We parked it in a cove for the week, away from
boat traffic, and it never left.” Over the years,
their children have had kids of their own, so
on their most recent adventure, the crew of 14
required a 70-foot houseboat, with six staterooms, two heads, and a pull-out couch for
the kids. The upper deck had a bar, hot tub,
and a slide to the water below. “The kids went
down the slide 100 times a day,” says Barb.
In the morning my cousins took the
kids fishing in the bass boat they’d brought
down. Later, they’d kneeboard or tube behind
the pontoon boat. Besides being the all-
around watersports boat, the pontoon boat
also served another, more crucial purpose. It
allowed my grandfather and late grandmother
to participate in the vacation. The level deck of
the pontoon made it possible for my mobility-impaired grandmother to walk from the pontoon right onto the houseboat and back, so
she could still be at the center of the action.
Bringing the whole family along made the
experience special. Perhaps that’s one reason houseboating destinations often lead the
nation’s lakes in visitor hours logged each year.
“Most houseboat destinations aren’t about
nightlife,” says Robert Boulds, vice president
of Houseboating.org. “They’re about expe-
riencing the destination and spending time
with friends and family.” Houseboating.org
is a travel site specializing in houseboat char-
ters, and offers information and booking for
40 different lakes around the country.