Q. Are we allowed to drive the boat?
A. Yes! Upon check in we train you to drive and dock the houseboat. Right now our pricing reflects staying with operation of the boat as follows: $275 per night for weeknights, $299 per night for weekends, $325 per night for holidays week days, $350 per night for holiday weekends and a $300 refundable deposit. We offer discounted rates for those of you who would like to stay "dockside" without operating the boat as follows; weeknights $219 per night, weekends $249 per night and holidays $275 per night and a $150 refundable deposit. And like hotels we are required to charge 11% accommodation tax.
Q. Do I need a special license to drive a houseboat?
A. There is no special licensing, however some prior experience with boating is helpful to operate the houseboat. You must have a valid drivers' license. The Stay Afloat staff will go over operations and regulations in an orientation upon your arrival (Please plan on about an hour for check in). You must be 25 to reserve and rent our houseboat.
Q. Can we run a tab against our deposit for gas, ice, etc.?
A. We do not offer that service at this time.
Q. Can we anchor the boat and spend the night on the lake?
A. For your safety and comfort, we do not allow guests to stay over night on the lake. This is because of the how unpredictable the weather can be. Guests find it to be more relaxing at the dock. Staying overnight on the lake would be require guests to wake periodically to check that they are not drifting or dragging anchor, due to unexpected wind, storms and current. This is why we require coming back to the marina at night.
Q. Can I take the houseboat through the channel to Lake Michigan?
A. There is a channel from White Lake that will bring you out to Lake Michigan. Our insurance allows, weather permitting, the boundary of 100 yards from the pier head.
Q. Is there any place to anchor on the lake during the day ?
A. There are many places on White Lake to anchor for the day, it's best to find a cove and anchor there so you are out of the line of other boating traffic. It is a good idea to pay attention to the depth finder provided in the cockpit, so you don't beach the boat.
Q. Can we tow a tube/skis/anything tow-able behind the houseboat?
A. Unfortunately, no. Per insurance reasons we can't allow it. The boats top speed is approximately 7 mph therefore it wouldn't be much fun. However, included in your rental is our new 20 x 6 Maui Mat that can be tethered to the rear deck of the houseboat while you are anchored!
Q. Does the houseboat rental include gas?
A. The houseboat will have a full tank of gas upon check in. However, similar to when you rent a car, renters are responsible to return the houseboat will a full tank of gas (replacing what you use).
Q. Where do we purchase gas for the houseboat?
A. There is a gas dock and pump out station for the septic (black water) as you exit Crosswinds Marina via houseboat as you are entering White Lake. Renters are responsible for ensuring the gas tank is full and the septic is emptied upon return of the houseboat at the end of your stay (just as you would when renting a car). *Please take note of the gas docks hours upon arrival.
Q. What time is check in?
A. Check in is at 5 p.m. on your day of arrival. *Check in CAN be flexible, given that we did not have guests before your stay.
Q. What time is check out?
A. On your day of departure check out is at 3 p.m.
Q. Can I bring pets?
A. No, we do not allow pets aboard the Sea Turtle at this time.
Q. Is there a maximum number of people?
A. The maximum number of people to sleep on the houseboat is 8.
Q. Can my friends come and visit us on the boat?
A. Of course! However, you must keep in mind the maximum number of people allowed aboard the boat and the number of life jackets provided (1 per person).
Q. What type of payments are accepted?
A. We accept Master Card, Visa, American Express and Discover
Q. Are linens included?
A. Linens are provided, this includes
- Pillow Cases
- Bath Towels, wash cloths and hand towels.
One ply marine grade toilet paper is also provided. Two ply will not flush.
Q. Are their dishes on the boat?
A. Yes, there are plates, bowls, glasses, silverware, tongs, spatula, 2 large spoons, disposable coffee cups, dish cloths and towels, coffee pot and coffee. There is also a grill on the rear facing deck and we provide the propane.
Q. What should I bring?
A. Some things you will need to bring:
- A driver’s license, and your credit card.
- Clothing/bathing suit/beach towels
- Soaps and shampoos
- Paper plates, cups and plastic ware or silverware
- Seasonings, salt pepper and condiments
- Food and drinks/bottled water
- Napkins, paper towels
- Brillo pads
- Cooler, Ice (Ice can be purchased at the marina for $1.50 per bag)
- Trash bags
- Suntan oil
- Personal medical prescriptions
- Games/deck of playing cards
Q. Can I bring my fishing pole?
A. Yes! White Lake is known for its world class fishing, but you will need a fishing license.
Q. Where can I purchase a fishing license?
A. Walmart is the closest store that you can purchase a fishing license. For bait, sporting goods, beer and snacks, Armstrong's on White Lake is a short walk from the marina at 206 S Lake st.
Q. What types of fish can I catch in White Lake?
A. There is a large variety of fish in White Lake including Black Crappie, Bluegill, Brown Trout, Channel Catfish, Chinook Salmon, Large mouth Bass, Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout, Rock Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Steelhead, Sunfish, Walleye, White Bass and Yellow Perch. There is a fish cleaning station located at the marina.
Q. How big is White Lake?
A. White Lake is 2,571 sq. acres (7 miles by 1 mile). Depth varies throughout the lake and the maximum depth is 71 feet.
Q. Are life jacket provided?
A. Yes, life jackets are provided.
Q. What is the temperature like in the cabin at night?
A. Typically it is very comfortable. We provide a portable air conditioner as well as a small fan for use at night. You can also sleep with the windows open. We also provide a small portable heater, however, no one has ever needed it.
Q. Where do we go to check in?
A. Check in will be done at the houseboat in the marina. Crosswinds Marina 302 S. Lake Street, Whitehall MI 49461, we are located on C dock, slip 85.