Houseboating with two

We have always enjoyed LP with friends and respect the work it takes to safely situate a houseboat in that perfect spot. However, looking ahead as I get closer to retiring, I would love to do some trips with just my wife and I. We have a 59' monohulled Summerset HB and I bring along my 20' Champion bass boat. It would take some serious coordination and probably counseling afterwards ;) but I think it can be done. I would like to add some electric or manual winches for easier pinning on the shore. My wife is a powerlifter and a very capable deckhand so I definitely have good help.

Maybe its best we always take friends and I bail on this fantasy for two but figured it was worth discussing here with the experts. Any of you pull this off and if so any secrets?

Input appreciated.
 

Gem Morris

Escalante-Class Member
Some people on this board claim they put out one large danforth anchor in an open flat bottom sand shallow bay and drift around overnite based on wind direction
 

Agriffen

Member
We have always enjoyed LP with friends and respect the work it takes to safely situate a houseboat in that perfect spot. However, looking ahead as I get closer to retiring, I would love to do some trips with just my wife and I. We have a 59' monohulled Summerset HB and I bring along my 20' Champion bass boat. It would take some serious coordination and probably counseling afterwards ;) but I think it can be done. I would like to add some electric or manual winches for easier pinning on the shore. My wife is a powerlifter and a very capable deckhand so I definitely have good help.

Maybe its best we always take friends and I bail on this fantasy for two but figured it was worth discussing here with the experts. Any of you pull this off and if so any secrets?

Input appreciated.
It's not a fantasy - we've been doing it for years with our 40' hb and 21' skeeter bass boat. We have it down to a science - go for it!
 

JFRCalifornia

Keeper of San Juan Secrets
I’ve done that with just two. It does require forgiving conditions (no wind especially), but with two people who know what they’re doing, it’s possible.

But a third person sure helps…
 

PowellBride

Moderator
Staff member
its Anchoring the HB with just 2 people that makes me nervous. We had several trips where we started with 4 people, but come up river with only 2. I have more confidence in getting the boat off the shore with just 2, than anchoring with 2. Getting off is actually pretty easy. If you’re up early and there’s No Wind (the big variable), it’s easy to do. We tied the speedboat to the back of the HB as we pull anchor ropes, and the take the speed boat off until we get out of whatever cove we are in.

Getting onto a buoy with the speedboat tied up horizontally in back was pretty easy. Getting to the slip is more difficult. My husband takes the speedboat and ties up to the dock near the slip, then he’s on the dock ready to help tie the HB as soon as I touch the slip.

we’ve talked about how we could anchor with just 2 of us, but feel it’s more complicated. We’d put 2 anchor lines on the speedboat and have it scout a location. The speedboat driver would pre-set 2 anchor lines with the loose end of the lines setting where the nose of the HB boat is going to land. Then we’d re-tie the speedboat to the HB and head for shore. This scenario assumes we don’t have room on the target beach to park the speedboat out of the way while we bring the HB in; which is normal for the places we typically find on the SJ. In calm weather I’d have no concern, it’s just that so much can change between the calm when you leave Hall’s and the 7-1/2 hours later when you hit the SJ
 

Powder Hound

Active Member
I have done a lot of houseboating just being me which can get a little exciting anchoring but with two of you it should not be a problem. Just have a good game plan on anchoring and have the ropes ready and untangled. Have a great trip together and I'm jealous since it has been a few years since I've been to the lake. Peter
 

Rainbowbridge

Escalante-Class Member
In the late 80s just the two of us would houseboat. 55' monohull. I'd nudge her on to the beach then run and set anchors. Only two were provided......:)

In hindsight, the things that mostly prevented problems: 1) we were in our 30s....:) 2) no wind to speak of. Calmness is wonderfulness..... :cool:

Then in about 2003, we rented a HB, tried to do the same thing. Thought she was secure in Rock Creek and took the little bayliner up to the Escalante for the day. when we returned at sunset we discovered she'd pulled an anchor and was sideways on the beach.

We were incredulous as we'd buried the anchor and of course said......son of a beach......!!!!!😼

As always, It's the wind.

Had a fishing buddy who passed whose favorite line was:

"It was so windy, I saw a chicken lay the same egg 4 times"

You woulda liked him, Ed....

Sorry to be......long winded......
;)
 

Hermine Tippel

Active Member
Honestly? I wouldn't do it just the two of you. We have been coming to LP for about 65 trips with houseboat and pontoon boat. We managed a few times just the two of us, but it is always stressful. Since we are now seniors we looked into Bullfrog-Hall's crossing non mechanical services. We availed ourselves of their holding tank clean out service ($120.00)(well worth it)., retrieval service. They also do anchoring service wherever you want it. The extra money will safe you on stress counseling fees after your Lake time. Lucky for us, our children and grandchildren are taking over all boating, we just show up and bring dinners!!!!!!
Keep boating at LP! It is the best always!
Hermine Tippel
Oma's Haven
 

LP1

Active Member
I think it comes down to how spry you are. My wife and I did many trips and never thought twice about it. Just keep the boat powered into the shore while you tie off a couple of ropes. We always chose spots to tie off to rocks, which requires some strength and agility for sure. Our favorite trips were late October in the San Juan.
 

ScottF

Well-Known Member
Some people on this board claim they put out one large danforth anchor in an open flat bottom sand shallow bay and drift around overnite based on wind direction
This can work but the downsides are:
1. If the bottom turns out to be rock, not sand, you're toast.
2. You'll need a gyro stabilizer if sport boats are operating nearby, or dramamine.
3. Fido and kiddies are stuck on the boat.
4. You'll need at least 50' of heavy chain to keep the anchor down.
5. You'll need a winch for raising the anchor and chain.
6. All the above to make it work for a cruiser, don't try it with a houseboat.
 
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