Post by Amanda Jones - Published on 2/19/19, 10:23 AM
With Valentine's Day come and gone, you can now breathe a sigh of relief and spend the next twelve months scheming next year's couples' or friends' retreat.
Whether celebrating your significant other or your merry band of platonic pirates, planning a romantic getaway aboard can present some unique challenges. Check our out tips for spending the perfect night or weekend on the water and under the stars.
To make sure that you and your guest(s) make the best of being aboard, take a bit of time to brainstorm your to-dos. Even the most experienced boaters can run into trouble from unexpected delays, provisioning mishaps, or skipped details; planning your sunset cruise, night out, or weekend trip in advance will keep a special night romantic, not frantic.
Keep it Simple
Stressing about details can put a damper on a happy boat vibe. However, some solid ideas about the evening's agenda will help keep you on course with room to improvise.
As with any excursion, some key things to keep in mind:
How long will you be gone? Fuel up and provision your water, cooler, and snacks accordingly.
What will the weather be? Good boaters know to always keep one eye on the skies. Keep an extra cozy sweater and foul weather gear on board in case the temperature drops unexpectedly. (See below for tips regarding staying on the dock.)
What are your dining options? If cruising to the next harbor over for a dinner ashore, check when restaurants are open and that they're not booked up. If cooking aboard, run through your mental checklist of gas/charcoal, utensils, and condiments you might need.
Playing things by ear? If you're in a more metropolitan harbor, services like UberEats, Drizly, and InstaCart can help deliver booze and groceries to a dock in a jiffy.
Quick Tips for Different Boat Trips
The Sunset Cruise
If heading out right after work, do you need a strategy for beating traffic? In cities, renting a pair of bikes for an hour might get you to the marina twice as fast as driving.
Will friends be joining? Let folks know if they can contribute provisions, and where the closest mart is.
Will you cook dinner aboard or ashore? Either way, don't forget snacks, drinks, and extra blankets for after the sun sets and the temperature drops. Depending on how late you stay on the water, keep to closer options or order delivery on your way back in.
If you imbibe, a romantic toast can call for swapping your usual Dark N' Stormy for some champagne or prosecco. For the non-drinkers, seltzers have come a long way in the last few years, and look right at home in a champagne flute.
A Night on the Dock
If it's an evening built for two but you don't feel like doublehanding (or singlehanding, if your crew is new to boating), relaxing dockside is still a pretty sweet setting.
Cooking aboard? Make sure the recipe can accommodate an "all hands on deck" vibe if your crew wants to help out, and have your yacht rock playlist at the ready.
Dining ashore? Scope out dining options nearby – and request whichever table has the best view of the harbor and/or sunset.
In the hubbub of hosting, don't forget to put your beverages on ice. And if you forgot cash for the marina, see if they use Dockwa's Boat Charges feature so they can just tack it onto your tab. :)
The Weekend Getaway
Book your slip in advance so you don't get left off the marina map, or scout out your anchorage options in advance so you can keep your distance from the crowd.
Stow your phone: disconnect from the online world to truly enjoy each other's company.
Tidy up! Even if you're pressed for time, a 20 minute straighten-up session can do wonders. Make the beds, give the bathrooms a wipe down, swab the deck, and stow any tools and dishes.
Do a deep clean: If you have more time to prep, and particularly if you'll be sleeping aboard for a weekend or more, do more due diligence to keep linens fresh, the salon sparkling, and smells at bay.
Achieve candlelit ambience without putting your brightwork at risk: acquire a set of flame-free candles on Amazon, Target, or your local party store.
If you're the traditional type, pick up your sweetheart's favorite flowers, but ask the florist if they have acrylic vases to keep as little glass aboard as possible.
Boat dates make for great photos – bring a selfie stick or tripod to capture that perfect sunset selfie
Did you take a special trip for Valentine's Day this year? Tell us about it!