Plan your Trip Well
Starting your Engines and Driving your Houseboat
Houseboat Fuel Consumption and Speed
Beaching and Mooring your Houseboat
Returning your Houseboat
Welcome to Lake Havasu. The Management and staff of NSC are here to help you have a memorable experience during your houseboat vacation. This booklet is intended to give you an introduction to our facilities, the area, and most importantly, your houseboat.
During your Captains Course you will be instructed and checked out on all procedures of the houseboat. No special skills are needed, only respect for the size of the vessel, its engines and basic boating rules and courtesy. Please allow 45 minutes to 1 hour for instructions and check out on the houseboat. There is an Operations Manual on all boats, we suggest you read it thoroughly and become familiar with the operating systems of your houseboat.
This booklet will give you some basic information about your houseboats operation, amenities, inventory, docking and general useful information.
The General Store is located at the Resort and sells ice, beverages and many essentials for your trip. There is an nice gift shop with swimwear on site.
Your houseboat will be your home away from home for a few days, and we hope you will enjoy and relax in it as you would your own home.
Plan your Trip Well
If you're ready to board your boat and don't know where you are going, take time to ask our employees for suggestions. A lake map is provided on your houseboat. Study it, mark destinations, check directions and landmarks (north, south, etc.) Lake Havasu is very easy to Navigate with one main channel north to south.
One of the great advantages of Lake Havasu is that it is the only location on the Colorado River that has a large city located directly on the lake. The population of Lake Havasu is more than 50,000, so it has all of the amenities that you would expect from a city that size. There are many large grocery stores located here. If you would like to do all of your grocery shopping when you arrive you can, or pick up any items needed that you may have forgotten.
Decreasing the amount of time spent operating your boat not only saves fuel, but results in more enjoyable hours spent fishing, swimming, hiking, visiting and just plain relaxing on beautiful Lake Havasu.
TAG ALONG RENTALS…PLEASE USE 800-843-9218 AND BOOK SEPARATELY.
In addition to houseboat rentals we are the largest watercraft rental operation in the state of Arizona. We offer just about anything you might want. Pontoon boats, performance ski boats and personal watercraft. We also offer wake boards, water skis, knee boards and any items that you will need to enjoy your stay with us at Lake Havasu.. If you would like to book any of these items with your houseboat rental we offer special rates for our houseboat customers. Please call us at 800-843-9218 for more information.
Please be conscious of where you place supplies and belongings in the boat. Extra weight on the front deck will make the bow ride low in the water, which can cause water to splash onto the front deck if you encounter boat wakes or rough water. Try to distribute the weight evenly front and back, and from side to side. Put all heavy objects in the rear of the houseboat.
We provide 12 adult life jackets aboard each houseboat. If you require smaller jackets for children aboard, please request jackets from our office upon check in. In addition all children under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket while the houseboat is under way. There is a large fine if you are stopped by law enforcement on the lake for failing to do so. Small children should be escorted on an off the boat at all times.
Starting your Engines and Driving the Houseboat
Be sure the outdrives are down and locked. Look for the possibility of swimmers or other boats around the rear of your houseboat before starting the engine. Always have a lookout in the rear of the vessel before shifting into gear or reverse. Make sure you allow the engines to warm up to 175 degrees before attempting to put into gear. NEVER EXCEED 2500 RPM IN REVERSE. Forward running speed is from 2200 to 2600 RPM.
Proceed slowly at wakeless speed (idle setting on your throttles) in harbor areas, around other boats, or in narrow canyons. The houseboat weighs approximately 11 tons and requires a large area to come to a stop. Reverse gear is its only brake.
Once in open water, get a "feel" of your houseboat. Make some turns – experiment on stopping distances, then set throttles to cruising speed and set course for your destination on the Lake.
