Planning a party? Love boats? Why not combine the two and organise a boat themed party?!
We’ve got a whole host of great boat theme party ideas to make your event go swimmingly. Whether you’re looking for fun games, party accessories, or different takes on the theme itself, we’ve got you covered.
So step this way to be inspired!
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Boat Party Themes
The first thing to consider is exactly what you want your boat-related theme to be. It’s fine to just choose a general boaty vibe! But you could also add a more specific twist.
One way to do that is by adding some vintage charm to your boat theme. Those vintage touches could be as striking or as subtle as you like.
How about decorating with nautical bunting, and adding some sweet vintage toppers to your cupcakes? Or ask your guests to dress up in clothes from the era of your choice.
Sailboats are surely one of the most romantic ways to travel the seas. So why not add a dash of sailboat style to your boat themed party?
A sailboat party cake will make a great centerpiece. But you could also turn your venue into a sailboat by suspending fabric “sails” from the ceiling. Sheets cleverly draped can create an instant nautical atmosphere. Adding some fairy lights will bring some magic too.
3. Love Boat
The Love Boat was an iconic 70s TV show that told stories of love and romance aboard cruise ships. And what better excuse to get dressed up as a 70s glamorpuss than a Love Boat themed party?!
Test your guests’ knowledge with a 70s trivia quiz while you blast out some 70s tunes. And serve up classic dishes from the era, like prawn cocktail and cheese and pineapple on sticks.
For a fun and sophisticated event, a cruise-themed party is a great option. Decorate with marine colors like blue and white, and hang bunting from the ceiling. Add some porthole cut-outs to the walls, and you’re away!
You could even have a “captain’s table” for VIP guests.
Boat Themed Accessories
5. Anchors Away
Dotting some boat themed accessories around your venue is a great way to enhance your theme.
Oversized inflatables and other fun objects are amazingly effective at getting everyone into the party spirit. Mark our words, it won’t be long before your guests are using them to pose for pics.
This large plastic anchor is a perfect example, and would work brilliantly at any boat-themed party.
6. Nautical Cut-Outs
Nautical cut-outs are a quick, easy and inexpensive way to create your party theme. If you’re arty, you could get some cardboard and paints and make them yourself. But there are also lots of ready-made options to inject color and humor into your party.
Stick them to walls, or place them near entry points for instant nautical appeal.
7. Marine Table Covers
If you want minimal party clear-up, wipe-clean table covers are a must. And for a boat-themed party, you want them to have a nautical look.
There are lots of great options out there that can help bring your theme to life. Look for classic motifs like boats, anchors, fish or seashells.
8. Life Preserver Centerpieces
Centrepieces are a great way to add interest to your party tables. Simple cardboard versions are inexpensive, but can look great.
We love this one decorated with life preservers. And the foil adds some extra sparkle – perfect for when the lights go down!
9. Take The Helm
Everyone can play at being captain with this inflatable boat wheel! It’s a great accessory for a nautical photo booth (more on that later). And it works just as well as a prop for imaginative play at a kids’ party.
You could even prop one on your cake table to add an extra detail to cake-cutting photos.
10. Boating Bunting
Bunting adds instant fun to any party atmosphere. And if you’re planning a boat-themed party, it’s a cheap and effective way to customize your surroundings.
Standard bunting often features on cruise ships, so pretty much any kind will work with a boat theme. But you can also find novelty versions like this colorful chain of anchors for extra pizzazz.
11. Boat Food Party Trays
Party food trays are a fun and convenient way for your guests to help themselves from the buffet. And these boat-shaped versions offer a humorous addition to your nautical theme.
Two separate sections at front and back – or should that be bow and stern?! – allow guests to separate sweet from savory food. And a handy drinks holder in the center console will keep them refreshed while they mingle.
12. Nautical Balloons
No party is complete without balloons! Go to town with a striking feature like this enormous anchor made of balloons. Or stick to simple blue and white color combinations to create a nautical atmosphere.
You can also find balloons printed with marine motifs like crabs and anchors. And when it comes to balloons, the more the merrier. Just make sure you invest in a pump to get them all inflated!
13. Anchor Floral Centerpieces
Floral centerprieces are a great way to add sophistication to any gathering. And with a little creativity, you can craft something that adds to your boat theme.
We love the way this mason jar has been accessorized with nautical colors and an anchor. The anchor here is embellished with initials, but you could also add a date or message.
Choose flowers in blue and white to complement the marine color scheme.
14. Boat Themed Favors
Party favors are an easy way to reinforce your chosen theme. And you can spend as much or as little on them as you like.
We love these sailor hats and captain’s hats. You could even have them adorned with your guests’ names or nicknames.
Or if your party is strictly for grown-ups, how about a miniature rum bottle? You could even get the date or text added to the label to commemorate your special occasion.
15. Sailboat Serving Station
Turn your serving table into a dramatic focal point by transforming it into a boat! It’s surprisingly easy to do, and will work pretty much anywhere.
