LAKE BILLY CHINOOK IN THE COVE PALISADES STATE PARK
Family & Friends Houseboat & SUP Trip
The houseboat had a top speed of approximately 8 miles an hour at wide open throttle and consistent cruising speeds of only 4 to 5 miles per hour. While we certainly weren’t getting anywhere real fast, there was no real sense of urgency to be anywhere real fast. The entire Lake was beautiful and worth exploring!
Tying up the boat for the night prove to be quite the challenge on the first few nights, but by the end of the trip my family and I felt like we were seasoned sailors. Throughout the lake at key points of interest there were large buoys with attachment points that you could moore your houseboat to for the evening. They were surprisingly difficult to maneuver and hold the houseboat close enough to make the moorage connection, especially on one of the windier days.
Lake Billy Chinook consists of three long fingers and one “thumb”. During our 4 day family SUP vacation, we stayed overnight in a different location every night and explored each different finger of the lake.
I can’t say the houseboat was difficult to steer, but I also can’t say it was easy. It moved so slow you had plenty of time to react and correct steering as needed, but it was almost laughably difficult to keep the house boat moving in a perfectly straight line. All of us took a turn being the Captain and steering the houseboat, although I was the official Captain for the duration of our trip.
Lake Billy Chinook houseboats make for the perfect family SUP getaway. The lake is great for paddlers of all skill levels. For more advanced paddlers looking for more of a challenge, try paddling upriver on the Deschutes where it spills into the lake and test your limits by paddling up the rapids!