GUIDE: Renting a Boat to explore Shuswap Lake

Exploring on the water is a whole new way to discover those access by boat only places, on Shuswap Lake. It’s your chance to explore cliff jumping, spend the afternoon tubing on the lake, visit the Shark Shack, the floating restaurant or find the rope swing and jump into the cold, clear waters.

There are over 1,000 km of shoreline at Shuswap Lake, and it’s not realistic to explore them all – but in one day, you’ll at least get to a few.

Where can you rent a boat on Shuswap Lake?

Sea Dog Boat Rentals
Where: Salmon Arm

Bayside Rental
Where: Blind Bay

Red’s Rentals
Where: Sicamous

Before choosing the rental company, first consider what it is that you want to explore on the lake. Use a map, like this one, to pick your points of interest and chat with the locals to find out some of their favourites. That’s how we discovered the rope swing, and the cliffs for the kids to jump off of.

Exploring Shuswap Lake by Boat

We spent the first part of the morning tubing, making our way from Salmon Arm where we rented from Seadog Boat Rentals, all the way over to the Sea Store, the floating store. Near to there, we decided to have lunch.

Everyone was getting hungry, so we made our way to the Shark Shack, a popular floating lunch spot in the Narrows. After docking the boat and waiting about thirty minutes, we grabbed lunch for two adults and five kids. Burgers, fries, onion rings for everyone and a couple of drinks for the adults was as expected, $140 with tip. About half of that cost was tip + drinks, and half was food.

We spent the majority of our afternoon at a small set of cliffs and tiny bay, jumping off cliffs with the kids. The little spot recommended by a local,, between Celista and St. Ives was a hit with the kids and accessibly only on the water.

The boat came with a tube, so we spent the majority of the day, pulling the kids on the water. Hanging out and jumping in – because on vacation you’re travelling at the pace of kids, am I right? 

How much does it cost to rent a boat on Shuswap Lake?

The boat rental cost was just over $600 for the full day, 10-6. We spent just over $200 on fuel, but we covered a lot of the lake. Next time, we would likely rent a boat from another location to save on the time actually traveling to the places we wanted to visit.

Keep in mind when you’re renting a boat, there’s a pre-auth of $2,500 on a credit card. With our rental, it was released immediately when we returned the boat and they did a quick check to make sure it was in the same condition as when we took the rental in the morning.

We split the cost with another family, as there were nine seats on our boat and was such an incredible experience on the water.