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FAQ

General Questions

Do I need my Pleasure Craft license?

At this time it is not a requirement in BC, however, we do not discourage anyone from obtaining one. Presently BC requires that you must have Proof of Competency. When you arrive at our marina, our trained staff will have an orientation session with you that will allow you to operate the houseboat and other watercrafts with ease.

If you are a novice and require extra training from our staff, we do charge for a more in depth orientation course ($70).

How much is the damage deposit?

Damage Deposit: a pre-auth on a credit card is required for all boat rentals when you check in.

  • Houseboats $3,000
  • Watercraft $2,500
  • SeaDoos $1,500
  • Non-motorized (Kayaks, Canoes, Paddleboards) $500

 

What payment options do I have?

We accept Visa and MasterCard for online reservations.

What is the sport boat Cancellation Policy?

This cancellation policy applies to Sport Boats, Pontoon Boats and SeaDoo Rentals.

  • > 21 Days prior to departure: Full refund less a $15 Cancellation Fee.
  • < 21 Days prior to departure: Credit for the same amount as your rental to use prior to September 20 of the same year. Subject to availability. Bookings after August 15th that are cancelled will receive a credit valid till July 31st of the following year.
  • No Show: Full charter fees will be retained by Sunshine Marina.
Can I add a driver to my small boat rental?

Yes, we can accomodate most requests for drivers as long as they are reserved a minimum of two weeks in advance. The rate is $45 per hour. The driver cannot tow anyone on any water toys (tubes, wakeboards etc.). Please contact us at [email protected] to discuss options.

Is there an age limit to operate a boat?

We require that the person(s) operating the houseboats or water crafts must be at the age of majority. In BC this is 19 years of age.

Can I bring my pet?

We are a family of dog lovers so we understand those who want to bring their pets with them. Our docks are dog friendly as long as they are well behaved and on a leash at all times. Keep in mind that the docks can be very crowded.

Please be sure to pick up after your pets if they go to the bathroom anywhere on our property. Forgot a bag? No problem, just ask a staff member and we will get you one.

If you are looking for a spot to let your dog jump into the water we suggest the boat launch on our property. Just be sure to keep clear of any boats being launched.

Houseboats – maximum 2 pets per houseboat, $100 per pet.

Small Boats – some sport boats allow pets for $25 per pet. Please visit the Sport Boat page to see which boats this applies to.

Can I cross the Canada/USA border?

No, it is not legal to cross the border. You will be instructed on all of the details upon orientation.

Fishing on Lake Koocanusa, Bait, Licenses etc...

Fishing on Lake Koocanusa is an enjoyable experience for the whole family. We do offer a limited supply of tackle in our Driftwood store while supplies last.

Purchase your Fishing License online.

Is there cell service on the lake?

Yes, we have Canadian towers that will give you service. Please note that travelling too far south of our marina means you may pick up on the USA towers which would result in a chargeable fee for International calls. We suggest that you turn off your roaming option on your cell phone to avoid these charges.

What is there to do on the lake?

The acitivies are endless and include swimming, fishing, hiking, picnics, bon fires, biking, cliff diving and enjoying the natural beauty of Lake Koocanusa and our local wildlife. We also have water craft rentals so you may enjoy a day of fun on a sea doo, water skiing, wake-boarding or tubing.

Is there camping on Lake Koocanusa?

Adjacent to our property is Gold Creek Bay Campground, Our rate is $14 per night, per vehicle, unless you have an RV and are towing a commuter vehicle. There is sani-dump and potable water availability for an added fee, please inquire with us.

We also have annual sites (Upland Campsite), we are currently full. If you are interested in being added to our waitlist please email [email protected] and include your phone number and size of your unit.

There are a variety of other sites on the lake: Englishman, Sandy Shores, Koocanusa Campsite and Marina, Kikomun Creek to name a few.

Does your marina have beach access?

No, we do not have beach access. We highly recommend Sandy Shores, which is a quick 10 minute drive down the road from us.

Houseboating

What is “All Inclusive”?

Your houseboat charter includes propane, insurance, taxes and the first tank of fuel. Food, Refreshments, Linens etc are additional costs.