Here, a standard kitchen island has been turned into a sailboat with the addition of a painted cardboard panel, a sheet and some bunting. It takes a little preparation, but it’s not expensive or difficult. And it will be a real talking point for your guests.
Boat Themed Food and Drink
16. Nautical Popcorn
Popcorn is great party food, because it can be prepared ahead of time and served at any temperature. Serve it in jaunty popcorn boxes to fit in with your party theme.
This is another case where you could make the boxes yourself if you’re feeling crafty. But if you prefer to minimize preparation time, there are lots of great ready-made options out there.
We love these smart navy and white boxes, complete with a striking red anchor on each side.
17. Sailboat Jello
No kids’ party is complete without jello! And when it looks as good as these jello sailboats, adults will be queuing up to enjoy it too.
Here blue jello doubles as a placid lake on which an orange segment acts as a boat. Add a cocktail stick with a paper sail, and you have a very attractive dessert. It couldn’t be easier to make, yet looks impressive too.
18. Anchor Salad
The different colors of salad vegetables make them a great way to depict a scene. Here, slices of cucumber form an anchor. Contrasting carrot, celery, broccoli and peppers add color.
You could use the same approach to create pretty much any marine motif you like. How about a life preserver? A sailboat? Or even a pirate?
Just keep it simple so the picture stands out from the background.
19. Crab Croissants
Had you ever noticed how much croissants look like crabs?! Neither had we, until we saw this clever creation!
The eyes here are edible sugar eyeballs from cake decorating firm Wilton. Just secure them in place with frosting, and hey presto! Your croissants are instantly transformed into crustaceans.
And when it comes to fillings, the world is your – ahem – oyster! Choose classics like ham, cheese and salad as a savory option. Or add jam or chocolate paste for those with a sweet tooth.
20. Pepper Crab and Nachos
Here’s another clever way to create a crab! Choose an orange pepper and slice off the bottom. Turn it upside down, so that the flat section sits on the plate. Then cut the remaining piece of pepper into slices to use as the legs.
Edible eyeballs add instant character. You could use your pepper crab as a topping for chips or nachos. Or surround it in a sea of hummus for a sea life themed vegetable chip and dip.
21. Healthy Sailboat Desserts
We’ve already seen that adding sailboat toppers can add nautical charm to your cupcakes. But you can perform a similar trick with healthier dessert options too. And they taste every bit as good!
These sophisticated individual desserts combine creamy Greek yogurt with blueberries and granola. You could add a drizzle of honey on top for extra sweetness. Using glass pots, as here, will allow you to see the beauty of the different layers.
Then just pop your sail on top, and you have a smart and healthy sailboat dessert.
Boat Party Games
22. Diving Competition
All the best parties involve games. And if you’re lucky enough to own a boat, why not make the most of it with a diving competition? Just make sure you moor somewhere the water is safe and deep.
Offer prizes for the best dives. And if you have guests who prefer to spectate, get them to give the competitors marks out of 10. You could even make score cards for them to hold up.
23. Swimming Race
Boats and swimming are natural companions – so why not add a swimming race to your party? Of course, this only works if you’re actually on a boat, or at a pool. But if that’s the case, this is another easy way to raise energy levels and have a laugh.
Just as with the diving competition, adding prizes will make things more interesting. They don’t have to be big or expensive. For kids, a chocolate medal will go down a treat.
24. Deck Quoits
If you’re looking for a less energetic option, how about a game of quoits? Traditionally played on the decks of boats, quoits work just as well whether your party is on water or dry land.
If you want to splash some cash (pardon the pun) you can buy a set. But it’s easy to make your own DIY version too.
Just fill some plastic bottles with sand to weigh them down. Then mark a number on the front with a sharpie. That’s the number of points you’ll get if your quoit lands over the bottle. For the quoits themselves, just tie some rope or heavy cord in a loop. You’re all set!
25. Nautical Photo Booth
A nautical photo booth is a great addition to any boat themed party. And it’s surprisingly easy to set one up.
All you’ll need is a stripey piece of fabric and a tall frame to support if from. Choose colors like red and white, or navy and white, to fit the maritime theme. Then accessorize – life preservers, inflatable anchors, even toy boats will work brilliantly.
If you don’t mind a bit of mess, you could create a beach area in front. Just lay some plastic on the floor and cover it with sand.
Then let your guests loose, and enjoy the photos later!
Ready for Your Boat Theme Party?
That brings us to the end of our 25 boat theme party ideas! We hope it’s given you plenty of inspiration for your own event.
Start by deciding on exactly what your theme will be. Will it be boats in general? Or do you want to give it a twist – like a glamorous cruise themed party, or a pirate party for the kids?
Whatever you choose, there are loads of ways to bring your theme to life. Think about décor, food choices and games, and you’re sure to create a party to remember. Then just sit back, relax and enjoy it!