trent severn waterway houseboat rental

Trent Severn Houseboat Rental Guide

Setting sail into serenity: Your comprehensive guide to houseboat rentals on the Trent Severn Waterway

Contemplating renting a houseboat for the first time for a weekend escape or a week-long vacation along the Trent Severn Waterway? It’s one of the most unique things you can do in the Kawartha Lakes region.

To help ensure your experience will be smooth sailing, we’ve put together this helpful houseboat rental guide.

Benefits of taking a houseboat rental vacation on the Trent Severn Waterway

There are many benefits to going on a houseboating getaway on “The Trent”.

First of all, you’ll feel like a kid again, embarking on an adventure.

A houseboat rental vacation allows you to connect with nature in a unique and intimate way.

You’ll see wildlife, sunsets and tranquil surroundings.

Every morning you’ll wake up to the serene sounds of nature.

As you make your way along the Trent Severn Waterway you’ll have to opportunity to dock and discover various “lock towns”.

Houseboating also gives you the freedom to explore or relax at your own pace making it a truly unique and memorable experience.

Most importantly spending time on the water with family and friends is a wonderful way to catch up and connect.

How does the houseboat rental process work?

How to book your houseboat

Renting a houseboat is straight forward.

First, check your calendar and come up with a few options for dates. Then visit the website of a houseboat rental provider or contact them by phone to see if your preferred dates are available. If they are, book your vessel.

In the Kawartha Lakes there are two houseboat operators you can choose from: Egan Houseboat Rentals in Omemee and R&R Houseboat Rentals in Bobcaygeon.

Do you need a boater’s license and insurance?

You DO NOT need a boater’s license to rent and operate a houseboat on the Trent Severn Waterway.

And Insurance is typically included in the rental fee. It covers any unforeseen incidents during your adventure.

Do you have to sign a waiver?

Yes. Before setting sail, you’ll be required to sign a houseboat rental waiver.

This document outlines safety guidelines, responsibilities, and ensures that you understand the terms of the rental agreement.

It’s a standard procedure to guarantee a smooth and enjoyable Trent Severn Waterway vacation for everyone.

What if you’ve never driven a houseboat (or any boat) before?

A little nervous about driving a houseboat? Don’t be. Houseboats are surprisingly easy to navigate, and your rental company will provide a comprehensive orientation.

They’ll instruct you on safety guidelines and teach you the basics of steering, anchoring and navigating the locks of the Trent Severn Waterway.

You’ll have the hang of it in no time.

What if you an incident occurs with your Trent Severn Waterway houseboat rental?

The simplicity of operating a houseboat, even for a novice boater, means incidents out on the water are rare but they can happen.

If, for example, your houseboat gets stuck or sustains a minor ding or scrape from a rock or while passing through a lock, your houseboat rental company is standing by to assist you.

Just give them a call on your cell.

They’ll get your vacation back on course quickly and safely.

What safety features does a houseboat rental come with?

When you embark on a houseboating vacation on the Trent Severn Waterway you want to do so with peace of mind.

That’s why, for your safety out on the water, your rental houseboat comes equipped with a life jacket for everyone in your party, navigation lights, and emergency equipment.

Note: It’s a good idea to bring your own life jackets for any children going on your trip.

The height and weight of children can vary so much that rental houseboat providers can’t guarantee that the life jacket they would provide for any children on board will be a perfect fit.

What amenities are included with a rental houseboat?

A rental houseboat really is a home on the water.

Inside it’s fully equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, sleeping quarters and sitting areas.

Outside there are spaces for lounging and lying in the sun and there’s a barbecue.

In some cases your rental houseboat may even come with a slide for making a real splash into the water!

How much does it cost to rent a houseboat?

Houseboat rental rates can fluctuate from year to year.

For the most up to date pricing it’s best to contact the houseboat rental company you’re considering or visit their website for cost confirmation.

There are two houseboat rental operators in the Kawartha Lakes region that you can check pricing out with:

What’s the best time of the year to rent a houseboat for the Trent Severn Waterway?

Houseboats for travelling on the Trent Severn Waterway are available for rent in the Kawartha Lakes starting in early May until mid-September.

Determining what the best time of the year to rent one is depends on what your priorities are.

