Having a boat lends itself very well to entertaining family and friends. Whether it is your children’s friends out for a day’s skiing and wakeboarding, or it is a leisurely cruise with cocktails and snacks as the sun dips below the horizon, you as the boat owner will often be hosting sun and fun seekers on your boat. With all this activity and entertainment going on, Leisure Boating thought it appropriate to offer you, the proud boat owner, tips for hosting the most successful gathering on the water. Clink champagne glasses with us as we find out how to maximise your time on the water and turn up the fun factor.
The first step to achieving success in your entertaining endeavours is to make a comprehensive list of critical items, ingredients and accessories you require for the day. If you own a massive luxury motor yacht with covered entertainment areas then weather is not really a problem, but if you own a smaller boat, weather, and its accompanying clothing needs to be factored in to the equation. If you want to have something more than finger foods, such as a full meal, this should be precooked on land and warmed on the boat. Small boats with small galleys make it logistically difficult to cook lavish meals.
Bring ample coolers boxes filled with lots of ice to keep the drinks cold. There is nothing worse than spending the day on a boat cruise, with the hot sun baking down, and the drinks lukewarm. You can never have too much ice on the boat, and you want your drinks to stay cold right up to the point when you return to the dock.
It is important to remember to bring along foods that are easily prepared. Cheeses, tomatoes, cold meats, cucumber salads and various other salads, precooked fish pieces, precooked kebabs, shrimp, mini hamburgers, devilled eggs, pizza slices and other tasty bites. Don’t forget to slice up some crispy French loaves and have real butter on hand to lather over the bread. Remember, round edibles such as meatballs will roll around when the boat pitches and rolls, so you might need to place them in a high-sided bowl to stop them from falling off the snacks table. Alternatively, deviate from the norm, be daring in your culinary preparations, and make square meatballs! Try and steer away from fatty or greasy foods as these can bring on seasickness. Desserts can be as simple as strawberries served with canned whipped cream, or a few milk tarts cut up for the eager diners.
A day out on the water with friends is lost without some great music. If it’s an older generation cruise, then soft jazz playing in the background is best and if it’s your varsity mates on vacation, you might need to pump up the volume. Always be cognisant of other boats in your close proximity, as they might not enjoy The Screaming Jesters’ new smash hit, Wheelspin Wanda’s Wobbly Bits, which made it to number 35 on local radio station playlists.
One of the most important factors that determine whether a cruise is successful or not, is the shade factor. It can get very hot out on the water. If your boat has a canvas covering, bimini or collapsible top of some kind, use it to create the necessary shade. Request that all patrons bring along a hat and sunglasses and if your boat does not have the necessary cover, request that umbrellas be brought along by guests.
Boating is one of the best pastimes there is. It offers outdoor fun at its best, but there is one thing that tops boating … and that’s boating with friends and family.