Friday, October 5, 2012


Now I have written a couple of blog entries about piloting the houseboat for Regis and the girls, and I hope you have enjoyed them, but it really was an interesting vacation, and for anyone interested, I will tell you something about it, in case you might want to give it a try.

Lots of Room for Everyone
The houseboat itself is large, comfortable, and easy to maneuver. I have never really driven a bpat before and I really did not have any problem. You can pilot it from inside if the weather is less than perfect, but if it is sunny and warm, there is a second bridge up on the 'hottub' deck. Although the boat is like a big RV on the water, it is outfitted with a real household refrigerator, stove and microwave. The kitchen is large and easy to work in with lots of cupboards. The bathroom is a real bathroom with an RV style toilet, but a full size shower and sink complete with vanity. There is a couch and a large dining table that both convert to LARGE beds, and as you read, the girls really did have room to line dance in the living room. There were two bedrooms and a sleeping loft, so with the beds in the living area this boat slept 10 with no problem, and sitting nine at the table worked well. We saw another boat that slept 14 that had four bedrooms and two bathrooms (Only one shower however). There was a hottob on the top deck, as well as lots of room to sit around and talk or heaven forbid, square dance. There is a large flatscreen TV and excellent sound system in the living room, and a car type stereo up stairs so your collection of music on the Ipod or Phone is easy to play. There is a slide from the top deck into the water that would have been used if the water was warmer – it looked like fun. And there is a full size barbecue on the front deck.

Come on board . . .
The boat worked well. It has a 3.0 litre inboard engine that started easily with little fuss, and pushed us along at houseboat speed. This means that nothing shifted, you could put your coffee or glass of wine on the counter and even turns did not move it. It is a dual hull pontoon boat so is amazingly stable. Even one morning steaming up river at full speed with a strong wind and whitecaps, we lost water out of the hot tob but not out of the wine glasses inside. The slow speed and stability means that even those susceptible to motion sickness forget they are on the water. The boat uses a battery and generator system and is completely automatic. Regular electric appliances work just fine, and you do not have to worry about using lights or power. When needed the generator comes on and recharges the batteries. They pull water from the river and treat it internally for cooking and showers, and it is then put back into the river so you have no holding tank filling up even with a crowd, and the septic held enough so that even with nine people for almost a week we had no problem.

Underway up the River
The Saint John River, above the Mactaquac dam is your highway, and you can go as far up river as Woodstock. There are some activities to do along the river such as Kings Landing and Trees to Go, but the main activity is the houseboat itself. The scenery up and down the river is beautiful, especially in October with the leaves changing colour when I went, but I suspect any season would have it's own unique benefits. The relaxing speed of the boat and the comfortable setting with good friends make the voyage the best part of the experience.

It is not an inexpensive vacation if you were going on your own, but probably compatible to renting an RV, but put together a group of family or good friends to share the cost and you can have a really reasonable adventure.

Writing the Blog
As I write this, I am sitting on the back deck of the boat in October. I am sitting in a lawn chair typing on my Macbook with a cold beer beside me. I pulled into a little cove at about 4:00 pm , tied up to two sturdy trees and it is now almost 7:00 pm, the sun is going down and I'm watching the river flow gently past. Life is good.

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