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Timeshare boats, how many passengers is too many, 25 seems excessive

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bubba

Well-Known Member
There have been two critical events in the last month involving timeshare boats with a high perceived number of passengers. This excessive passenger load in such a small area may create added mental stress to all on board, the high passenger level may place higher than designed demands on the boat systems including topping the black tanks in hours or just a day or two instead of a week or longer, and high passsneger count also makes it more likely that passengers not properly trained or aware of associated dangers will be operating equipment on board without the proper safety procedures or measure in place.

I am still trying to get my head around the Desert Oasis poop boat with 27 passengers on an older style 4 mattress boat. They only reason this boat had this many passengers was for the time share owner that week to enjoy a free week on the lake by spreading his cost across the 20 or more paying passengers. This excessive passenger load should have been spread across a second or third boat, not a reduced per passenger boarding fee on a single boat. The limitations of loading this boat with 20 - 30 passengers is apparent, resulting in over one-hundred poop piles buried in the sand. Do the timeshare companies not limit passenger levels on these older boats to levels that the boat can handle. If I was an owner in one of these timeshare boats I would not be feeling to good with this level of abuse and excessive use by fellow owners, that is a lot of wear and tear that all owners are left paying for. Again, where is the management on this, do they approve 30 passengers every week, are there really 30 life vest on these houseboats. And where is all the poop going as I have never once seen a houseboat pumping out on the floating toilet tanks. I am starting to think buried poop is a common practice with these overloaded timeshare boats.

Another huge issue with an overloaded boat with 20-30 passengers on board is the bubba factor. How many of these pay per day passengers become experts in everything after a few beers or decide to engage an action with known or unknown hazards without any concern. Something as simple as fueling a jet ski from the houseboat is loaded with hazard, but often performed with zero regard to known proper safety procedure or consequences. With 30 people on board, even the water slide becomes out of control and dangerous.

Is it possible that the high passenger count on the timeshare boat with the recent explosion contributed to the accident, not causing the failures that resulted in the explosion, but by creating an environment with added mental stress and overwhelm, resulting in the individual failures that caused the explosion to get missed.
 

GregC

Well-Known Member
Easy answer? Too many is more than the Park Service can remove from your boat before it sinks or burns to the waterline!

GregC
 
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Grant Stevens - USBR

Well-Known Member
Certainly very likely, but a heavily loaded vessel could also be operated in both a safe and environmentally friendly manner as well. Is there any data around rentals versus shared ownership, shared owners would gain more experience each year hopefully improving both of the above.

I've certainly added a new "checklist item" to my start engine/generator procedure, make sure the back deck is not occupied prior to starting...
 

Cookie

Well-Known Member
We are with Laketime, I believe we have a limit on how many people can be on each boat, I thought it was 18.

When we were kids, we would rent the 50' Aramark boat and put 22 people on it...........crazy to think about it. Lots of teenagers.
 

JRP

New Member
We have been going to Lake Powell yearly since 1992 and we usually have around 20-25 people every year. That said it is usually split about 50/50 between kids and adults, and some may not stay the whole week. In all those years we have never filled up the sewer tank with the exception of 1 time a few years back so we came back to the dock a day earlier that year. It honestly does not feel crazy, but maybe we are a mellow group. Most people sleep on the deck where it is cooler and we have a boat and two waverunners that are used for scouting a spot so there is probably only 12-15 people in the houseboat when it travels. During the day the houseboat is mostly empty as people are playing in the water, on the beach and on the boat / waverunners. In 25 years we have never had more than a few bumps / bruises and no real property damage. I think the quantity of people is not a real issue - it depends more on who the people are. 6 or 8 ignorant people are much worse houseboat crew than a crew of 20+ who know what they are doing and care about the boat and lake.
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
One trip we had 16 on one of the old Bullfrog 50 footers [1977], BUT we also had two boats and four of the people slept on their boats, not on the houseboat and most of the time we had the boats out sight-seeing and skiing, very little of the time included everyone on the boat at one time and that was breakfast and dinner. We took 16 for a reason. 7 days - we did the shopping and prep for the trip the other 7 couples had one day out of 7 when they were responsible for breakfast, lunch, dinner and cleanup. After years and years of large groups we knew the best way to have no arguments or hurt feelings was to not expect anyone to do anything more than one day out of the 7. George and I oversaw the menu and made sure things went off without a hitch. We also used the inside portable toilet, not one person dug holes.... we were not boaters who sat on one spot for a week, we moved almost daily around the lake and we stopped and pumped out the pottie -IIRC we had to pump twice - and that was before the lake had floating toilet stations.

