FOR 2016 THINGS ARE A BIT MORE COMPLICATED THAN LAST YEAR DUE TO MY WORK SCHEDULE. IF YOU WANT TO RENT THE BOAT DURING A WEEKDAY, YOU WILL NEED TO VISIT THE NIGHT PRIOR TO YOUR RENTAL AND GET THE BOAT BRIEFING AND SIGN-OFF ON THE BOATBOUND PAPERWORK. THEY DO HAVE A FAIRLY FORMAL PROCESS WE NEED TO COMPLETE PRE-RENTAL, AND POST-RENTAL.
I REALIZE IT IS NOT CHEAP TO RENT A BOAT. ROUGHLY 20% OF YOUR RENTAL RATE GOES TOWARDS INSURANCE, AND THEY DO PROVIDE A TON OF INSURANCE. IF NOT FOR THEIR INSURANCE COVERAGE, i WOULD NOT RENT THE BOAT.
Length is just under the no-wake ordinance of Spring Lake, but has a 14-person capacity and will run at 50+ MPH. You can rent other boats in the area, but not like this one. 7.4 L/385 HP Volvo Penta engine with Duo-Prop outdrive....... comfort and power. No matter how many people you have on the boat, it will pull a skier out of the water quickly. You can't even buy a boat like this around here. It is actually 28' long with the swim platform, but registered at 25'-8". I would say 8-10 adults very comfortably.
Local rental companies won;t allow you to take their boats on Lake Michigan. You can take this boat to Chicago if you want.... as long as it is back by sunset and I approve of the weather.
An easy boat to operate, and quite comfortable.
Should you cruise around, 26-28 MPH is a fuel friendly speed.
NOTE 1 : IF YOU SEE A DATE ON THE CALENDAR YOU NEED THAT IS BLOCKED OUT, PLEASE MESSAGE ME, AS WE MAY BE ABLE TO MAKE IT AVAILABLE.
NOTE 2: A rental day is 8 hours in length, and I am flexible with the pick-up time. However, Boatbound's insurance does NOT cover operation after sunset, thus the boat MUST be returned prior to sunset.
NOTE 3: Renter is responsible for fuel cost. Just like a rental car, I will have the boat fully fueled (or pretty close). Upon return you have the option of filling it back up at the marina (Barrett Boat Works), or I will estimate the amount of fuel burned based on the fuel gauge. If you do not fuel the boat prior to return, you must reimburse me with CASH. as I have no means of processing a credit card. I can accept PayPal however. There will be a $20 surcharge if you don't fill the boat up prior to return. Honestly it is an hour+ for me to go fill the boat up.
A recent renter took the boat from Spring Lake out to Lake Michigan and back during a 4 hour rental and burned about 1/8 of a tank of fuel (10.6 gallons). That should give you an idea of the fuel consumption at low speed.
NOTE 4: I have been getting the question about cancellation due to weather a lot lately. Boatbound has a 5-day advance cancellation policy. However, there are exceptions with weather being the main one. I did cancel a rental on the day of because a large thunderstorm was coming across Lake Michigan and Boatbound did not have an issue with that. I will fully support a cancellation in the event of rain, though the ultimate decision is with Boatbound. In a case where people want to take the boat on Lake Michigan and the wave height is expected to exceed 2 feet I'll probably cancel the request because I don't believe it is safe, and I'm not willing to risk the safety of a renter or the boat. I know the one last minute cancellation I did the renter was not charged. I just learned today (7/25/15) that Boatbound charges a service fee on top of the rental rate, and that is subject to loss in the event of cancellation. Trust me, if the weather is bad and I, as the owner, think the rental is worthy of cancellation, I'll cancel it for you. They can't keep any of your cash if I cancel it. They might get upset with me, but I'm the one generating their income, and it's my boat.
Perfect boat for tubing or water skiing, as well as just cruising around. 14-person capacity, though I would say 8-10 adults very comfortably. A recent renter sent me a text message saying "Your boat is a very nice package of comfort and power". That is a great way to describe it.
26-feet is the limit to stay under the no-wake law of Spring Lake. The boat is registered at 25'-8", though is actually 28 feet with the swim platform. Powered by the larger Volvo-Penta 7.4 liter - 385hp engine and Duo-Prop outdrive, she does have the power and torque to get skiers out of the water quickly, and run them at 50+ MPH if desired. It also weighs 4,600 LBS, so very capable of going out on Lake Michigan with a stable ride.
