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I have never operated a houseboat. Do I need special qualifications or a special license?

You do not need a special license, but you do need to be at least 25 years old to rent a boat. Our River Adventures professional instructors will provide you with a training session prior to your cruise. The training will include starting and maintaining the engines, driving and handling the boat, an explanation of the boats operating systems, waterway rules, navigational tips, radio operations, anchoring and a daily checklist. The onboard training takes approximately one hour and is supplemented by a comprehensive manual that stays on the boat with you. We think you will feel comfortable captaining your boat, but, if you don't, a River Adventures Captain may be available for an additional fee.

What items do you provide on the houseboat? What should I bring with me?

The boat comes equipped with all of the comforts of home, including all bed and bath linens, pots and pans, dishes and silverware, cooking and baking utensils, hand mixer, can opener, cork screw, storage containers, coffee pot and filters, toaster, trash bags, toilet tissue, cleaning supplies including a vacuum, gas BBQ grill with a side burner and propane, an extra large Igloo cooler for extra drinks that won't fit in the refrigerator, and lounge chairs and table on both the front and upper decks. Air Conditioning of Course!

14 lifejackets are provided on-board, however none are suitable for the little ones in your group. Currently Georgetown Marina has a free infant LifeJacket rental in co-op with TOW BOAT US.

You will need to bring the following items on your River Adventures cruise:

Clothes: You will need comfortable vacation clothing. Don't forget the swimwear! Bring a light jacket or sweater as the wind could get chilly

Food: Cooking is easy in the well-equipped kitchen with full sized range, microwave and refrigerator so include all of the favorite foods your family enjoys. Remember to bring paper towels and plenty of paper plates and cups if you want to avoid washing dishes!
Please have all your provisions with you when you arrive at the dock to avoid departure delay. There is a large, modern WinnDixie in Cresent City so you can shop there before coming to Georgetown Marina.

Personal Items: Bath towels, wash clothes and toilet paper (10 rolls) are furnished. Please bring your own favorite bath and toiletry items including hand soap. Your hair dryer and electric shaver will work fine-no need for adapters. You may want to bring extra beach towels.

Fun Stuff: Be sure to include those inflatable rafts, rings and kids toys. Don't forget to pack the snorkels and masks! Binoculars and cameras are an absolute must-include lots of film, batteries, and blank tapes. You will be able to recharge those video and digital camera batteries onboard. There will be plenty of time for some relaxing reading so pack those novels and magazines. How about that favorite movie that you haven't had time to view? Throw it in with the videos/DVDs you pack for the kids. Video player provided only.

Miscellaneous: There is still plenty of room. The fishermen will need to bring that favorite pole or rod and reel, and all of the gear and lucky lures that it takes to catch a "big one". Please don't forget that sunscreen or bug repellent.

May I bring my pet?

Sorry, pets of any kind will not be able to go with you. There are not adequate facilities on the boat to include pets.

Do we need to bring life jackets?

There are 12 Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) included on the boat. If you have more than 12 people aboard at any time, you will need to bring extra PFDs for them. You will also need to provide them for children or any adults needing special sizes. Non-swimming adults and small children should always wear their vest when not in the main cabin of the boat. PFDs are not babysitters. Even though a child wears a PFD when on or near the water, an adult should always be there, too. Parents should remember that inflatable toys should not be used in place of PFDs.

What about "bugs" in Florida?

Florida does have mosquitoes that are bothersome at some times during the year, however, including repellent in the items you bring will take care of the pesky creatures. During the summer months you may encounter what the locals refer to as "blind mosquitoes". A great asset to have on board is a bug "fogger". This drives them away and they die elsewhere! They are actually midges and though a nuisance to clean up, they do not bite!

Are there wildlife dangers on the river?

The St. Johns River provides the opportunity to see an abundant array of animals in their native habitat. Most of the year, you'll see birds like the Great Blue Heron, Osprey, American Bald Eagle, Ibis, Egrets, Cranes, Anhingas and much more. Manatees are frequently spotted throughout the river and its tributaries. Florida Black Bears, deer, and other mammals are alongside the river, but are rarely seen from the water. Alligators and snakes are common in the river, but it is virtually impossible for them to climb aboard and travel with you! Always remember feeding wild animals, especially alligators can be very dangerous.

Should I be concerned about safety on the river?

We have provided you with a safe, well-maintained and equipped vessel for your cruise. For your maximum enjoyment, you will need to follow safe boating practices as outlined in the manual and exercise good judgment. At least two members of your cruise team should go through the pre-cruise training to understand how to operate the boat. The River Adventures Inc. cruising area is patrolled frequently by county and state law enforcement agencies who will assist you in an emergency. Remember consumption of alcoholic beverages while operating a vessel is illegal in the state of Florida.