Rental boats on the lake today have a 12-person limit. Evidentally there is no limit on personal boats, but honestly 20 people in one place for a week would make me a nervous wreck.. and yes, I know what Bubba is saying, I've seen the advertisements - saying we have a boat for a week at Powell and signup here to join us - perfect strangers. No way would I spend a week with strangers, evidently I am in the minority..... in fact I came to embrace a week on our tri-toon just me and George and the dogs...
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
Lots lots of assumptions in the post.

First, might be semantics, but the differences are important. There are no "time shares" on the lake. All the houseboats are either rentals or are privately owned.

In regards to "management" that is usually stipulated in the ownership bylaws. Most boats that I am aware of have a group of "officers" that "manage" the boat. The officers are just shareholders in the boat - kind of like an HOA board, with less power.

Usually a President, VP, and Secretary are the board positions. The bylaws should state the rules of the boat - including how many people can be on board for a trip. The officers have very little true authority. It is very difficult to enforce much more than requiring yearly dues be paid. And even that can be a struggle.

I have a fair amount of experience in houseboat ownership groups. I was active on one growing up with my parents, and have been a partner on 3 different groups as an adult.

The first boat had 23 owners (way too many, and above the 18 that is currently allowed). I was the VP on that boat, and had very little to do until the boat was a total loss (another, long story).

2nd boat was a smaller ownership group of 9, which was still too many.

Have been an owner on the current boat for about 5 years. We have 4 partners, which is the most I will ever be a part on.

It is up to each individual on how they would divide up the costs. We currently just split the variable costs with the group - gas and food. Fixed costs like whatever I pay for my ownership of the houseboat as well as ski boat, are costs I eat. And I know I'm not alone in doing that. So, a bigger group does not mean that the owners of the share are getting a free ride.

I saw the houseboat with the generator tragedy - it is still tied up in the canyon. They looked very well equipped with multiple jet skis, water toys, and many tents on shore. I would make no assumptions about any of their motives or experience.
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
And I'm really not sure what you mean by the "bubba factor".

But, at least on the north end, you need to be pretty creative and adaptable to fix the things that break on your own.

There are basically two repair options on lake - either Aramark or Ticaboo. And depending on the problem, neither of them may have much more experience than the partner of the boat.

I'm not saying that things should be done wreck less. But you will need to stretch your abilities.
 

PowellBride

Well-Known Member
I feel fortunate to be in the same camp as Ryan, fewer partners. We started out as a shared ownership boat with 20 weeks, and bylaws without teeth. At one point, one of the 1/20 weeks had been subdivided into 4 ownership groups with the "owners" using the boat every 4th year, and no rules about "training" before a new owner was handed the keys WHAT A DISASTER!

I took over as President (not that anyone else wanted the position) and tried to strengthen our rules. After 5 years of frustration, we finally bought out most of the other owners. Today we have just 2 owners, on the one hand it's expensive that way. Though the boats annual overall budget has decreased. On the other hand, I never worry about what condition the boat will be in when I board.

We also eat the fixed costs, asking that guests share the variable fees such as gas and ice, and take responsibility for their share of the meals. We've split costs and cooking duty that way since 1987 and haven't had an issue.

Unfortunately we are aware of some "owners" who truLyncant afford thier 1/18th share unless they split all the costs with a large group - we had some owners like that before the buy out.

