Business offering visitors a new way to experience Rangeley Lake

4 mins read
Nomad drifts across Rangeley Lake. (Photo by Josh Laskin)

RANGELEY – Visitors to Rangeley now have the opportunity to experience the lake in an up close and personal way, by staying aboard Nomad: a floating 3-bed hotel.

The 1958 Thunderbird, owned by Rheanna Sinnett, gives tourists the experience of living the floating lifestyle in one of three ways: tethered to Sinnett’s dock, moored nearby, or anchored in a private cove. The tiny, off-grid lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but Sinnett didn’t create her business for the masses.

“The experience of being immersed on the lake – it’s visible in people. Of course I would love to just live on [Nomad] and wave to people as I drive by, but there is another layer to providing that to somebody else and giving them the opportunity to experience that. It’s like seeing your kid experiencing something new, being able to see them have that feeling. Being out on the water brings it to a new level,” Sinnett said.

Sinnett grew up on the water, around boats and continued that lifestyle as a helicopter pilot for the United States Navy. She and her family have been living in Rangeley since Sinnett was a toddler; her extensive knowledge of the lake is just one of the many perks to staying on Nomad, or her sister boat, Roam. The “just add water” floating camps are in their second season of operation, after being completely remodeled, and in Roam’s case, completely built from scratch. Nomad is booked for the rest of the season, and Roam will begin taking bookings this weekend.

Rheanna Sinnett of Just Add Water Floating Camps.

Originally, Sinnett planned to live in one of the boats while renting the other. Her interest in small-scale living lead to extensive research of the details of it- such as how to be as off-grid as possible and how to make it work without sacrificing daily comforts.

“I just figured, if all else fails, I’ll live in him. Fortunately or unfortunately, he is very popular so that’s not an option for me,” Sinnett said.

Sinnett has made both boats zero-impact for Rangeley Lake. All waste is collected in holding tanks, and Sinnett has a strict no-dump policy for guests.

“I wanted to make sure I was doing this respectfully. The point is to have a serene, calm relaxing get away. This is not a party boat,” she said. “My boats are cleaner than an outboard diesel engine.”

Sinnett said she’s proud to be contributing to bolstering the local economy, and continues to help find ways to increase tourism.

“In my opinion, this falls directly in line with that. It’s just another unique, off-the-beaten-path way to enjoy the area. It creates even more opportunity for people to come up here and enjoy Rangeley Lake,” Sinnett said. “My business model is purely “a little closer to nowhere.” I love getting people on the water. Even people who aren’t that comfortable with it.”

For more information on Just Add Water Floating Camps click here.

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