7 Tips for Planning Date Night on a Boat
Sure, you can go to a restaurant that’s packed with other couples, where you feel rushed through the main course because there’s another seating scheduled to start in an hour. Or, you can cook a nice meal at home. Those experiences are perfectly fine, but planning a date night on a boat? That’s a whole other league of romance; you’ll need a few pointers.
Here are seven tips for planning date night on a boat:
- Scope out a quiet anchorage
- Create a romantic playlist
- Prepare for a toast
- Pack a nice setup
- Remember their favorite flowers
- Bring their favorite food or snack items
- Don’t forget dessert!
1. Scope out a quiet anchorage
For ultimate privacy, you’ll want an anchorage without much noise from other boats or the shore. Scope out the spot in advance, and do a dry run of heading out there to anchor, so you’ll feel 100% comfortable behind the wheel on date night. You can even use the dry run to consider different spots within the anchorage, so you’ll have the boat in a protected place and a killer view.
2. Create a romantic playlist
The boat’s sound system or a portable, waterproof Bluetooth speaker will give you total control over the kind of music you want to play during dinner and afterward. Some boats have colorful lighting systems that connect to their sound systems, so you can add romantic lighting to the deep-bass ambiance that the music will create. Have playlists ready for the date’s dining portion and for dancing or relaxing afterward.
3. Prepare a toast
No matter whether you plan to bring adult beverages or nonalcoholic drinks, you’ll want to have boat-safe drinkware ready for the occasion. The last thing you need is to have somebody slip and drop a glass, shattering it into shards that can be dangerous for bare feet. Invest in a set of shatterproof glasses that match the type of drinks you plan to serve (everything from Champagne flutes to cocktail glasses are available).
4. Pack a nice setup
Paper napkins? Plastic knives and forks? Not on a romantic date night! Set yourself up with linen placemats and napkins (you can find them online for cheap) as well as proper flatware for dining. Have real plates, too, not the paper or Styrofoam variety. You can pack it all in a sealable plastic tub, then set it all up and line the tub with a garbage bag. When you’re done eating, pack it all away again for washing later, so you don’t have to do dishes on board.
5. Remember flowers
If your date is a fan of flowers, then bring them on board and stow them out of the wind and sun while you move the boat to the anchorage where you plan to host dinner. You can bring them out with the rest of the tableware when it’s time to set up for the meal. They’ll still look fresh and perfect, and they’ll add a romantic touch to the process of setting up for dinner.
6. Bring their favorite food or snacks
You have two options for a romantic meal: bringing takeout or doing the cooking yourself. Both can be great choices, depending on how good of a cook you are. Takeout from your date’s favorite restaurant will work great as long as you have a way to keep the cold food cold and the hot food hot. If you’re a grillmaster used to cooking on board, prepare a special recipe, one with a twist that will surprise and delight your partner.
7. Don’t forget dessert!
Chocolates have always been the go-to dessert for romantic dates, but out on a boat, you may want a combination of sweet and fruity. Especially in the salt air, fresh fruit can be something that boaters crave—there’s a reason the folks in the Florida Keys have been choosing key lime pie as dessert for decades.
Consider combining some sweets with whatever types of fresh fruit your sweetie loves most, and then relax and enjoy the sunset and stars together.
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Kim Kavin has been on boats in more than 50 countries and islands, including in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, South Pacific, Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia. She grew up learning to steer a ski boat and Hobie Holder at her grandfather’s lake house in New Jersey, and went on to spend time aboard everything from America’s Cup racing sailboats to submarines.
Kim is a PADI-certified scuba diver and animal lover who always enjoys a good, long look around a coral reef. Her award-winning writing and editing regularly appears in national marine magazines and on leading websites. In her early years, she was a Dow Jones editing intern and a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. When she’s not writing, Kim can usually be found hiking northwest New Jersey’s beautiful park trails with her adopted shelter mutt, Ginger.