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houseboat launch and retrieve this year

chrisut

Well-Known Member
I have my houseboat stored at Offshore on the north end right now, and have historically left it on a buoy for the summer. I talked to a park ranger a few weeks back who brought up a potentially interesting dilemma of getting the houseboats out at the end of the season. Is this going to be possible on the North end? Is this going to be possible on the South end? The water will be lower than it is now, I would estimate 20-30 feet lower. It will be the lowest it has been since the lake filled. What are everyone's plans?
 

PowellBride

Moderator
We have often left the boat on the buoy over the winter. You don't get the insurance deduction for having it laid up for the winter. That said, I'd rather have it in the water come next spring that out. I have more faith in the ability to extend the ramps to support runabouts than extending to support the houseboat launching.

FYI - There has been other comments that OffShore is not launching any houseboats. A number of folks have indicated that they have contracted with JNB to retrieve their boat from OffShore and launch it for this year. There were also some comments that JNB is requiring that you then store your boat with them for a specific time frame. If that's true you should inquire whether you are obligated if the boat can't be retrieved for the winter (my 2 cents)
 

sparkin5280

Well-Known Member
We had our 55 foot pontoon launched by Offshore about four days before they suspended launching. First owners just came off and were shocked when they got on to find the rear boarding swim ladder was not there. It's not a removable ladder, it slides in and out from under the transom. It hangs about as low as the bottom of the outboards. Since I am one of the organization's Board members I spent more than a few hours trying to figure out this week, how this happened, why it happened and where we go from here for the rest of the season. The group used the ladder just a few weeks ago for a work party at Offshore so couldn't quite figure it out if it got stolen or something because of price of aluminum. But on closer inspection the support track for the ladder was missing a crucial aluminum welded bar that kept the ladder in place when in the deployed position. That clicked, the ladder must have been left down when the boat was launched by Offshore. We hired Executive Services to Pilot the boat to the buoy. Not trying to point fingers or anything but somebody left the ladder down, I don't know who, and when Offshore launched our houseboat (one of the last to be launched), and the trailer back in somewhere past where executive ramp pavement ends, I have a theory that the steepness or pitch levels out into the dirt basically they plowed the back of our house boat into the sand and dirt about five feet below water level.

I remember reading reports hear that somebody saw some of the houseboats engines practically submerged in the water before the boat would float up off the trailer. I understand that Offshore's trailer rides lower or something that's why they suspended launches. Looking at some pictures closer that I took during a work party of our house boat on blocks in dry storage the Outboards hang down a little bit lower so I'm assuming and super thankful that the motors were trimmed up during launch or else we probably would have lost our outdrives. I'm guessing that might have happened to somebody's boat that's why they suspended launches.

If my theory is correct there is a nice, mission critical, aluminum boarding ladder about 5 to 7 feet below current water level approximately 30 feet from the water's edge right now at the end of the Executive ramp at Bullfrog. One of my amazing owners with a body shop does some fabrication and he's going to Fab us up an aluminum of ladder that should be pretty close to stock.

I know in the grand scheme of things a boarding ladder is pretty low on the priority list but these are the kind of things that are happening with the low water launch and retrieve for houseboats.

PowellBride, we've never left our boat on the buoy over the winter months. But your input is interesting. I'm kind of with you I almost want to leave it in the water during the off-season because with water 30 or 40 ft lower than we are now I'm not sure houseboat launching is an option. I live and play in the snow in Colorado and I am super hopeful for better snow here next year but if it's average and we have lower lake levels having a house boat in the water is better than not, even if we don't get to do all the maintenance we usually do.

Lots of speculation to what Executive Ramp looks like Beyond 3550 and my money is that it levels out a bit once the dirt starts.
 
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Ticaboo Dan

Well-Known Member
We have often left the boat on the buoy over the winter. You don't get the insurance deduction for having it laid up for the winter. That said, I'd rather have it in the water come next spring that out. I have more faith in the ability to extend the ramps to support runabouts than extending to support the houseboat launching.

FYI - There has been other comments that OffShore is not launching any houseboats. A number of folks have indicated that they have contracted with JNB to retrieve their boat from OffShore and launch it for this year. There were also some comments that JNB is requiring that you then store your boat with them for a specific time frame. If that's true you should inquire whether you are obligated if the boat can't be retrieved for the winter (my 2 cents)
PowellBride, you are partially correct, yes Offshore did suspend their launch and retrieve for a few weeks and I have been told that they are starting back up today, we shall see I guess. J&B was launching several of the boats in their yard but was asked not to do that anymore, you will have to read between those lines, not sure about the storage requirement. During their stoppage, Offshore was taking boats from their yard down to Bullfrog to have Bullfrog launch, double maneuver but at least the boats were able to get into the water, hope that helps.
"As the prop spins"
 

PowellBride

Moderator
Thanks Dan - You seemed to have some details related to OffShore launching that the others posting didn't necessarily share. Most reported the OffShore wasn't launching and hadn't supplied an alternative.

The service offered by your and by OffShore are sorely needed on the north end. I think there is still enough business to go around for Exec, JNB, Ticaboo On Lake and OffShore
 
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