Partying on land is so old fashioned. Any fool with a lease agreement can have friends over for a good time. If you want to impress your friends with a crazy social event they won’t soon forget, you have to think outside the turf.

Boat parties are outrageously wild and fun, not only because of the rocking venue but also because of the opportunity for adventure. Of course, boat parties do take slightly more forethought than typical shindigs. To make sure your party on the water doesn’t sink, you should follow these five essential steps.

Step 1: Procure a Boat

Perhaps this step should be obvious: Before you can have a boat bash, you need to get a boat. Most marinas have a number of small watercraft available for daily rental, but the prices are often exorbitant and rarely are the vessels large enough for large enough for a party. Instead, you should look into buying a bigger boat of your own, which allows you to make your boat get-together a regular event. There are a number of cheap ways to procure a boat that is more suitable for plenty of friends, including charitable organizations that sell gently used boats for well-under market price and you can also donate your smaller boat at the same time.

However, before you start perusing your options, you must learn which five boats are best for revelries:

  • Bowrider. Capable of carrying a moderately large number of people and reaching high speeds, bowriders are for adrenaline-packed parties.
  • Deck boat. Flatter and wider, deck boats boast more storage and seating than comparably sized boats.
  • Cabin cruiser. Like a small, water-based apartment, a cabin cruiser offers a kitchen, a bathroom, and other small creature comforts your guests may appreciate.
  • Pontoon boat. Low and slow, pontoon boats can carry comparatively huge numbers of people at the expense of speed and handling.
  • Yacht. Bigger and fancier, yachts are inarguably the emperors of the water, with luxurious amenities and exorbitant price tags.

Step 2: Find a Place

Nearly every town and city in the union is less than an hour away from a sailable body of water, but not every puddle is an appropriate setting for a boat party. From wet Washington state to arid Arizona, lakes are nature’s party spots. They offer calm waters, open space, and other absolutely pristine boating conditions. Larger rivers may also be acceptable locations, though their currents may cause trouble while the party is in full swing.

Boating on the ocean is perhaps the most dangerous — albeit the most exhilarating — and only a handful of boats are rated for deep ocean travel. It is best to avoid choppy oceanic waters during parties unless you are a confident captain and boast a big boat.

Step 3: Create a Theme

Not every party warrants a theme, but a thrilling boat bash absolutely demands one. You should try to avoid cliché and kitschy themes that are too nautical in nature: pirates, mermaids, or “Gilligan’s Island.” Instead, you should opt for a theme that is reminiscent of boating without being to explicit. Some good ideas include:

  • Old Hollywood
  • Gaming club
  • Speakeasy
  • Murder mystery
  • Greek holiday
  • Survivor

Step 4: Invite People

A party without people is no party at all. However, you must remember the carrying capacity of your vessel before you invite the entire cast of “Lost” to your boat party. You could be charged with hefty fines if you exceed safety regulations; not only must you have enough space for everyone onboard, but you must have flotation devices ready for them, as well. Thus, for your first boat bash, you might want to restrict your invitees to your closest friends.

Of course, because a party on a boat isn’t like a regular party, you should consider inviting them in a fun and fantastic way. You could send paper invitations decorated with images in your theme, or you could deliver parcels filled with boat-related necessities, like towels and sunglasses. You should be creative to get your guests in the mood.

Step 5: Buy Party Staples

A day or two before the party, you need to stock up on all the supplies you’ll need for your boat bash, like food, beverages, decorations, and any extra safety equipment. However, you shouldn’t opt for items in bulk; once again, space on the vessel is at a premium, which means you might not be able to fit an unlimited supply of beer and pretzels on board. Before you go shopping, you should assess your storage capacity, and then purchase only as much as will safely fit.

Daily Newsletter

Subscribe to Jebiga for a dose of the best in gear, design, rides, tech and adventure.