23 Boat Party Games For a Fun Day on the Water

This article has links to products and services we love, which we may make commission from.

Ahoy there, party planners and sea adventurers! Get ready to set sail on a wave of laughter and excitement with our ultimate guide to boat party games. 

Whether you’re cruising on a pirate ship or a cozy yacht, these activities will turn your boat into a floating carnival of joy.

From energetic physical challenges that’ll test the cardio, to brain-teasing conversational games that’ll spark giggles, we’ve got it all covered.

But the fun doesn’t stop when you dock! We’ve also got plenty of things to do to keep the party spirit alive on the shore.

Whether you’re taking your kids with you or enjoying your time with the adults in your group, this list has fantastic suggestions that will have everyone smile as wide as the open sea.

If you like to spend time by the water, explore our list of family beach games.

Boat Party Game Ideas

Physical Games on the Boat

Get ready to turn your boat into a playground on the water! 

These exciting physical games will have everyone jumping, laughing, and bouncing around while the waves cheer you on.

Seashell Hunt

Engage in a friendly competition by hiding seashells around the boat, and let your friends search for them.

The one with the most seashells at the end wins, and if you want to make the game more interesting put a points system together based on how unique the seashell is, or how hard it may be to find.

This game is ideal for all ages, especially those who enjoy a scavenger hunt on the water, and is one of the fun games to play on a yacht party since you have some extra space in which to hide the seashells.


Add a touch of physical challenge with Limbo.

If you don’t have a stick long enough for Limbo, use a pool noodle, a rope or a string and see who can bend the lowest without tumbling to the floor.

Limbo is ideal for limber participants and those who are game to partake in some friendly competition.

Friends Dancing Limbo dance at beach

Mermaid/Merman Makeover

Transform your friends into mythical sea creatures with Mermaid/Merman Makeover.

Use washable face paint to create whimsical designs, making it a hit among creative souls and those who enjoy playful transformations.

Mermaid/Merman Makeover also makes for a great social-media photo opportunity, with everyone done up in hilarious nautical themes.

Floating Fashion Show

Embrace your fashion creativity in a Floating Fashion Show.

Raid your friends’ closets for nautical-themed outfits and put on a quirky runway display, or use items found lying about the boat.

Floating Fashion Show is a favorite among fashion enthusiasts and those who enjoy light-hearted humor.

Boat Beer Pong

Beer pong has been a staple of young twenty-somethings as long as there have been college campuses and affordable apartments in trendy towns.

The only thing you need to put a game together is a table, about 20 (red) cups, and ping pong balls; check out these kits.

Fill each cup with a beverage of your choice, setting up 10 on each end of the table.

Participants will then take turns attempting to throw the ping pong balls into the cups on the other side of the table.

If a ball goes in, the other team has to drink from that cup and set it aside, with the objective of clearing the other team of all of their cups before they clear you of yours.

Beer pong is one of the most popular boat drinking games because of the simplistic rules, the quick learning curve, and the tendency to get a bit tipsy while the game is going on, depending on which drink you decide to fill the cups with.

You may also like our list of family beach games for adults and BBQ games for adults.

Cropped view of friends toasting plastic red cups

Conversational/Card Games on the Boat

Gather ’round the deck for some good ol’ fashioned fun that’ll challenge your wits and tickle your funny bones. 

Let your creativity soar with a game of nautical-themed charades or engage in an onboard karaoke challenge- whatever your preferences are, these activities are sure to have the family or friends enjoying their time on the water.

Marine Trivia

Test your maritime knowledge with a round of marine trivia.

A designated list of trivia questions related to the sea will be delivered to different teams or each individual, with a judge/emcee determining who guesses the most questions correctly each round.

To make the game more organized, designate a judge who has pulled up a specified list of questions and answers and can also act as the emcee.

Marine trivia is perfect for trivia enthusiasts and anyone who loves a good intellectual challenge and is looking for less physical games to play on a boat.

Alternatively, check out our trivia catalg for other themes such as sport, music, and geography.

Rocky coast and view of boats in the harbor.

Going on a Picnic

Going on a Picnic is a conversational game in which one person is inviting others to a picnic, but they will only get an invite when they correctly identify which type of item they should be bringing.

The inviter has secretly selected a theme of what can be brought, which can be as basic as a shared color, or something obscure like everything needs to be made of wood.

