What to expect on your houseboat holiday

One of the most enjoyable aspects of a holiday afloat is the feeling of freedom – freedom to go exactly where you want at your own pace, with everything close at hand. In this article you’ll find some housekeeping tips that will help you understand a little bit about how life on your boat will differ to life ashore and hopefully help you to better enjoy your holiday.

What’s On My Boat?
Your boat is a fully self-contained home away-from-home. On board you’ll find;

• All kitchenware, cleaning products and tea towels.
• Cooktop and oven.
• Toilets and showers (inc. toilet paper).
• Hot water system.
• Fridge/freezer.
• 80L Esky.
• BBQ.
• Inverter (to supply 240v suitable to charge mobile phones and laptops).
• Radio
• Smart TV and/or CD player.
• Swim platform with ladder.
• Shaded decks.
• Outdoor furniture settings.
• Crab nets and cooker (during the crabbing season).
• GPS navigation system with saved tracks for all destinations.
• Ctrack Safety Tracking System.
• First Aid kit.
• Crockery & cutlery.
• Life jackets.
• Fire extinguishers.

What Should I Bring With Me for My Holiday Aboard
• Mobile phones with chargers.
• Food (including salt and pepper, condiments, cooking oil etc).
• Drinking water.
• Music.
• Books.
• Sunscreen.
• Fishing gear (don’t forget you need a fishing licence – apply for one here.).
• Board games.
• Flat sheets & towels (if you don’t want to bring these we can supply them at a nominal charge and if you’ve hired Emily Louise & Quicksilver that all comes as standard).
• Personal toiletries.
• Ice (we can supply ice at our Mandurah base if required).

Where Can I Moor My Houseboat?
There are more than a dozen places where you can moor your houseboat. Ranging from an island that’s only accessible by boat, to moorings right outside pubs and even a couple of swinging moorings at Port Bouvard that are the ultimate getaways since you’re not even close to land.

You can moor at any public jetty or mooring overnight and for 4 hours during daylight hours.

In addition, you may moor for any period of time (day or night) at our private jetties at Mandurah and Ravenswood and our private swing-moorings located near Port Bouvard. Our staff will provide locations of some popular mooring locations during your instruction.

It is worth remembering that all houseboats must be moored by sunset and cannot move before first light.

The water tanks on your boat will be full when you take over your boat. The tanks hold 1,000 litres of fresh water which is more than enough for a three-day houseboat holiday.

Longer stays may require the tanks to be topped up and one of our staff will liase with you so that we can do this at a time and place that is convenient for you.
The water tanks on our boats are periodically sterilised and the water in them is fine for cooking, cleaning food and making tea and coffee. Our advice is that to be on the safe side however, you should bring your own bottled water for drinking.

The good news is that all our boats have showers and hot water.

The bad news is that while some boats have instantaneous hot water boilers, most have small storage tanks that are not designed to deliver the kind of showers that you (or your teenagers) might be used to at home!

Showers on your houseboat need to be kept short and sweet. Remember, all your water is on the boat and you will run out if you’re not mindful of the fact that there’s not an unlimited supply. Our experience tells us that if you do run of water it will be at exactly the most inconvenient time!

With the exception of Rio, Emily Louise and Quicksilver all our boats run on 12v electricity that comes from the batteries on board, with those batteries charged either by the solar panels on the roof of the boat or by the engines when you’re motoring. This means that the toaster, microwave, rice cooker, kettle, hairdryer, sandwich maker, Engels fridge and coffee machine you have at home just won’t work on your houseboat.

Charging your ‘phone isn’t a problem though since all boats have USB charging points and every boat has an inverter on board that will allow you to charge your laptop.

A bit of common sense goes a long way towards ensuring your boat’s toilet functions efficiently and hygienically.

Everything that goes down the toilet on your boat goes into the on-board sullage tank and is then pumped-out into the mains sewerage system at the end of your holiday, so there are only two things that need to go down your boat’s toilet…

1. Anything you have eaten or drunk
2. Very small amounts of toilet paper

If you have problems with the toilet it’s almost always because someone’s put something down there that they shouldn’t have.

Never fear though, most toilet problems are easily sorted by our staff and a couple of buckets of water down there every day will keep everything smelling sweet.

Your boat is equipped with a gas cooker that works in the same way as a household cooker with the supply coming from a gas bottle located in a vented locker. Your boat will have two cylinders. When the gas runs out some boats have an automatic switch-over and some need to be changed over manually – our team will let you know how the system works on your particular boat.

Fire Extinguishers
There are at least two fire extinguishers (and a fire blanket) on board your boat in case of an emergency. Make sure that everyone knows where they are and how to use them. In the event of a serious emergency requiring police, fire or ambulance services, dial 000 and then contact Mandurah Houseboats if possible.

Security Afloat
Theft from boats is very rare, however, opportunist thieves may be deterred with a little forethought. Here is what the police advise:
• Do lock your doors and windows every time you leave your boat
• Do take what valuable items you can with you and leave as little as possible on board.
• Do find a suitable hiding place for things like cameras, watches, binoculars and phones etc.
• Do make sure you can identify your property.
• Don’t leave your valuables on view on tables or leave them outside.
• In the unlikely event that you do encounter any trouble or see anything suspicious, do not hesitate to contact the local police.

At the End of your Holiday
You’ll need to…
• Ensure that you get your boat back to our base by 3pm.
• Check all personal items are off the boat.
• Remove any rubbish and place it in the bins provided.
• Leave the keys in the ignition and the boat unlocked.
• Return any children’s lifejackets to the office.

If you have any questions that aren’t answered here then have a look at our FAQs page, drop us a line at or give us a call on (08) 9535 9898.

Join us on Facebook & Instagram

  • An Unforgettable
  • Family Owned &
  • Tourism