Houseboats SA Condition of Hire


In conjunction with the instructions you will receive from the houseboat operator, we ask that you please consider the following points whilst on your holiday. These will ensure that you return safely, and the environment will still be there for you and others to enjoy in the future.

  • Be aware of yours and other boat user’s rights, obligations, responsibilities and show courtesy to other river users at all times.
  • Take pride in handling your boat.
  • Do not exceed 4 knots within 30 metres of any moored vessel, jetties, ramps or swimmers. This rule is for your protection too.
  • Keep a watch at all times.
  • Be aware of speed limits in restricted areas and stick within them.
  • Watch your wake and its effect on other river users.
  • Respect the privacy of property owners and being aware of land ownership and where you can and cannot moor a houseboat.
  • The riverbank is not all public land, but there is nothing wring treating it as though it is your own.
  • Be aware that noise levels travel much further on the river.
  • Please respect other river users and residents by keeping all noise levels to a minimum, especially at night times.
  • Do not cut down trees and shrubs or gather dead wood, it is an important part of the natural ecology. Purchase firewood from the houseboat operator.
  • Use environmentally friendly products, i.e. phosphate free, biodegradable detergents. Soap available to purchase from your operator.
  • Be aware of your responsibilities regarding the handling of all waste, in particular, rubbish disposal.
  • When refuelling ski boats, ensure it is carried out safely to prevent accidents and spillage.
  • It is illegal to carry fuel containers, or to decant fuel on a houseboat.


A deposit of $600 is required to confirm your booking and is payable within 7 days. The balance due must be paid 8 weeks prior to the commencement date. If payments are not made as or when required, & with one notice of request given, the booking can be cancelled and re booked to someone else, without any further notice.

Easter/Xmas/New Years periods will require payment 90 days prior to the departure date.

A Security Bond of $600 is payable 3 working days prior to departure (or direct debit 7 days prior to arrival). The boat MUST be left clean, or additional cleaning charges will occur.

This bond is doubled for all male or all female crews.
The bond is fully refundable (within 14 days after the end of hire), when the boat is returned on

time, clean and in good condition. Any damage, cost of petrol/gas, and any ice or wood or any other incidentals purchased will be taken out of the bond at cost.

In the event of cancellation, no refund will be given unless the hire period is rebooked. Travel insurance is recommended. An administration fee of $50 will be charged on all cancellations.

Hire will commence at 3pm on the first day and the boat must be returned by 9.30am and off the boat by 10am on the last day.

By Law, the number of people on board must not exceed eight (8)

Anyone driving the boat must be at least 21 years of age and hold a full and current driving or boat licence.

Houseboat must not be driven after dusk or before dawn. All Marine and Harbour regulations must be agreed and adhered to at all times. Houseboat must not travel further south than the Wellington Ferry, or north past Renmark.

Fuel tank will be full when you board. Based on your consumption, fuel used will be deducted from your bond. Fuel is charged at .10c per litre above the pump rate.

Comprehensive instructions will be given in the handling of the craft, together with river map and DMH equipment.

The owner / management reserve the right to refuse any person the use of the houseboat.

Every endeavour will be made to have the boat, motors and accessories in good working order. However, should it be unavailable due to mechanical problems or unforeseen circumstances, full payment to the hirer will be refunded. (travel insurance is always advised)

The owner/agent will not be obligated to compensate the hirer for any loss of time due to mechanical problems during the hire period. Any service calls, caused by hirers mishandling of the vessel will be charged at cost. Firearms, axes, chainsaws, trail bikes, animals and candles are strictly prohibited. NO SMOKING applies to the inside of the houseboat. NO FUEL can be carried on the houseboat.

Electrical Equipment

Are you bringing any electrical equipment onboard the boat? If so, we need to ensure that anything you are bringing is compatible with our power systems. Hair dryers/hair straightener, electric shavers, mobile phone and camera chargers are fine – anything apart from that MUST be approved! Failure to gain approval for any electrical appliances could result in damage to the power system for which the hirer is responsible.the houseboat.

Ski Boats, Jet skis and Dinghys

You are more than welcome to bring along your own boats and jet skis but please advise the office be- forehand if you intend to do so. There are tow arms on the side of the houseboats so your equipment can be easily secured, all you need to bring is a rope to tie the back of your boat onto the houseboat. You also need to bring jerry cans for your fuel, and be mindful that your fuel CANNOT be stored on the houseboat at any time. Please ensure that you have your boat licence with you in case Marine and Harbour officers are carrying out checks.

No waterskiing.

Although some houseboats are powerful and fast enough to pull skiers, doing so is dangerous because a houseboat is not manoeuvrable enough. It is also a time-consuming nuisance to come about and retrieve a spilled skier. In addition, the large wake produced is not only discourteous to other craft but can be dangerous.

About Those Brakes

So you’ve handled a sailboat or cruiser, have you? That’s very different from handling a houseboat, which averages 35 feet in length, goes between 15 and 20 miles an hour, and weighs about five tons. Have “no brakes” means that if you goof, you may be the cause of a hull-banging and paint-scraping experience, not to mention what can happen to what you’ve hit. Remember, reversing your engine is the only braking mechanism that you have for your houseboat.


Docking can be a real thrill, especially if you forget about not having brakes. Ten thousand pounds of boat will not stop short when power is cut. It’s best to approach the dock while heading upstream, or into the wind, since the houseboat is easier to control that way. Use only enough power to maintain steerageway (your minimum speed with control). Remember, speed times weight can equal a horrible crunch! At only two miles an hour, your houseboat can damage a dock as well as itself. Approach the dock at no more than one mile per hour. Practice working with minimum speed needed to maintain response before your first docking.

Person Overboard

Keep the victim in sight at all times. Throw a floatable item (PFD, large plastic bottle, thermos jug, ring buoy, etc.) to the person overboard and bring the boat around. Never reverse, as the propeller may strike the victim. Approach the person slowly and carefully in a manner that keeps them upwind of the houseboat.