Lake Shasta Houseboat Rental

How to Rent a Lake Shasta Houseboat

Houseboat at Lake Shasta
••• Houseboat at Lake Shasta. ©2005 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

A Lake Shasta houseboat vacation is a favorite of many people in Northern Californian and Southern Oregon. It's a fun option for both large family vacations and lazy, quiet getaways with a group of friends.

The Lake Shasta houseboat experience is relaxing, with little to do all day but swim, cruise around exploring the lake's many coves, read, play games or take a nap. It's not a good choice for anyone who likes to be on the go all the time, but it's a nice change of pace if you want to slow down for a while.

Anytime is nice to be out in a Lake Shasta houseboat, but the area is busiest June through August. The weather is best in September. For smooth water and fewer people, go in December or January.

Lake Shasta Houseboat Rental Facts

  • Lake Shasta houseboat rentals range from 43 to 75 feet, with room for 6 to 16 people. If that sounds like a lot of folks in a small space, it may be. On some models, the roof is also a place for people to hang out, and some like to sleep up there, too. Nevertheless, a Lake Shasta houseboat vacation should only be taken with people you can get along with in close quarters.
  • You'll get a houseboat equipped with a range, refrigerator, propane grill, kitchen utensils and dishes, a heater, and a bathroom with toilet and shower. The largest houseboats will have more amenities such as big-screen televisions, private rooms, and hot tubs.
  • If you want to have a bonfire on shore at Lake Shasta, you'll need a permit, which you can get when you rent your boat.

  • Worried about safety? You might fall overboard, but a Lake Shasta houseboat is supposedly almost impossible to sink.

Lake Shasta Houseboat Rental Costs

  • Rental rates vary by season, boat size and amenities. You'll pay the highest rates June through August, mid-level rates in September and less the rest of the year.
  • The fuel tank will be full when you pick up your boat, and you can always go back to the dock to buy more, fuel is not included in the rental price, and neither are taxes.
  • At first glance, a Lake Shasta houseboat rental seems very expensive. Before you dismiss it, calculate the cost per person (or family) per night, taking into account that you will be cooking rather than eating out. You may be surprised how affordable it is.
  • The average houseboat renter spends about $60 per day for fuel.
  • Expect to pay a deposit of several hundred dollars when you make a reservation, along with an extra damage deposit ($500 to $2,000). The full rental fee will be due about 45 to 60 days before you arrive, and you must cancel at least 30 days in advance, or you'll forfeit it all.

Lake Shasta Houseboat Rental Companies

You'll find plenty of companies offering houseboat rentals on Lake Shasta. On the low end, you'll get a clean, well-supplied, basic boat that sleeps six. High-end boats sleep up to 16 and have swim platforms, slides, rooftop sundecks (some with hot tubs), DVD players, satellite TV and satellite radio, private bedrooms, and faux fireplaces.