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FAQ

Here’s a list of some of the questions we are frequently asked. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Get in touch with us now! 

COVID-19 Response

New policies and procedures are in place for the 2020 season!

*We will not be providing bedding, pillows or any linens to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Please bring your own*

Operating Procedures & Policies

Rental Packages

  • Weekend package runs Friday to Monday *(If you book Thursday to Sunday, each day will be counted as a weekend rate)*
  • Midweek package runs Monday to Friday
  • Weekly package can be either Monday to Monday or Friday to Friday during Peak Season! *(more flexibility during our off peak seasons)*

*Our check in time is 3pm the day of your reservation and check out is at 9am the day of departure.  Early check-ins are charged a 1/2 day rental fee as well as late check-outs*

Damage Protection Plan

Our optional damage protection plan can be purchased for $35 per night on single outboard Houseboats, $50 per night for twin outboard Houseboats.

*Your homeowner’s and personal boat policies typically DO NOT cover any rental boats.*

Fishing Boats

Do you provide fishing boats?

No, but they are required for safety reasons. You can either bring your own boat, or rent one from us.

How many boats can the houseboat tow?

Houseboats can tow up to 4 boats; however, remember, you are personally responsible for the tie-up, arrangement, and/or potential damages incurred.

*We strongly encourage you to bring your own tow rope (10’-15’ rope) and apparatus along with big bumpers to tie your own boat up behind the houseboat.*

Operating The Houseboat

Do we need a special license?

No special boating license is necessary. You will go through an orientation prior to your departure, covering the houseboat operation and maps.  Please let us know if you do not have any boating experience when you arrive!

Can we hire a driver for the houseboat during our stay?

YES YOU CAN!  Please let us know well in advance so that we may plan our staffing for your stay.  Call or email us for further questions!

Houseboat Equipment

How is the kitchen equipped?

Each kitchen has a refrigerator, freezer, stove, oven, sink, and a gas grill on the deck. All houseboats have enough dishes, glassware, silverware, and steak knives for the number they accommodate. There are also pots, pans, utensils, cutting board, and grill utensils—plenty of standard kitchen items to create a feast for your crew!  We provide kitchen dish soap, new dish scrubber, 2 kitchen dish towels, 2 potholders and garbage bags for all garbage containers on the boat. Unlimited supply of fresh drinking water is supplied via gallon jugs at NO CHARGE.  NO PAPER TOWELS ARE PROVIDED.

How big is the refrigerator?

The refrigerators on the 40′, 42′, 44′, 50′ and 54′ houseboats have an 8 cu. ft. capacity with 2 cu. ft. freezers. The 55′ and 60′ Cruisers have side-by-side refrigerator/freezers, with approximate 9 cu. ft. refrigerator. The 65′ Executive has two 8 cu. ft. refrigerators with freezers. All houseboats also have a cooler (ranging in size from 75qt to 120qt) on the deck, perfect to store your soda and other beverages for quick access.

Does the houseboat we are renting have a TV or microwave?

The 42′, 54′, 55′ and 60′ and 65′ houseboats come equipped with TVs, DVD players, and microwaves. So bring your own movies or bring your own HDMI cable and save for a rainy day!

Does the houseboat have a slide?

Yes, all houseboats have a slide, so don’t forget your towels.

Does the houseboat have a grill?

Yes, all houseboats have a gas grill, so bring on the burgers, kabobs, and brats! (Yes, the propane is provided at no charge!)

What linens are provided?

We provide pillows, pillow cases, sheets and light-weight blankets with each houseboat for the number of beds on each houseboat.  If bringing extra guests, we recommend they bring their own bedding. (2) Kitchen dish towels and (2) pot holders will be provided, although you will need to bring your own bath and/or sun deck towels.

Are there deck chairs on board?

Yes, all houseboats have deck chairs and a table. They do not have lounge chairs, but you may bring them for sunbathing.

How do we make coffee?

The 42′, 50’, 54′, 55′ and 60′ houseboats have electric coffee makers, along with toasters. The 40′, 44′ and 50′ houseboats have stove-top percolators. You will need to bring basket type coffee filters. Remember, you must run your generator to make coffee with an electric coffee maker. Stove-top percolators do not need the use of the generator!

Do we need to bring our own toilet paper?

NO!  In fact, PLEASE do not bring toilet paper!  The houseboat septic system is just like a camper/RV.  We supply the much loved, “special” toilet tissue during your stay.  If you ever need more during your stay, we will gladly provide more at no charge.  Our septic holding tanks are pumped after every stay.  We also provide holding tank deodorant/waste digesting packets if you find your tank odoriferous!

Do we need to bring our own life jackets?

No.  Each houseboat will have the appropriate number of life jackets on-board for each guest. WE DO NOT SUPPLY CHILD LIFE JACKETS.  If you prefer to bring your own favorite life jacket, by all means please feel free to do so. *FIRST AID KITS ON EVERY HOUSEBOAT*

I have a CPAP machine. How can I use it while staying on a houseboat?

Simple! We have a generator on each houseboat. Bring your extension cord to plug into the outlets on the houseboat. Or you can bring a CPAP battery pack if you do not wish to run your generator all night.

Navigating The Lake

Can we go from one end of the lake to the other?

Yes, all 40,000 acres of Lake Vermilion are navigable, from East to West. BRAND NEW in 2018, Hummingbird GPS units on ALL houseboats to make your vacation even more worry-free!  We provide maps with routes highlighted for your convenience.  With over 1200 miles of shoreline on Lake Vermilion, it’s an explorer’s dream!

