11 Fun Things to Do on a Boat in 2022
Many of us create bucket lists of cities and countries we want to visit in our lifetime. So, why not create a bucket list for your boating life? There’s no time like the present.
Here are 11 things to do on a boat—and to cross off your boating bucket list before the end of the year:
- Anchor in a new place
- Boat camping
- Weekending onboard
- Rafting up
- Knot tying
- Teach your kids to drive the boat
- Relax, chill, and enjoy yourself
1. Anchor in a new place
As much as you may have a favorite hang-out spot, exploring a new destination can be exciting. Gather the family together and check out the charts, along with what to do while there.
Have each person pick a place you’ve never been before within a reasonable distance of your usual cruising grounds. Then, assign each family member Captain of the Day for the trip.
Raise your hand if you like eating out? Heading to a waterfront restaurant by boat is definitely among the most fun things to do on a boat. Some restaurants have private docks, while others are within walking distance from public marinas.
Equally enjoyable, some destinations offer food delivery via boat or personal watercraft to your own boat when you anchor.
Explore the Top Restaurants on the Water in various locations that are perfect to dock-and-dine.
3. Boat camping
Boat camping—a.k.a. sleeping onboard—ranks high for lots of folks. No cabin or berths onboard? No problem! Gather sleeping bags and outdoor blankets, and sleep under the stars on deck. See if you can spot some constellations or shooting stars, too.
4. Weekending onboard
If all you’ve done so far is spend afternoons onboard, plan a weekend cruise. Of course, pick anchorages fairly close to home at first if you’re still relatively new to boating.
Gradually, as you feel more comfortable, broaden your horizons. Before long, you’ll have a sizable list of great new places to visit again and again.
Few things to do on a boat can rival reeling in your own dinner and cooking it on a grill. Rather than try your hand at big sportfish, which can weigh hundreds of pounds, start with bottom fish like flounder and fluke, or species that prefer seagrass close to shore.
Ultimately, you can regale your friends and family with fish tales, including the “one that got away.”
Towables like tubes are guaranteed to put an ear-to-ear grin on everyone’s face. Half the fun is staying on the tube—or, should we say, ending up splashing in the water.
Naturally, prioritize safety by ensuring everyone wears a life jacket and you don’t drive too fast.
7. Learn to waterski, wake surf, wakeboard, or kneeboard
Waterskiing is a perennial favorite dating back decades. While wakeboarding, wake surfing, and kneeboarding are newer, they’re no less fantastic to try. Lots of YouTube videos provide terrific instructions for all kinds of watersports. Yet another option is professional instruction; see if it’s offered in your area.
8. Raft up with friends
Rafting up means lining up multiple boats next to each other, either tied together to stay close or simply in proximity. It’s especially popular in areas with big sandbars and even college towns, where alumni return for football weekends.
Regardless, the idea is to create your own party.
9. Practice knot tying
While a handful of knots are essential to know, dozens exist. Consider making a game out of knot tying. Firstly, whoever can complete a particularly important knot the fastest, and properly, wins. A good one to start with is a bowline, or tying a docking line to a cleat.
Secondly, whoever can master the most new knots before the end of the boating season gets another prize.
10. Teach your kids to drive the boat
A child who feels more engaged in boating activities is more likely to remain a lifelong boater. Teach your kids the ‘rules of the road,’ and let them take a turn at the wheel under your watchful guidance.
Better yet, enroll in boating safety classes together, and put your lessons to practice together onboard.
11. Relax, chill, and enjoy yourself
Among all the things to do on a boat, sometimes just sitting back and listening to the water lapping against the hull is the best.
A journalist with more than 30 years’ experience, Diane M. Byrne is the owner
of MegayachtNews.com, a daily website educating American superyacht owners, buyers, and
their circles of influence about the leading builders, designers, cruising destinations, and more.
She founded the website in 2007 as the first, and still the only, American-focused online media
outlet exclusively covering this market. It features all-original content, for real stories of real
Diane is additionally one of the most-sought-after journalists for expert editorial coverage and
commentary about not only superyachts, but also general boating and yachting. Her byline
appears in Boatsetter.com, DiscoverBoating.com, and the magazines Luxury Guide, Ocean,
Yachting, and Yachts International.
Additionally, Diane is the Chair of the U.S. Superyacht Association, having been on the Board of
Directors since 2015. Outside of yachting, she’s a trustee of Sempre Avanti, a non-profit
resource supporting Italian and Italian-American individuals, businesses, and organizations in the
United States and Italy.