One of the first questions folks ask when it comes to planning a houseboat vacation is how hard is it to get around with a boat?
This question is certainly understandable, as most folks who are new to the expansive Shasta Lake area are also new to the houseboat experience.
If you’ve never driven a boat before, will you have trouble navigating? Will it be hard to learn the ropes of exploring the water?
The good news is that generally speaking if you can drive a car, you can easily drive a houseboat as well. The mechanics regarding speed, steering, and maneuvering around Shasta Lake are virtually the same.
And with hundreds of miles of shoreline and deep waters, Shasta Lake is an ideal destination to get your feet wet with few obstacles.
With that being said, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your vacation is smooth sailing from start to finish.
1. The Driving Experience Can Vary by Boat
You should have no trouble adapting to a houseboat if you have driven a vessel.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all vessels are alike, and larger boats may be a little bit challenging at first for folks who are used to skiffs or smaller watercraft.
Take your time, and familiarize yourself with the new layout and controls to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride throughout.
2. Use Caution When Docking
Docking is often listed as one of the most challenging aspects of exploring the waters.
Luckily at the majority of area docks, there are other folks around or marina staff who can lend a hand in getting your vessel in and out of a slip with little trouble.
3. Follow the Rules of Traffic While on the Water
Just like driving on the highway, there are rules and regulations in place on the water to ensure everyone can enjoy Shasta Lake safely.
- Watch for signs and buoys that provide information on specific regions of Shasta Lake.
- Stick to reasonable speeds.
- Use courtesy when it comes to other vessels, swimmers, fishermen, and anyone relaxing on Shasta Lake.
4. Take a Boater Safety Course!
A boater safety course is easy, inexpensive, and can provide you with plenty of peace of mind you can handle the open water.
There are a number of boater safety courses to choose from, too, including the following:
- https://www.boat-ed.com/california/ $29
- http://www.usps.org/abc/ $39
- http://www.boatus.org/california/ FREE
- http://californiaboatercard.com/ Sign up for a course
Plan a Vacation with Bridge Bay Houseboats
At Bridge Bay Houseboats, we’ll start your vacation with a 1-2 hour orientation. This orientation covers everything you need to know about enjoying your time on the water.
From the basics of boarding to safety on the water, this initial session ensures your getaway is off to a smooth start.
We will provide you with all the info you need to enjoy long and sunny days exploring every corner of this popular vacation destination.