Can we get a map of your mooring sites?

Maps come standard on every houseboat. If you prefer to have your own, email us so that we can mail you one for a small fee.

Supplies

What do you sell at your base?

We sell leeches (when in season), crawlers, block ice, cube ice, bundles of firewood, and souvenir clothing.

Are there resorts or marinas on the lake that sell bait, ice or groceries?

Yes, there are resorts and marinas that sell bait, ice, and light groceries. You may go to their docks with a small boat; no houseboats allowed into any other resorts or marinas.  Fortune Bay Casino has two dock-slips for our houseboats.  First come-first serve.  Call ahead!

Do you have a hospitality boat?

ABSOLUTELY!  Running short on supplies?  No worries!  We will provide complimentary on the water service runs to your Houseboat(s) on Wednesdays & Saturdays. The service runs provide delivery of needed supplies and garbage pick-up. If we have to go off site to acquire requested supplies, you will be charged a service fee for that time expense. Also, requested service runs any other day of the week will be charged a service fee.

What are some suggested supplies that we should bring?
  • paper towels

  • Ziploc bags or small Tupperware containers (for leftover shore lunch)

  • aluminum foil

  • bath towels/beach towels/extra kitchen dish towels (in case yours get filthy too quickly)

  • hand towel and soap for bathroom (or just a bottle of hand sanitizer)

  • fan (for hot days/nights)

  • extension cord (for generator if you need extra juice)

  • rain gear

  • sunscreen

  • Deet/bug spray

  • deck of cards/games/books (rainy day activity and unplug yourself from technology)

  • your own life jacket if you prefer and definitely a child life jacket since we do not provide

Mooring Sites

There are roughly between 35-40 designated mooring sites along Lake Vermilion’s shorelines to dock the houseboat each night.  You are not allowed to throw anchor in any part of the lake due to buried cables from island to island.  These mooring sites are NOT owned by Lake Vermilion Houseboats. They are PUBLIC sites. Please pay close attention to all signage posted by the DNR and Lake Associations!

Can we have a campfire at the mooring site?

You may have a campfire at designated sites with a campfire ring and posted, as allowed by current conditions.  Please make sure all evidence of any fire is completely out before leaving your mooring site.  Also be kind and leave the site better than when you arrived for the next group.  If you are traveling within MN state lines, you may bring your own firewood or you can purchase bundles from us at the base.

Pets

Do you allow pets?

Yes, OUR PET FEE IS $50 PER DAY PER PET. When making your reservation, please inform us how many pets you intend to bring.  Also our very own dogs live here at the landing; upon arrival please keep Fido in your vehicle until your party has been checked in.  Please keep your pet on a leash at all times for others safety and pick up your pet’s poo!

Fuel

Is fuel for the houseboat included?

No, fuel is not included in the houseboat rental fees. You are responsible for paying fuel that is used during your stay.  We will settle up with your fuel usage at checkout time. DO NOT USE ANY OTHER MARINA FUEL IN OUR EQUIPMENT, by doing so, it could lead to neglect and you could be liable for damages! Our hospitality boat will bring you more fuel for your generator or small rental fishing boat if needed.

How much fuel will we use?

The average fuel consumption for the majority of the houseboats is 10 gallons or less a day. Our larger houseboat fleet with twin 60hp outboards may use up to 15 gallons per day. All our outboards are Mercury 4 stroke, low emissions (brand new in 2019!) Fuel tanks range from 120-250 gallons, more than enough for a week so feel free to cruise all you want!  We will settle up with the fuel upon check out.

Loyalty Program

To become a part of our Loyalty Program, you must stay with us on an annual basis.  Returning guests will qualify for 10% off when they make consecutive reservations with us.  For our very loyal guests that have had 10 years of patronage, they will qualify for an additional discount.

*The 10% loyalty discount cannot be used during our seasonal discounts. Program does have a cap discount amount*

Emergency Information

What do we do if someone in our party is sick or injured while on the lake?

For true emergencies always call 911 first.  For any minor urgency call or text the base. Lake Vermilion has rescue boats on both ends of the lake.

Can our family members contact us while we are on the houseboat with questions or emergency situations?

They can contact the base at 218-753-3548. We will then contact you by phone (call or text) to relay a message.  There is cell phone reception across most of the lake; mobile phone use and wireless access to the web is usually available.  Marine band radios are also on each houseboat if there is no cellular coverage in your area.

Docking at Fortune Bay Casino

Does Fortune Bay Casino and golf course have slips available for the houseboat?

Yes, they have docks created specifically for our houseboats, available at no charge.  During our busiest months of July and August, we highly recommend you call their marina prior to arrival to double check slip availability (218.410.3955). You cannot reserve any dock slips at Fortune Bay Marina.

Cancellation Policy

What if we need to cancel our reservation?

If you need to reschedule your vacation, we can transfer your deposit within the same season or roll it over to the following season. If rolling over to the following season, an additional deposit is required when your dates are confirmed! We will attempt to work with you to reschedule your vacation, within reason, during the same calendar season; however, we cannot guarantee the ability to reschedule. If you need to cancel your reservation all together, we must have a written notification 90 days prior to your arrival date. If you do not reschedule, your deposit and all payments made will be forfeited. All deposits are non-refundable.