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There is a limit to how far you can take the houseboats. The info is on the website. I did have to make my reservations twice because I didn't get a confirmation the first time and they had no record of it. Had to change dates, the week I wanted was taken by then.
Oh yeah. There's that. 馃槈
 

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My wife and I and our two sons rented one of the old Gibson house boats for Thanksgiving weekend about 1992. Slow as molasses, but very comfortable. It had a small diesel generator and A/C, refrigerator, stove, etc. We towed our skiff out to the mouth of the Little Shark River and had a great time fishing from Lost Mans down to Big Sable Creek. We tried to fish some in the river at night but the mosquitos were so bad we gave up. We also thought how great it would be to sit on the upper deck and star gaze, until the dew fell and everything was soaking wet. Still a great trip and back in those days gas and diesel were pretty cheap. The generator ran non stop and only used $5.00 worth of diesel. Take plenty of gas with you because you will run more than you think exploring.
 

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Rented one a few years ago. Awesome experience. Making sure you bring all of your supplies and enough gas to not have to go back to Flamingo can make space tight. Anchor away from the tree line to keep the bugs down. They never really go away. We drug our lightest skiff behind the house boat and we drove the other two skiffs up to where we anchored out. Honestly though if you are going in the cooler months the Eco tents in the campground are a great option. A little longer run in the am, but a pretty solid nights sleep.
 

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The new houseboats are very nice鈥 My hat鈥檚 off to the concessionaire who spent their own funds to buy them and are currently keeping them in good condition鈥. We鈥檙e in better shape with this outfit than any I鈥檝e ever seen in the Park - since the mid-seventies, in my opinion鈥

By the way, for anyone trip planning鈥 count on it taking about four hours time to get about halfway across Whitewater Bay from the marina鈥.
 

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The new ones are too nice. The bathroom and shower on them are huge. They come with everything on board including dishes and silverware. We rented the dolphin I think and it had two queen sized beds and a pullout couch in the front. They gave us plenty of gas for the generator. From my understanding, you can run them as far up whitewater bay as you want, you just can't run out into the bay. I've seen them up in some coves in Joe's river and up in Oyster bay too. Not real fast, but hey come with a little gps and depth finder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
The new ones are too nice. The bathroom and shower on them are huge. They come with everything on board including dishes and silverware. We rented the dolphin I think and it had two queen sized beds and a pullout couch in the front. They gave us plenty of gas for the generator. From my understanding, you can run them as far up whitewater bay as you want, you just can't run out into the bay. I've seen them up in some coves in Joe's river and up in Oyster bay too. Not real fast, but hey come with a little gps and depth finder.
My only complaint about the boat would be the shower, maybe its because im a bigger guy. But its a tight squeeze in there, kinda like standing in a refrigerator box lol With all the bathroom space you would think they could have extended it out just a little more
 

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My only complaint about the boat would be the shower, maybe its because im a bigger guy. But its a tight squeeze in there, kinda like standing in a refrigerator box lol With all the bathroom space you would think they could have extended it out just a little more
Yeah, there's plenty of room in the bathroom to double the shower size.
 

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We were the last group before covid shut things down. Was very impressed with the houseboats, big improvement over the old ones. Plan on committing a couple hours just getting off the dock and down the canal (employee has to drive you to Coot Bay and gets ferried back to the dock after) and vice versa on your way back. I think the best we got out of the boats was 12 mph. At that speed they can nosedive and flood the front deck if you're not paying attention. We brought our own generators so I can't speak on that, but bring more gas than you think you'll need, and plan on putting some in the houseboat to make it home even if you stay within their boundaries.

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
We were the last group before covid shut things down. Was very impressed with the houseboats, big improvement over the old ones. Plan on committing a couple hours just getting off the dock and down the canal (employee has to drive you to Coot Bay and gets ferried back to the dock after) and vice versa on your way back. I think the best we got out of the boats was 12 mph. At that speed they can nosedive and flood the front deck if you're not paying attention. We brought our own generators so I can't speak on that, but bring more gas than you think you'll need, and plan on putting some in the houseboat to make it home even if you stay within their boundaries.

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Man what a cool picture, looks like yall had it down to a science there. That looks a damn good time with plenty of extra space between the three.
 

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We just spent the weekend there with three of the boats. The older boats had different sleeping set ups that were more comfortable. The newer management group has you meet them at the entrance to Tarpon Creek and takes you there before you actually launch with the boat. Meeting them there to drop off the boat at 10AM burns a lot of your last day. We average about fifteen people when we go as a group so we keep the boats at the dock so folks can make their own decision to fish either inside or outside. Overall I have enjoyed using it as a mother ship and also just as a floating room.
 

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Thinking about doing this but the reservation form says you cannot "check in" until 3pm. Is that true? How do you get all the paperwork done and get back in there before dark?
 

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We were the last group before covid shut things down. Was very impressed with the houseboats, big improvement over the old ones. Plan on committing a couple hours just getting off the dock and down the canal (employee has to drive you to Coot Bay and gets ferried back to the dock after) and vice versa on your way back. I think the best we got out of the boats was 12 mph. At that speed they can nosedive and flood the front deck if you're not paying attention. We brought our own generators so I can't speak on that, but bring more gas than you think you'll need, and plan on putting some in the houseboat to make it home even if you stay within their boundaries.
You sir have much cooler friends than me.
 
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Thinking about doing this but the reservation form says you cannot "check in" until 3pm. Is that true? How do you get all the paperwork done and get back in there before dark?
We checked in first thing in the morning, around 8am I think. Call them during the week. They will answer all your questions.
 
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