How To Tie Up Houseboat | LakeWizard

When you're not using your houseboat, what do you do with it? Tie it up where it's docked, of course. But how do you tie up a houseboat? 

Before tying up a houseboat, you need to first choose the right spot and prep the boat. Once that's done, you can tie the boat. Anchor the boat to the marina at a 45-degree angle, or if you're docking at the beach, dig holes in the sand and bury the anchors in these holes. 

Getting familiar with how you should tie up a houseboat is also an important skill to know if you plan on buying or renting a houseboat. After all, while you're going to live on a houseboat, that's not going to be your permanent residence. As such, you need to know how to tie up a houseboat, so you can keep it secure when it's not in use.

If you want to know how to tie up a houseboat, who better to ask than the experts (that's us). With many years of experience in cruising and living in houseboats, we are in the ideal position to guide new houseboat owners and vacationers on the correct way to tie up a houseboat. Let's get started.

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Cover the Basics

Living or vacationing in a houseboat can be loads of fun, but it also requires some responsibility, one of which is knowing how to tie up and secure the houseboat when you're ashore. However, you can easily secure your houseboat whenever you want to go to shore with the right knowledge and practice. The following are some of the factors you will need to consider when tying your houseboat properly.

  • Choose the perfect spot
  • Prepare the boat
  • Tie the houseboat

All three of these factors are crucial when you are looking to tie up your houseboat safely. If you are going on a houseboat for the first time, you will really need to focus on these three areas to make sure you get it right.

How to Tie Up a Houseboat

When you plan on taking a long trip in a houseboat, there are certain things that you will need to consider, one of which is finding the right spot to drop anchor or tie your houseboat.

Choose the Perfect Spot

Finding the right spot to dock your houseboat will be a lot of work if you will be going up and down in the vessel. This is why experienced houseboat owners tend to have another small boat ready which they use to inspect the area for the perfect spot for docking the houseboat. That being said, if you are familiar with the area, such as the river or lake you're on, then you will already know of the spots where you can dock to spend the night.

When looking for a spot to tie the houseboat, make sure that the water is not too shallow, or the boat could run aground and get stuck. To get a good idea of your surroundings, it is also important to start your search for the perfect spot while it is still bright. This will not only help you find the best spot for docking the houseboat, but it will allow you to see the depth of the area as well, which is difficult after sunset.

Prepare the Boat

To prepare the houseboat, you must first switch off the generator. This is so that it doesn't sink in the sand. Since houseboats do not have brakes like other boats, you need to ensure that you're not going too fast and miss the docking area. Slowing down the speed will also help avoid a collision.

Tie the Houseboat

Once you get the houseboat to the area where it is to be docked, you have to secure it so that it won't drift away. Throw the ropes to the beach and make sure that each of them is angled away from the boat and far inland so that the tide won't end up covering the anchors. When burying the anchors on the beach, make sure that the holes are at least 3 feet deep to keep the boat secure.

Depending on where you are, you will either have to dig holes in the sand to secure the anchors before burying them or just tie the boat to the harbor or marina. When beaching a houseboat, make sure there are no people on the back deck since that added weight would impact the procedure. Also, when tying the ropes, make sure you begin in the direction of the wind so the ropes don't come loose if the wind gets too strong. In case you were wondering, the correct angle for tying the roles is 45 degrees from the boat itself.

It is also important to respect the area where you will be docking the houseboat. Fill in the holes on the beach with sand before you leave, and the area will appear as if you were never there. This is how burying anchors in the sand for a short period of time will keep the place unaffected for future generations, which is a requirement for all NPS (National Park Service) sites.

It is also wise to get familiar with the local rules and regulations where you will be staying just to make sure you don't get into hot water with the law.


Brian Samson

Brian Samson

I have a deep love of houseboating and the life-changing experiences houseboating has brought into my life. I’ve been going to Lake Powell on our family’s houseboat for over 30 years and have made many great memories, first as a child and now as a parent. My family has a passion for helping others have similar fun, safe experiences on their houseboat.

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