There was a time when we could not have afford anything other than a 1/12 or 1/18th boat. Even then it was always a good time, but I'm grateful for how we enjoy the lake today
 

potter water

Well-Known Member
All evidence of why I'm happy with 21 feet of space that I have complete control of, and at the most 4 souls on board for day cruising. My wife an I overnight. Boating made simple, cheap, and more pleasant than herding more than 4 people around. A 50 foot house boat has, say 300 square feet of flat floor?? 300 divided by 25 is a 3 X 4 foot piece of flat floor per occupant. I don't know, I've never lived on a houseboat. But I'll bet I'm not way off. If I was a share owner and wanted a free week I would be only buying into a share if I could afford the boat only taking 4 to 8 people with me. How in the world can 25 people on board the boat be anything other than a living nightmare? There are a lot of small cruisers for sale in the used market in the 21 to 30 foot length that will cost much less than a share in a houseboat. You have full ownership, can move it around to various lakes, take it of the water for scrub downs, sleeps family of 6 comfortably, etc. etc. And you aren't limited to a week or two or three per year of use. I'm guessing that there are some folks who are so completely open and social that 25 people in space designed for 8 to 12 just isn't a bother. I also didn't share well when I was in kindergarten!
 

Dale

Well-Known Member
We used to have around 20 people on a trip with the 59' Admiral (it was called that back then), but the only time we might have had everyone on board was when we were eating, or during a storm. There were always some that slept in their boats or on the beach. We all used the heads, and on a 5 day trip. never had a need to pumpout. There is no excuse for pooping on the beach! As an aside, there was room to sleep 23 people inside that boat, and still leave the hall to the head open! Fortunately, that only happened once!
 

Dale

Well-Known Member
All evidence of why I'm happy with 21 feet of space that I have complete control of, and at the most 4 souls on board for day cruising. My wife an I overnight. Boating made simple, cheap, and more pleasant than herding more than 4 people around. A 50 foot house boat has, say 300 square feet of flat floor?? 300 divided by 25 is a 3 X 4 foot piece of flat floor per occupant. I don't know, I've never lived on a houseboat. But I'll bet I'm not way off. If I was a share owner and wanted a free week I would be only buying into a share if I could afford the boat only taking 4 to 8 people with me. How in the world can 25 people on board the boat be anything other than a living nightmare? There are a lot of small cruisers for sale in the used market in the 21 to 30 foot length that will cost much less than a share in a houseboat. You have full ownership, can move it around to various lakes, take it of the water for scrub downs, sleeps family of 6 comfortably, etc. etc. And you aren't limited to a week or two or three per year of use. I'm guessing that there are some folks who are so completely open and social that 25 people in space designed for 8 to 12 just isn't a bother. I also didn't share well when I was in kindergarten!

Potter, Apparently you are not part of a large family, and have missed out on a great part of life. My condolences. My wife and I did enjoy our quiet time on the lake, but the next annual 5 day houseboat trip with my parents, six of us siblings, our spouses, six of the next generation, their spouses, significant others and assorted friends, and on the last trip, my 2 oldest granddaughters, was an event we looked forward to, and began planning, as we were unloading the houseboat at the end of a trip. Unfortunately, we did not start until my parents 50th anniversary, so only had 5 years of those trips.
Now we have to settle for Thanksgiving to get to get together. Only had 28 this year.
 

