Entertaining on Your Boat in Michigan

Looking for a great place to throw your next party or social gathering? Look no further than your boat. A boat can serve as a fantastic setting for your next big bash, business entertainment party, or intimate dinner party.
 
Boat Party Themes - With the right combination of décor, food and lighting, boat parties can celebrate any occasion and capture the spirit of any theme—while offering the added benefit of being on the water. Whether it is for a 4th of July or Christmas in July, a taste of the islands, or nautical birthday bash, decorating your boat for a theme party can be a lot of fun. String some lights, fly a festive flag, hang some coconuts, or tie off some balloons and off you go. Add a little theme music and party favors, and your floating party will surely be a hit.
 
Business entertainment – Consider taking your customers out for a boat ride instead of to a noisy, crowded restaurant. Business entertainment on a boat offers many advantages including a relaxed atmosphere and few distractions. Making the time together memorable and impactful might be as simple as catching a few big fish or taking in the incredible sights Michigan boating has to offer. The anticipated trip and the personal bonding that inevitably transpires can help keep and grow business. Michigan tax laws allow you to write off the interest on your boat loan just as you would on a second home if it meets certain specs. Business use on a boat is also tax deductible – check with your certified public accountant for more details.
 
Raft-offs – This fun, sometimes planned, sometimes impromptu boating activity starts with a general location to anchor your vessel to relax, swim, and socialize. Raft-offs can be small and intimate with 2 – 3 boats or if well publicized and/or organized, can end up with hundreds of boats tied off to each other. Raft-offs can be simply to enjoy boating on a particularly beautiful day or to enjoy an event like fireworks, an air show, or concerts. Some Michigan raft-offs have been organized as charitable fundraisers and/or to break world records.
 
Some of Michigan’s most popular impromptu raft-off locations include Strawberry Island on Lake St. Clair, and in the northwestern corner of Lake St. Clair just north of the Clinton River near several commercial marina operations west of Selfridge Air Force Base. Downriver raft-off favorites include in the U.S. water behind Sugar Island off the east side of Grosse Isle near the Livingston Channel at the cross dike. Another downriver raft-off option is the north end of Stony Island.
 
Lake Michigan raft-off favorites include the mile long channel that leads to Lake Kalamazoo in Saugatuck and spacious Lake Macatawa in Holland. Silver Beach in St. Joseph is another busy Lake Michigan raft-off site. 
  
Raft-offs aren’t for the Great Lakes alone. Large inland lakes like Cass Lake in Oakland County, and Higgins and Houghton Lakes in Roscommon County have sizeable raft-offs every weekend. Even smaller yet, 250 acre Lake Neva in Oakland County has many of its lakefront residents rafting-off in its small north bay on a regular basis. 
 
 
So start planning your boat party schedule for this summer; whether it is a sophisticated sunset dinner party, a midsummer raft-off, or a stay at the dock potluck, your friends and family will want to stay on your boat invite list.

 

Content courtesy of Michigan Boating Industries Association.