It is also a very quiet boat. You can cruise at 30 and still have a conversation with others. If needed, the center window closes and there is a stored door that completely closes off the bow seating area.
Some quick facts:
Two GPS chart-plotters. Lowrance LMS-522C and newer Garmin GPSMAP 740 with Lake Michigan SD card (detailed map). The Lowrance does have a sounder, though I have never used the fish-finder feature. The Lowrance also displays the water temperature, and Spring Lake is 80 degrees as of 6/24/16 anchored near the Spring Lake Country Club (our favorite spot). As of 6/24/16, Lake Michigan water temp is 66 degrees in Grand Haven...... a bit chilly for me, but suspect kids would jump in. The Garmin does not have a sounder, but a great GPS that has significant detail of Lake Michigan, Spring Lake, the Grand River, part of Muskegon Lake and pretty much any port on Lake Michigan. Both GPS's are pretty much hands-free, but can provide an amazing amount of information if you want to take the time and download the manuals.
The speedometer in the dash DOES NOT FUNCTION, though both GPS chartplotters above do display the speed. My suggestion is to run no more than 7 MPH in the no wake areas, and up the channel to Lake Michigan. Best advice is to tuck in behind a yacht running about that speed and just follow them. A larger yacht in front of you will make the trip to the big lake hassle free, and the Coast Guard tends to leave big boats alone. 7 sounds slow, but it's pretty quick based on experience.
Garmin VHF200 VHF marine radio with DSC (Digital Selective Calling) connected to the Garmin chart-plotter for quick transmission of position of GPS coordinates. MMSI number on-file with the USCG. Call sign: "On The Rocks II". All that basically means is if you push the "red button" on the radio in the event of an emergency the exact position of the boat will be transmitted to emergency personnel and anyone else with a DSC capable radio.
Enclosed porta-potti on-board. Tight quarters, but there is one in the closet aft of the port-bow seating area.
Aft of the starboard-bow seating area is another closet that houses life jackets and a table that quickly sets up in the aft seating area.
Top notch Alpine audio system with radio, CD, and inputs for USB or standard audio from a portable device/phone. We use Pandora a ton via a phone. There is a portable audio cord on-board that will fit any portable device. 8/22/15 update: Just installed a new Alpine amp, and a sound system that was good, is now even better. The 3-ring binder with boat information I keep on board also includes a listing of local radio stations.
Power port (cigarette lighter type) that will charge your phone if you have the appropriate cord.
32-quart cooler under a rear bench seat.
O'Brien water skis on-board. Not the newest, but they work. Tow rope as well.
Tubing tow rope on-board. Large 2-person tube available. The yellow/orange tube you see in the photos is in the trash can. Has been replaced this year with the new Airhead one. As of 6/24, still in the box actually. The red one in the photos you need to request...... I don't keep that on-board. It is not that exciting to ride in, and takes up a ton of room on the boat. Great if you have young children that want to tube, but it is pretty much a floating lounge chair you can tow.
Built-in anchor in the bow. It is a manual anchor with plenty of line.
Hi-flow air pump on-board for blowing up inflatable water toys. Connects directly to the battery and will blow up just about any larger water toy in 60 seconds.
Small cooler built-in on the swim platform - self draining.
14 life jackets on-board ranging in size from a small child to XXL adult.
2 floating chairs, which we often tie a line to and just float on a hot day.
2016 United States Coast Guard Vessel Safety Check sticker and boarding report. All safety equipment required for this boat is on-board, and extras.
In the bench behind the captain's chair are the day and night flares, smoke signals, distress flag, fire extinguishers (2), tools, and misc items. While I have a 2016 Coast Guard safety inspection sticker on the boat, they can still stop you..... happened to a renter in 2015. No worries though, as everything you need to satisfy them is on board.
Large first aid kit on-board.
Plenty of dock lines and general purpose lines (floating chairs).
Large swim platform with ladder for easy access.
Bimini top if desired.
Both captain's seats rotate 180-degrees.
While not pictured and not kept on the boat, there are additional seating cushions that essentially turn the entire back end of the boat into one huge bed. We have never used them because it becomes a pain to walk around and blocks off the step to enter/exit the boat. However, if you have a small group or just a couple you may certainly request to have them installed. I need to make note to get a photo of that posted.
Paper towels, wet wipes, and small trash bags are on board.