The engines on our 56 foot to 70 foot houseboats are a 4 cylinder, 130 hp OMC, and the generators are 12.5kw Kohler. The Engines on our 75 foot and 85 foot houseboats are Mercury 6 cylinder fuel injected. Both operate on regular fuel only. Engines and generators are well maintained, but they do occasionally break down. Each houseboat is equipped with a VHF Marine radio to notify the Marina should such an incident occur, or call on your cell phone 928-855-7000. Our Boat Manager is Mike Boucher. His Cell Phone: 928-412-0028.
If the houseboat is being moved around by wind or current, and you feel loss of control, do not be afraid to use the throttle and "power out" of the situation.
When making a sharp turn or U turn, move the steering wheel in the direction you are turning before putting the boat in gear. After traveling forward, put the houseboat in neutral & turn the steering wheel quickly in the opposite direction. Place the shift lever in reverse. Continue this process until the turn is made. The houseboat steers from the rear and forward motion will push the boat in the desired direction. Reverse motion will pull the houseboat in the desired direction.
The houseboat is equipped with hydraulic steering and takes approximately 5 turns from the hard left to go to hard right. If making a turn near an obstacle, ALWAYS HAVE ONE PERSON AT THE BACK (STERN) OF THE HOUSEBOAT & ONE PERSON AT THE FRONT (BOW) OF THE HOUSEBOAT TO PROVIDE YOU WITH ASSISTANCE. If the propeller is run into the sand or any debris, turn OFF the engine and check the propeller. If it is bent or damaged, call Club Nautical on the VHF radio or cell phone. Continuing to drive the houseboat with a bent or broken propeller will result in further damage to the outdrive.
Always be on the lookout for logs and debris in the water. If a collision appears unavoidable, place the shift lever in neutral, stop the engines and lift the Outdrive so as to not damage the propeller and coast past debris.
Houseboat Fuel Consumption and Speed
Most houseboats average 8 to 12 miles per hour. This rate can vary depending upon load, wind and weather conditions. Always be aware of approximate fuel consumed and distance yet to be traveled. The houseboat contains 276 gallons of regular fuel for the engines and generator. The generator will consume 1 to 1 1/2 gals per hour depending on the load.
Your engines will use approximately 6 gallons of gas per hour, per engine. Your houseboat is equipped with two engines, we recommend running with only one engine, this will only reduce your speed by about two miles an hour but save you 6 gallons per hour in fuel consumption.
Fortunately most storms are of short duration resulting from small local storms which move through the area very fast. Motor slowly into the wind toward a sheltered bank using just enough power to control the vessel. Tie the boat up securely and wait for the storm to subside. Remain calm and contact Club Nautical for any assistance. Stay clear of rocky beaches during storms to prevent hull damage. Watch for clouds, and if you see a squall coming, the weather report can be heard hourly on local radio. Use your own discretion. Storms can come up very quickly, and it would be wise to move the houseboat to a sheltered location on shore.
Remember to load as much of your weight as possible at the rear of the houseboat so that the bow will ride higher in the water.
Beaching and Mooring your Houseboat
In order to beach your houseboat properly, please follow these procedures:
Choose a spot that is well protected from wind and waves and no sharp rocks that may damage the hull. The water level at the stern of your boat should be deep enough so as not to endanger the propeller. A trial run reasonably close to shore will allow you to check for proper depth and beach condition.
After you have selected your beach, approach the shore at a slow speed. Have your crew standing on the front deck with stern ropes and beaching stakes in hand ready to secure the boat once your bow touches the shore.
When your bow touches the beach, leave the motor idling in forward gear. This will hold the boat to the beach while your crew is securing the ropes. If a breeze or wave washes the boat sideways, use more throttle to straighten the boat until you can secure it.
The crew should now secure the two stern ropes to the stakes at a 45 degree angle from the stern of the boat to the beaching stake. Be sure that the ropes are tied securely around the stakes and tie ropes as low to the ground as possible to prevent the stakes from pulling out.
