By Joel Metzger
Calaveras Enterprise, March 16, 2012
The New Melones Lake Marina is now offering water lovers more ways to enjoy and explore the biggest body of water in Calaveras County and fourth largest reservoir in the state.
The reservoir is surrounded by a myriad of gorgeous scenery, ranging from the towering limestone walls of the Stanislaus River Canyon to rolling oak-studded hills dotted with bright orange poppies and rich purple lupine.
Providing recreators access to this outdoor wonderland is the marina, which is a full-service operation, featuring upscale houseboat rentals, small boat and personal watercraft rentals and extensive private moorage. They are the only operation on New Melones, under concession from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The fuel dock, floating marina store and marine service shop is open year round. Winter hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and summer hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – June, July and August being the busiest months.
After serious damage from a huge wind storm last year, the marina decided to upgrade almost 40 percent of its docks. Along with those upgrades, the marina refurbished its fleet of rental watercraft and added several new boats to the rental lineup.
Smokey Riggert, NMLM general manager, announced the addition of two brand new Yamaha Waverunners.
“These 1100 cc PWCs are in big demand on the lake,” Riggert said. “We have also completely refurbished our patio boats and have put new interiors and paint on our ski boats.”
Sheila Brannock, marina retail manager, said that each of the new jet skis seats three people.
“Last year, we only had three,” she said. “This year we’re going to have between four and six. They are really nice. You can cruise the whole lake.”
Numerous requests for the stand-up paddle boards prompted the marina to buy three of them, which are now available to rent. Single and two-passenger kayaks are also popular among the non-motorized crowd, Brannock said.
Last summer, the lake was full, which was very good for business, Brannock said.
“Last year we definitely saw an increase in business, and I think part of that was how high the water was,” she said. “High water is good for business”
The marina staff members are concerned about the pittance of rainfall so far this year.
“We’re hoping for more rain, so the lake stays full,” Brannock said.
Those who are interested in renting from the marina can choose from a full line of luxury houseboats along with a wide variety of other options.
Wakeboarders can rent a Malibu Wakesetter, which is wildly popular during the summer. Adrenaline junkies can rent one of six jet skis. Those with a need for speed can rent one of six Bluewater ski boats. A patio boat is available for a group looking to have a lake party. Numerous reasonably-priced fishing boats are also available.
The busiest weekend for the marina is Memorial Day. Visitors flock to the lake to explore more than 100 miles of scenic shoreline and 12,500 surface acres.
“We almost always sell out,” Brannock said.
During the wintertime, rentals slow down significantly, but one group of boaters still comes out regularly.
“About 90 percent of the people I see in the winter are fishermen,” Brannock said.
What people are saying:
There are several positive reviews about the marina on yelp.com. Ali H. from Sacramento writes she loves the marina, especially the friendly staff.
“I love that we can just park, hop in and go!” she wrote. “The water level is high. It has made it even more beautiful.”
Meghan P. from San Francisco went on a house boating excursion on Melones.
“The house boats were great and well-equipped with cool sleeping arrangements, a full kitchen, two bathrooms each, hot tubs, water slides, etc.,” she said. “I had never been house-boating and had always wanted to go and now I can’t wait to go back!”
Thuyvi of Hayward said he rented a jet ski from the marina and the employees were nice and check-in was quick. He dinged the marina for having a “beat-up” jet ski, advising it to invest in new ones.
That issue should be solved with the addition of the brand new Waverunners.
Staff at the marina hope the facility upgrades, refurbished watercraft and new additions to the rental fleet will make this a great year for business.
By Jim Dyer
Enjoy Magazine, June 2011
The experiences one can find on a houseboating trip can be as vast as the big blue bodies of water on which the vessels are designed to cruise.
One person could be napping on the sundeck, while another skims across the lake on a jet ski. Someone else could be fishing off the stern, while a buddy cooks a gourmet meal inside as music plays on a pristine stereo system.
For a long stretch of the 1980s, there was a chance you could cruise past a houseboat and hear Merle Haggard music drifting across the water and it was actually Merle himself. the country music legend lived on a houseboat on Shasta Lake for a long stretch.
“The coolest thing about houseboating is it’s so universally appealing,” says Chris Han, marketingcoordinator for Shasta Lake Resorts, which rents six models of houseboats (46 total) out of Jones Valley Resort on Shasta Lake. “Any lifestyle or age group can find something they really enjoy.”