How is the fishing?

The St. Johns River is renowned for its great fishing with several local, as well as regional and national fishing tournaments being held there every year. You may reel in a stringer of Large Mouthed Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, Catfish and more.

What does a youth need to do to fish legally? Youth under the age of 16 do not need a fishing license, although they must abide by all other fishing regulations such as gear type, bag and size limits. They may, however, be asked to provide proof of age.- taken from http://floridafisheries.com/license.html

You will need to have a Florida Fishing License.

Can I tow my own boat or personal watercraft behind the houseboat?

Sure! Any boat or personal watercraft up to 21 feet in length can be easily towed. We'll give you towing tips in the onboard manual. Please bring polypropylene floating rope to use. A PVC pipe, rope and a bow hook up is a quick rig and easy idea for the safety of your boat when the houseboats slows down/stops.

Are fishing boats and PWCs available for rent?

We don't mind at all you bringing your own personal watercraft! We have a 15 ft Boston Whaler available to rent as well as two kayaks for fishing and exploring.

What weather conditions can I expect on my cruise?

Without being a weather forecaster or a psychic, that would be difficult to predict, however, we can give you some general information about the weather in North Florida. During the summer months, you can expect warm temperatures and high humidity, but remember, the houseboat has central air-conditioning! Temperatures rarely exceed 100. It is also common for showers to pop up in the afternoon, but it usually clears off quickly and you can resume outdoor activities with little inconvenience. Winter weather can be cool at times. A rare freeze may occur for a few hours, but the boat has central heat, so you can be as warm as you wish!

Where will I leave my car while I am on my cruise?

There is plenty of free safe parking at the marina. It offers highly visable parking spots for the safety of your vehicle.

Where are the River Adventures Boats located?

River Adventures' home port is Georgetown Marina, Georgetown, FL. the Marina is a short distance south of Palatka and west of beautiful Crescent City, Florida.

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What sort of Engines do these Houseboats have?

The 60ft Houseboats have twin 135 hp 4 cylinder Mercruiser Engines. They are Inboard/outboard alpha 1 drives. They work independently, so the Boat may operate similar to a Caterpillar or Tank - and this makes handling the boats remarkably easier to handle than a single screw.

The onboard Westerbeke 12.5 kw Generator will handle almost anything you through at it, as long as you keep it's cooling strainer clear from debris. We have had 5 piece bands with all equipment running, Air conditioning cranking and blenders/ hot water/ etc etc going all at once! So you shouldn't have a problem for lack of electricity!

How much gas will I use?

Our fuel Capacity is 150 gals. Generally speaking, they burn just on 10 gals an hour at full cruising speed. (10 mph) This includes the Westebeak generator's 1.5 gal an hour to look after electricity. Whilst anchored, depending on how cold the air conditioning is and other power outlets running, the generator will burn just over 1 gal an hour 24/7. Towing a boat is definitely recommended, and will burn a little extra fuel.

It really depends on how much travelling you are planning to do on the river.

How much water do we have on board?

280 gals of Fresh Water. DO BRING PLENTY OF BOTTLED WATER. Along the way down the river, All gas stations will have a hose for you to fill-up. In fact, when you get gas you may as well fill the water up too!

Are there places along the river to buy food supplies?

Most people buy all food in the beginning, and buy ice/bait/beer/water/sundry items along the way in-case of a run out. We have a full size fridge and large cooler on-board, and we recommend bringing coolers.

Are there places at your marina to buy food supplies?

Currently, Georgetown Marina offers very little in the way of food, however, there is a Winn-Dixie in Crescent City within a few miles of the marina, which is easy to get to.

Waste tank holding capacity.

We have 2 different holding tanks for each toilet. They are 100 gals each, which generally should take care of even the heaviest party boat and people for week or 2! Currently there are 3 places to pump out.

  • Georgetown Marina on Lake George- where we are located.
  • Crystal Cove Marina, Palatka, Florida.
  • Holly Bluff Marina, DeLand
  • Astor Marina, Astor

How far away is the Silver Glen Springs?

Silver Glen is close to Georgetown Marina, basically across the Lake (George). Silver Glen Springs are natural fresh water springs that stay a constant 72 deg year round. The weekends are usually jam packed with boaters, and does make life tricky to get our huge boats in. We recommend getting to the Springs early Friday or wait until Sunday evening/Monday morning. See the beautiful photos we have below!

What happens if something goes wrong out on the River?

We will be out there in a flash! We are always ready and willing to be launched at any time. Just call us on the 1-866 OUR BOAT or any of the numbers provided on-board for any questions or dilemmas you may be having!

If it's an emergency, use channel 16 on the marine radio to signal for help.

 

 



River Adventures Houseboat Rental Company
St. Johns River - Georgetown, Florida

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