Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to frequently asked questions about our houseboat rentals.
Operating the Houseboat
Do we need a special license?
No special boating license is necessary, and we have seen a number of first-time boaters captain the boat like a pro. We go through an orientation prior to your departure, covering the houseboat operation and maps.
Navigating the Lake
Can we go from one end of the lake to the other?
Yes, all 40,000 acres of Lake Vermilion are navigable, from east to west. We provide maps with routes highlighted for your convenience.
Are fishing boats or smaller boats for shore access included with the houseboat rental?
No, but they are required. You can either bring your own boat, or rent one from us.
How many boats can the houseboat tow?
Houseboats can tow up to 4 boats; however, remember, you are personally responsible for the tie-up, arrangement, and/or potential damages incurred.
How is the kitchen equipped?
Each kitchen has a refrigerator, freezer, stove, oven, and sink; and, of course, there is a gas grill on the deck. All houseboats have enough dishes, glassware, silverware, and steak knives for the number they accommodate. There are also pots, pans, utensils, and grill utensils—plenty of items to create a feast for your crew!
How big is the refrigerator?
The refrigerators on the 40', 42', 44', 50' and 54' houseboats have an 8 cu. ft. capacity with 2 cu. ft. freezers. The 55' and 60' Cruisers have side-by-side refrigerator/freezers, with approximate 9 cu. ft. refrigerator. The 60' Executive has two 8 cu. ft. refrigerators with freezers. All houseboats also have a 100 qt. cooler on the deck, perfect to store your soda and other beverages for quick access.
Do all houseboats have generators?
Many of our houseboats include generators (the 42', 54', 55' and 60' models), and all of our houseboats are wired with outlets. Those that do not have a generator have nothing on the boat that requires a generator. If desired, a generator may be rented for any houseboat that does not already include one (advanced reservation recommended).
Does the houseboat we are renting have a TV or microwave?
The 42', 54', 55' and 60' houseboats have a generator and come equipped with TVs, DVD players, and microwaves.
Does the houseboat have a slide?
Yes, all houseboats have a swim slide, so don’t forget your towels.
Does the houseboat have a grill?
Yes, all houseboats have a gas grill, so bring on the burgers, kabobs, and brats!
Do the houseboats without generators have lights at night?
Yes, all houseboats have 12 volt lighting powered by deep cell batteries. The ones without generators also have propane lights, which give a beautiful glow.
What linens are provided?
We provide pillows and pillow cases with each houseboat. Sheets, blankets and towels are available in our linen package. Many guests bring their own linens or utilize sleeping bags for bedding. If rented, each linen package contains 2 sheets, a blanket, 2 bath towels, 2 hand towels and 2 washcloths.
Are there deck chairs on board?
Yes, all houseboats have deck chairs and a table. They do not have lounge chairs, but you may bring them for sunbathing.
How do we make coffee?
The 42', 54', 55' and 60' houseboats have electric coffee makers, along with toasters. The 40', 44' and 50' houseboats have stovetop percolators. You will need to bring coffee filters.
What do you sell at the base?
We sell leeches, crawlers, tackle, souvenir clothing, block ice and cube ice.
Are there resorts on the lake that sell bait, ice or groceries?
Yes, there are resorts that sell bait, ice, and light groceries. You may go to their docks with a small boat; however, the houseboat can only visit pre-approved and indicated spots.
Do you have a hospitality boat?
Whenever our service boat is nearby on the lake, it will stop to pick up garbage or deliver previously ordered supplies.
Is there a charge for the campsites?
Can we have a campfire at the campsite?
You may have a campfire at DNR campsites designated with a campfire ring and posted, as allowed by current conditions.
Do you allow pets?
We love pets; however, we encourage you to consider the nature of your pet before houseboating with them. Pets are allowed on the 40', 44' and 50' houseboats at a $100 charge per pet. In consideration of the Houseboat Dogs, Harvey (the patriarch Golden Retriever), Magoo (the Newfoundland), & Lucy (the ShihTzupoo), other doggie guests, and other departing guests, please keep your pet leashed while at base.
How does insurance work for houseboat rentals?
You are responsible for up to $5,000 in damages. We do offer an optional insurance waiver for $35 per night, which reduces your responsibility to $250. This covers accidental damage to the houseboat and its motor(s). It does not cover damage to any fishing boats, motors, portable generators, or hot tubs. You may check to see if your homeowner’s policy covers any damage.
Is gas for the houseboat included?
No, gas is not included in the houseboat rental fees. You are responsible for paying gas that is used during your stay.
How much gas will we use?
The average gas consumption for the majority of the houseboats is 10 gallons or less a day. Fuel tanks range from 120-250 gallons, more than enough for a week.
Do we have to pay for propane?
Not on our houseboats! Propane is included.
What do we do if someone in our party is sick or injured while on the lake?
Call 911, or call or radio the base. Lake Vermilion has rescue boats.
Can our family members contact us while we are on the houseboat with questions or emergency situations?
They can contact the base at 1-800-262-8706. We will then contact you by marine band radio to relay a message. There is also cell phone reception across most the lake— mobile phone use and wireless access to the web is usually available.
Fortune Bay Casino
Does Fortune Bay Casino have slips available for the houseboat?
Yes, they have docks created specifically for our houseboats, available at no charge.
Does Vermilion Houseboats offer Snowmobile Rentals?
Yes, please see our snowmobile rentals page for pricing and more.