In the North State, there’s an abundance of liquid terrain to explore.
With 365 miles of shoreline when full, Shasta Lake is California’s largest reservoir and features three major sections – the Sacramento, McCloud and Pit River arms. Brilliantly beautiful trinity Lake and sprawling Lake Oroville are also excellent options for houseboat trips in the region. “(trinity Lake) is more of a family lake,” explains Shannon Smith, manager of trinity Lake Resort and Marina. “It’s peaceful and quiet. It’s definitely scenic. you can see the trinity Alps from the lake and there’s a lot wildlife – eagles, deer, occasionally you’ll see bear.” At Shasta Lake’s Jones Valley Resort, all houseboats include hot tubs and waterslides. they also feature options like temperature-controlled wine storage, flat-screen tVs and satellite radio with surround-sound speaker systems. In other words, houseboat vacationers sail out with enough creature comforts to tempt them to never return home. And speaking of creatures, Jones Valley Resort’s Han says don’t leave them at home. “We encourage you to bring your dog,” she says. “Dogs love houseboating.” After a series of summers when lake levels were down significantly, Shasta Lake is full for a second season. trinity Lake is also brimming near the top. Han says the bountiful water should translate to increased business even over last summer’s boost. The view of a full lake simply tends to pull in more houseboaters, adds trinity Lake Resort’s Smith. “Even when the lake was down, there was nothing you couldn’t do out there,” says Smith. “When you’re on the lake, it’s basically the same experience even if it might not look as pretty. But right now it’s 10 feet from the top and the highest it’s been in four years.” As of late April, Lake Oroville was also close to capacity. One of the lake’s prime houseboat rental companies is Lake Oroville Marina, which features five houseboat options, including the 70-foot Silver Millennium Houseboat with four bedrooms and a six-person hot tub on the top deck. Houseboat rental rates vary greatly based on the type of boat, duration on the lake and season. A smaller houseboat can be rented for under $1,000 for a non-summer weekend trip. A weeklong summer trip in a deluxe houseboat can run as high as $15,000. No matter what houseboat you take out, safety is always a prime consideration. Houseboaters are advised to never swim while the boat is in operation. Law enforcement offers can issue DUIs for boat drivers impaired by alcohol. Rental companies conduct extensive safety orientations prior to the beginning of trips. “It’s a great bonding experience and a great tradition year after year,” says Han. “Now we have the kids coming back that used to do houseboats trips in ‘80s. they continue on because they love it so much. There’s always a different arm of the lake they can explore, or they can pick a different model of houseboat. every time they come back it’s a different trip.”
houseboats.com announces the appointment of a new General Manager at New Melones Lake Marina. Blaine “Smokey” Riggert will oversee all marina operations on New Melones Lake
Jun 07, 2011, Angels Camp, CA. houseboats.com announces the appointment of a new General Manager at New Melones Lake Marina. Blaine “Smokey” Riggert will oversee all marina operations on New Melones Lake, located in the heart of the historic Motherlode, just outside of Angels Camp.
Smokey Riggert has a background in manufacturing and distribution and brings 20 years management experience to New Melones Lake Marina. He has extensive experience in customer service and crew supervision. His philosophy: “Tell them what you do, and do what you tell them”. Residing in Northern California for over four decades, Smokey is also a long time boater and watersport enthusiast.
New Melones Lake Marina is a full service marina featuring upscale houseboat rentals, small boat and personal watercraft rentals, and extensive private moorage. They are the only operation on New Melones Lake. The fuel dock, floating marina store and marine service shop is open year round.
houseboats.com operates two resort properties offering luxury houseboat rentals: New Melones Lake Marina and Jones Valley Resort on Shasta Lake.
Beautiful New Melones Lake, one of the largest man-made lakes in California, remains surprisingly undiscovered. It is amazingly set back in the foothills near the quaint Gold Rush town of Angels Camp. Known for fantastic fishing, camping and houseboating. Situated on the North side of the lake, New Melones Lake Marina at Glory Hole has a world class rental fleet, including ski boats, waverunners, patio boats and 15 passenger houseboats. For more on New Melones Marina, click one of the following: Rentals | Map | Lake Information
With nearly 120 miles of shoreline when full, New Melones Lake boasts some incredible scenery. The Sierra foothills and Stanislaus River Canyon cliffs surround the magnificent lake. The Stanislaus River, which feeds New Melones, was originally dammed in 1926 for the purpose of power generation and to supply usable water for agriculture. The project was expanded dramatically in 1980 when the ‘new’ dam was built to both supply hydroelectric power at a much larger rate and prevent downstream flooding. You can learn more at the New Melones Visitor Center.
