Canada’s Tides Are Changing

Twin Anchors powers forward

February 2016 Feature Austa Cook

Tradition runs deep in the veins of Twin Anchors Marine, which has been family-owned and operated since 1977 for the longest continuous ownership in the industry. With marinas in Sicamous and Salmon Arm, this Canadian manufacturer operates a fleet of over 80 rental houseboats, jokingly referred to as “the largest R&D department in the marine industry!” A remarkable amount of creative energy goes into each vessel, as each houseboat is designed and manufactured from the hull up at their Sicamous, British Columbia, manufacturing plant.

Quality construction and meticulous attention to detail are clearly evident in any Twin Anchors houseboat you care to board. Several things set Twin Anchors apart from the crowd, but the most noticeable difference is Twin Anchors’ exclusive unitized cabin and bridgedeck system. This Canadian builder does not use "bolt on" bridge components, but rather integrates the cabin and bridge into a single, seamless unit. This unitized construction is also found in the surround for the standard equipment hot tub and built-in bridge deck seating, all molded in rather than added on later. No joints, no leaks, no rot!

Quality Checks

In addition to being NMMA certified, Twin Anchors is an ISO 9000 registered company assuring customers a quality control system second to none. Located on Shuswap Lake in beautiful British Columbia, Twin Anchors offers truly custom houseboat designs for both private and rental use. 

Engineered trusses supporting the bridgedeck mean there are no interior bearing walls, giving the customer complete freedom in designing an interior that best suits his needs. Models include both two level boats and tri-decks with a full height penthouse on the second level and a third level complete with wet bar, hot tub and entertainment center. Twin Anchor boats range in length from 31 to 75 feet and feature beams from 10 to 18 feet.

Happy Days Ahead

So how are they doing now? Things are definitely getting lively for Twin Anchors after the houseboat market turndown during the recession. These folks kicked off 2015 by beginning the crafting of not one but two new builds, designed exclusively for Happy Days Houseboats.

Home to the largest mooring of houseboats in Ontario, Happy Days Houseboats calls the Trent Severn Waterway home. The Trent Severn Waterway is a 240-mile aqueous highway of sorts with many elevation changes, leading to the creation of the world's two highest hydraulic lift locks, 43 conventional locks and a marine railway. This beautiful chain of locks and the variations in elevation make the houseboating experience here utterly unique. As you can imagine, folks are eager to explore this beautiful area with a Happy Days Houseboat rental. With the addition of Twin Anchors’ two new vessels, Happy Days is proud to rent a spectrum of houseboats from basic to luxury family-friendly models. In their fleet mix the Twin Anchor models are the number one choice of families and groups alike for the perfect rental houseboat to explore the unforgettable surroundings.


With the new 2015 builds, Twin Anchors worked some wonders in creating a beautiful raised cathedral-type ceiling that opens up the interior for a much more spacious vibe. It also lets in light to play across the walls and coaxes in errant breezes from open windows so renters get to enjoy more of the sensations of the outdoors they’re immersed in.

Solid Partnership

The history between these two companies is stretching out longer and happier with the passing years; at the start of their business relationship Happy Days purchased two Twin Anchors houseboats back in 2007.

“There are challenges with transporting a houseboat across Canada, but the product, service, and aftercare from Twin Anchors has been exceptional,” Jill Quast at Happy Days Houseboats explains. Now she can warmly say, “While it is a business relationship, Twin Anchors feels like family.”  

While these latest builds promise good fortune and turning tides for Twin Anchors, they mark the same thing for Happy Days Houseboats. The Trent Severn Waterway is part of a federal park owned and watched over by Parks Canada. In recent years, business expansion and development have been on pause because of the Federal Government Debt Reduction Action Plan (DRAP), leaving the Trent Severn Waterway and Parks Canada with hefty, disproportionate cutbacks in hours of operation and extent of service. However, things are coming around with a new announcement by their federal government that they would make a major investment into the infrastructure of the Waterway.

Ready To Grow

“Commissioning the build of two new houseboats represents a significant investment in the growth of our business here in Ontario,” Jill explains. If these two boats do as well as the first 2007 boats from Twin Anchors—and initial rental bookings look like they will—then the investment will again show a good return. Jill says the first Twin Anchors builds of 2015 are especially significant to Happy Days Houseboats as it’s a clear sign that the tourism and boating industries are starting a serious growth spurt in Canada. And it’s a good thing they are, because houseboating is one of those things that will only serve to unite families and get everyone enjoying the outdoors together.

“Houseboating will always allow families and friends to ‘hurry up and relax,’” Jill explains. She captures it perfectly when she adds that houseboating “fosters the ‘reconnect through disconnect,’ just taking it old school and getting back to the lost art of just spending time together.”

TAM Photography by Don Wexel 

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