Halloween on a Boat: 7 Tips to Make Spooktacular

Just because autumn is upon us doesn’t mean boating has to end. Plenty of people in the Northeast, for instance, go out straight through November. Those of you in the southern states, of course, can boat all year long.

decorating your boat for halloween

Since boaters never need an excuse to have fun—and since boating is a perfect example of a safe, social distancing activity—follow these ideas to incorporate a happy Halloween into your plans at the dock and out on the water.

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1. Choose a Nautical Halloween Costume

Talk to your family, quarantine circle, or even your local marina manager about having a family-friendly (and socially distant) costume contest. Channel your inner Calico Jack and Anne Bonny, and practice your best “Argh!” and “Walk the plank!”

Need some inspiration? Check out 9 Nautical Halloween Costume Ideas for Boaters.

2. Deck Out Your Deck

The same decorations adorning your yard work perfectly on your boat—especially the giant cobwebs, hanging skeletons and ghosts, jiggly spiders, and rats. Don’t forget lights or carved pumpkins, either.

3. Organize a Spooky Scavenger Hunt

Hide tricks and treats throughout your boat for your kids to find. Gummy spiders, marshmallow ghosts, and glow sticks are just some of the things they’ll surely want to seek.

Yet another idea: bobbing for apples, where they get to pick a ghoulishy good prize if they get the most fruit.

dockside trick or treating

4. Cruise for Haunted Houses

Not literally—but with so many people decorating their homes to the nines, a cruise in your local area should reveal some wildly creative results.

You can even turn it into a contest, splitting your family between port and starboard. Whoever counts the most homes gets a prize.

5. Create Devilishly Good Drinks

From Boo-Berry Banana Smoothies to Green Goblin Punch (hint: use lime sherbet), you can come up with all sorts of easy-to-make drinks onboard to celebrate a happy Halloween.

Bring the kids into the galley and involve them in coming up with flavor combinations and funny names, too.

6. Make Some Music

What’s Halloween without some appropriately themed music?

  • “Monster Mash,”
  • “Thriller,”
  • “Dead Man’s Party,”
  • “Werewolves of London”
  • …the list goes on.

Don’t forget to play the songs while you cruise!

7. Share Your Favorite Nautical Superstitions

There's nothing like listening to a creepy ghost story to bring out the goosebumps and get your heart racing. Put a nautical-twist on your spooky tales, and swap stories about your favorite sailing and boating superstitions.

10 Best Boating & Sailing Superstitions

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