Big Rideau Lake Boat Rentals go extra mile to make on-the-water holidays unforgettable
PORTLAND - Heather and Rob Heins love being on the water so they have made it their business to get you out cruising the Rideau Canal Waterway. The couple started Big Rideau Lake Boat Rentals 21 years ago. “My family built the very first sailing ships ever built in Canada, with the first one named the Miramichi, so being on the water is in my blood,” says Heather.
Located on the Rideau Canal system, the company has six spacious houseboats, ranging from 32 to 42 feet in length, and three 22-foot pontoon boats. Boats are fully equipped with GPS tablets with the Navionics app as well as paper maps to negotiate the lakes and lock stations. The goal is to offer all the amenities for a carefree and enjoyable time on the water.
"People have come back and told me it was the best vacation they've ever had," says Heather. “They’re ecstatic and completely relaxed coming off these boats."
The couple lives at their marina so they are familiar with the waterway and what is needed for safe navigation. Boats are propelled by 115 high-efficiency four-stroke outboard motors to move through the canal and lake system. All vessels have LED lights, back-up batteries, fully equipped kitchens (dishes, cutlery, microwave, cooktop, fridge and freezer), three-piece bathrooms and comfortable sofas folding out into beds.
Each vessel has a propane BBQ, patio table and chairs and deck chairs for rooftop enjoyment. Some boats are wheelchair and scooter accessible. Bedding and towel kits are available or you can bring your own. The cabins are air conditioned. Cruisers sleep four to six. This season boats are have a single-person Pelican kayak for those who want to explore.
Spending days or weeks floating around on the water takes you away from the noise of the city, says Heather, while offering a wide range of things to see and to along the historic Rideau Heritage Route.
"Everyone says the beauty is beyond their expectations," she says, adding, “some describe their time on the waterway as an unforgettable voyage.”
A boating license is preferred but not required by law. Heather and Rob provide training, permits and safety equipment, including life vests, at no additional cost. Bedding and towel kits are available or you can bring your own.
Learn more about this Leeds Grenville business by visiting their website. Contact Heather and Rob via email or give them a call at 613-812-7653. Their business overlooks Big Rideau Lake at 15 Water Street right in Portland.