First time on a houseboat / Staying together on a houseboat
If you are going to spend your houseboat holiday with your partner, family or very close friends, that you have previously taken a similar trip, there's no need to waste time reading the following lines. This article is for those of you who are going on a houseboat for the first time and have no idea what a holiday with other people in the limited space of a boat entails.
1. Consider crew composition carefully
Think carefully about who you are going on the houseboat with before sketching our your trip in more detail. It's very different seeing friends or their families for the occasional visit than spending a few days on a boat with them. The following tips will help you decide if it's really a good idea to go houseboating with certain people.
Do you share the same interests?
The most important point you should think about in detail is whether you have similar interests in the group. Are you all wine lovers? Great, it won't be a problem to choose a suitable destination or how you'll spend your free time. Does one part of the group want to explore the beauty of nature, while the other would rather visit historical cities? This could be solved by making a few compromises but it might involve a bit of unpleasantness
Do you have a very different lifestyle?
Make sure you know how your loved ones normally function. Do they stay up late, or do they like to stay up late? Do they cook at home or frequent restaurants and bistros? Do they prefer to wander around mindlessly, or do they follow a clearly defined schedule? The answers to these questions will tell you if it will be easy to fit your lives together for a few days.
Work out the financing for your houseboat cruise before you go
This is an uncomfortable topic that needs to be raised before booking a houseboat. The question of finances will reveal not only where you'll be going and for how long, but also how you'll be living together during your vacation. It is good to sort out travel to the destination, the size and comfort class of the boat, how you'll manage food and spend leisure time. Remember to also set clear rules for how you will split any costs.
Once you have a comprehensive idea of those you will be houseboating with, what their interests are and what you would like to experience together, then you can choose a specific destination.
2. The right boat = half the battle
Choosing the right houseboat is crucial. The most important decision is the size. Always think carefully about how many cabins your group will need. It's also a good idea to check the internal layout of the boat, which will give you a sense of how much privacy they'll be or how much closer you'll get to your friends. For example, if you wouldn't like your friends to hear you in your cabin, it's a good idea to go for a houseboat that has bedrooms further apart. You should also consider whether you mind sharing a bathroom or if you'd rather choose a houseboat with more bathrooms and toilets.
Are you taking small children on the houseboat?
If you are going on a trip with smaller children, you need to address the issue of safety on the boat. Check in advance with our dealer how the railings on board are designed, whether the deck has any barriers, how to access the water, the upper deck, etc. It is also important to check that you are comfortable with the access to the moorings. And don't forget that a life jacket during the cruise is a must for little boaters.
YACHTING TIP.COM: A decade of personal experience with boats from different fleets and their design line has given us one important insight that that can be applied especially to a two-family vacation — it is preferable to have one family completely accommodated in the bow and the other in the stern.
3. Coexistence on board: order makes friends
Experience has shown us that it's best to clearly define private areas on the boat and to define rules for sharing common areas. Even if it's just for a one-week cruise. This way you can avoid various potential areas of conflict. For example, you won't have two families trying to cook a meal on the same stove at the same time.
Even small things such as having separate areas for food supplies or assigning shelves in the fridge, contribute to coexistence on board — no unnecessary conflicts regarding food supplies.
We also recommend that you set at least an approximate curfew. Not only will it help you get the kids to bed, but you'll also get a good night's sleep yourself to recharge for the next day if the other group aren't having a loud party on board until morning.