3 Great Ways to Celebrate July 4th by Boat

The Fourth of July is approaching, and there is no better way to celebrate this festive summer holiday than by getting out on a boat. Whether you prefer sailing peacefully into the afternoon or an adventurous powerboat cruise is more your style, there are endless ways to make Independence Day unforgettable. 

Before the party gets started, be sure to check out our blog on Boating Safety Tips. Once you’re all set with everyone onboard and have taken the proper safety measures, you can let the festivities begin. Here are three great ways to celebrate July 4th onboard a boat. 

1. Plan a Patriotic Picnic or Barbeque and Feed your Crew

If you plan to drift out on the lake or visit some secluded beach, you might want to keep things simple and safe by serving cold or pre-prepared snacks and meal options. Cold cuts, egg, potato, or pasta salad, and simple options like fresh fruits or salads make great food selections for serving guests onboard. Add red, white, and blue to the mix with colorful frosted cupcakes or cookies. Get inspired by these 5 Recipes for Stress-Free Boating Meals

2. Join a Boat Parade

July 4th parades are a common sight in big cities and small towns across the country. However, in coastal locations, the marching bands and decorative floats are often replaced by boats. Whether the events are big or small, boat parade participants decorate their vessels with flashing lights, papier-mâché, mannequins, and even costumed crew members. Events may have a specific theme or are open to the captain’s interpretation, but the results are always entertaining.

Check with local sources for information on start and finish locations, parade durations, and event rules. Many even include awards for the boat with the best, brightest, most creative décor, or the loudest. Just remember to use only biodegradable and ocean-safe materials that will not harm the environment or the creatures that call it home.

3. Find the Fireworks

Independence Day would not be the holiday celebration it is without the flashing lights, colorful smoke, and thunderous report that accompanies a fantastic fireworks display. Since the water is quite possibly the safest place to set off rockets and other types that make up a great fireworks show, boaters are often treated to a front-row seat to the yearly spectacle. Some cities are well-known destinations for boaters looking to watch from the water. Some of America’s best boat-accessible fireworks shows are held in the following locations:

Keep six extra 20-foot dock lines on board that are the same diameter as the primary set. That will allow you to tie off at a fuel dock that doesn’t have lines, tow in a disabled vessel, or secure the boat in an unfamiliar slip to ride out a storm. Additional lines will enable you to tie up practically anywhere, and when the trip is over, tying back up in the vessel’s home slip is a simple process.
  • Patriot’s Point (Charleston, SC) - easy river access provides a great view
  • Hudson River (New York City, NY) - terrific view of the NYC skyline while lit by fireworks
  • Navy Pier (Chicago, IL) - watch from Lake Michigan as the Chicago skyline comes alive
  • Casa Marina (Key West, FL) - a week-long festival of food and awards ends with a bang
  • Lake Union (Seattle, WA) - 8,500 lb. display visible to boaters anywhere on the lake
From watching fireworks from the middle of the lake to hosting friends and family with food onboard, these are some of the very best ways to have some red, white, and blue boating fun while celebrating July 4th on the water.

Newcoast is a leading insurance and finance provider in the marine and recreational industry. Newcoast offers competitive and customized boat loans and RV financing options, as well as tailored boat insurance plans and RV insurance programs with robust carrier options, industry-leading experience, and access to world-class partners. To obtain a loan or insurance plan that’s right for you and your boating or RV lifestyle, call (866) 639-2627 or


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