Q. What do we do to hire a boat?
A. Firstly you need to decide on what size boat you will need. Once that has been established then deciding what dates suit you best.
There is Peak Period which covers the Christmas school holidays and Easter.
Normal Period which is all other months excluding June, July and August, these fall into the Off Peak Period. During Peak Period it is a minimun of 7 days but any other time, lesser days are avaliable with 3 nights minimum. School holidays in April, July and September are also 7 days minimum but there may be shorter periods available by negotiation.
Q. Payment how do we go about it?
A. When you book your houseboat a deposit needs to be paid to confirm your bookings and varies from $250 to $1000 depending on the boat hired or length of hire. This may be paid by card, direct debit, cheque or money order. All payments will need to be paid by the time stipulated to avoid your booking being cancelled. Your confirmation will have all the payment details and the dates you need to pay.
Q. Do we need to pay a bond?
A. Yes a cash bond is payable on boarding and the amount depends on which boat is being hired, from $300 to $1000. Bond is returned by post within 14 days. In some cases the bond is returned on the day of disembarking once the fuel etc has been paid and boat has been returned in good order.
Q. Do we need any special insurance?
A. All boats are insured. If all the terms and conditions of hire are adhered to, the limit of liability is usually the insurance excess which varies from boat to boat but approx $400 to $800. Wilful damage or negligent damage will be deducted from your bond.
Q. I have never driven a houseboat, what will I need to do?
A. To drive a houseboat you will need to be a minimun of 18 years of age and hold a current drivers licence. Approximately an hour's tuition is given prior to starting your holiday. We also have our own radio two way system should you require assistance or need anything.
Q. What if I need to cancel?
A. Our cancellation policy is outlined in our conditions of hire.
Q. What will I need to bring?
A. All of the boats are very well equipped with everything that will make your holiday comfortable. All bedding is provided but by all means if you have a favourite pillow or such you may like to bring it along. Electrical appliances brought on board are at your own risk and at our discretion. Not all boats have constant 240volts. You may like to ask about this when making your booking. If you require a breathing machine please discuss this prior to boarding.
Bath towels are provided on some of the boats but on others you will need to supply your own. Bath towels are available if required at minimal cost.
Other than that basically it is your food and drink that you need to supply to cover the time you are out on the river. We do send out with your confirmation a list of suggested items you may need for your holiday. There is good shopping in Renmark with 2 supermarkets, Woolworth's and Foodland a couple of bucher shops, Baker's Delight, fruit & veg, a very good patisserie and plenty more.
Q. What distance can we travel?
A. Most of the houseboats travel around 7km an hour and most clients tend to travel around 4-5 hours a day. Basically you travel until you find a spot along the river that appeals to you. There are no designated areas so its up to you to find that perfect spot. Well informed river charts are provided on all of our boats to help you plot your course each day and to help you navigate safely.
Q. Are there any restrictions as to when we can travel i.e. night time?
A. Night travel is not permitted and you should be moored before sunset. Other than that there are no restrictions. Obviously common sense should prevail.
Q. Fuel costs, how much will we use?
A. All fuel is paid for at the end of the hire and fuel is charged at the current fuel prices at the time. All boats vary so it is a good idea if concerned to ask what the usage would be for the boat you are hiring. For economical fuel usage always drive the boats at the recommended revs suggested by your houseboat operator on boarding.
Q. What can we expect to see on our river holiday?
A. You will enjoy the magic of the beautiful River Murray with abundant wildlife and bird life. You will pass majestic river gums and spectacular cliffs. There are plenty of photo opportunities. If you would like to hire a canoe or dinghy these are available but need to be booked to secure them. This gives you an extra way to explore the many creeks or just to have a good look around or to do a spot of fishing. Sunsets and beautiful mornings are a delight and cannot be compared. On your final night you may like to come back to Renmark and dine at any one of the restaurants, hotel bistro or club if you decide on a night off from the dishes.
Q. What does the Houseboat Hirer's Association member symbol mean?
A. By being a member of the association all members are committed to abide by the code of ethics and conduct.
Q. How do we know that the boat will meet all safety standards?
A. All hire boats have to be surveyed by the Department of Transport - Marine Safety Section to ensure that all safety measures are met.