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Thread: Houseboating Powell

  1. #1

    Houseboating Powell

    I'm looking to plan a houseboat trip on Lake Powell and have a few questions. I've heard speeds are generally about 6 mph; does this sound right? And that they generally get 1 mile per gallon? Given that, how far do people reasonably travel? If we wanted to do Clear Creek (canyoneering), it seems like we might want to houseboat to somewhere around Dangling Rope (35 mi, or 27 through Castle Cut from Wahweap) and then take the ski boat the remaining 20 miles to Hole in the Rock. At 6 mph, that seems like about 6 hours, which seems like a reasonable day -- do more experienced boaters think this will work out? If not, what is a reasonable distance for a houseboat to travel in a day?

    How much harder is it to drive a houseboat after 3pm but before dark (recommendations generally say to dock by then)?

    The information I've seen suggests there aren't usually any good places to put a houseboat in Cathedral Canyon or Mountain Sheep Canyon -- is that true?

    How dangerous is it to take a small (16.5') IO up the smaller canyons? How likely is it that I'll smack my outdrive on something while underway?

    How difficult is it to find a good houseboat-dockable campsite on a summer weekend?

    Any other multi-day Powell boating tips?

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  3. #2
    I rented a 17 ft runabout and took my wife and daughter boat camping. Badly damaged the prop on the first day, back to marina, fixed next am for only cost of a cheapie prop, no more problems after that - go for it

  4. #3
    Bogley BigShot oldno7's Avatar
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    Castlerock cut is not, and will not be open this year. The trip around is much longer. Each houseboat is different in size/weight/occupants/gear/etc, etc.So a general mpg is difficult to come up with. If your destination is the Escalante, there is camping in and around this arm of the lake. I would do it in 2 days(from the South). You always have to stop at DR to fuel when traveling a long distance. Keep in mind--if the wind is blowing, which is the rule not the exception in the afternoon, your mpg will go WAY down. Try to be beached and TIED OFF with your houseboat by early afternoon. There is a lot of competition for campsites, showing up later in the afternoon to a destination is a sure way not to have one.
    Just above DR is Oak canyon, several campsites there, further up Llewelyn/Cottonwood/Davis/50 mile etc. All have good but limited camping.
    Mountain sheep has many campsites but is not very protected.
    You can destroy a outdrive and/or a prop at any time on Powell, There are many hard to detect underwater features.
    I'm not Spartacus


    Boycotting imlay canyon gear because I value access

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  6. #4
    I am in the same boat (no pun intended). We just booked a 4 day trip on the 75 foot houseboat Excursion out of Wahweap for mid September. Having never done the houseboat thing, I can't quite come up with guesstimate on how much fuel we are going to burn from Wahweap to the gunsight area. We have one 21 foot boat and 2 waverunners that will probably be towed. Any advice? The boat has twin 220 HP motors

  7. #5
    I couldn't even give a close estimate on running a small boat. I have had some days/trips where we really burned fuel and then this recent one I used less in 3 days than 1 day in previous trips. Depends on how many hours pulling a tube, trying to teach someone to wakeboard, etc. So if I can't guess on a 21 ft boat I would be way off for your beast. However, you will have small craft that can make an emergency fuel run if you get into trouble so you won't have to worry quite as much about hitting "Bingo fuel" as you would without one.

    Like ON7 said, it will depend on wind and how loaded down you are, etc. Now, a 75 ft, twin engine, high profile, pulling other craft....... that will take some navigation skills. I hope you have just such a person.

    Please post a TR wth pics when you are done. I would appreciate hearing how it goes. I am jealous.

  8. #6
    When we were out there in 2004, we rented the 75' Excursion. We left Wahweap around 4pm and made it to Dungeon Canyon before it started getting dark and we were towing a jet ski and boat behind us. The next day, we made it all the way up to Little Oak Canyon, which is a perfect spot to jump off and use the small boat to head to Clear Creek. Little Oak is also close to Rainbow Bridge and Hole in the Rock. Very convenient and some nice sites to anchor to. We refueled in Dangling Rope on the way back, then made it to Lone Rock in pretty short order in one day.
    So, to answer your basic question, if you left early enough in the day, you could easily make it from Wahweap to Little Oak Canyon by evening during daylight saving time before the sun went down. Depending on fuel capacity on the boat you're renting, you can do it without getting gas on the way up.
    Mountain guy trapped in the wetlands of Florida.

  9. #7
    Bogley BigShot
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    I love boating. This sounds fun.

  10. #8

    Houseboating Powell

    Nice vid Is Powell always that empty? Theres this beautiful waterway in the middle of the desert, and no ones there.

  11. #9
    Bogley BigShot oldno7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michaelpoish View Post
    Nice vid Is Powell always that empty? Theres this beautiful waterway in the middle of the desert, and no ones there.
    Rarely anyone ever there,just a big chunk of concrete in the desert
    I'm not Spartacus


    Boycotting imlay canyon gear because I value access

    Professional Mangler of Grammar

    Guns don't kill people--Static Ropes Do!!

    Who Is John Galt?

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by oldno7 View Post
    Rarely anyone ever there,just a big chunk of concrete in the desert
    Love that place!

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