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How to Houseboat

Learn the basics of renting, driving and enjoying a houseboat at Lake Powell.

By Nickole Byrn

For many, the idea of renting a houseboat may seem fun, but actually operating one of these floating domiciles can be daunting. That’s why the folks at Wahweap Marina on Lake Powell decided to begin offering weekend-long classes that will make you feel at ease in the captain’s chair.

“We thought that these classes would be a great opportunity to get people out on a houseboat,” says Kelly Griffin, marketing specialist for Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas, which manages Wahweap Marina as well as numerous activities and lodgings on the lake. “Patrons are able drive the vehicle and operate it before they commit to booking one.”

Houseboating 101 classes are taught by Coast Guard-certified captains who have in-depth knowledge of both the vessels and Lake Powell itself. The multibranch-root shape of the reservoir offers coves and beaches that can trap even the most skilled boater.

Students gain valuable knowledge through a series of interactive lessons that simulate common skills needed to navigate a houseboat and help eliminate the unknown from a future trip. “The hands-on experience is vital, providing behind-the-wheel experience on steering the boat, properly digging anchor holes, tying up other boats and much more,” says Griffin.

“A lot of people seem to be intimidated by the size of the boat, which range from 46 feet to 75 feet in length,” she continues. “But once you get out on the lake and behind the wheel, it’s basically like driving a car on water.”

Package deals for the weekend course begin at $349 for two guests. Included is the Houseboating 101 course, two nights at Lake Powell Resort, daily breakfast and boxed lunches during the class.

For more information on available dates visit


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