Blue Heron in the 1000 islandsBelow are many of the frequently asked questions about houseboat rentals from Houseboat Holidays. If there is something we missed, just call us. Because if you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Hey…that sounds kinda catchy…wait a minute…somebody’s already using that.

Do I need a boating license?

No. You fill out a renter’s checklist before departing. (It’s really about common sense and safety.) Once completed we will issue a temporary license good for your trip. If you want to get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card, you can take the course and test online.

Do I need boating experience?

No. Before we send you out on your way, we provide instruction and make sure you’re comfortable with your houseboat. We’ll show you how to read buoys and channel markers and instruct you on boating courtesy and safety. 

What do we bring?

We supply most of what you’ll need but you need to bring:
_ Food and beverages
_ towels
_ binoculars (not necessary but really useful)
_paper towels
_oven mitts
_dish washing soap

Click here for more information and suggestions on what to bring.

How do we recharge our cell phones?

Your houseboat has 12 volt batteries and there is a cigarette lighter connection. We supply an inverter for charging devices such as cell phones, laptops or tablets. If you have any questions on inverters, call us. We love talking about stuff like that.

Are pets allowed?

Yes, Fido, Foo-Foo or Felix the Cat are most certainly welcome. We reserve the right to charge $50 for additional cleaning, if required. Most times, it is not necessary. Just use common sense. It would probably not be a good idea to bring an un-neutered male cat in heat or a pet skunk.

Can we travel in US waters?

Yes.You only need to clear US Customs if you plan to go on US shore (for instance, if you plan to visit Boldt Castle). Check the US Customs website for details on entering the US.

Is it hard to find gas?

In the high season, there are several spots to get gas or a pump out. We have marked these on the chart that is in your boat. In early spring or late fall, it’s always wise to check ahead to see who is open and their hours. And you don’t have to fill up before you return. We will deduct the fuel charge from your deposit. Also note that gas at our marina (Clark’s Marina) usually costs a little less than at the main marinas on the river.

How much will gas cost?

The cost of gas depends on how much motoring you do but we have found that gas costs range between $200 and $300. That will get you easily to Boldt Castle and all points in between. 

If I have a problem, what should I do?

We are never more than a phone call away. If you encounter a problem, chances are we will be able to help you sort it out right over the phone. If not, we will have someone come out immediately to help you out. Depending on where you are on the river, we should be to able to get to you within an hour or less.

Do I need a fishing license to fish?

This may sound like a typical government response but sometimes yes, sometimes no, depending where and how you’re fishing. Check with Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources.

Do you supply maps?

Absolutely. We don’t want you getting lost! On every boat there are charts (maps) for the Thousand Islands region covering from just west of us at Clark’s marina to just east of Singer Castle (Dark Island) and charts for the Rideau Canal are available on request.

What about insurance?

You’re covered. Our fleet is fully insured with a $2,500 deductible. For a nominal fee you can purchase additional insurance to reduce your deductible to $100. Obviously, this additional insurance must be purchased before you depart. But wouldn’t it be great if we could buy additional insurance only if we needed it? Like after an incident?

How do I keep the kids entertained?

“Are we there yet” is the question most vacationing parents dread. However, in the Thousand Islands, it’s almost as if there is no there here. Around every corner there is another surprise. (Don’t let one of those surprises be a shoal you didn’t know about.) Have the kids watch for osprey and check out there nests made either in or by some the river’s navigational lights. Have them watch for loons and cormorants. Can they tell the difference? For that matter, can you? From a distance, the profile of a cormorant can look like that of a loon. But loons are very territorial so you won’t see them in groups or flocks. There are lots of way to keep the kids thrilled for your entire vacation in the 1000 Islands. Check out our kids’ page on some suggestions.

What if we get lost?

Shame on you! We gave you charts and everything! Truth of the matter is, it is easy to lose sight of where one island ends and another starts. Is that a channel around this corner or is it a bay? That’s why it’s a good idea to keep an eye on where you are at all times. You see the link for the Navionics app over in the right side of this website? We can’t recommend getting this app strongly enough and no, we’re not getting paid to sell it (although we should look into that). However, if you don’t have the app and have lost track or where you are, look for other boats and if you can, follow them. Chances of both of you being lost are slim. And look for the channel markers. They each have their own number and they’re on the chart you weren’t watching closely enough.

What time is the midnight buffet?

Seriously. Apparently that is a question that was supposedly asked on a cruise ship.

What if it rains?

You’re on the best boat to enjoy the show weather can give here on the Thousand Islands. You don’t have to hide down in the hold like people do on most boats. And even in the rain, the Thousand Islands is one of the most beautiful places on earth. As you get closer to the time of your trip, watch the weather. If it is predicting rain on a particular day, that might be a good day to take advantage of any indoor sites you plan to see like touring Boldt Castle. There is no limit to how long you can stay and the castle is pretty big to explore.

Are there ghosts on the Thousand Islands?

Absolutely. And ghost stories, too. There are plenty of books on the history of the Thousand islands written by a variety of local authors. Of course, no history is complete without the occasional mystery and ghost story. If you find one of these books, bring it along with your other reading material. Kids love to be read ghost stories before they go to sleep. What’s up with that?