Owning a share of a Houseboat


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Houseboat share ownership

Owning a share of a houseboat is one of the best annual vacation investments a family can make.   This is not a timeshare, but rather an actual ownership of your own houseboat, along with 15-20 other owners.   Buying a share in a houseboat can be easily justified if you can commit yourself to visit Lake Powell every year for the next  3yrs.    There is an initial "buy-in" purchase amount for the share, then you also have to pay annual dues, which pays for insurance, slip fees, maintenance, etc.   These annual dues are usually less than half what an equivalent houseboat would cost to rent for 1 week.  So after several years you are money ahead (considering your equity), not to mention having a boat that is likely better equipped and appointed with your taste in mind.  

After you buy your share you usually get "owner voting rights".  Decisions about features and upgrades to the houseboat are usually decided by "majority vote" by the owners, annually.   These upgrades usually happen in the winter.   This outlines the basic way multi-owner houseboats are managed but remember..... all multi-owner houseboat rules and regulations vary from one to another.  So learning about how things are run should be clearly understood BEFORE buying any houseboat share.

Other things to know...

Only registered owners can use the boat, you cannot rent or loan out your houseboat share (a national park service regulation).   The registered owner must be present to use the boat for liability purposes.   Most boats are organized under a limited liability corporation which require the owner to be aboard.   Most LLC corporations have a set of rules and regulations on use, conduct, number of bodies on the boat, pets, smoking, etc.   These rules usually have no surprises and are welcomed "T's & C's" to protect your investment.

As you may know the only other option to get a houseboat on Lake Powell is to rent from ARA, the official National Park concessionaire of Lake Powell.  Nobody else can legally rent houseboats on the lake, which is a National Park regulation.  You will find that renting can be difficult at Wahweap Marina during peak season, summertime.  The demand outweighs the supply, often having to reserve a boat over a year in advance.   Check out the weekly prices too, they are usually much more than annual ownership dues.  But, before you buy a houseboat, I advise to rent one first to make sure houseboating is right for your family.   It also gives you a chance to learn how to skipper a houseboat with ARA's equipment.  If it turns out you like houseboating on Lake Powell so much that you know you will visit every year.....shared ownership may be the answer.

Many have found a multiple ownership houseboat is a great option.  Generally these multi-owner houseboats are bigger and nicer than rentals.  They generally have more amenities too because you and your partners vote on equipment and upgrades.  An example is..  rental houseboats do not have on-board gas pumps to fill your boat or PWC from a separate reserve gas tank, something I wouldn't be without.  To further this issue, it is against ARA  rules to bring gas cans on their rental boats.   This can be a real problem if you have lots of toys that need gas.  Other amenities unlikely on rentals are satellites dishes, trash compactor, big canopy on top deck, tools, beach chairs, inflatable toys, air pump, vacuum, huge BBQ's, heavy duty anchoring, etc. 

When buying a houseboat share you buy a specific week that use every year.  Generally speaking, prime weeks (summer) are more expensive than non-prime weeks.  So the prices fluctuate based on the week for sale, August usually being the most expensive.

Below is a link to  boats on Lake Powell with available shares for sale.   

If you have a houseboat share for sale, email us for details on how to sell your houseboat share on this page.

Boats with shares for sale