first time?

Preparing for Your First Visit:

Boating is fun, but we understand that it can feel intimidating in a new boat while navigating new and unknown waterways.  We want all of our customers to feel relaxed and confident, so we have a few tips! 

The Day of:

~the arrival~

  • Parties should arrive 20-30 minutes before their scheduled departure.  This allows time for check-in while we help load your boat, fill your cooler with ice, and direct you to our dedicated, gated parking area.  But most importantly - all groups must participate-in a scheduled demonstration drive with one of our instructors.

~The demonstration drive~

  • No matter your level of experience all guests are required to participate.  Once your party is ready to depart, one of our instructors will board and take the wheel.  The instructor will navigate the vessel away from the dock while he/she delivers a detailed overview of the watercraft and the lake.  

  • From there, your group captain will take the driver's seat and navigate the watercraft back to the dock.  Our instructor will give correction (if needed) as your captain slowly returns.

  • Our staff will be ready to guide the boat onto the hoist when you return.  

  • Docking should be brief, as there are other watercraft in process needing our attention.  The instructor will disembark, and your group may begin a special day on the lake.  

~the water~

  • Torch Lake is known for it's Caribbean-like, blue-green, crystal clear waters.  But unlike the Caribbean, the water temperature in Torch Lake is much cooler.  As the second largest in-land lake in Michigan, Torch Lake's max depth is 302'.  This massive lake is 19 miles long and has a surface area of over 18,000 acres.  

  • Torch Lake is one of five lakes in the Elk River Watershed navigable by boat.

  • Clam River, Clam Lake, Grass River and Lake Bellaire are some of the other watershed areas our customers enjoy exploring.  Due to a large number of accidents at the mouth of the Torch River, we do not permit our watercraft to enter the Torch River.  

  • The shallow waters around the perimeter of these watersheds consist of cobble rocks and some sand. Most notably the 'sand-bar' on the south end is a prime destination for boaters.  

~the sand bar~

  • The SAND BAR is a shallow, two-mile area of water with a beautiful sandy bottom.  Most boaters cast anchor at the sand bar for at least part of the day.

  • This vast area can be whatever you make of it.  If you want to participate in an active atmosphere navigate and anchor near the liveliness.  If you seek a more family environment for swimming and/or relaxation, anchor your boat on the east side. 

  • PRO TIP: If you prefer action, bring something to do.  We suggest a frisbee or water games to get the most out of the experience.  

  • PRO TIP: Towel dry your skin off after you get back in the boat - this helps to prevent swimmer's itch.  (If you forget - Head 'N' Shoulders is a handy solution).

~the Return~

  • We expect you to return at your scheduled return time.  However if your group would like to return (for bathroom breaks, lunch at the Dockside Restaurant, or any other reason) throughout the day, you are welcome to do so.  

  • We expect to be notified (via text message) 15-20 minutes before you return to the dock.  Our staff will be on the dock ready to help guide you in.  

  • Be prepared - please have your dock-lines ready to toss.

  • You may park the watercraft at our dock from 11AM - 5PM.  After 5PM other vessels are returning and we need to manage space and logistics at that time. 

  • Whenever possible we will assist your group as you disembark the boat.  Don't be surprised to see our staff board the boat, grab bags, coolers, floatation devices, etc. - and carry them to the shore for you.  

  • Once your party has all their belongings (and people) off the boat, you may retrieve your vehicle and park close to the building for easy re-loading. 

~the check out~

  • FUEL - We have your credit card on file that we will use for fuel charges.  Every group is responsible for the fuel used throughout the day.  If you've paid for us to refuel your boat ($20) - we will only charge your card for the fuel used.  If you haven't paid the refueling fee and you return the boat 'not full' we will charge the credit card on file both the refueling fee ($20) and the cost of the fuel.  

  • DAMAGES - Do to the high level of instruction and attention to detail, we experience very little damage - hence no damage deposits.  However, we do take pictures of our watercraft at the start of each day 'just in case'.  Upon your return, a staff member will check the boat for damages.  Our goal is to catch any damage before you leave.  However, some damage is not detected immediately due to the fast-paced logistics of our operation and may not be noticed until the boat enters the cleaning phase.  Regardless, if damage occurs, you are resposible and will be contacted.

~the follow up~

  • In our strive for excellency - expect to receive a follow-up email with a few questions about your experience.  Please take a few moments to complete that questionnaire so we can fine tune and improve our service.  Our goal is for you to enjoy every single moment of your vacation with us and hopefully you do.