To help you figure that out, here are some factors to consider when making your decision:

Renting a houseboat in May and June

  • Houseboat rental rates in May and June can be up to 50% cheaper than peak season i.e., July and August.
  • While you can definitely get summer-like days in May and June, the temperatures can still be a little unpredictable from day-to-day.
  • The waters of the Trent Severn Waterway are still warming up from winter in May and June, so if you want to include swimming in your houseboat rental plans just remember water temperatures will be a little cooler than they would in mid-summer.
  • If you’re into fishing the cooler lake temperatures in the spring mean fish will be swimming closer to the surface. They’ll be hungry too after a long winter of hibernating. In other words, springtime is a great time to catch something!

Renting a houseboat in July and August

  • Most people take their summer vacations in July and August. Naturally this is the time of the year when houseboat rentals are most in demand. Consequently this is when houseboat rental rates are at their highest. If you want to go on a houseboat cruise of the Trent Severn Waterway during these months, you should definitely book early.
  • The weather on the waterway during July and August is typically hot and sunny making for awesome days and nights on the water.
  • July and August are great months for swimming, snorkeling, fishing and exploring the Trent Severn Waterway.

Renting a houseboat in September and October

  • Like May and June, in September and October houseboat rental rates are up to 50% less than the peak rates in July and August.
  • With summer over and the kids back in school, the Trent Severn Waterway is less busy during September and October. This can make a fall houseboating trip more relaxing and tranquil.
  • Less people and boats on the water also means it will take less time to go through the locks than it would in July and August.
  • The fall colours along the waterway are stunning in late September/early October. Heading out on a rental houseboat is a fantastic way to take in the vivacious vividness of this fall spectacle.

How many people can a rental houseboat accommodate?

Depending on the size of the houseboat that you rent, 10-16 adults can fit comfortably on a houseboat.

What things should you pack for your houseboat rental trip on the Trent Severn Waterway?

Even though your houseboat rental comes with many amenities, like any vacation, there are still some things you will need to pack for your Trent Severn Waterway getaway. Here’s a list of suggestions:

  1. Clothing for various weather conditions.
  2. Sunscreen and bug spray.
  3. First aid kit.
  4. Snorkeling gear.
  5. Fishing equipment.
  6. Board games, playing cards and books.
  7. Camera to capture memories.
  8. Portable phone charger.
  9. Towels and toiletries.
  10. And most importantly…your sense of adventure!

Do you need to buy a lock pass for travelling through the Trent Severn Waterway?

No. A Trent Severn Waterway lock pass is included with your houseboat rental.

How many locks does the Trent Severn Waterway have?

The Trent Severn Waterway opened in 1922. It is 386 kms and connects Lake Ontario at Trenton, Ontario to Georgian Bay. To go from one end to the other takes just over 7 days.

The waterway is made up of 44 locks: 37 conventional locks, two sets of flight locks, two of the world’s highest hydraulic lift locks, and a marine railway.

What are some of places you can stop and explore along the Trent Severn Waterway?

While on your houseboating journey through the Trent Severn Waterway you will pass through a few towns. These are referred to as Trent Severn Trail Towns.

If you do feel like de-boarding onto dry land so you can stretch your legs, these towns are great places to stop.

Each town offers a variety of things to check out, from shopping and dining options, to ice cream shops and green spaces for playing with a ball or frisbee.

Where can you stay for the night?

After a day of travelling along the Trent Severn Waterway you have a number of options for where you and your rental houseboat can stop overnight.

Want to stay somewhere for free? You can anchor in a bay or tie off to a tree on the shore (just be sure it’s not someone’s private property).

If you don’t mind paying, you can moor your rental houseboat at one of the Trent Severn Waterways’ locks, or a marina, campground or trailer park located along the shore. With one of these options, be smart–call ahead and reserve your spot.

Book your houseboat rental adventure on the Trent Severn Waterway today

A houseboat rental trip along the Trent Severn Waterway is more than a vacation; it’s a journey into tranquility, relaxation and adventure.

Embrace the freedom of the open water, savour the simplicity of life on a floating home, enjoy time on the water with family and friends, and create memories that will last forever.

Pack your bags, set sail on a rental houseboat, and let the Trent Severn Waterway work its magic on you.

Up for another adventure on the water?

Go on a guided river kayaking tour.

Photo Credit: TripAdvisor