How to Throw a Party on a Boat

You might think you know how to throw a party, but when the party is set at sea, new challenges need to be met. While boats provide a great party experience for your guests, careful planning is necessary to assure smooth sailing.

Tools and Materials

  • Boat
  • Pilot
  • Life Vests
  • Snacks
  • Beverages
  • Camera

Step 1 – Planning the Party

This is one party that doesn’t need a theme. The boat itself creates plenty of excitement. Of course, you could go a bit further by copying a television show – “Gilligan’s Island” or “Lost,” for example – or a movie such as “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Guests could dress in costumes or recreate their favorite scenes. The invitation list is extremely important. Be careful to limit it to those most likely to attend. Space on the boat is limited, so you have no room for overflow guests.

Step 2 – Choosing the Craft

You have given thought already to the size boat you will need. The guest list might demand a cruise ship, but your budget calls for a pontoon boat. If you already own one, you’re ahead of the game, but consider the personal liability involved. This entertaining might be better left to a bonded professional. Laws require life preservers for every passenger. Find a good captain even if you are using your own boat. Being host and pilot both is too difficult a job. Paddle wheel riverboats are often available for rent, as are yachts and houseboats. Decide what you can afford.

Step 3 – Feeding the Crew

Your budget again will determine whether to hire a caterer or prepare your own food. The boat will not likely have space for a full meal, so plan accordingly. Even if someone else is providing the food, you might stash away some drinks and snacks in case of emergency.

Step 4 – Entertaining the Guests

A theme makes it easier to invent games and activities for the party. Swimming might be an option, but it adds an element of risk. If the boat is large enough, hire a band or entertainer. Take constant pictures so the voyage is never forgotten.

Step 5 – Planning the Route

Will this party be on the move, or do you plan to keep the boat moored? Touring the shoreline is entertainment in itself for most landlubbers. If you plan to cruise during the party, be aware of the noise level as you pass homes along the way. Riverside residents often buy their homes for the solitude the water provides. Be aware that the river is public if your guests are drinking alcohol. No one wants to land in the brig on a beautiful afternoon. You also need to be sure that parking is safe and sufficient where the boat will dock. If you really know how to throw a party, you’ll have smooth sailing all day long.