After you have secured the boat, turn ignition OFF, turn shift power switch OFF and remove the keys from the ignition and place them on the dash. This will ensure that the keys are not broken off in the ignition or left in the "ON" position overnight.
NOTE: MOVING THE SHIFT CONTROL LEVER WITH THE ENGINE NOT RUNNING COULD CAUSE DAMAGE.
PLEASE DO NOT PERMIT CHILDREN TO PRETEND THEY ARE "DRIVING THE BOAT".
Leaving the Beach:
Always check for swimmers. Follow engine starting procedures mentioned earlier. Have someone at the helm with engine running. Keep the engine in forward gear as your crew unties stern ropes and pulls out beaching stakes. Secure all ropes and equipment properly on the boat. Place shift control into reverse gear. Slight swinging of the stern from side to side may be necessary to release the boat from shore. DO NOT EXCEED MORE THAN 2500 RPM IN REVERSE!!
NOTE: Always back your boat at least five (5) boat lengths from the shore before changing gears to forward. If you are too close to shore when changing directions, the stern could swing into the shore and damage the propeller.
The propane equipment on the bow of the houseboat and the Bar B Q grill is an area of importance. It is important that all houseboat guests are aware of the location of the propane tanks aboard the houseboat and know how to shut them off. Prior to refueling at any location, make sure that the propane tanks are turned OFF and all doors and windows are closed. Allow ample time for all fumes to dissipate before re opening propane lines and lighting propane equipment.
If the characteristic odor of gasoline or propane fumes is detected at any time for an unreasonable length of time, make certain immediate action is taken to eliminate any open flame within the area. Shut OFF the supply source. Occasionally a propane odor exists momentarily as pilots or burners are turned on. If the odor persists, shut OFF the source.
All houseboats have a 12 volt battery system for starting the engines and providing accessory power for the lighting system and lake water pump. The inboard engines provide recharging capability, however, care should be observed not to overuse the 12 volt system. Accessories should be turned OFF when not in use. Your cabin lights and accessories are powered by both 12 volt batteries and a 110 volt generator. When the generator is operating, and the battery charger breaker is ON, the boat battery is being charged, which operates lights, stereo, VHF radio, etc.
The 56 foot and 65 foot houseboats are equipped with two refrigerators, one is electric and runs off of the generator, the other is propane. We suggest that you use your propane refrigerator for meat and perishable items, that way you do not need to run the generator all of the time. The propane refrigerator will run when your generator is turned off.
The 70 foot ,75 foot and 85 foot houseboats are equipped with home style refrigerators.
Also, a helpful hint is when you are loading your refrigerators do not put warm items in them. This will rapidly bring down the inside temperature of any refrigerator and it can take as long as 24 hours to bring the temperature back down inside.
We suggest that you use our two large ice coolers on the bow of your houseboat to ice down any items first that are warm. It is also a great place to keep beverages the entire time.
Remember the more items in your refrigerator the longer it will stay cold. Also remember the more you open the door the warmer the refrigerator will get.
Except for the Bar B Q, stove and (1) refrigerator, which are propane,our 56 foot and 65 foot houseboats are equipped with all electrical appliances, water heater, microwave, air conditioner, heater and 1 refrigerator, all of which run off the generator.
On our 75 foot and 85 foot houseboats all appliances are electrical and run off an inverter system. If you turn off the generator they will continue to run for approximately 8 hours and then you will need to run the generator again to recharge the batteries.
The air conditioning and heating system on the houseboat is a heat pump, similar to many household systems. The operation of the air conditioning & heating system is described in the operations manual and will be explained in detail during your orientation.
