Deck the Hulls for the Holidays
Summer may be months away, but boaters still have opportunities to get out on the water and have fun. As the holiday season gets closer, boaters can participate in boat parades, appearances by Santa, and many other festive year-end events. See below for some exciting ways to welcome the holidays!
Decorate your Boat
Transform your vessel into a holiday-themed entertainment platform with lights, ribbons, and wreaths. Decorating your boat to match a themed event can be lots of fun. While safety is always a priority, here are some other things to be mindful of before breaking out the twinkling lights and colorful embellishments:
- Be sure to use only proper and working GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) power sources
- Check all fire extinguishers to ensure they are effective if needed
- Keep paper decorations away from hot surfaces like engine exhaust
- Use only biodegradable decorations to protect the environment
- Don’t overload your boat with participants, and be sure there are life jackets available for all
Don’t forget to take pictures and share them on social media with fellow boaters who might need inspiration.
Participate in Holiday Boat Parades
Popular in many coastal communities, holiday boat parades are a great way to celebrate the season. Check with your local marina or yacht club to see if they are hosting a parade and cruise alongside other festively decorated boats, and enjoy the holiday lights and decorations along the shoreline. Some of the largest and best-known holiday boat parades are in the following areas:
- San Diego Bay Parade of Lights | San Diego, CA – Dec. 10 and Dec. 17, 2023
- 2023 Palm Coast Holiday Boat Parade | Palm Coast, FL – Dec. 9, 2023
- 2023 Cocoa Beach Boat Parade | Cocoa Beach, FL – Dec. 9, 2023
- Christmas Boat Parade and Ring of Lights 2023 | Newport Beach, CA – Dec. 13 and Dec. 17, 2023
- 2023 Savannah Boat Parade of Lights | Savannah, GA – Nov. 25, 2023
- Jacksonville Light Boat Parade | Jacksonville, FL – Nov. 25, 2023
- Seattle Christmas Boat Parade | Seattle, WA – Dec. 16, 2023
- Winterfest Boat Parade | Fort Lauderdale, FL – Dec. 16, 2023
Check with your local boat clubs, boating stores, or marinas to see if there is a holiday boat parade near you.
Attend a Holiday-themed Regatta
These events are often hosted by sailing clubs and can feature a variety of races and fun activities. It’s a fun way to spend time on the water while celebrating the season and a great way to meet new people in the local boating community.
Plan a Holiday Cruise
For boaters in warmer locations, a relaxing holiday cruise with family and friends can be a joy in the cooler weather. Pick a destination and spend a day enjoying the decorations on shore and the festivities as you cruise.
Host a Dockside Holiday Party
If you would rather stay on the dock, consider hosting a dockside holiday party. Invite friends and family to your boat or marina clubhouse and celebrate the season with food, drinks, and holiday music. You could even organize a Secret Santa gift exchange, ugly sweater contest, or potluck dinner to make the event more fun.
Whether decorating your boat, attending a boat parade, or even hosting a dockside party, there are many ways to get into the holiday spirit on the water. No matter how we spend the season, enjoying time on the water and celebrating with other boaters, family, and friends is always a great way to experience it. And don’t let the cold weather stop you from appreciating the water—just remember to dress in layers, bring lots of blankets, and don’t forget the snacks. Happy holidays!
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https://www.boatsetter.com/boating-resources/holiday-boat-parades https://www.discoverboating.com/resources/holiday-boat-parades https://www.yahoo.com/news/best-holiday-boat-parades-america-181610587.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAFn5oYgbgU9JkcqoYed2QPi0hUPgCS4QLn_kCl-e5PwSi4ht_77zb7IvjUr7wJ_afVqFUpM9YUS-eWY7c2b3SBzRJ0vDOhPJtL5MXNDaFZNzldVj3xxbuMeRUVyd5qIwdmmjXGeCOXVPgLZ9n9fqYfFp8j3xs31mDtPm_EK_ZqE4