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How to enjoy a party on a boat: 10 tips to keep your crew and your boat safe.

Parties on board a boat are fantastic and an integral part of the summer experience. But you always have to keep in mind that you're at sea, which has its own constraints and risks. So, how can you have a great party without putting the crew at risk?


After a day of sailing, it's a beautiful summer evening with a nice breeze, the sea all around, a few friends, and a few drinks. This is the perfect evening for any sailor. Unfortunately, accidents can happen. So we've put together a list of handy tips to help you party safely on your boat. And if you want to celebrate friendship and life even more to experience a genuine "party cruise", we recommend tailoring your route, boat selection, and crew towards this. Then, you can enjoy the best of clubbing and sailing.


10 rules for a fun but safe party on a boat

If you're throwing a party on your boat, set a few guidelines with your crew that you'll all follow. This will prevent accidents or unnecessary injuries. At the very least, we recommend the following ten points:


1. Never drink when piloting the boat

Not only will this protect your crew and your loved ones, but it will also keep you out of trouble with the law. Unfortunately, not all skippers understand this still — more than 15 % of boating accidents are caused by alcohol.

2. Check the weather forecast before you set sail and during the party

Always make sure you have suitable weather before setting sail. Check local forecasts, the sky and the wind, not only before you set sail but also during the celebration. As soon as you have the feeling that a change for the worse is coming, immediately turn back towards the marina.

3. Try to have your party at anchor, buoy or in a harbour

It's safer for everyone involved if you aren't sailing at the same time, so it is preferable to be moored in a bay or marina. This allows the skipper to concentrate more on what is happening on the boat and alleviates the work involved in steering. Although, of course, the captain will still have to closely monitor the conditions.

4. If you are sailing and partying, hold a steady course and choose a reasonable speed

The boat full of revellers should be moving at a safe speed with the skipper trying to maintain a steady course, avoiding sharp turns or acceleration that may cause injury or someone to fall overboard. Be especially cautious in areas with more boat traffic.

5. Wear life jackets

Up to 80 % of fatal boating accidents are caused by not wearing life jackets so make sure all crew members are wearing one. Should someone fall into the sea, a life jacket can save their life.

6. Accident prevention — make the boat safe and clarify the rules As the deck is smooth and the boat moves, slipping or falling is common and can lead to serious injuries. Causes are mostly slippery surfaces, loose ropes, unmarked obstacles, and having no railings or safety nets. Always take into account the fact that having alcohol in the blood can increase all these risks. Even so, as a precaution, have a refresher with the crew and explain the rescue procedure if someone falls overboard. It's best to give yourself some hands-on training during the voyage as well. Check out our article — Man Over Board (MOB): a step-by-step guide. 7. No jumping in the water and night swimming An intoxicated crew might not notice that one of the bathers needs assistance. At night, the poor visibility makes this even more difficult. 8. Use sunscreen Even when sober, some crew members can forget to protect themselves from the sun's rays but during a party, this is even more likely. So, dress appropriately (preferably a loose long-sleeved shirt), wear headgear and sunglasses, and apply suncream with a high UF factor to any exposed skin. 9. Follow a drinking regime Drink plenty of fluids. And we mean water. A poor drinking regime can lead to weakness and exacerbate seasickness. If you're also suffering from a slight hangover from yesterday, it's pretty easy to knock yourself out for the day. 10. Always keep a first aid kit on board You never know when you'll need so first aid kit so when you take over the boat, make sure you know where the first aid kit is and what's in it. And it's always a good idea to bring your own travel first aid kit with you.

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