The toilets on the 56 foot, 65 foot and 70 foot houseboats are easy to operate but the procedures must be followed carefully. The vessel is equipped with a 300 gallon holding tank. Depress the flush button to flush the toilet. HOLD IT DOWN FOR APPROXIMATELY 20 SECONDS. Our 75 foot houseboats are equipped with a single electronic button that only needs to be depressed once and the electronics will take care of the rest. Our 85 foot houseboat has a drop system that is the same as a RV. The unit actually grinds the waste prior to entering the holding tank. Like a garbage disposal. Therefore it is important to never put anything into the toilet except human waste and small amounts of single ply biodegradable toilet paper supplied of the houseboat. No Tampons, Rubbers, Q-tips, Dental Floss etc. Also important is to flush long enough to clear the toilet of all materials. Any other type of paper or foreign object will/may result in a clogged toilet and or holding tank. Charges will apply if this happens. Lake water is used for the operation of your toilet. Do not use any cleaning agent in the toilet. Do not pour or discard any chemical into the toilet. THIS CAN CAUSE A DANGEROUS CHEMICAL REACTION.
Your houseboat has a water slide that can provide hours of fun and enjoyment. For your safety do not use the water slide when the houseboat is in operation or moving or at any dock or marina. CHILDREN SHOULD BE SUPERVISED AT ALL TIMES WHEN USING THE WATER SLIDE. ENGINES AND GENERATOR MUST BE TURNED OFF WHEN SWIMMING OR USING THE WATER SLIDE.
NOTE: AVOID SERIOUS INJURY !!
ENGINES AND GENERATOR MUST BE TURNED OFF WHILE SWIMMING OR WADING AROUND HOUSEBOATS OR OTHER BOATS.
Turn OFF the stereo
Turn OFF the VHF Radio/optional
Check to be sure the running lights and engine compartment blower switches are turned OFF Check upper helm to make sure all switches are OFF.
Remove the key from the ignition & place on the dash.
Walk from the front to the back of the boat. Check to make sure all lights are turned OFF.
Double check your mooring lines, they should be taught and secure, and properly tied to their stakes. Make sure the stakes are secure.
Do not tie ski boats to the railings of the houseboat. Our staff can instruct you on the proper cleat tying of small craft to the houseboat.
Loud music and offensive noise is NOT PERMITTED Please be courteous to other boaters.
Driving a houseboat while intoxicated is illegal and is enforced. DON'T DRINK & DRIVE
Do not operate your houseboat after dark. This is very dangerous and may result in the loss of your rental.
The engine compartment is off limits to our guests.
Houseboat races and tying houseboats together is not permitted.
Water bombs or balloons are STRICTLY PROHIBITED ON ANY Lake Havasu Houseboat.
Firearms and fireworks are PROHIBITED on any Lake Havasu Houseboat.
Sorry but we do allow any pets.
Returning your Houseboat
After a great vacation on Lake Havasu you return your Houseboat to the Nautical Docks at the Nautical Inn. Boats are due back by 2:00 PM on your last day. (12:00 noon if your rental falls in our Spring Break period, 3/1 though 4/15) Contact our boat manager for any special arrangements on a case to case basis. That means you should have your boat cleaned up as you would your home, with your trash and personal belongings off the boat. There is a charge for houseboats that are returned dirty or with unwashed dishes. This includes the inside and outside of the houseboat. (we will handle the window cleaning and scrubbing the outside of the boat)
You must be back at the Resort by your designated return time or you may lose your deposit PLUS a pro rated charge to compensate the next customer.
Please bring all of your trash back to the docks and dispose of it properly. Never throw any trash or food into the water. Your assistance in this effort to keep the lake beautiful will make the area better for the next person to visit and better for you the next time you come.
After your boat is docked and cleared out, it will be fueled and checked off by a dock attendant. You can then return to the rental office to complete your paperwork and get back your deposit. We also offer express checkout. We will fuel, inspect your boat, and refund your deposit by mail or credit card within 14 days. This is a handy option if you're in a hurry to get back on the road.
Travel Tip: Today more people are opting to stay an extra day at the Nautical Inn Resort after their houseboat trip and prior to heading home. This allows everyone to relax a bit after returning their boat. There are a number of dining and nightlife options in Lake Havasu.