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JBMasterAngler

Houseboat Options

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JBMasterAngler

A possible houseboat trip is in the works for next summer. Which is the best lake to go for that...crane? rainy? or kabetogama/namakan? The trip would be mostly fishing, but also water skiing/tubing/swimming. Would like to hear some options and possibly some shared experiences.

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Dock Boy

Voyagaire Houseboats out of Crane Lake run a top notch opperation. Thier boats are well taken care of and service is second to none. They have a daily hospitality service that if you need anything they will bring it right to your boat. Nightly trivia contest via marine band radio. A couple that live up on lake Namakan that cut service time in half they are already up their to give you a hand. I used to work their, so I know the ins and the outs. Oh another big one for fisherman is that they have a tow bar attachment to tow boats behind the houseboat. I know alot of places still use rope where you can imagine the problems you may run into. If you have any specic questions I would be happy to help you out. Good day Dock Boy

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bobreetz

Years ago I rented a houseboat on Birch Lake, just South of Ely. Birch is a very long, somewhat narrow lake that connects to the Boundary Water lakes, and it had some decent fishing. ( Note from admin, please read forum policy before posting again,thank-you.). It's not like Crane or Rainy but it was a cheaper option. If it were me, I'd do Voyagaire out of Crane. That chain of lakes gives endless possibilities for fishing, bays for parking at night, and lots of houseboat sites. I'd suggest sending a scout boat out to look for that perfect houseboat site, rather than counting on it to be open and finding out it wasn't. Houseboats use some gas. I stayed next door to Voyagaire last year and they appeared to be busy from morning to night. Their staff was a machine moving people out and bringing them in. Rainy Lake scares me a little. It is so big with alot of open area, and I'd be afraid of trying to negotiate these massive boats around rocks and islands in high wind conditions. But I'll bet it would be fun. Have a great time. I'm jealous.......

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Dock Boy

Bob stated they us some gas. Yes they do, but they all have 4 stroke yamaha motors on them so they are pretty fuel efficient. If you choose a particular boat you can call Voyagaire and they will tell you exactly how much gas previous groups used for what ever length of time your going out. This will give you a great idea of how much you will use. Of course it will be give or take 10 to 20 gallons depending on how you use the boat. Some just use them as a base camp and others will use it more as a tour boat. Call them and they will tell you everything you will need to know. Enjoy

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foulpole18

Voyagaire houseboats hospitality is excellent. Two years ago I broke the recoil spring on my motor and when the hospitality boat came by, I asked the guy where I could get it fixed. He said he would take it in and bring it back the next morning. About 7:00 in the morning here he comes with it fixed. Only cost $50. Good deal when I was 2 days into the trip and a long way from town. Voyagaire houseboats make an excellent vacation.

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dfruechte

We spent all of last week up in the area, including 4 days on voyagaire's houseboats. We have also been on Ebels. Voyagaire was very good with service, and delivered things to us as we requested if we needed them, along with making phone calls that we requested over the marine radio. They have damage coverage, and have plastic props, so if you break one, you only need to replace one blade. Very helpful staff. We used 37 gallons for the 4 days and 4 of those were in the generator. After using both, definatley will go back to Voyagaires. All boats had Yamaha 4-Strokes from what I saw, and ours along with our other parties houseboat had the 50hp engines. Very descent cruise speed. GPS said upto 9.7 mph one day that I had with.

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Outfitter17

If you are looking for fishing, then chose Rainy Lake Houseboats and fish RL. You won't regret it.

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Dock Boy

Outfitter, Crane, Sand Point, Namakan, Kabetogama are all the same water as Rainy. Flowing trough Kettle Falls and Gold Portage. Fishing in very comparable. If you haven't tried these waters you should it's very nice. The Crane Chain as we will call it is more narrow of a waterway compared to Rainy. I have been on Rainy a few times and there is lots of open water for wind to affect you. Fishing is great on all 5 lakes including Rainy. Lots of water and fish to catch. Good day.

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JBMasterAngler

We'd use the houseboat as a base camp and have my fishing boat and my brother's speed boat for other purposes. I'll do some research on all the info you guys have given me. I have limited fishing experience on kabetogama/namakan. Aside from size however, they are not all that different than the lakes in the grand marais area. Anyway, thanks for the info, it's gonna be a big help. wink

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OffTheHook-Her

The Ash River is a great starting point for a houseboat trip. It is the central entrance to the park. The historic Kettle Falls is just 17 miles by water. Ebels out of Ash River offer houseboats with hot tubs, air conditioning and water slides. The business has been in the same family since 1971. They know houseboats so well that they build them for other rental companies! The houseboats use gas but not that much with 4-Stroke engines! Average trip 20-30 gallons.

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Outfitter17

Dock boy,

I know it's similar water, I grew up on Rainy. I just wanted to let masterangler know about Rainy Lake houseboats. It's a class operation on a great lake.

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JBMasterAngler

I'm probably gonna set the trip up for next august. So I have plenty of time to watch midwest outdoors (it seems EVERY episode has a segment on the crane/rainy lake area) and get my research done as fat as where to go and what fish to target.

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