Lake Travis Boating and On-Water Activities

Fun Boating on Lake Travis – Fishing – Water Skiing – Cruising


When it comes to fishing, water skiing and boating Lake Travis is easily the most popular waterway in Central Texas. There’s no better way to cool off on a hot summer day than to go wakeboarding, water skiing – or just cruising around on. Boating is one of the most popular forms of Austin Texas outdoor recreation. Some people elect to trailer their boats or jet skis. Others have a great time on the lake in luxury yachts, party barges, ski boats or pontoon rentals. But if you go out frequently, a nearby modern Lakeway area marina is the best way to avoid the nuisances of trailering, launching and recovering. And maximize your time on the water.

West Beach Marina (512) 266-2277
17317 West Beach Road – Austin TX 78734

Lake Travis Boating Options

With 18,930 acres of space, there are a huge variety of water-borne activities taking place on the lake. These range from fishing, sailing and scuba diving to water skiing, wakeboarding, parasailing and just cruising around in a powerboat.

The most popular types of watercraft on Lake Travis are ski boats, sailboats, wake boats and personal watercraft (PWCs). Many people keep these on trailers (at home or near the shore) and launch them at one of the public boat ramps whenever they want to get out on the water. But the most convenient and time-saving approach to boating on Lake Travis is to rent a slip at one of the lakeside marinas.

Boat Ownership vs Rental Experience

Most people seriously interested in boating on Lake Travis end up buying their own watercraft. That way they can get exactly what they want, equipped the way they want. Many boat owners enjoy doing their own maintenance and detailing. Others prefer to have the work done by local marine services providers; and most of these are mobile and can come to your boat slip or home to get the job done. Very convenient.

A lot of individuals and groups take advantage of Lake Travis boat rentals from commercial boat clubs or marinas. Most popular are ski boats and  pontoon rentals — many complete with water skis, Lily Pads and rafts. Also large and small party boat rentals with licensed captains. Having a professional captain enhances safety and makes the rental experience more enjoyable. Just the thing for a corporate event or bachelorette party.

Trailering vs Boat Slip Rental

Slip rental maximizes your time on the water, and eliminates the  nuisances of trailering to the boat ramp, waiting in line, launching and recovering. Most local marinas have breakwaters and offer boat lifts and PWC ports to provide additional protection from waves, objects and crud in the water. Keeping your powerboat, sailing yacht or jet ski in a slip or PWC port is also easier on the boat (and your tow vehicle) than driving it around on our Austin roads.

Renting a boat slip also makes it easier to deal with the variable Lake Travis water level. And your boat slip rental experience will depend a lot on how well your marina manages this variation. Especially during an extended droughts when public launch ramps don’t reach the water. Despite these benefits, many boaters elect to trailer to save money and enjoy boating at other nearby lakes. 

Enjoy Water Sports in Central Texas

Not surprisingly, the Lake Travis boating population has increased significantly with the rapid growth of Austin. This is part of a nationwide surge in marine recreation and watercraft use on lakes, rivers and coastal waters. We’ve certainly seen a lot of growth at West Beach Marina. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, 88 million adults in the U.S. (37.8% of the population) participated in recreational water sports in 2012, up 6% from 2011.


Variable Water Levels

Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis are the largest of the six man-made Highland Lakes which were created for flood control, power generation and water supply maintenance. The levels of Travis and Buchanan vary as their water is used to maintain the other lakes at a constant level, and provide water to Austin and downstream users. The fluctuating lake level makes boating on Lake Travis challenging sometimes. But even during drought conditions, there is plenty of room for sailing, wake boating, water skiing and cruising.

Challenges for Boating on Lake Travis

When the water level falls to 630’ above Mean Sea Level (MSL), people who trailer their boats can’t launch (or haul out) their watercraft. This has created an increasing demand for boat slips. And boat parties complete with watercraft rentals or party barges. With the expected continuation of Central Texas drought conditions, water sports and renting boat slips will become even more popular.


Marinas and Boat Slips

To address this great demand for aquatic recreation, the LCRA has licensed marinas to provide boat slips and watercraft rentals. Most slip rentals entail a yearly contract; and the monthly cost depends on the size as well as the amenities available (covered slips, water, electricity, boat detailing and other marine services). Although the lake is navigable throughout its nearly 64 mile length, most of the larger and well-equipped marinas are located towards the southeastern end of the lake near Austin.

West Beach Marina is located at the end of Hudson Bend, just minutes from Lakeway and Steiner Ranch, and convenient to the most popular spots like Devil’s Cove. To keep down the crowds and noise, we do not have Lake Travis boat rentals, ship’s store or fuel dock. But we have plenty of parking, and modern boat docks with a built-in breakwater. This location gives our members easy access to the main channel, regardless of the water level.

Great days on the water begin at West Beach Marina!

Call us today to learn about our boat slip and lift options for new customers.

West Beach Marina (512) 266-2277 17317 West Beach Road – Austin TX 78734