PACKING & PLANNING TIPS
Beyond the advice on Lake Roosevelt Adventures’ website (which is awesome), we like Houseboat Magazine’s Rental Guide. Beyond these resources, we would like to emphasize a couple of points. When packing, soft sided baggage works better than the roller bags you see cruising through the airport. (Example: Use your soft-sided ski boot bags) Obviously, once you unpack, you can jam the bag in the closet, under the bed or wherever. To echo a point made elsewhere on our website, PACK LIGHT! You will live in t-shirts and bathing suits. For our guests visiting in June or September, don’t forget a layering option like a sweatshirt & jeans for the evening hours around the campfire.
Here is a list of prohibited items:
-Illegal drugs or other substances
-Hairdryers & Coffee Makers (Explorer Class only)
-Keep in mind that our boats are all NON-SMOKING. That applies to the top deck as well.
MEAL PLANNING TIPS
As for meal planning, we have found that it works best to get together ahead of time and choose meals and assign days that each family/couple/person will “serve” the houseboat. For example, when my group vacations, my wife and I prepare each meal for a particular day. We buy the food, snacks, everything for each day we’re designated. I break out all the stops! I take pride in what I choose to serve…so does everyone else…Needless to say, we eat well! The term “Keeping up with the Jones’” comes to mind. The days we serve are busy, I won’t lie, but the rest of the time, we sit back, relax & enjoy!
For community needs, especially Costco items (Condiments, water, beer, meats, etc.) designate one person to go to Costco. Keep your receipts, pool everything at the end, and divide the cost equally.
ARRIVAL TO THE MARINA AND LOADING THE HOUSEBOAT
When you pull into Seven Bays, follow the road to the left along the water. Immediately after the large Pine trees, you will notice our houseboat dock (before the boat launch.)
Please pull over to the left. Don’t block the boat launch. This will be especially important for those of you around the marina on Fridays and Saturdays. Introduce yourself to the staff on the houseboat dock. Darrell and Lyle are the managers on site. They will tell you which houseboat you’re on and if it’s ready or not. If it is, you will be allowed to board and start unloading your luggage. If it is not clean, don’t be mad! Instead, go have an ice cream or a cold beer at the marina store. While you’re there, check out the clothes, hats, local art and much more. When your boat is ready, you will be notified immediately.
Once you’re given the green light, use the marina’s carts (located by boat launch) to expedite loading. If you plan to bring a ski boat, put as much stuff as possible in the boat. Launch your ski boat immediately, pull it over to the back of your houseboat and unload from there. After your car is unloaded, immediately move it to the houseboat customer parking lot. This is straight ahead, past the boat launch. This is a private (secured) lot just for you, so don’t park up above by the store. Be considerate of others in the lot, especially if you have a boat trailer!
HOUSEBOAT ORIENTATION AND DEPARTURE
Prior to departure, you will be given a houseboat orientation tour, systems briefing, and safety briefing. This is a challenging time because there is a lot going on. Please be patient and pay attention. Designate someone else to go to the store to get ice for the freezer and ice chests. Designate people to park the cars, launch the ski boats, jet skis, etc. While all that is going on, the Captain and assistants need to be mentally present during the orientation. After the Carbon monoxide briefing, you will be driven out of the marina, given a short lesson on beaching, then turned loose on the open water. At no point will you be allowed to drive the houseboat inside a marina boundary line. This includes the time out on the lake. Trust me, you don’t want that responsibility.
WHILE ON THE LAKE…
Every houseboat trip takes on a life of it’s own…have fun, take care of each other, and take care of the boat. Please keep in mind the remote location of Lake Roosevelt. This is likely why you came to the lake in the first place, but also requires a slight adjustment to your bravery meter. Roosevelt has miles of great beach. That said, don’t wait until dusk to find one. Be conservative! It takes longer to get the boat secured for the night than you might think. You will be shown how to beach the houseboat during your orientation. These guys are good, so pay attention to their technique.
GENERATOR USAGE (Galaxy & Nova Class)
Our houseboats require about 2-3 hours of generator operation daily to keep the battery system charged. During your orientation, you will be instructed when to turn the generator on. The power meter is color coded (Green-Good, Yellow-Getting Depleted, Red-Charge Now). It’s very easy to manage, but always follow the placarded generator operating instructions STEP BY STEP. Many systems can be run for hours on battery power, while certain systems, like the hot tub jets, dishwasher, and Air Conditioner require the generator to function. The Generator operation will be made clear during your tour of the houseboat. DO NOT EVER SWIM NEAR THE BACK OF THE HOUSEBOAT WHILE THE GENERATOR IS RUNNING.
CELL PHONE COVERAGE ON LAKE ROOSEVELT & EMERGENCY VHF COMMUNICATION
Cell phone coverage on the lake gets better every year. Besides voice coverage, many areas now feature Edge or 4G Data Networks. The largest gaps in coverage exist between the Seven Bays Marina and Keller Ferry Marina or north of Hunters, WA (approx. 28 miles North of 7Bays). Even these known gaps in coverage shrink every year. In fact, the gap in coverage between Seven Bays and Keller Ferry is non-existent for AT&T customers. Cell phones are a better means of emergency communication when compared to VHF.
For Nova & Galaxy Class guests, your houseboat is equipped with VHF Marine Radio. This radio is monitored during the day. Use channel 16 for emergencies and initiating contact only. Channel 2 (not 02) is available for weather forecasts. THE EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBER FOR SEVEN BAYS IS (509) 725-7229. DO NOT CALL THE 800# USED FOR RESERVATIONS.
On the last day of your vacation, you need to be floating outside Seven Bays’ log boom at 10:00am SHARP! We charge a hefty fine ($250.00/hr) if you’re late, so please be timely. While your driving towards the marina on your last day, we recommend everyone be packing, and cleaning. Light cleaning supplies will be provided. To be clear, we don’t expect you to return the houseboat as perfect (clean/sterile) as it was when you boarded. For example, don’t waste your time washing off the fore/aft/bridge decks. Between vacations, we use a pressure washer on the houseboat’s exterior, hot tub & decks. This is much more effective than the hoses on the houseboats. Those are provided for use during your vacation to keep a handle on the sand, dust, spilled food, etc.
Please be aware, if you return the boat in filthy condition (sand, dishes, spills, garbage left aboard), we will charge you. We hate charging this fee, so please be considerate of our staff and our houseboat.
When you arrive at the log boom , please call “Lake Roosevelt Adventures Operations” on VHF Channel 16 (Nova/Galaxy) or 509-725-7229, which is the Seven Bays Marina. Someone from our staff will come out and drive you into the dock.
(Please note, the marina does not open until 9:00am, so don’t be alarmed if no one answers prior to that hour.)
Once at the fuel dock, send people to the parking lot to get the cars and take them over to the houseboat dock. While fueling is in progress, All trash must be removed from the houseboat. Dumpsters are located by the boat launch. Once your boat is fueled, pay the employee on the dock immediately. From there, you will be driven to the houseboat dock to finish unloading.
If you have time to visit with Lake Roosevelt Adventures’ senior staff, please do so. We love to hear stories, get feedback about the boat, your time on the lake, and your overall experience. Also, we love it when guests post pictures to our Facebook page.
Hopefully this information is helpful. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at:
(800) 816-2431 —– firstname.lastname@example.org