Traditionally there are approx $1,000 to $1,800 in additional fees (taxes, fuel, etc.) however, our prices are All Inclusive. The price you see is the price you pay.

How much is the damage deposit?

Damage Deposit: a pre-auth on a credit card is required for all boat rentals when you check in.

  • Houseboats $3,000
  • Watercraft $2,500
  • SeaDoos $1,500
  • Non-motorized (Kayaks, Canoes, Paddleboards) $500

 

What do I need to bring for my Houseboat Vacation?

These items are supplied on the Houseboat:

OUTSIDE EQUIPMENT 

  • 1 Propane Barbecue 
  • 2 75-Foot Beaching Ropes
  • 1 Large Garbage Container 
  • 1 Large Bottle/Can Recycle Bin
  • 2 Beaching Stakes & Hammer
  • 1 Swim Ladder & Swim Grid 
  • 1 Deck Mop 
  • 1 Waterslide 

INTERIOR 

  • 1 Bluetooth Speaker 
  • 1 Cruise Map/Chart 
  • 1 Operator’s Manual (Some Models Have TV/DVD) 

BATHROOM 

  • 1 Garbage Container 
  • 1 Toilet Brush 
  • Toilet Tissue 

KITCHEN 

  • Microwave
  • 1 Dish Rack 
  • 1 Measuring Cup 
  • 1 Set Cutlery 
  • 1 Set of Dishes (bowls, plates, etc.)
  • 1 Set of Glasses and Mugs
  • Juice Container
  • 1 Paring Knife 
  • 1 Peeler 
  • 1 Can Opener 
  • 1 Coffee Pot (Drip) Coffee Filters 
  • 1 Corkscrew 
  • 1 Teapot 
  • 1 Set Mixing Bowls (3) 
  • 1 Each Carving Knife & Fork
  • 1 Toaster 
  • 1 Serving Spoon 
  • 1 Set of Pots (3) 
  • 2 Fry Pans (1 Cast Iron) 
  • 1 Tea Kettle 
  • 1 Egg Flipper 
  • 1 Bottle Opener 
  • 1 Ladle 
  • 1 Kitchen Garbage Can
  • 1 Roaster 
  • 1 Ash Tray 
  • 1 Cutting Board 
  • 1 Plastic Colander Matches 
  • 1 Broom & Dustpan  

CLEANING KIT 

  • Windex Dish Soap
  • 2 SOS Pads 
  • 2 Recycling Bags 
  • 2 Garbage Bags 
  • 2 Dish Clothes 
  • 2 Tea Towels 
  • 2 Potholders 

SAFETY EQUIPMENT 

  • 10-22 approved adult life jackets (EMERGENCY USE ONLY) 
  • 3 Fire extinguishers (1-front deck, 1-back deck & 1 inside) 
  • 1 Life ring & rope 
  • 1 First Aid Kit (EMERGENCY USE ONLY) If seal is broken & for sanitary reasons, you purchase for $30.00
  • VHF Radio
  • 40 liters of potable water and a hand pump are placed on your boat prior to departure. 

MUST BRING ITEMS: 

  • Bedding (sheets, blankets, pillows or sleeping bags & pillows)
  • Bath and Hand Towels 
  • Face Cloths 
  • Dish Towels 
  • Food & Beverages (including spices & condiments)
  • Beach/deck chairs

SUGGESTED ITEMS TO BRING: 

Binoculars, camera, paper towels, water toys (and air pump), suntan lotion, insect repellent, flashlight, first aid kit (there is one on board however if opened, due to sterility issues, you have purchased it), axe, games, and cards.

HOUSEKEEPING

We supply cleaning supplies and dish liquid at no charge. Your garbage and septic removal is covered in the cost of your charter. Please note that an additional cleaning charge up to $500.00 may apply in the event the boat is excessively unclean.

PRACTICAL PACKING SUGGESTIONS 

You pack once, put half of it back, and then pack again. Use duffel bags or any soft-sided luggage – it is easier to stow away under a bunk or in a closet. We suggest that you store any boxes or hard suitcases in your car so you can keep living space free and uncluttered on board the boat. You may need a windbreaker and raincoat. Always wear soft rubber soled shoes on a boat for safety purposes. 

