The Captain's Blog

15 Tips For Not Being “That Guy” When Invited On A Boat

May 14, 2018 by Michael Kiel

We know them. We have seen them. We have more than likely had one of them on our boat. We don’t particularly appreciate them: “That Guy.” This person has a tendency to suck the fun out of a day of boating. On top of which, “That Guy” may even be a safety risk.

that guy invited on a boat

Here are 15 tips for not being “That Guy” when invited on a boat. Hopefully, after reading these tips, your chances of getting invited on a boat again will increase. After all, it’s a lot more convenient to have a friend with a boat than to own it yourself.

  1. Be Prepared. When going out for a day of boating, be sure to pack the necessities. However,  keep it light. More than likely, there won’t be much space to store a bunch of unneeded stuff. We suggest the following items:
    • Sunglasses
    • Sunscreen
    • Swimsuit
    • Towel
    • Boat-friendly shoes
    • Hairbrush
    • Hat
    • Change of clothes
  2. Bring Food. Speaking of being prepared, no one enjoys a mooch. If it hasn’t been discussed previously, do not expect your host or hostess to provide snacks or food for everyone. Day trips can be long, so bring something to eat with you in case you don’t stop anywhere.
  3. Bring Drinks. As for drinks, sharing is caring. Bring more than what you think you will drink. Boating is a social event and so is drinking. Try to avoid glass if at all possible. (If you end up on one of our boats, we like beer and Fireball. Thanks!)

    that guy on a boat drinking
  4. Bring Plenty of Water. Don’t forget WATER! Between the sun, the waves, and the amount of drinking, you need to stay hydrated. No one needs you passing out on their boat.
  5. Don’t Bring Uninvited Guests. Whether it is your friend(s), your dog, or your children, ask ahead of time if it’s okay if they come. The boat may be at capacity, or the host might not feel comfortable with additional guests they may not know. It is always better to ask before you invite anyone.
  6. Listen to Your Captain. It doesn't matter if the captain is the one driving or not. The captain is your host, and whatever he or she says goes. They are responsible for everyone on their vessel, and safety is a top concern. So listen up!
  7. My Boat, My Music. You probably don’t flip through your friend’s music when you get in their car, so why would you think it’s any different on a boat? The captain is the DJ or appoints the DJ.
  8. Mind Your Manners. There are some unwritten etiquette rules when you are on someone’s boat:
    • Don’t stand on anything or anywhere you’re not supposed to
    • Don’t play with any buttons
    • Don’t distract the captain, especially when they are docking
    • Don’t smoke on the boat unless the captain says it is allowed (and please don’t throw your butts in the water)
    • Keep the boat clean
    • “Help” only if you are asked to or designated a duty
    • Take your shoes off upon boarding the boat
    • If you have insect repellent or spray sunscreen, wait until you’re off the boat to spray it
  9. TP Only. Boats have pretty sensitive plumbing. This means no paper towels, feminine products, intimate products, or any other products that are not toilet paper in the head. If you don’t see any TP, ask your host. Boats have several hidden compartments.
  10. Got Sand? Sandy toes, towels, bags, etc. should be washed off before getting back onto the boat. Sand is hard enough to get rid of on land. Imagine how hard it is to remove from a boat. So, shake it off, wash it off, whatever you have to do.

    sandy feet
  11. Safety First. This is a pretty simple one: Use common sense when on the water. Be aware of your surroundings. Listen to the captain and you’ll probably be okay.
  12. Be Punctual. Cruise ships don’t wait on passengers, and neither do boats. As boaters, we want to spend as much time as we can on the water. Please, don’t make us wait for your hair to be perfect. Besides, it’s likely just going to get messed up in the wind anyways. If your host isn’t the patient type, they may leave you.
  13. Offer to Chip In. Gas is expensive. Most boats get somewhere between 0.5 to 1.0 miles per gallon. If you’ve been chauffeured around all day, it’s only fair to chip in for gas or food and drinks. Be careful though. Putting your credit card down at the gas dock could cost you a pretty penny. Gas on the water is typically more expensive than on land, and boat fuel tanks are often much larger than cars. It’s not uncommon to see a $250 to $500 gas receipt at the fuel dock.

    fueling up boat at gas dock
  14. Offer to Clean Up. After a long day of boating, the last thing your host wants to do is clean up after everyone. And if it was a fun long day of boating, there is probably trash and spills everywhere. Helping your host clean up gives them one less thing to worry about when it comes to their boat and getting it docked. Trust us, they will greatly appreciate the offer.
  15. Say Thank You. This one should go without saying. Your host and captain chartered you around all day and showed you a great time. Be gracious and say thank you to them.

There you have it: 15 ways to make sure you are a proper guest and get welcomed back next time. How else can you be the best guest? What’s your worst experience with “That Guy”? Tell us in the comments!

Michael Kiel