RANGER III: Transporting a Boat, Canoe, or Kayak

General Information

  • For all boats, canoes and kayaks, a passenger must accompany the vessel.
  • You must know the exact length of your vessel, based upon your state registration length. The maximum boat length transported is 20 ft. Canoes and kayaks over 18 ft. or 80 lbs cost more to transport.

Transporting Your Canoe or Kayak

  • When you arrive, drop your canoe or kayak at the roped off section at the end of the Ranger III. A staff member will direct you when we are ready to load it.
  • The only items that are permitted to be loaded onto the Ranger III inside a canoe, or kayak, are paddles, PFDs, safety equipment (pumps/bailers), and fishing poles. Backpacks, coolers, and other luggage must be loaded separately on a cart.
  • Make sure all equipment stored in vessel is securely fasten to your vessel.
  • If your canoe or kayak is over 18 feet or 80 lbs it will be loaded on the upper deck and exposed to the weather.

Transporting Your Boat

For boats, deck space allows 4 boats maximum. Longer boats reduce available space. If your boat will not fit on the date specified, we will call to discuss options including adjusting trip dates or refunding the full original amount paid. This full refund does not apply when cancelling after having received reservation confirmation.

Preparation Prior to Morning Departure Arrival

  • Drain all water from any live wells and bilges.

  • Aquatic invasive species pose a serious threat to native fish and other species. All boats must be decontaminated, refer to park newspaper for details on decontamination methods.

  • The boat must be properly numbered and a current boat registration must be shown. If the registration is not present, the boat will not be transported and there will be no refund.

  • Internal and external fuel tanks can be at full capacity. Two other containers are allowed, not exceeding 23L (six gallons) capacity each. Containers must be closed and in good condition. Containers must be approved by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) or the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).

  • Twenty pounds of propane per boat will be allowed. Propane will be limited to one twenty pound container or any multiple of ten or five pound containers, not to exceed twenty pounds. During check in, cylinders will be tagged and removed to a secure area for proper storage. Containers must be approved by U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) or Underwriters Laboratory (UL).

Prepare Your Boat for Loading at Houghton or Rock Harbor

  • Attach a ten foot line to the bow and stern.

  • Make sure your boat is not excessively loaded with gear. Please secure anything that may roll around or blow away as we will most likely encounter wind and waves.
  • Raise engines / outdrives to above transom level. Also, transducers and other transom mounted devices, if possible.

  • Leave your downriggers, rod holders, and fenders inside your boat until launched at Isle Royale.

  • Antennas and fabric tops should be folded down and secured.

  • Make sure your drain plug is in. If heavy rain is encountered, we may drain your boat prior to launching. Automatic bilge pumps may be left on.
  • Vehicles with boat trailers need to park in the upper parking lot. Please follow these procedures for your return trip.

Dockside Check-in Time

  • Passengers – 8:00 am ET
  • Canoes/Kayaks - 7:45 am ET
  • Houghton & Rock Harbor Boats - 7:30 am ET
Boarding Times
  • Boarding Begins 8:15 am ET
  • Boarding Ends 8:45 am ET
    • If you are not aboard Ranger III by 8:45 am ET you will not be allowed to board.
Sailing Times Houghton to Rock Harbor/Windigo
  • Houghton Departure 9:00 am ET
  • Isle Royale Arrival 3:00 pm ET
Sailing Times Rock Harbor/Windigo to Houghton
  • Isle Royale Departure 9:00 am ET
  • Houghton Arrival 3:00 pm ET

Last updated: March 22, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931


906 482-0984

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