8 Ways to Get Invited Back on a Boat

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that owning a boat is expensive as hell, and that friends who welcome you on their boat free of charge entertain you at their own expense. It's good to have friends with boats!

8 ways to get invited back on a boat

Not everybody can afford to own a boat. Hell, the guy who wrote this article can’t even afford his own boat! But he lives in Florida, has been invited to countless boating trips, and he researches and writes articles for Boats.net, so he knows owning a boat isn’t cheap. And that’s why he appreciates not only being invited on boating trips, but also being invited back! If you enjoy boating with friends so much you want to be welcomed on another trip, here are 8 ways to get invited back on a boat.

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Respect the Rules

Being a guest on a boat means following the rules of a vessel that’s not your own. So if the owner says no alcohol on the boat, don’t bring alcohol on the boat

Ways to get invited back on a boat respect rules

That goes for smoking too, and any other rule set forth by the owner of the boat you’re a guest on. Never bring anything onboard you’ve been instructed not to bring. No coolers? No black-sole shoes? No problem. Disrespect the rules and you’re guaranteed never to be invited back. Find out what the rules are ahead of time and plan accordingly.

Respect the Captain and Crew

“Isn’t this the same thing as respecting the rules?,” you ask. Yes, it is. But it goes beyond that. This is about respecting the Captain as a person as well. In other words, don’t be a jackass to the person piloting the boat.

Ways to get invited back on a boat respect the captain

Be polite toward and pay attention to the Captain and crew. If you’re in the middle of a conversation and the Captain addresses you and/or the other passengers, shut up and listen. And if you’re on the phone, put it down and pay attention. 

When the Captain says to move to the other side of the boat, do it. The Captain wants you to be their lookout? Do it. When the Captain says it’s time to go, it’s time to go … you get the point. Also, never be rude or talk back to the Captain or crew. And if you offer to help and the Captain says no, respect that too and stay out of the way. Do as they say, thank them at the end of the ride and you’re likely to be invited back on another trip. 

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Being respectful on a boat doesn’t just apply to the Captain and crew. Remember, you’re not the only one who’s there to have fun, so be courteous to the other guests and let them enjoy themselves.

Ways to get invited back on a boat positive attitude

Don’t be the Debbie or Donnie Downer who goes on a boating trip and does nothing but complain. You don’t like the Captain? Keep it to yourself. Hate your job? Nobody wants to hear about it. Got beef with another passenger? Settle it off the boat. Remember, people are there to relax and have fun. So unless you want to be the guy/girl with “FOMO” (look it up) sulking over being left out of the next trip, don’t be a buzzkill.

Arrive on Time

A good way to NOT get invited back to another boating trip is to show up late to the dock. So if you know 9 am is the scheduled departure time, be there by 8:30 am. You don’t want to piss off the Captain, the crew and the other passengers by holding up the launch, so be on time.

Ways to get invited back on a boat be on time

Dress Appropriately

We mentioned no black-sole shoes earlier for a reason: because they can leave scuff marks on a boat’s deck (a surefire way to never get invited back on the boat). Find out what it is you can and can’t wear on the boat, and dress accordingly. Take the weather into consideration as well. If it’s going to be a scorcher, you might not want to wear black shirts, no matter how much you love them. 

Ways to get invited back on a boat dress appropriately

Bring sunglasses and a hat. However, don’t bring a hat that’ll fly off your head easily. You’ll likely annoy the Captain if you ask him/her to turn around to retrieve your hat out of the water. Also, don’t bring expensive hats, sunglasses or anything else you’re not willing to lose. 

By the way, don’t wear anything too risqué if you know there’s going to be children on the boat, or simply don’t know if revealing swimwear will offend somebody. Unless you’re told it’s OK to let it all hang out, leave the thongs at home ladies (and gents). 

Chip In For Expenses

Here’s where all that “boats are expensive” stuff kicks in. First off, don’t offer to “pay for gas”. Saying it that way is laughable and/or insulting to the boat owner. You likely have no idea what marine fuel costs.

Ways to get invited back on a boat chip in

Instead of offering to “pay for gas”, simply insist on chipping in for expenses without specifying. Because it’s not just fuel your friend with the boat has to pay for. And money isn’t the only way to contribute either. Other ways you can chip in besides money include:

  • Help load equipment onto the boat
  • Take pictures and video for the Captain
  • Offer to man the boat grill and cook
  • Bring food and drinks to share with everybody

When it comes to food and drinks, pack extra sandwiches, chips, water bottles or whatever else you plan to eat and drink to share with others. Food and drinks cost money, so if you bring enough for everyone, that’s also chipping in, and a solid way to get invited back.

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If you bring alcohol, don’t just BYOB. Because if you’re that cheap ass that only brought a 6-pack of beer for himself and only one foot-long sub to chow down on in front of everyone without sharing, good luck getting invited back to the next boating trip.

Clean Up After Yourself

Ever heard the expression “treat someone else’s home better than your own”? Well that goes double for someone else’s boat, especially if you ever hope to get invited back onboard for another trip. 

Ways to get invited back on a boat clean up after yourself

That food and drinks we just talked about: clean it up when you’re done. Dispose of any paper plates, plastic utensils, cups, cans, napkins, etc. in the trash. Spilled some salad and mustard on the floor? Clean it up. And if the Captain allows smoking on the boat, clean up your cigarette butts. Don’t throw them or any other garbage overboard. Cleaning up after yourself during and after a boating trip leaves a good impression on those who may want to invite you back for another excursion. 

Offer to Help Out After the Ride

We mentioned helping during the boat ride, but what about after? If you stick around to help out when the fun is over and everybody is sunburnt and tired, that’s a great way to get invited back on another trip.

Ways to get invited back on a boat help out

Don’t be that jerk that dips out at the end of the ride and hightails it out of there without offering a hand. Ask what you can do to help, whether that means cleaning out coolers, tying up dock lines or fenders, or simply unloading equipment. Offer to do something … anything! Because if you “peace out” without offering to help, we can almost guarantee you’ll never be invited back.



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