Planning a house boating vacation for 16+ people can be fun; kind of like Tetris. Once you’ve mastered it for the first time, you’re excited for the next level. If you’ve never been houseboating before, we have five easy steps to getting ready for smooth sailing.
If you have any questions along the way, our experienced team at Shasta Marina at Packers Bay are happy to help. Just give us a call. We want the toughest part of your trip to be finalizing your guest list. Let’s get started.
Once your guest list is finalized, you’ll want to pick your Captain. Your Captain is a member (or two) of your party who will get the once in a lifetime opportunity to maneuver a houseboat wherever you want to explore on the beautiful waters on Shasta Lake. But not to worry, we offer instructions prior to departure from the marina. As renters of our equipment, Captain’s aren’t required to have the California Boater Card, but we certainly recommend becoming familiar with the rules on the waterways. Visit https://dbw.parks.ca.gov/ to learn more.
Each of our houseboats come with a fully equipped kitchen with all the pots, pans and utensils you’ll need, plus a barbeque grill and an ice chest on the deck for outdoor chilling and grilling. You just need to bring your favorite foods and plenty of it, because the big fun that you’ll be having on the water will bring big appetites.
Some groups like to plan out meals and do “prep cooking” at home. You will spend more time making waves and less time preparing meals on the boat. Most groups rotate chef duties throughout the trip, so one person isn’t sequestered in the kitchen. If you want to prep for houseboat meals like a pro, plan your meals, then order your groceries online for drive-up pick-up on your way to the marina.
You have a week or so on the water – plan to make the most of it! Did you know that there are amazing waterfalls, trails and caverns at Shasta Lake? You can plan your hikes near your overnight stops on your houseboat so you’re only a short distance to your shore line adventure. Make sure to pack your hiking shoes or other shoes for the muddy and sometimes rocky terrain.
Are you going water skiing, tubing or jet skiing? Make sure that you reserve your personal watercraft well in advance of your trip as some weekends sell-out of rental equipment. Or if catching up with a good book is more your speed, don’t forget to throw your favorite title in your luggage.
Bathing suit. Flip flops. Bedding. Towels. Sunscreen and… what else? There’s a trick to bringing “just enough” for a perfect vacation. Each bedroom has storage, but space is limited on a houseboat. You don’t want to bring too many items because you want plenty of play room on the boat. Our insider’s guide at https://shastalake.net/insider/ has a checklist of essential items to bring and make sure that you don’t forget those special items that are essential for your vacation that might not hit the checklist like your favorite board game, binoculars, or hammock.
Should you forget any necessary items like a sweatshirt for the chilly nights, the Shasta Marina gift shop carries a variety of food, clothing and toiletries from apples, to sunglasses to water shoes.
You are packed and ready for your “Best Vacation Ever”. Relax. Enjoy the lake. Spend quality time with your family and friends that are on this adventure with you. If you need gas or ice during your vacation, just come back to the marina and we’ll take care of you. Wi-fi is available at the marina dock. If you want any suggestions of new coves to see or things to do on the lake, ask any one of our staff members. They are happy to share their favorites with you.
Cell phone service on the lake varies depending on the cell phone carrier and the location in the lake. Surprisingly, some of the best reception happens in the middle of the lake, so if you’re trying to upload your favorite pics to your social page, float out to the middle and send. Don’t forget to tag us! We want to see how much fun you’re having too. Have a great trip!