Lake Cumberland Presidential Houseboat Safe Harbor Marina
Updated: Sep 18, 2022
We had the privilege of vacationing on Lake Cumberland Kentucky. We had such a great time on the Presidential boat that we would like to share our review of the boat. Here is our review of the Presidential houseboat available for rent at the Safe Harbor Jamestown Marina in Lake Cumberland Kentucky. We hope you learn from our experience with this review. If you would like to watch the review on YouTube here is the link to our video:
Let’s start with the upper deck which includes a hot tub, tube slide entrance, 3 chaise lounge chairs, a patio set with 4 chairs and table, and the upper level bridge with steering and throttle controls. The canopy is spacious and provides a lot of shade while the open area has plenty of room for catching a lot of sun. We had mobile phones and portable speakers for entertainment and used these a lot on the upper deck. Make sure you bring binoculars for viewing wildlife and other faraway things that catch your eye.
Inside the boat from front to back is again spacious. The main bridge has full boat controls and includes the generator start and water pump switch. The “living room” includes tv/dvd, armchair and couch. We also used the floor to relax and watch a couple of movies. The galley includes a fully stocked kitchen with coffee maker, refrigerator, microwave, stove, toaster, and double bowl sink. You will want to bring your own paper towels, paper plates, and plastic utensils if you don’t want to do a lot of dishes. We found plenty of regular dishes, utensils, pots and pans, washcloths and drying towels. Make sure you bring all the seasoning and condiments you need. We forgot capers and cinnamon. You will also want to pack baggies, plastic wrap and aluminum foil and other kitchen consumables for your meal plan. The kitchen table seats six with bar stools so the table is good for standing around.
The second back half of the boat includes all the bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. The bathrooms are supplied with Toilet paper. As with a motorhome, the waste system requires their special paper only. The bathrooms were also stocked with towels, soap, and shampoo.
There are six rooms with mattresses in the boat and we comfortably slept 5 kids and 6 adults. Each mattress comes with two pillows, sheets, and one blanket. Bring extra if you need it. The staff do a great job cleaning the boat. The linens and towels were sharp and clean and when you return the boat you will be surprised at the condition you leave the boat with normal wear compared to how awesome the boat looked when you first stepped on. There is a lower berth to the right of the microwave behind the kitchen table.
The switches, outlets, and lights are a little confusing. Some of the switches power the outlets and some switches power outlets and lights together. There were many switches that we had know idea what they did. There is also a sink and cabinet between two lower berths midship. The captain’s suite includes more storage than the other berths and a tv/dvd setup. It also has a door wall to the back swim deck. There is a hallway to get around the captain’s suite where we found a clothes dryer and additional storage and all the life jackets
Now moving to outside the boat. The extreme rear of the boat has a small swim deck that includes a spiral stairway to the top deck, air conditioner, and a small space where we stored paddle boards and inflatables The propellers are back here behind the ladder. Whenever getting in the water, confirm the boat is in neutral. It takes discipline with the boat captain as the distance from front to back is significant. In the front of the boat, is a larger deck with propane grill, large garbage can, table and six chairs. There are also steps up to the top deck.
Finally here are some tips we learned during our vacation:
Hang your towels and suits on the canopy structure above the hot tub to dry out.
Pack a brush or other tool to clean pots and pans.
Pack a lighter for starting campfires or birthday candles if you are celebrating
Bring firewood and supplies to start a fire on a beach. I wish we'd packed fatwood
Bring camp chairs for the back swim platforms and generally extra seating and for chairs on the beach
If you can bring a boat, kayak, or personal watercraft as a dinghy to get from the boat to the marina to grab ice or explore the tighter areas of the lake.
Walking on the top deck makes a lot of noise inside so tread lightly while others are sleeping.
Bring or ask for additional boat lines. We brought extra and it made it easier to tie the boat to shore
The generator produces dirty power. We brought an ice maker but there wasn’t enough watts to make ice. Also, the clock on the stove ran fast which is also an indication the generator isn't like being connected to the utility grid. Generators just have this issue. Additionally, because of the switches and how the outlets work with them it took a day or two to figure out the best way to charge devices. Plan on it taking longer to charge ipads and other devices with large batteries
Pack plenty of ice and coolers. Ice is available at the marina. With a full boat of people there isn’t enough freezer/refrigerator space to keep drinks cold.
If your water stops flowing check the switch on the boat control board. We lost water when someone accidently turned the pump off. The pump is near the boat controls so that is the sound you are hearing when water is in use.
Pay attention to the boat walkthrough and ask them to show you twice. It goes fast and they are happy to slow down and provide you time to ask questions and go over stuff a second time.
If you have more than one houseboat bring portable marine radios or at least walkie talkies. We found them helpful for our group. The boat does have ship-to-shore radios and cell phones work more than half the time on the lake.
Bring a dry erase marker to plot your route on the map so you don’t get lost.
Bring a sharpie to mark drinks with names
In summary you get what you pay for and we got a great time. The boats are seaworthy and sound but they are not new. Not everything works on these boats anymore but the Presidential has a great layout and they do a great job to keep the important items running well. For example, the air conditioning worked great and the inside of the boat was comfortable with temperatures exceeding 90 degrees outside. The boats are easy to operate and the manual and customer service by phone makes up for a light that doesn’t work or a door knob that is a little damaged. Choose to go to Lake Cumberland and choose this boat. Here is the link to Safe Harbor Rentals. We're not affiliated with Safe Harbor and this review is unbiased and without compensation. We had a great time and hope you enjoy your trip, too.