View Full Version : Houseboating - Bull Shoals or Table Rock

Okie Boarder
01-22-2011, 10:38 AM
Can anyone share personal experience doing a houseboat trip to either Bull Shoals or Table Rock? We're looking at the possibility of doing a trip next year with my extended family. We had originally only talked about Lake Powell since all but us live in CA. In looking a little at pricing, we can do it a lot cheaper in this part of the country so we want to take it into consideration. Are either lakes good for finding a cove to park in and kind of dissappear from the world? Does one lake hold an advantage over the other? Any recommendations on rental locations?

01-22-2011, 05:11 PM
I'm interested in the Bull Shoals idea myself. Wanted to do that for Brostock.

KG's Supra24
01-24-2011, 12:21 AM
The bull shoals houseboats I saw weren't amazing house boats but the lake is insanely quite and nice.

We were there in the middle of brostock and had glass. Lake is 100 + feet deep through most of it. It is way up in the mountains so it is def easy to disappear. It is a Core owned shoreline but there are actually a couple cabins up there with boat slips on the water that are rented out. Prepare to be secluded. The lady told me that the closest place to get food from her cabin was 30 minutes.

Also, another idea of the atmosphere .. I talked to a local at brostock and he told me they could hit a cove on the 4th of July and not see another boat all day!!!

Here are a couple pics to tease ya a little bit ...



Okie Boarder
01-24-2011, 10:31 AM
Looks nice and sounds nice. Our objective is to have a nice vacation on a houseboat. Lake Powell was the obvious first choice, but if we can cut cost as drastically as I've seen so far, it would be worth considering Bull Shoals or Table Rock. Here's a link on houseboats I found, for anyone interested. Seems like the 50' model they have is quite a bit older and sleeping configurations aren't as nice. Their 60' model seems like a nicer unit.


Those pictures look good. How clear is the water? Seems like it is fairly clear looking at your wake pic.

KG's Supra24
01-24-2011, 11:31 AM
Super clear. I would say I come from a clear lake at Ouachita and this is significantly clearer. You will have no problem seeing your feet if you are upright in the water. The water is a little colder than most lakes ive visited but it isn't bad.

I have never been to tablerock but if you are just looking to get away and relax, i just dont see how bull shoals can disappoint. You will def get that sense of seclusion you mentioned.

01-24-2011, 11:58 AM
KG...that wake bring a tear to my eye.
Oakie there was a short WBM article with Murray on Bull Shoals, you prolly saw that already. I would search WW too.

KG's Supra24
01-24-2011, 12:17 PM
Murray has a video on youtube of their trip to Bull Shoals too. Pretty sweet vid.

Okie Boarder
01-24-2011, 04:54 PM
Yeah, I've seen the article and the video. I know Murray makes a lot of mention of how much he loves it and all the times he spent there, but kinda leaves out some of the questions I want to have answered.

From what I'm seeing, it seems like a great lake. Some thoughts on our trip...

Lake Powell - Spend the entire week and basically do everything water and houseboat related...not much land activity.

Bull Shoals - Spend the entire week same as Powell...or, do 3-4 nights on the houseboat and then go to Table Rock and rent a house on the lake and throw some land activity (probably Branson) into the mix.

Table Rock - Either a full week on the houseboat or a mix like Bull Shoals, except we could go into Branson or surrounding area whenever.

My personal preference is Bull Shoals for 3-4 nights then the house on the lake idea so we get a good mix of activity and have a fun family vacation that is heavily leaned toward water activity with a few extra things thrown in. None of my family has been to Powell before so that would be cool, but since we all grew up on the west coast a lot of the surrounding areas have been visited so it won't be as new or different as other areas. Either Bull Shoals or Table Rock gives the opportunity for something different. My parents went to Branson one year they came to visit us in OK. My bro and his family have never been to that part of the country and have only really been in OK and KS when they came to visit us one year. I think the whole family would enjoy the atmosphere and surroundings at either of the
lakes out this way, being in the Ozarks and all.

KG's Supra24
01-25-2011, 12:59 AM
Lake Powell would be something else!!

However, i bet you are right on there being a price difference. I like your idea of mixing the two together and getting some Branson action in there. I have never been a huge fan but it is something different to do. That way you get a little bit of everything.

01-25-2011, 11:37 AM
Hey KG..what speed was that taken at??

KG's Supra24
01-25-2011, 12:36 PM
Don't have a clue .. we weren't taking a wake pic. just a random picture i found. My guess, though, is that is 22 mph.

Okie Boarder
01-25-2011, 01:50 PM
Lake Powell would be something else!!

However, i bet you are right on there being a price difference. I like your idea of mixing the two together and getting some Branson action in there. I have never been a huge fan but it is something different to do. That way you get a little bit of everything.

I would love to do a trip to Powell, but we may save that for a few years down the road. Right now I think the cost puts it out of reach. A 7 day trip on a 59' houseboat like the 60' nice one they have at Bull Shoals is $8000 on Powell compared to $4000 at Bull Shoals.

I've already looked a little at VRBO and it looks like we could get a pretty cool house at Table Rock so we could do the 3-4 days on the houseboat then switch to a house. The house rents cheaper than the houseboat so it helps lower the overall trip cost, also.

I think the mix might be good, expecially for my parents. I have a feeling they'll burn out after a few days on a houseboat.

01-25-2011, 04:28 PM

It would be better to try this out where you might be able to do something else.

I go to Powell 2X per year, but you are REMOTE when at Powell, if you're not having
a good time there - you don't have many other choices.

I LOVE Powell, or I wouldn't go there twice a year -- but I also don't rent. I have
ownership in 2 time share houseboats there (no, not the kind you can trade - this is really just a way to share ownership of a VERY expensive asset) - but I tell all my
guests how remote it is - and if that is not their thing, then maybe they shouldn't come ...

It's a 10 hour drive each way for me - so it's not like we just go home...

Okie Boarder
01-25-2011, 05:34 PM

I think that is an important point and part of this overall consideration. I love being on the water and my family is fond of it. I'm not sure that my brother's family or my parents feel as strongly about it and to only be on the water doing nothing else for a whole week might be too much for them.

01-25-2011, 05:47 PM
OH Okie you are so right. There is a HUGE difference between BOAT people and regular people. And thats how I rate them. If you dont qualify as boat people..you dont get asked out on my boat again. I have little tollerence for that group of people. lol