Houseboat how-to

How to rent a houseboat for a vacation in the California Delta

For a family or group, renting a houseboat can make a fun vacation. Call well in advance to book for summer months.

In addition to renting the boat, be prepared to pay for fuel.

Don't motor at night.

Check the tide tables before docking for the night and before passing under bridges.

Check currents and wind conditions before docking.

Bring linens and sleeping bags.

Pack light, since storage space can be tight. Bring sunscreen, bug repellent, a flashlight, warm clothing for cool nights, and extra towels for bathing.

Bring groceries with you, since a marina's selection can be limited.


Paradise Point Marina. Costs start at $1,150 for three days and two nights on a 10-person boat (from $1,350 Jun 16-Sep 1 and Memorial Day weekend). Seven Crown Resorts, 8095 Rio Blanco Rd., Stockton; (209) 952-1000.

Delta Houseboat Rentals. From $1,495 for two weekend nights or three weeknights on a 10-person boat (from $2,095 Jun 3-Aug 30). Forever Resorts, 1400 Old Levee Rd., Walnut Grove; (800) 255-5561, or (916) 776-4270.

Herman & Helen's Marina. From $740 for three nights on a six-person boat. Venice Island Ferry, Stockton; (800) 676-4841, or (209) 951-4634.