Alternatives to houseboat mooring

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Barnacle

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We have always tied our boats off to the back of the houseboat. We always make sure to use a lot of the large houseboat buoys and even some pool noodles to protect both boats when large waves hit. Apparently with the rising popularity of surf boats this approach is no longer going to work. We got hit by so many large wakes on our last trip that did a little bit of damage to both boats.

This post isn't intended to complain about these boats (as much as I would like to) as they clearly aren't going away anytime soon. Rather I would like to hear some alternative ideas you guys use for mooring your ski/fishing boats. I am thinking I will try tying off to the houseboat ropes on our trip in the fall. Has anyone tried something similar to this and how did it work out? Any other issues or tips you could point out would be appreciated.
 
We usually have 2 speedboats so at least one has to be tied off somewhere besides the back of the boat. We've been tying the 2nd boat to the anchor lines for 10+ years now. We generally tie the boat between the 2 anchor lines- if possible. If you want to avoid rope burn on the gel coat, you may want to cover the rope. I've used the foam pipe covers from the hardware store, but suspect a pool noodle would be the same (and cost less).

I'd prefer to tie up both boats this way, leaving the swim deck available, but our camping spots don't always allow for that option
 

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We have tied our boats to the anchor lines for many years. We use a prusik knot on the anchor rope and then tie the front of the boat to a back cleat on the houseboat. This allows up keep the boat far enough away that it doesn't hit the houseboat but close enough that we can still get on the ski boat from the house boat. We have done this with up to 4 boats on the anchor lines. On our last trip a couple of weeks we had a big storm hit us and all of the boats rode it out just fine. The swim deck is kept free and it works great. Here is a picture of our setup. It was worked great with all manner of storms and big waves. IMG_3786.JPG
 
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We stopped tying up to houseboats 20 years ago, seems to be more trouble in the long run, and like to have that boat far away when bad weather hits
 
Yep, we use two prusik knots as well on the anchor line. We keep the ski boat about 2 to 3 feet from the house boat and put a floating tube between the two boats to keep them apart.

Learned that the hard way. Back in 2011 when the lake was up to near 3660 we were anchored way back in Wetherill. The idiots that would drive their wake boats within 25 feet of our houseboat were numerous. One hit us so bad it destroyed the bow of my ski boat against the houseboat. Had the ski boat to close to the house boat that year. Tried to chase him down but he took off. I now float a buoy, if I'm anchored in a tight channel, in the middle of the channel behind my houseboat to try to slow ski boats down.

Here is a pic of one of the idiots driving way to fast behind our houseboat up at Wetherill. Notice my ski boat was then tied very close to my houseboat. Never again!
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If bad weather is coming, I have a second safe area with an anchor tied to a buoy and a beach anchor already set to move the ski boat to. Can move it in a minute when a storm rolls in.

We also tie a thinner rope from the stern of the house boat to another anchor or rock and it has various knots in the line with a clips. We string our waverunners to that line. Keeps them safe and away from the beach and the houseboat.

Here is a pic of our new set up in the background. ski boat is a good 2 to 3 feet away and the wave runners are a good 10 feet away from our houseboat
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Oh! Sorry it was Pirate day at Powell that day!

Check out our yearly Powell trip logs at https://dooleyatlakepowell.weebly.com/

Headed to Powell again on 7/28, can't wait!
 
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I rarely tie across the back of the houseboat due to the popularity of the water slide. Some years I beach (in soft sand). Some years I do a full bow-out mooring. The most convenient is parallel to the houseboat anchor lines. I use the bowrider's own anchor line off of the bow and then a heavy bungee from the stern of the bowrider to the stern of the houseboat. Makes access easy and departure is quick.
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+1 on Bartsplace method, but I will often put a heavy bungee cord on the bow end so that I can pull the stern end of the boat next to the houseboat to board easily.
 
I was using the bungee system for a bit too! But once a small storm came and broke the bungee so quickly that I don't trust them. Our ski boat quickly blew over to the exhaust stack of our houseboat and broke the water / exhaust converter. Now we put a large raft between the houseboat the ski boat. I can easily walk over the raft and board the ski boat. I then move the raft and untie the bow and pull the ski boat over so others can board easily.
 
I hear your distrust of a simple bungee. I actually use a snobungee that’s made to rip a stuck/entrenched snowmobile out of a hole. It is quad bungee system and stronger than some ropes commonly used.
 
