Houseboat Rentals - Frequently asked questions

We receive lots of questions from prospective houseboat renters, especially if it is the first time they have rented a houseboat from us. Please take a look at some of the common questions we receive. If you have a question that isn't answered here, please contact us and we would be happy to answer it for you!

WHERE ARE THE BOATS LOCATED?

We are located on Highway 42, approximately 2 km west of Riverhurst, Saskatchewan. We are beside the Riverhurst Ferry. For a map location, you can type Prairie Lake Vacations into your Google Maps app, or click here: https://goo.gl/maps/V4GfX1GV9vA2

How Much of deposit do you require? WHEN DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR MY HOUSEBOAT HOLIDAY?

All we need is a $1000.00 deposit to hold the dates you want for any of our rentals. We take payment by cash, cheque or credit card. The remaining balance is due 60 day prior to departure. More of our booking policies can be found on our website's Booking Policies page.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO RENT THE HOUSEBOATS?

We have 3 day weekend rentals, as well as 3 or 4 day weekday rentals for our houseboats. If you want to rent one of our boats for 7 days or longer, we can do a custom quote for you. Please email us at: prairielakevacations@gmail.com for our houseboat rate sheets and booking polices.

ARE THERE EXTRA CHARGES ABOVE THE RENTAL COST?

Your boat will be full of fuel and propane when you depart. You will only be charged for fuel and propane you use during your trip. Other charges include a sewer pump-out fee.

HOW MUCH SHOULD I BUDGET FOR FUEL AND PROPANE DURING MY TRIP?

We suggest you budget for $350-$475 for fuel, propane and the sewer pump-out fee for a 3-day rental. The amount of fuel and propane varies widely between groups. You will use more fuel if you travel long distances on the lake during the day compared to sitting in a bay or coulee for most of the afternoon. You will use more propane if you use the hot tub during the day and into the evening compared to swimming in lake during the day and using the hot tub for a few hours into the evening. Also, if you rent in early June or September, we find that propane use tends to be a bit higher due to using the fireplace on cooler nights. 

DO YOU CHARGE A SECURITY DEPOSIT?

A security deposit of $3000 will be pre-authorized on your credit card the day of departure, if you take the optional insurance. This security deposit will be higher if you choose not to take insurance. This deposit will be applied to any outstanding charges including lost or damaged items, late returns, excessively unclean boat, or damage resulting from negligent operation or activity on the boat. The security deposit must be placed on a credit card.

HOW LONG DOES THE SECURITY DEPOSIT AUTHORIZATION STAY ON MY CREDIT CARD?

This varies depending on your credit card company. The length of time it takes for the pre-authorization to drop of your card differs greatly from customer to customer. Contact your credit card company directly for more information. 

WHAT ARE THE BOARDING TIMES FOR THE HOUSEBOATS?

Boarding times are between 4pm - 6pm on your day of departure. After a boat orientation, Prairie Lake Vacations staff will suggest locations nearby that you can "beach" or park the houseboat for your first evening on the lake.

WHAT ARE THE CHECK OUT TIMES FOR THE HOUSEBOATS?

We ask that the boat be returned to Prairie Lake Vacations on your final day, with all passengers disembarked and personal items removed, sometime between 8am - 10am. The best way to ensure your boat comes home on time, is to "beach" or park the boat on your final night at the Prairie Lake Vacations bay or a nearby bay. 

I HAVE GROUP SIZE GREATER THAN 19 PEOPLE, CAN I RENT THE PALLISER QUEEN HOUSEBOAT? 

For safety reasons, we suggest that you do not exceed the capacity of 19 persons at any time.

WHAT IF I RENT THE HOUSEBOAT FOR 10 PEOPLE and we pick up 2 more people to join us?

No problem, we will just charge you for any additional people on board. We can make price adjustments based on their duration of stay. 

DO I HAVE TO FILL THE PALLISER QUEEN HOUSEBOAT TO MAX CAPACITY (19 PEOPLE) TO GET THE BEST RATE PER PERSON?

No, for the 2017 season, we are renting the Palliser Queen houseboat for the same rate per person/day whether you have 10 or 19 people. The smaller Carisbrooke houseboat, the same rate per person/day is also the same whether you have 4 or 10 people onboard. This way you can enjoy more space and comfort with less people on board if you want. Email us today at prairielakevacations@gmail.com for a quote.

