10 Tips for Planning a Bachelor or Bachelorette Boat Party

Planning a bachelor or bachelorette boat party can feel overwhelming, but planning ahead can make it a fun and memorable experience for all the right reasons.  

How to Plan a Bachelor or Bachelorette Boat Party

Tip 1: Sail Safe

Safety should always be the top priority when boating, especially when planning a bachelor or bachelorette boat party. 

Make sure all guests know basic boating safety guidelines. Things like wearing life jackets and staying away from the edges of the boat may seem obvious to those accustomed to boat life, but some guests may need to learn the rules of the water.

Charter a boat with a captain so your friends can focus on having fun. You also don’t have to worry about anyone drinking and driving when you have a dedicated captain. 

If you don’t have the option to rent a captain with your boat, designate a sober driver you trust can handle the responsibilities of captaining a boat.

Staying sober is critical for boating safety; the boat captain should always stay sober, appoint a sober skipper, and ensure that passengers drink responsibly. 

Tip 2: Choose the Right Date for Your Party

Scheduling a boat bachelor or bachelorette party a few days before the wedding is risky -for several reasons. First, guests may feel overwhelmed with many wedding events so closely scheduled. Secondly, if anyone develops a sunburn, it is almost impossible to correct a bad sunburn in wedding photos. And those are forever. 

Schedule your boat bach party at least two weeks before the wedding date to be safe. 

Tip 3: Choose the Right Boat For Your Group

Boats range in size, accommodations, speed, and many other ways. Choosing the right boat for your group size and intent will make all the difference in your boat bach party. 

First, get an accurate headcount of guests who are attending. This may open or narrow your options, but it is the first step to finding the right boat for your party. 

Pontoon boats are a first choice for many bachelor and bachelorette boat parties. More budget-friendly than a yacht, and with plenty of space to spread out on board, pontoons offer many of the favorite aspects of other boats: speed, sun and shade options, gorgeous views, and the ability to do some swimming, fishing, or towed water sports. 

If you plan to tube, waterski, or otherwise get active, learn about water sports safety before hitting the water. 

If your celebration is focused on water sports or fishing, opt for a dedicated fishing boat or wake/power boat. Both will typically fit 6-10 people. And both will be equipped with activity-specific gear. 

Familiarize yourself with the specifications of the boat you are considering, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Find a Boat Rental

Tip 4: Know Exactly What You’re Getting

Once you’ve decided on the best boat for your bach party, finalize the details so you know what is - and isn’t included. 

  • What is the length of the boat ride?
  • Are watersports equipment included?
  • Are there enough life jackets and PFDs on board for all guests?
  • Where is the boat’s first aid kit located?
  • Do you offer a safety run down upon embarking? 
  • Are food and drink catering options available? 
  • If yes, what exactly is included?
  • Is a cooler or ice supplied? 
  • Are there any prohibited items we cannot bring aboard? 
  • Does the boat have a grill or food prep area?
  • How can I play a music playlist on board? Bluetooth, USB?
  • Is there a covered or interior area?
  • Is there a bathroom onboard? Does it have a shower?
  • What is the company cancellation policy for bad weather?
  • Who provides bait, tackle, and gear? (If on a fishing trip)

Most boat captains will be happy to answer as many questions as you have to ensure you are confident and knowledgeable about the boat and its policies. 

Tip 5: Prepare a Boat Party Playlist

No party is complete without the perfect playlist. Your boat will likely have a sound system that you can connect to. Confirm with your captain how you can connect your playlist to the ship’s system so you can enjoy the beats all day. 

Plan a playlist that’s at least as long as your boat rental time so the music and the vibe stay fresh. Go with nautical-themed songs, or make a playlist of the bride and/or groom’s favorite songs. 

A custom playlist is a perfect way to make your guest of honor feel seen and appreciated – plus, it’s better than scanning the radio stations or listening to whatever CD happens to be on board. 

Read Next: The Ultimate Boating Playlist

Tip 6: Pack Boat Friendly Snacks

Some chartered boat packages may include varying levels of food and drinks from light snacks and sodas to full meals and open bars – while others are a bring-your-own situation. 

Check with your specific boat company’s rules and your group to accommodate any allergies or dietary restrictions. 

When planning boat snacks choose ones that are easy to eat, simple to pack, and won’t make a mess. If your boat has a grill, go for simple, classic cookout foods. If a grill is not an option, don’t stress! Plenty of snack options work perfectly out on the water:

  • Hawaiian roll sandwiches (premake and store in your cooler)
  • Cookies or cupcakes (splurge on custom bakery options designed with your theme)
  • Trail mixes
  • Pretzels or popcorn
  • Chips and salsa
  • Charcuterie board or simple cheese and crackers 
  • Fruit platters with dips 
  • Vegetable platters with dips
  • Hummus and crackers
  • Frozen watermelon slices or popsicles 
  • Cases of bottled water (highly recommended)

If your vessel doesn’t include a washing station or bathroom, bring along some hand sanitizer or wipes for everyone to clean off their hands before digging in.  

Tip 7: Go Glass-free When Boating

Never pack glassware on a boating excursion. A dropped glass cup can cause havoc for guests, boat equipment, and marine life. Bring plastic cups, silverware, and dishware instead.

This is the perfect opportunity to find on-theme decor, serveware, and more to upgrade the party experience. Opt for canned and plastic bottled beverages. Decant any drinks that typically come in glass containers into plastic alternatives (with tight-fitting lids). 

Tip 8: Consider Bachelorette Party On A Boat Theme Ideas

Choosing the theme is one of the most fun aspects of planning a bachelor/ette party! Consult with the bride or groom to incorporate their personality and preferences and get creative! Many boat rentals will allow you to decorate the boat before the guests arrive. 


Boat party theme ideas can be wedding or nautical-themed. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Sail Before the Veil 
  • Beach or Tropical 
  • Nautical Theme
  • Something Blue Theme
  • Whatever Floats Your Boat: BYO floaty
  • Color Scheme Themed: all white, a favorite color, or the wedding colors

While a theme is certainly not required, it’s a fun way to make the party extra special. 

Tip 9: Make A Boat Party Packing List

Once you’re out on the water, you’re on your own! And you likely will be out at sea for hours, so there’s no popping into a corner store to grab something forgotten. Plan ahead by providing guests with a boat bag packing list, including:

  • Sunscreen (do not be the sunburnt person in all the wedding photos!) 
  • Bug spray (if needed)
  • Beach towels
  • Sunglasses
  • Fishing license (if applicable)
  • Swimsuit 
  • Change of clothes, consider a boat shirt or other sun protection options
  • A dry bag or container for your phone and valuables
  • Any needed medications (like asthma inhalers and EpiPens) 

Tip 10: Have Fun and Take Photos

Wedding planning and prep stress can do a number on even the most calm personalities. Once everyone is on the ship and you’ve left the dock, relax and have fun! 

Whether you use your phone or a waterproof camera, take plenty of photos! Posing for that perfect Instagram shot or getting the sparkling water aesthetic just right, you’ll never regret taking too many pictures at your boat bach party.

And when you’re on a boat with a crew of your best buds, every moment is a photo op.