potter water

Well-Known Member
5 kids and DIL's and 14 grand kids and 4 grand in-laws and one great grand kid. Nope, not going to put em on a houseboat. The DIL's aren't the best of friends, some cousins aren't either. We've done the great get togethers on land where people can escape for a few hours and they mostly work. I prefer and have made sure that each of my son's have their own boat to worry about. That way we can go in floatilla if the opportunity arises and any one family can disappear as needed for some quiet time. So, you don't need to give me condolences. I'm pretty sure that if you could get the honest truth out of each of your family members that they would say that there were some good times and a lot of times they wished they were on their own boat. Our approach is to tell each sibling that we will be at the lake for a week or two and they are welcome to come down and day cruise with us anytime. We schedule them in two days at a time, but most come in their own time and with their own boat. We are able to do many weeks a year at Powell and Yellowstone and other lakes because of the trailerable 21 footer, and several of my family members hate the heat of Powell and love the cool of Jackson Lake. So, there are many advantages to smaller craft that still allow a happy big family experience. Then in the evenings, we gather at the RV park for partying. Everyone is different. You are indeed fortunate to be able to get more than one daughter in law in the same small space at the same time without rancor. That is an unusual accomplishment and you and your family are to be congratulated.
 

Bill Sampson

Well-Known Member
I have a 65 foot timeshare on the south end and try to limit my total to 15 people. I think I have had a combination of adults and kids up to 17, but for me 15 seems to be a manageable size. 25 people on a 75 foot boat seems to be crowded, but if people are sleeping on their boats or on shore, that should work out. To each his own.
 

ScottF

Well-Known Member
Responding to Gary & Potter's posts on houseboats vs cruisers... You've posted about how family size and cohesion have influenced your choice. I'd like to add age.

For a number of years we enjoyed a large (for the era) houseboat at Bullfrog with groups up to 20 people. I'll remember many of those trips fondly for a long time. But now, in my 60's, the stress and strain would kill me. Well at least wear me out. Now I love the cruiser experience - launching, motoring, anchoring, etc. are fast and easy. And two other couples or a single branch of the family is plenty of guests.
 

Dale

Well-Known Member
5 kids and DIL's and 14 grand kids and 4 grand in-laws and one great grand kid. Nope, not going to put em on a houseboat. The DIL's aren't the best of friends, some cousins aren't either. We've done the great get togethers on land where people can escape for a few hours and they mostly work. I prefer and have made sure that each of my son's have their own boat to worry about. That way we can go in floatilla if the opportunity arises and any one family can disappear as needed for some quiet time. So, you don't need to give me condolences. I'm pretty sure that if you could get the honest truth out of each of your family members that they would say that there were some good times and a lot of times they wished they were on their own boat. Our approach is to tell each sibling that we will be at the lake for a week or two and they are welcome to come down and day cruise with us anytime. We schedule them in two days at a time, but most come in their own time and with their own boat. We are able to do many weeks a year at Powell and Yellowstone and other lakes because of the trailerable 21 footer, and several of my family members hate the heat of Powell and love the cool of Jackson Lake. So, there are many advantages to smaller craft that still allow a happy big family experience. Then in the evenings, we gather at the RV park for partying. Everyone is different. You are indeed fortunate to be able to get more than one daughter in law in the same small space at the same time without rancor. That is an unusual accomplishment and you and your family are to be congratulated.

Potter Water, Thank you. Yes, we are blessed. I have 4 SIL's and BIL, and family has always been a very important part of our lives. We usually have 25-30 extended family members together for Thanksgiving, Christmas etc. We had a cousins reunion last year, and they came to AZ from Alaska, Texas, the east coast and everywhere in between.
 

Endurance

Well-Known Member
Responding to Gary & Potter's posts on houseboats vs cruisers... You've posted about how family size and cohesion have influenced your choice. I'd like to add age.

For a number of years we enjoyed a large (for the era) houseboat at Bullfrog with groups up to 20 people. I'll remember many of those trips fondly for a long time. But now, in my 60's, the stress and strain would kill me. Well at least wear me out. Now I love the cruiser experience - launching, motoring, anchoring, etc. are fast and easy. And two other couples or a single branch of the family is plenty of guests.

Well said, Scott. That's one of the beauties of Lake Powell -- there are many ways to tailor the experience to our desires, abilities, budget, acceptable adventure level, and those with whom we want to spend our time. I tend to look at Powell trips the same way my watermelon-loving grandfather looked at watermelons. He used to say, "They're all good -- some are just better than others."
 
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