Ok dumb question. If the speedboat is attached to the houseboat by a flexible bungee, what prevents the speedboat from crashing against the houseboat in a bad wind or when hit by the big waves? If you can pull the boat in at will to board, doesn't that same slack allow it to potentially hit due to waves?
 
Ok dumb question. If the speedboat is attached to the houseboat by a flexible bungee, what prevents the speedboat from crashing against the houseboat in a bad wind or when hit by the big waves? If you can pull the boat in at will to board, doesn't that same slack allow it to potentially hit due to waves?

Yep, that is why I put a floaty or tube between the ski boat and house boat. I did put a bungee on the bow of the boat and tied it to a prusik knot on the anchor line one year. That kept the ski boat tight to the anchor line and away from the houseboat. But a slight wind came up and broke the bungee and that is when my ski boat broke my generator exhaust pipe. I am looking into the stronger bungee that BDN mentioned. Might try that this year.
 
If the speedboat is attached to the houseboat by a flexible bungee, what prevents the speedboat from crashing against the houseboat in a bad wind or when hit by the big waves?

That's why I use the runabout anchor line off its bow. It doesn't have much stretch in it, so the runabout can't reach the houseboat. The bungee between the two boat just keeps them attached for reboarding at whatever distance I feel I can straddle or jump. I've been through a few storms - one that is on my personal top 5 list for Lake Powell storms (coincidentally the same trip as the photo above). The setup performed well, but I was ready to drop houseboat fenders between the two if it became an issue. The houseboat anchor line running along the side of the runabout also served as a bit of a cushion to the runabout during that storm (wind was blowing us toward the shore).

That said, I'd probably classify it as a "fair-weather" setup.

The main weakness in the setup is if you have a lot of side-to-side movement at the rear of the houseboat in a storm. The runabout line is really taxed as the houseboat moves away - and then becomes slack when the houseboat moves toward it. Knowing that, I take frequent opportunities to tighten the rear houseboat lines throughout the week.

It's not perfect, but carefully applied, and in decent weather, it sure is convenient.
 
I rarely tie across the back of the houseboat due to the popularity of the water slide. Some years I beach (in soft sand). Some years I do a full bow-out mooring. The most convenient is parallel to the houseboat anchor lines. I use the bowrider's own anchor line off of the bow and then a heavy bungee from the stern of the bowrider to the stern of the houseboat. Makes access easy and departure is quick.
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I love how you have hooked into that spot! With that anchoring, it would take alot to get you in trouble. Seems like the more Powell time you have the more the rocks become your friends.
 
Powellbride - your point is very valid. I overcome that by making sure that when I pull the motorboat over to the back of the houseboat with a rope "ratcheted" around a cleat, the closest the boats can come is about 3 feet - it takes a bit of a jump to make the back deck of the motorboat. I have been using this system for about 20 years with storms, modern wakeboard boat waves and never had an issue - maybe just had some good luck. Again, I wouldn't trust this setup with a lightweight single cord bungee without having a fixed backup rope to maintain distance. Also, no setup is perfect, especially when microburst storms blow through, so it always pays to be attuned to conditions and make changes on the fly as changing situations dictate.
 
We always tie our fishing/ski boat to the aft anchor line of the houseboat. It is tied such that it will not contact the houseboat in waves but is close enough to be able to step onto the back deck of the fish boat from the side gate off the back deck. I don't have any pictures but I've tried several methods to secure the boat to the anchor/shore line and what works best is a 5' piece of 1" wide strap material that I wrap around the shore line several times then it goes through toothed clip that allows me to take up all the slack. I've welded a ring on the toothed snap clip. On the fish boat I have a short piece of braided rope with a loop for inserting into a cleat on the fish boat and a snap hook on the other end. When I come back the houseboat, I simply bring the fish boat alongside the shore line and snap the boat to the wound around straps. It has stayed there in big blows and wake boat attacks. It's close enough for easy access (no beach sand) and boarding. While out fishing or playing the straps stay in place and I take the cleat end with me on the boat. It's also close to the outlet for battery charging. Chuck PS: I'll try to get pictures in Sept
 
We put a anchor out behind the houseboat and bow tie the ski boat. Then tie the back corner of the ski boat to the houseboat. We also have a whip pole line but that’s not really necessary. With the bow pointing out the ski boat can take a lot of big waves. It’s really the same way we anchor a ski boat from the beach. 56579F68-A624-4CDB-8B05-984EEFC005EF.jpeg
 
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