How Do Houseboat Timeshares Work? | LakeWizard

Good news! You don't have to splurge on a houseboat to get the benefits of one. That's what houseboat timeshares are for! But how do houseboat timeshares work?

When it comes to a houseboat timeshare, all you have to do is pay a monthly or annual fee to use the houseboat either after making a reservation or for an agreed time each year. What's more, houseboat timeshares generally feature well-maintained houseboats and are better than rentals.

The good news is that houseboat timeshares are easily accessible at a variety of marinas and docks and even small houseboat communities around the world. But surprisingly, there are still many folks who are interested in houseboats but do not have a clue about houseboat timeshares and how houseboat timeshares work.

As experts in the industry and owners of houseboats, we feel compelled to spread this information to as many people as possible to ensure that more and more individuals who want to live close to the water know about houseboat timeshares.

Table of contents


What Is a Houseboat Timeshare?

A houseboat timeshare is a relatively new concept, and most people haven't heard of it because they aren't readily available worldwide. People may be familiar with the notion of timeshare holidays, which is comparable to the concept of a houseboat timeshare.

A houseboat timeshare, on the other hand, is a notion in which a timeshare owner might opt to trade his or her banked time (or points, as the case may be) for a lavish week onboard a beautiful houseboat.

Houseboat timeshares function similarly to regular timeshares in that you pay a monthly or yearly fee and have access to the houseboat for a specified period of time each year or when you make a reservation. There may be many houseboats available in a given timeshare that you may pick from in various areas.

As with other timeshares, you'll need to put down a significant amount of cash up front. It is also important to remember that there are also other additional costs that you need to be aware of when it comes to houseboat timeshares - you will also have to pay yearly maintenance and upkeep costs.

Depending on the timeshare, these fees might range from basically nothing to a lot of money. Because of the additional costs of houseboat timeshares, it is not uncommon for some individuals to buy a houseboat with their friends and family and split the costs, although this is more like a partnership than a timeshare and is frequently more expensive upfront.

Timeshare vs. Houseboat Rental

Now it is time to answer the elephant-sized question in the room. When it comes to houseboats, many folks are just not ready to purchase their own houseboat willy nilly. To get a taste of what life on a houseboat could feel like, potential houseboat owners tend to go for a houseboat rental or timeshare. But which one is better?


What you should know about rental houseboats is that they are subjected to a lot of wear and tear over the season. The turnaround time is fairly swift. Even though the houseboats are intended to be returned clean, standards might differ depending on the marina. Sadly, this happens because the marina team does not have time to inspect each and every houseboat before it is released.

The size of the boat you rent doesn't necessarily make a difference. You could get one that is in excellent shape one trip and one that needs some repair the next. However, it is impossible to expect to have a 4-star experience on a rented houseboat, regardless of size.

On the other hand, your experience with a houseboat timeshare will be far better. Because the owners have a financial incentive in keeping the houseboat in good shape, a timeshare-based houseboat will be in better shape. It's used by the same folks all of the time.

Some timeshares are managed by a business that can come in and handle maintenance issues. There's also an expectation among owners about how the houseboat needs to be maintained and cared for. This generally means that houseboat timeshares are normally in far better condition than a regular houseboat rental.

To be honest, even if you weren't staying in a condo or a hotel, you'd have to spend a significant amount of money to have a relaxing vacation. Yes, a houseboat might be costly, but we believe it is well worth the investment. You will be provided with suitable accommodations, all required facilities, cooking equipment, and personal staff at all times (on some of them).

What's more, you have the option of making preferred stops based on the areas you want to see. So, what's not to enjoy about that? It's like a typical vacation, but with a little more excitement and a lot more fun.


The location also plays a big part when it comes to finding houseboat timeshares. For instance, they only allow shared ownership and don't allow timeshares at Lake Powell. Houseboat timeshares in lakes and marinas are usually managed by professional management companies that require paying a fee. But, you do get two weeks/year and additional off-season weeks at a discounted rate.

This means that the overall cost of the houseboat timeshare becomes significantly less in the long run. However, although you still technically "own" part of the houseboat, it is not quite like going in with a few other people you kinda know and then trying to work things out.

Number of Owners

One of the first questions that folks looking to get a houseboat timeshare is - how many owners is too much? Although having fewer owners may appear to be an advantage to some, that is not always necessarily the case. The key justification for having fewer owners is that the houseboat will have to deal with less wear and tear that comes with time but can be speeded up when multiple owners are using a single houseboat at various times of the week or year.

On the other hand, there are also those houseboat owners who are quick to point out the flaw with this reasoning in that it completely ignores the fact that the houseboat is still going to be on the lake for the same amount of days every year, regardless of how many owners are on board. That being said, for obvious reasons, having fewer users of the houseboat can minimize the chances of damage to the houseboat.

To make an argument for those who are in favor of having more owners of the houseboat, the buy-in price is relatively lower when there are more people involved. This means that you will be able to acquire a share at a considerably lower price if the cost of a new boat is split with 10 other owners rather than just 3.

Additionally, while yearly maintenance, administration, and slip rental rates are the same regardless of the number of owners a houseboat has, your annual dues will be significantly lower with more owners sharing the expense, which further drops the amount of money you need to spend on having your very own houseboat. Furthermore, if a major component on the houseboat ever needed to be replaced or repaired, the cost would also be split among more owners, lowering everyone's liability.

Do You Need Experience to Drive a Houseboat Timeshare? 

So, the next obvious question will be, do you need experience when going for a houseboat timeshare?

Well, the quick answer is - no. Owners with no prior expertise are given the requisite training by a USCG-approved trainer, as needed by insurance and GCNRA requirements. Hundreds of journeys are successfully performed by amateur house-boaters each year with an attitude of always having the passengers' safety and the well-being of the boat in mind. Houseboat timeshares offer each new owner a welcome packet with advice on how to properly operate their boat once they purchase their share.

There is also a team that will be there to help you with any questions you may have before, during, or after your trip. Finally, the houseboat management business is always on hand at the marina to help you with any issues and may even send a representative up the lake if necessary.