How to Plan a Boat Party

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how to plan a boat party

So you wanna have a boat party huh? As an avid proponent of boat life, I decided to have a boat party for my 28th birthday. It was a bit stressful to plan, especially for so many people, and so I created this post to help others plan their own parties and have it be as painless as possible. Continue reading this post to see how to plan a boat party:

Step 1:

Find a boat. I knew I wanted to go to Lake Berryessa in northern California so I scouted several boat agencies and settled on Pleasure Cove Marina’s due to their cheap rates for this beautiful 44 foot boat. I reserved this three months in advance…book early as popular boats tend to get booked early for peak weekends during the summer!

You can also try out boat renting sites like Getmyboat or Sailo for the “Airbnb” of boat rentals.

Step 2:

Invite your people! Give your family and friends as much time as possible to RSVP so you can make sure that everyone you want there can make it. Lately, it seems like making plans with friends a month in advance is becoming the norm…make sure you get them all! You can also choose a theme like the 1920s or sailors to make it more fun too. I bought a sailor cap and it was perfect to wear on the boat. Thanks Capn Vansen for commandeering!

how to plan a boat party

Step 3:

You will probably have to pay at least half the balance up front. Boat rentals aren’t exactly cheap, mine was $550 for the initial deposit, and an additional $550 for the security deposit, plus CA state tax. You might also want to get the damage waiver as well. For those of you thinking you may be able to cover it using Chase Reserve rental insurance, I thought the same thing. However, upon calling them, I found that they only cover automobile rentals and no boats 🙁 We ended up not even needing the damage waiver, but it was great for peace of mind, especially because you’re on such an expensive vehicle.

Step 4:

Prep the food and dranks, including water! Ideally it will be hot when you’re out on the water and you want to stay hydrated, especially if you’re drinking. We grilled burgers, hot dogs, and had snacks like chips and salsa. If you’re trying to avoid bottles, boxed wine is always a good option as well.

how to throw a boat party

Step 5:

If you’re drinking, be responsible and get a designated driver for your group. In my case, we thought it’d be easier to get a charter bus so no one would have to drive. After calling around several different options, United Coach Tours ended up being the most affordable option.

Step 6:

As a huge fan of games, I knew we would have to have several on the boat. We settled on beer pong, rage cage, and flip cup because we wanted to party like we were 21 again. Old habits die hard.

how to plan a boat party

Step 7:

Last but not least, music! Have a solid playlist prepared or tap one of your musically gifted friends to prep one. Spotify also tends to have some great party music already lined up. Just hit shuffle play and you’re free to hang with your friends or take a dip in the water.

Things to bring:

1. Sunscreen – Avoid sun damage and wear sunblock! I personally like Neutrogena’s non-greasy formula.

2. Beer pong cups and beer pong balls – You can obviously go to your local grocery store for these, but if you’re feeling lazy and want to make use of your Amazon prime account, here are links for cups and balls, for your convenience.

3. Floaties – This unicorn floatie was a huge hit at our party and it’s so Instagrammable too.

4. Water guns – You can grab some at Target or get some on Amazon here.

5. Folding table – This will be needed for games like beer pong or rage cage. Here’s one on Amazon in case you need one.

Do you have any tips on how to plan a boat party? Leave a comment below!


I spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking about eating pho in Vietnam, swimming under the waterfalls in Thailand, and temple hopping in Cambodia. Aside from this, I am in the healthcare field in the Bay Area! If you’re ever in the area, hit me up 🙂

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