver’s licence and be at least 19 years old.
Can we bring pets with us?
We are dog and cat friendly. There is a fee of $50 for a small pet and $75 for a large pet. Both are subject to tax. These fees are a 1 time fee for the duration of your trip. You MUST let us know at the time of booking and there is a limit to the number of animals allowed. We advise against bringing pets if possible but understand some people can’t leave their babies!
What time is return time?
Return times are on an assigned basis between 9am and 11 am on your final day.
What is the Captain’s Orientation?
The Captain’s Orientation covers all the operating systems of the houseboat. We also include a video onboard on our YouTube channel that you may review at any time, along with an Operating Manual specific to the boat you have chartered.
Who can drive the houseboat?
Anyone over the age of 19 can drive the houseboat provided that they have completed the Captain’s Orientation and hold a valid driver’s license and have a boating license (we can issue a temporary license at registration).
What are my payment options?
OPTION A: Pay the balance (less deposit) 120 days prior to departure.
OPTION B: Pay the balance (less deposit) in 4 equal monthly installments starting 120 days prior to departure. (120 days / 90 days / 60 days / 30 days) for an additional 5% administration fee.
We accept VISA, MASTERCARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS DISCOVERY & INTERAC or CASH! For more detailed information, please view our Policies page.
What are the extra costs?
Your costs are minimal. You pay for the gas you use during your vacation and septic pump out. Your gas costs will vary depending upon how far you travel, generator usage, as well as use of the remote fueling station. Septic pump-out fee is $25.
Security Deposit: The security deposit will be applied to any outstanding charges including but not limited to lost or damaged items, late returns, excessively unclean boats, or any damages. Deposit must be placed on the Captain’s credit card. CASH OR PERSONAL CHEQUES ARE NOT ACCEPTED.
Is a deposit required when booking?
Yes. All you require is a deposit of $700 to confirm your reservation. Your deposit will be applied to your charter fee and is required 10 days after making your reservation. Your deposit can be paid over the phone by approved credit card or you may email transfer the money.
How far in advance should I book?
We recommend you reserve your houseboat 6 months to a year in advance, but we can usually accommodate most requests, as long as you have some flexibility in dates and houseboat types. It’s also always worthwhile calling us even on short notice (1-250-724-4462), as we occasionally get cancellations. If you are requiring very specific dates for your vacation, we highly recommend that you book 12 months in advance. Check out our online booking for to view immediate availability.
What will a houseboat vacation cost?
Houseboat vacations with Fish and Duck Houseboats are based on the size of the boat, features, the number of people it can accommodate, the season you choose to vacation in and how many nights you would like to spend on Sproat Lake. Choose the houseboat type that fits your needs and view the rates.