Do we have to start our vacation on a certain day?
No. We do not require you to begin your houseboat vacation on any specific day of the week.
Are pets allowed?
Yes. We ask that you keep your dog(s) leashed while on the property. Dogs must be leashed at all times when on land in Voyageurs National Park. Bring along a bed/kennel for them to sleep on/in. There is a $60.00 pet fee for your trip.
Is the houseboat easy to drive?
Yes. Our houseboats are simplified down to basic instrumentation so our guests have an easy skippering task. All navigational charts are supplied with navigation routes drawn into all mooring sites. A short course on operating the houseboat is provided when you arrive. The lake is marked with color-coded and numbered buoys which are reflected in your charts making navigation simple. We request that you download the Navionics U.S. & Canada App on your smartphone or iPhone. Go to the App store or Google Play. You do not need cell service for the app. The app will show you traveling in real time on the navigation routes of Rainy Lake. It is the easy way to navigate Rainy Lake! Load the apps at home with faster internet service. Rural internet is slower than what you are used to.
What is the maximum number of people I can have on a houseboat?
It is a Coast Guard regulation that you can have a maximum of 12 people on a houseboat.
Where can I purchase groceries for our trip?
International Falls has two grocery stores:
Super One Foods on Highway 71 | 218.283.8440
County Market 1901 Valley Pine Circle | 218.283.4475
How do we get supplies when we are out on the lake?
If you notice you are getting low on something, please radio the office for supplies. Typically, if you call us on the marine radio the day before with your order, we will have your supplies delivered the following afternoon. If you need something immediately, there is a $65.00 delivery fee.
Do I need a Canadian Fishing License?
Most of our guests stay in Voyageurs National Park on the Minnesota side of Rainy Lake, needing only a Minnesota fishing license to fish. If you plan on parking and fishing in Canada, you will need a Remote Area Border Crossing Permit, an Ontario fishing license for each person 18 years and older, and an Ontario Crown Land Camping permit for each person, for each night mooring in Canada 18 years and older. Below are the links for a RABC (Remote Area Border Crossing Permit) and nonresident Ontario Fishing license and Outdoors Card.
RABC (Remote Area Border Crossing Permit)
Outdoors Card and Ontario Nonresident Fishing License
United States Border services requirements if you have landed, anchored, or hovered with another vessel in Canada: Clear into U.S. Customs at Rainy Lake Houseboats office between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM on the CBP Roam iPad. After 7:00 PM you may use the CBP Roam iPad at Thunderbird Lodge. Failure to report can subject you to fines greater than $5000.00.
If you would like to fish in Ontario waters and stay in Minnesota it is easier than ever. No Remote Area Border Crossing permit is necessary. As long as you do not touch shore, anchor with a rope and anchor, or hover with another vessel you do not need the RABC or report to customs.
You need a valid Outdoors Card to purchase a fishing license. If you do not have an Outdoors Card purchase it first before trying to purchase the fishing license. 95% of our guests purchasing a non-resident Ontario fishing license get the 8-day conservation license. The sport fishing license does not allow you to keep more than one walleye per day, Conservation is one walleye per day two in possession.
If you have lost, or don’t remember the Outdoor Card number call 1-800-387-7011 between 7:30 AM – 3:30 PM Central Standard time.
What can I expect when hiring a fishing guide?
A fishing guide meets you at your houseboat at 8 am and fishes with you until 4 pm. Two to three people can fish in the guide’s boat, and one follow boat is allowed. Our guides are excellent multi-specie anglers, giving you the choice of what to fish for. He will also go over charts and give you suggestions on where to fish for the rest of your vacation.
Rainy Lake Houseboats is not responsible for guides hired by customers from other guide services. We are happy to arrange guides for you. The sooner you decide the better chance you have to fish with one of the best guides on Rainy Lake.
What does a spot guide do?
A spot guide will travel along with your group to help you become more comfortable operating the houseboat. You will do the driving but will be assisted with reading the charts, locating the buoys, and finding a good mooring spot.
How are mechanical problems handled?
Should your houseboat or rental boat/motor need service during your trip we provide immediate help. Most issues can be handled quickly on our marine band radio. If we cannot correct the problem our mechanical staff is sent as soon as possible to correct the problem. Our highly trained mechanical staff that will get you on your way quickly.
How are medical emergencies handled?
All of our houseboats are equipped with a marine band radio. We will respond with either our service boat or by calling the National Park Rangers.
May 9 - Labor Day: Channel 06 | 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Labor Day - October 1: Channel 06 | 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
After office hours, the Koochiching County Sheriffs Department monitors Channel 16 for emergencies. If you have cell service call the sheriff at 1-218-283-4416
How much fuel will the houseboat use?
The gallons listed by length of stay and model of the houseboat is the average customer usage stays.3 Day4 Day5 DayWeeklyHoneymooner3 Day354 Day435 Day50Weekly66Minnitaki3 Day474 Day585 Day67Weekly78Voyageur/Tamarac3 Day554 Day735 Day82Weekly90Saginaw/Kempton3 Day704 Day935 Day105Weekly118Gold Rush3 Day904 Day1115 Day118Weekly147Lady of the Lake3 Day1054 Day1275 Day142Weekly154
What is included in the linen pack?
Sheets for the beds and a bath towel, hand towel and washcloth. Double beds include towels for two people.
What if my family needs to contact me?
There is limited cell phone service on Rainy Lake. Verizon works in some areas, ATT in other areas. You can always give your family our office number - 218.286.5391 - if they need to contact you. We will be happy to pass along a message via marine radio to you.
I use a CPAP machine at night. Can I use it on the houseboat?
Yes, you can use CPAP machine. You will need to bring a 400-watt inverter with battery clamps to attach the inverter to deep cycle battery, and we will supply you with a battery. Set humidity to off and the battery will last seven days.
What should I bring?
Please see our houseboat packing list for recommendations on what to bring on your trip.