Below are some links to our Blog Posts on how to pack and plan for your houseboat vacation.

The Ultimate Houseboat Packing Guide

Meal Planning for your Houseboat Vacation

7 Must Bring Items for your Houseboat Trip

 

What time do I board and depart my houseboat?

We will contact you approximately one week before your charter to schedule your arrival time between 3-5pm. Your captains will complete a 25 minute orientation first and then you can load your boat and depart.

On the last day of your charter you are required to be back at the dock by 10am at the latest.

What is the Houseboat Cancellation Policy?

Should you and your group need to cancel, please read the following cancellation policy:

All cancellations MUST be in writing. If you cancel within 30 days of booking you receive a full refund (no cancellation fee) unless it is less than 120 days before your charter, in that case the following applies:

  • > 120 Days prior to departure: A $250 cancellation fee will be retained by Sunshine Houseboats if you cancel a reservation more than 120 days before departure.
  • 120-60 days prior to your departure: Your full deposit of $750 will be retained by Sunshine Houseboats if you cancel a reservation between 120 and 60 days before your charter.
  • 60 Days prior to departure: Full charter fees will be retained by Sunshine Houseboats if you cancel your reservation 60 days or less prior to your departure.

If you are unable to travel due to a family emergency we will work with you to find a solution. We pride ourselves on treating people and their situations with the utmost respect and fairness. Solutions may include a deferral, refund, and/or transferable credit(s).

What payment options do I have?

We accept Visa and MasterCard for online reservations.

Are there additional costs at the end of my vacation?

There may be extra cleaning costs if the boat is left in poor confition. Also additional costs associated with any damage to the houseboat, inventory or prop.

I have several friends joining me. Can they pay you instead of me collecting all the money?

We require one lump sum payment. In certain circumstances we can accept multiple payments from different parties ; however, this will involve an extra administrative fee.

I have friends joining me later, do I have to return to dock to pick them up?

You can return to the dock to pick up your guests, please notify us ahead of time so we can make adequate space for you. This will need to happen early enough so you are not traveling in the dark.

Alternatively, we offer a Water Taxi service. This must be arranged at least 24 hours in advance. We charge $50/half hour starting from the time our employee leaves the marina to the time they return back. Again, this must happen before it is dark.

Do I need my Pleasure Craft license?

At this time it is not a requirement in BC, however, we do not discourage anyone from obtaining one. Presently BC requires that you must have Proof of Competency. When you arrive at our marina, our trained staff will have an orientation session with you that will allow you to operate the houseboat and other watercrafts with ease.

If you are a novice and require extra training from our staff, we do charge for a more in depth orientation course ($70).

Do I need to bring firewood?

No, you may use any driftwood found along the beaches of Lake Koocanusa. We suggest an axe, matches and paper for starting your fire.

Please always monitor for Fire Bans, in the event of a ban we suggest bringing propane fire pits (if permitted).

Is there an age limit to operate a boat?

We require that the person(s) operating the houseboats or water crafts must be at the age of majority. In BC this is 19 years of age.

Can I bring my pet?

We are a family of dog lovers so we understand those who want to bring their pets with them. Our docks are dog friendly as long as they are well behaved and on a leash at all times. Keep in mind that the docks can be very crowded.

Please be sure to pick up after your pets if they go to the bathroom anywhere on our property. Forgot a bag? No problem, just ask a staff member and we will get you one.

If you are looking for a spot to let your dog jump into the water we suggest the boat launch on our property. Just be sure to keep clear of any boats being launched.

Houseboats – maximum 2 pets per houseboat, $100 per pet.

Small Boats – some sport boats allow pets for $25 per pet. Please visit the Sport Boat page to see which boats this applies to.

Can I cross the Canada/USA border?

No, it is not legal to cross the border. You will be instructed on all of the details upon orientation.

Is there Wifi on the houseboats?

There is not Wifi on the houseboats.

Do the houseboats have Air Conditioning?

Our houseboats do not have Air Conditioning. On extreme heat days we suggest jumping in the lake regularly to cool off and drinking lots of water is key. The gentle breeze off the water at night allows for comfortable sleeping.

Still have questions? Email us at [email protected]