DO YOU PROVIDE A BOAT ORIENTATION BEFORE DEPARTURE?

Yes, our staff at Prairie Lake Vacations will provide you with an orientation the day of departure to ensure you are comfortable with taking the boat on the lake. This orientation takes approximately 1.5 hours and we only require the designated captain(s) to be present. The rest of the guests can board after the orientation if they prefer.

DO YOU PROVIDE NAVIGATION AIDS?

As part of your departure orientation, our staff will give you a map of Lake Diefenbaker that shows some of the larger rock piles and sand bars along popular beach and bay stops. We suggest our customers download the Google Maps app on their phone or tablet, as it also shows many rock piles and sand bars. Save map in offline mode so you do not require data service to access it. 

Do I NEED a CANADIAN PLEASURE CRAFT OPERATORS CARd?

We require that at least one person (the designated captain) in your group to hold a Canadian Pleasure Craft Operators Card in order to rent our houseboats. Non-Canadian residents must demonstrate competency. Contact us for more information.

WHERE CAN I OBTAIN A CANADIAN PLEASURE CRAFT OPERATORS CARD?

Courses are offered across Canada, in-person or online. This course covers boat safety and other useful information such as sharing the waterways with other boats. For more information, visit: Transport Canada's List of Accredited Course Providers

DO I NEED A VALID DRIVERS LICENCE?

Yes. The designated captain(s) need to show us a valid drivers licence from their province or state of residence.

CAN I BRING MY PETS ON BOARD THE HOUSEBOAT?

Our main concern is that someone who rents the boat after you may be allergic to pet hair/dander. Therefore, we discourage people bringing their pets on board our rentals, but if you feel you must bring your pets, we will require more details (type, breed, size, number). With this information, we will contact our regular cleaning contractor for a quote to remove pet hair and allergens. This cleaning charge will be passed directly onto you as a surcharge, above our regular rental fee for the boat. Email us at prairielakevacations@gmail.com for more details.

WHAT DATES ARE OPEN FOR THIS SUMMER? HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I BOOK?

Dates are booked on a first-come, first-served basis. If you want to book a long weekend, it is best to put a deposit down as soon as possible. Outside of long weekends (which are usually the first to book), there are still lots of great boating days left in the season! Email us at prairielakevacations@gmail.com and we will send you an updated calendar of available dates.

DO CELL PHONES WORK ON THE LAKE?

There is cell service in some areas on the lake, but in many remote bays and coulees there is no service depending on who your cell service provider is. You should still give friends and family our business number (306) 796-7375 in the event they need to get an important message to you.

WHERE DO WE STAY AT NIGHT?

Before dark you must "beach" your houseboat along the shore. As part of your departure orientation, Prairie Lake Vacations staff will instruct you how to do this.

WHAT DO WE BRING FROM HOME?

You will supply your own bedding, pillows, blankets, bath mats, towels, etc. We also suggest you bring cards, games, water toys, movies, personal music, sunscreen, insect repellent and a camera with you. For a more detailed list, visit our What to Bring Page.

DO YOU HAVE MORE PHOTOS OF THE BOATS?

View more photos of our boats and Lake Diefenbaker at our website's Photo Gallery. More photos of the Palliser Queen houseboat can be found here: http://www.prairielakevacations.com/palliser-queen-photos

WHAT IF THE WEATHER IS BAD?

Our houseboats are all-weather boats, so there is ample space inside the houseboat to spend the day if the weather turns rainy or windy. It is important to watch the weather during your rental to ensure you seek shelter before a storm hits within the many bays and coulees we show you on the map during your orientation.

If the average wind speed between Lucky Lake and Riverhurst exceeds 25kph, you will want to stay in a sheltered bay until it passes over. If it is too windy your day of departure, you will stay in the bay at Prairie Lake Vacations your first night to ensure you and your guests remain safe. 

CAN I DRINK AND BOAT?

If you have taken the Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator's course, you probably already know the answer to this question. The captain cannot be intoxicated at any time while operating the boat. Since houseboats contain a permanent cooking facility, bathrooms and sleeping facilities, your passengers are permitted to consume alcohol while the boat is docked or moored. The penalties for violating these rules is the same as operating a vehicle in Saskatchewan.