This summer I decided to plan a week long summer trip on a houseboat. I selected Beaver Creek Marina at Lake Cumberland in Kentucky because it was a very large body of water (1255 miles of shoreline) with plenty of room to explore and it was only about a six hour drive from our home. On the trip were a total of five adults and 12 teenagers so we decided to go for two houseboats that sleep 10 people each. We also wanted a ski boat for daily activities.
While surfing the web I came across a company that seemed to have decent prices but I decided to call a few other places. The company that I chose to rent from had an awesome internet special of about $800 per boat for a Monday PM through Friday AM rental period. This is a great deal because their published rates are about three times as much! The ski boat rental was about the same rate as both boats combined.
The boat provided the opportunity to pretty much move in with just your toothbrush, clothing and food. Did I say “JUST” food? This is a whole other chapter! Aboard the boat; a full kitchen, linens for the beds, dishes for eating and cooking, a grill with propane, 2 very large ice chests and even an optional hot tub. The furniture was nice and in addition to an indoor dining table (and living room), there was a patio set on the deck. Everything was very clean and well taken care of.
Driving the boat was an adventure! Before we left the Marina, we all watched a video that taught us a little bit about driving the boat and operating the boat in general. I would have liked a little more instruction but it all worked out well! The biggest problem was finding a place on shore that we could tie up to (boulders and trees), especially since we had two houseboats. We managed this with minor stress and event. Leaving our little areas was also filled with a bit of low grade stress and some yelling but it all worked out and we didn’t lose any of our deposit and no one was injured!
During the day we took in sun on the top deck (the roof of the houseboat), we floated around in the water, we swam or paddled (on an inflatable boat with paddles) to islands or other shores, we water skied, went knee boarding , wakeboarding and inner tubing. There were card games, reading times and writing times. There’s an opportunity for EVERYONE to enjoy themselves on a houseboat trip!
We were required to run the generator for about 10 hours per day so during this time we cooked and ran the air conditioner. This is also prime time to take showers because the water gets heated. Our group didn’t take showers all week long! We taught the kids to take lake showers. Yes, you lather up and then jump off the top of the roof or slide down the water slide. YES! We had a waterslide! The most difficult part is shaving. Plus it’s like taking a bath with 20 of your closest friends. If this isn’t your thing (but trust me, it feels amazing), there were two bathrooms aboard the boat, including one with a shower. It’s a good thing we took lake showers because just with our cooking and cleaning our fresh water tank went dry on one of the boats on the last day. This would have been easily rectified by returning to the marina but we didn’t want to since it was our last day and the other boat still had fresh water.
In addition to our unconventional showering practices, we slept on the roof of the houseboats despite the 5 double sized beds on the boat. It’s beautiful sleeping outside! You have no idea how many stars there are until you do that! Even if you don’t live in the city, there are still trillions more stars than you even know! The first night was a bit dewy so we woke up with some moisture on our sleeping bags (yes, you have to bring your own sleeping bags if you plan on sleeping outside). The second night we were as dry as a bone. The third night there had been a rain storm all day so the roof was pretty wet. Five of us slept up top anyway. We watched a glorious lightening storm in the distance as we fell asleep. A couple hours later the storm was upon us and we had to retreat indoors. The final night there were three of us who slept outside. A storm rolled in during the early hours of the morning but there was no lightening and we were under a canopy since there were only three of us, so we remained outdoors. This was also a beautiful experience.
I used Marinas International for booking the boats and they were wonderful! We were well taken care of from the moment I called them for information. I have not been paid or compensated in any way to tell you about my trip. I just thought this information might be helpful for others.
My name is Katy Mann, and I'm the creator of Indy with Kids. With over 10 years of experience working with children, and my excitement towards the great city of Indianapolis; I offer readers guidance about great events and activities to do around Indianapolis with their kids and grandchildren. Join us on our family travels and adventures across the country!