The main reason people visit the Lake of the Ozarks is, well, the Lake. When I was a small boy visiting my grandparents who had a home on the water, I would float on an inner tube about a half mile from the dam and wait for the Tom Sawyer and Larry Don to pass by so that I could ride the big waves they created. Later as a teenager my dad and I would go fishing in a small 14 foot Jon boat but I never really thought about the size of the boat.
While those days are long in my past, the Lake is still the main attraction that draws over four million visitors to our area each year. We have a playground that includes 1,150 miles of shoreline (more than the state of California), a surface area of 54,000 acres, is located in four counties and has a main channel that stretches about 92 miles from Bagnell Dam to Truman Dam. In fact over the last few years our Lake has been recognized as one of the best recreational lakes in the United States!
Today the boats are a lot bigger than my dad’s little Jon boat. And when it comes to vacation rentals, since people are coming to enjoy the lake, many of them are bringing boats and the last time I checked they were not getting any smaller. At one time a 10 x 20 slip would suffice for those bringing their fishing boat or small runabout. Today you almost need a minimum slip size of 12 x 32 to accommodate the majority of boats that guests are bringing.
I get a number of condo owners that either don’t have a boat slip with their condo or they are using it for their own boat. Typically 40% of our guests are either bringing a boat or renting one while they are here during the summer. That means that if you don’t have a slip for guests you are essentially telling 40% of the vacationing public that you don’t want them at your condo and they will then be inclined to look for a condo that does come with a boat slip.
So if you are thinking of purchasing a condo for vacation rentals you need to ensure (beyond having a good location and a nice unit) that you are getting a good sized boat slip with your condo. A 12 x 32 to a 12 x 38 will allow you to accommodate most boats that guests are bringing. Some guests like to keep an eye on their boat, so if you have a choice, try to get a slip that is also visible from your unit and as close as possible.