What’s a Melones?
The naming of New Melones is somewhat of a mystery. Originally a rich placer mining camp established by Mexican miners in early 1948, some think it was named for the gold nuggets the shape and size of melon seeds. The local mining towns were known for extreme violence during the 1840s and 1850s, notably in the diary of Captain Leaonard Noyes, “This place called Melones was built of Brush streets, say 10 feet wide, lined on each side with these Brush houses where Gambling was carried on at an enormous extent….I don’t think there was ever in the Mines so wicked a crowd. Some are killed every night, shooting and cutting all the time. I have always felt when in those narrow streets that I was liable to have a knife shoved into me at any moment….” (article borrowed from ‘The California Gold Country, Highway 49 Revisited, through malakoff.com)
|Don’t tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish.
I’m no Jackass!
In 1864, Mark Twain built a cabin on what is known as Jackass Hill just south of the lake, off of 49. It was here where he began writing “The famous Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” amongst other celebrated books and quotes we know today. The book inspired the world renowned Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee, held each year in Angels Camp. This year’s celebration runs from May 19th to the 22nd.
We love the lakes we operate on. We enjoy the fabulous fishing, great time with our families on the lake, and as local residents, we know all the secrets to the lake. Here is just a sampling of some great places on New Melones that you might not know about. The Coyote Arm, near the center of the lake, just north and east of the highway 49 bridge, is one of the best places on the lake for water skiing and wakeboarding due its long, narrow features.
Quotes about New Melones
Carson Cove is well protected, close to the marina and feels like “It’s like your own private cove” according to Erik Guy, houseboats.com rental supervisor.
“The best part about New Melones Lake is that it’s not crowded, while most other California lakes are packed!” - Codey Redfield, former Marina Manager
“Shhhh. No one seems to head to this spot. Everyone is heading to McClure or Don Pedro. Let them go.” Tim G. from San Francisco
Houseboating on New Melones Lake
New Melones Lake Marina
New Melones Lake Marina features houseboat and small boat rentals, marine fuel, marina store, marine services, nearby boat launching and campground, and much more! Look at our Rental Fleet here
Special New Melones Lake Houseboat Rental Specials to Blog Commentors ONLY
*leave a polite comment and receive a 25% discount on any houseboat rental through May 5th, 2011*
I’ve spent a little time recently with a friend who is absolutely in love with sailing. So, a few weeks ago we were talking about what is a better vacation, three days on a sailboat or three days on a houseboat. In the spirit of both humor and a little sailor-bashing, here are Captain Jackson’s top 10 reasons that houseboating is better than sailing:
2. Engines are better than wind. Forgive me for getting excited about a 350 V8 engine on a 56 foot boat, but knowing you can go in a straight line to your destination is awfully nice.
3. Waterfalls. Show me a waterfall I can get to on a sailboat, I dare you. (Okay, there is one in California at McWay Falls, but only one)
4. Sleeping quarters. Getting into the galley on most sailboats requires spinal flexibility. Ever try to stand up inside a sailboat? No concussions for me, thanks.
5. Food. I prefer my grills and full kitchens to the mini kitchen any day of the week.
6. Terminology. It takes nearly 10 minutes to learn all houseboating terms. Galley. Helm. Hot tub. Waterslide. It takes learning another language to sail a boat on the open ocean.
7. The boom. When winds change and you aren’t paying attention, watch out for a nice concussion or trip into the water when the bar connected to the mast comes swinging across the deck. Ouch.
8. Sailors don’t make videos like this: Houseboats.com
9. The Titan. I hate to brag, but the biggest houseboat rental boat in the country can draw the eye of almost anyone. The boat has 3 stories, 6 flat screen TVs, and a water slide tube. I’ve never seen a sailboat with a waterslide. It seems that it might be cool if you could add a diving board off the top of the mast.
10. This T-shirt. Only a sailor would get this.
This post is designed to be a little bit humorous, so any comments outside the spirit of fun will be dismissed.