There are 2 dock fenders stored near the bow cup-holders. I will tell you those fenders are NOT large enough to tie up on the Grand Haven sea wall. If that is your plan.
Boat has hydraulic outdrive tilt, thus with the outdrive up, you can pretty much beach the boat. Draft (minimum depth) with the outdrive down is 36 inches. I would prefer if you not beach it, as the bottom paint is new.
I posted a photo/chart of the fuel usage rate in Gallons Per Hour (GPH). Keep in mind that boat speed will greatly affect your fuel usage and your fuel charges at the end of the day. She has an 85 gallon tank. At nearly $4.00 per gallon for marina fuel, the bill can be quite large, so keep that in mind.
There is a 3-ring binder on-board that has general information about the boat operation, as well as maps of the best places to anchor on Spring Lake, where to get fuel, as well as things to avoid if you are headed to Lake Michigan. The Garmin charplotter also has some pre-programmed routes if you wish to venture towards Muskegon, Saugatuck or South Haven.
A great resource for seeing what the current water is like on Lake Michigan is to access the National Data Buoy Center on your smart phone. Simply Google NDBC 45029 and you will get wave height, air temp, water temp, wind, etc near Grand Haven. NDBC 45161 will pull up Muskegon buoy data. I have saved a lot of fuel and time pulling these up before heading out. surfgrandhaven dot com has a nice live webcam that overlooks the beach and piers. It may be clear and sunny on Spring Lake and Lake Michigan will be packed with fog. There is also now a free smartphone app for the US Coast Guard. In addition to and icon for emergency services, it also has a map of Lake Michigan buoys you can click on to get the latest water info on the big lake. Pretty nice app.
In general, just a great boat. Small enough to have fun with the family tubing/skiing, big and heavy enough to take on the big lake in decent weather. You can rent other boats in the area for about the same price, but they will not allow you to venture to Lake Michigan.
If there is anything you need for your rental please let me know. Additional coolers, towels, etc.
Now for the fine print. If you have little to no experience running a boat in this area I am going with you. If you do have experience, I will ask you a lot of questions about how familiar you are with this area of the water. I grew up with boats, and still managed to sink a 41 foot aft-cabin in Lake Huron 3 years ago the day after we bought it. Yes, it does happen, and hence the reason this boat is named "On The Rocks II"."
Had an amazing experience renting from John. 8 friends and I took a weekend trip to Michigan, boating out on Spring Lake & Lake Michigan was definitely the highlight of our trip! John was a pleasure to work with, I was given a detailed overview of the vessel and a heads up of the dangerous and congested areas of the lake to avoid. Highly recommended, 10/10 would return to John for future rentals!
John was great and made the boating safe and easy. Boat is a safe, nice boat, big enough to be safe on lake Michigan yet, not terrible on gas. We went out on the big lake, then did some tubing and skiing on the smaller lake, out all most 8 hrs and only used a 1/4 tank. We did not go full speed all over, but 26-28 was a nice speed on the big lake.
Great time was had by all.
Thanks John and Boatbound.
Took a group of family out for the day and everyone had an excellent time. John spent time with me prior to the boat trip - getting me acquainted with not only the boat, but expediting the channels as well. Made the entire experience so much easier and less stressful. With very limited time using a boat previously, the additional information was extremely welcomed.
Can't say enough how easy and accommodating John made everything. Highly recommended and look forward doing this again with John next year with even a few more family members.
John was a really nice guy, and his boat was in very good condition. John was very accommodating, he even brought our boat over to our dock the evening before. He also went out and purchased a new tube for the kids to ride. The boat handled well, was clean, and lived up to the all the expectations that we had. The boat was very powerful, and pulled multiple tubers without even getting close to full throttle. Our overall boat bound experience was excellent.
We had a great time renting this boat. It is plenty big enough to handle the nine of us who rented it for the day, plus it has the power to pull skiers and those on tubes. John is very friendly and gave us a good overview of the boat and lake before our departure. When we got stopped by the Coast Guard for a routine safety check, we had all of the paperwork and safety features required. When we headed back to take the boat back to the dock, we found the gas station at the marina closed. John was very fair and allowed us to simply pay him for the gas used. We hope to rent this boat again next year.
This boat is spectacular. Runs great and looks great. John did a great job of describing how to operate the boat as well as describing where the caution areas are out on the water. I highly recommend John and his Four Winns Horizon 260!