Knowing basic boating etiquette will guarantee the following invite when one of your friends or family invites you on a boating trip.
Being aware of what to and what not to do is of utmost importance to enjoy yourself. If you don’t know what to bring when boating, we’ve got you covered.
Planning a boat trip takes a lot of time, and the host usually invites people close to them. If you make the cut, you need to understand what it takes to be a guest of honor. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Only Wear and Bring What’s Necessary.
When preparing, avoid overpacking, and only bring what’s necessary. You likely won’t have much space for unnecessary belongings. Remember that you’re not the only guest. Also, it’s essential to know what to wear on a boat ride. Don’t overdress, and only wear weather-appropriate clothes.
Here are a few essentials you can bring:
- Dry Clothes
2. Bring Food and Drinks to Share.
A day of boating will leave anyone hungry and parched. If the party host didn’t bring up the topic of food in the invite, it wouldn’t hurt to bring something. A bag of snacks and a handful of drinks may not be enough for everyone. Instead of pretzels, bring sandwiches, chips, and chopped fruits.
Be thankful if others share their food and drinks with you as well. If you’re bringing alcohol, watch your consumption and drink water liberally to avoid unwanted intoxication. Also, ask the host if there’s enough room in the cooler, so you know if you can bring an extra bottle or two.
3. Don’t Bring a Guest.
Unless the party host assigned you a +1, don’t assume that you can bring a tag-along. Your friend’s boat may have limited seating capacity. No matter how much you want to invite a family member (pets included), confirm with the host first, especially if they’re unacquainted or if someone has allergies.
4. Listen to the Captain.
The captain of the boat may or may not be the one driving the boat. Regardless, always listen to them. They’re in charge of keeping everyone safe, so if the captain instructs you to sit or move, obey without question.
If they announce that it’s time to return to the marina, everyone has no choice but to follow, even if it means cutting the trip short. The boat captain’s priority is every passenger’s safety, so keep your ears open for instructions.
5. Mind Your Manners.
Although a list of rules may not be posted on the boat, be mindful of standard boating etiquette:
- Keep your hands to yourself. Don’t play around or start pressing any buttons or switches.
- Don’t smoke unless approved by everyone on board. If allowed, do not, under any circumstances, throw your cigarette butts in the water.
- Don’t go where you’re not allowed to. You might end up hurting yourself.
- Remove your shoes unless given the host’s or captain’s go signal.
- Don’t spray insect repellent or spray-on sunscreen on the boat. They can leave a slippery film and hurt someone on board.
- Don’t litter.
- Only help if requested.
6. Be Punctual.
You’re not the only one invited. The party host or captain will not wait for you at the expense of others. The boat can spend only a limited time on the water, and everyone will want to relish every minute on the open seas. Cruises won’t wait for you, and neither will most boat rides.
7. Chip In.
Boat fuel is priced differently from a car’s gas, and the host will appreciate it if you offered to pay or share in the expenses. You can chip in for food and drinks, too.
8. Say Thank You.
Once the boat trip is over, don’t leave without thanking the host. The captain and host spent their time and effort to give you a comfortable and fun boating experience. If you’ve got the time, you can offer to help with clean-up. If not, at least bring everything you brought with you, including trash.
Now that you know what to do when you get invited on a boating trip, be ready for the next. Want to plan your own boat party on a private boat charter in Madeira Beach, FL? Bay Excursions offers premier bowrider rentals for up to six people. Invite your loved ones to share in the fun! You can rent for a minimum of two hours or a maximum of eight. We can’t wait to have you on board.