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Touring 1000 Islands via Houseboat?

tuttiface
8 posts
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Touring 1000 Islands via Houseboat?

We're a group of 4 (2 couples) and wanted to get some feedback. We're thinking of renting a houseboat and touring around the 1000 islands and the Gananoque area and had some questions:

Is it a good idea? :D

Any houseboat rental companies to recommend?

What would be an ideal length of time? We were thinking 3-4 days.

is there a lot to do? We were thinking Sandbanks, hiking around the 1000 islands, Boldt Castle?

Austin, Texas
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8 posts
178 reviews
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21. Re: Touring 1000 Islands via Houseboat?

See posts 16 & 17 above & go with Houseboat Holidays!

Oakville, Canada
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3 posts
3 reviews
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22. Re: Touring 1000 Islands via Houseboat?

Babochka,

thank you for your review!

The boats look a little run down...are they clean and relatively well kept?

thanks!

Oakville, Canada
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23. Re: Touring 1000 Islands via Houseboat?

Babochka,

thank you for your review!

The boats look a little run down...are they clean and relatively well kept?

thanks!

Austin, Texas
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8 posts
178 reviews
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24. Re: Touring 1000 Islands via Houseboat?

They are clean & comfortable, but a bit rustic - which means it's hard to hurt them!

Montreal, Canada
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6 posts
10 reviews
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25. Re: Touring 1000 Islands via Houseboat?

It is a great idea. I have been doing it for a decade and a half. Strong recommend is Houseboat Holidays in Gananoque. Well maintained boats, fully equipped and the staff respond quickly if you have problems (had a water pump go out once). Definitely do Boldt Castle. The St. Lawrence Park (17 islands in the 1000 island area) are fantastic. Also, if you go to Boldt castle (you clear US Customs right on Heart Island where the castle is), take a ride upriver to Clayton and go to the antique boat museum. It's sensational and for me, Clayton is much more enjoyable than Alexandria Bay. This reply is probably too late for you. But if you have flexibility, go the river after Labour Day. Less crowded. Given the climate change going on, you're likely to get some nice summer weather when many people are off the river and kids back in school. Hope you either did or do the trip.

Toronto
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6 posts
2 reviews
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26. Re: Touring 1000 Islands via Houseboat?

Can anyone tell me approximately how long it will take to get from the marina where you pick up the houseboat, to Heart Island? If we picked up the boat by 1:00 pm would we be able to reach Boldt Castle within the same day?

Also, I have heard the the houseboats come equipped with pots and pans but do they have a toaster and a coffee maker?

Saylorsburg...
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9 posts
88 reviews
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27. Re: Touring 1000 Islands via Houseboat?

We rented from Houseboat Holidays twice, once in 2011 and once in 2012. Highly recommend it! (See my review here:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g182143-d2368305-r141825734-Houseboat_Holidays_Charters-Gananoque_Ontario.html#REVIEWS)

Based on our charts, it is 18.7miles from Houseboat Holidays to Heart Island. The boats can go about 6.5miles per hour, a little faster with a tail wind. If it is your first time out, planning to stay no further than the Thousand Islands Bridge on the first day would probably be best. Also, docks at the park islands tend to fill up by 4-5pm, so if you don't want to be forced to anchor, you probably want to be docked by then.

There is no 120v power on the boats, hence no toaster or coffee maker. The stove, oven, and fridge are all propane. The lights are powered by 12v battery. There is a 12v outlet and we did bring an inverter both times to plug in phone charger, razor, etc (not all at once...), but that is only suitable for low power applications, not a toaster.

The first year we rented, we got advice from the owners at Houseboat Holidays to arrive at Heart Island early in the morning, to avoid crowds at customs. We stayed at Grenadier West the night before, and got there when it opened. It was great advice...there was no line at all.

Enjoy! The islands are beautiful and seeing them by houseboat is fantastic!

Toronto
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6 posts
2 reviews
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28. Re: Touring 1000 Islands via Houseboat?

Thanks. That is helpful to know.

Do you have any other suggested stops that are interesting? We are trying to plan what route to take.

Saylorsburg...
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29. Re: Touring 1000 Islands via Houseboat?

We had a lot of fun planning routes both times we went, and we did change plans while we were there, based on weather, what we felt like doing, etc.

Getting familiar with the park islands ahead of time helped us. We studied the maps at

pc.gc.ca/eng/…carte-map.aspx

(Houseboat Holidays includes a large map/nautical chart of the full area in each boat.)

Our prior experience was limited to our canoe. To be better prepared, my husband got Chapman's Guide out of the library and did some online docking simulator games before we went the first time. (Most people don't do that...he wanted to and had fun with it...don't feel you need to!)

http://www.amazon.com/Chapman-Piloting-Seamanship-66th-Edition/dp/1588167445/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372209916&sr=8-1&keywords=chapman%27s+boating

Toronto
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6 posts
2 reviews
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30. Re: Touring 1000 Islands via Houseboat?

Do you know if there is a place to clear US customs in Clayton? We would like to cross to the US right away and tour up the US side first, then cross back into Canada and tour that side on the way back.

Thanks,

Laurie.