The challenge of the game is that, in order to get the invite to the picnic, everyone else has to work together to gather enough ‘correct items’ to identify the theme.

This game is a great exercise in teamwork and creativity, working together to uncover clues while also racing to the finish line at your own speed.

The theme could be adapted to reflect the trip by calling the game Going on a Sailing Adventure.

Island Storytelling

Fuel your creativity with Island Storytelling.

Start a story about an imaginary island adventure, with each person adding a sentence to build a unique narrative.

As the sentences continue to build on each other, it becomes harder and harder to keep the story going and the twists and turns become more and more humorous.

Island storytelling is tailored for those with vivid imaginations and are unafraid of testing the limits of a proper story.

Lighthouse at Sanibel Island in Florida during sunny day.


In a game of Charades, you’ll be asked to step out of your comfort zone while sharing a laugh or two along the way.

Act out words or phrases without the need for equipment, and challenge your friends to guess correctly.

Each team has a designated performer each round, who is given something like a movie or book title, a specific actor or celebrity, and more.

That person then needs to try to get their team to correctly guess the item, without the ability to use any kind of words or sounds.

Charades is an ideal choice in terms of party boat games, as it is perfect for energetic groups who enjoy interactive games and are not afraid to get a little silly in the process.

Nautical Pictionary

Combine artistry and guesswork in Nautical Pictionary.

Draw maritime-themed items on a whiteboard or paper, while others attempt to identify what you’ve sketched.

The game functions similarly to charades, in that you need to get your team to correctly identify the item without the use of words or sounds.

Also similar to charades, Pictionary has a tendency to devolve into something hilarious and memorable as certain things just can’t be explained through pictures.

Nautical Pictionary is one of the best boat games, whether you are artistically inclined or not, and often it is those who are not artistically inclined that generate the most laughs and get the most people excited about joining in.


Let your imagination run wild in Shipwrecked.

Pretend the boat is stranded, and take turns presenting your creative survival plans.

The game can be decided by a group determination or by a single judge, and each plan needs to be pitched convincingly as if each participant were a lawyer defending a client.

To extend the game and keep things interesting, choose a specific set of items that are available in each scenario, asking everyone to get creative with what they have in each round.

Shipwrecked is a perfect fit for team players and individuals who excel in imaginative scenarios.

Poetry Slam Contest

Exercise your poetic side and your competitive edge with a Poetry Slam Contest.

Take turns reciting or creating short poems that capture the essence of a given topic, with a judge or series of judges determining which is the best poem.

Keep things interesting by asking participants to make a poem out of a random topic each time, like a poem about dolphins or a poem about sunburn.

Poetry Slam Contest is a lot of fun as long as everyone is game, and will almost assuredly end in hilariously-bad attempts at poetry, and just maybe a beautiful revelation if you’re lucky enough.

Boat Bingo

Engage in a boat-themed bingo game with Boat Bingo.

Create bingo cards featuring boat and water-related items, and mark them off as you spot them. 

Boat Bingo is a great option for those who love games of observation and friendly rivalry without getting too physically adventurous or intellectually rigorous.

You can buy editable bingo cards on Etsy.

Nautical bingo card for boat parties

Captain’s Orders

Bring humor into the mix with Captain’s Orders.

Designate someone as the “captain” who gives quirky and humorous orders, and players must follow in the same rule style as ‘Simon Says.’

If the captain says ‘Captain’s orders: touch your knees’ then everyone needs to touch their knees.

If the captain does not begin the command with ‘captain’s orders’ and someone does it anyway, they walk the plank (or just take a seat).

Captain’s Orders is an excellent choice for those who enjoy light-hearted silliness, and the added walk-the-plank challenge makes for some high-stakes adventure.

Group of five multiracial friends taking selfies on a yacht.


Infuse your boat party with music through karaoke.

Each person takes a turn singing along to a selected song, ideally with a microphone and a sound system of some kind, although that is not required to fully enjoy the game.

To make things interesting, designate judges that will judge based on the vocal performance as well as the showmanship.

Karaoke is a great game for anyone looking to get quite silly and most likely embarrass themselves along the way – an additional rule that only nautical themed songs are allowed could be added!

Here are some ideas:

  • “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding
  • “Take Me to the River” by Al Green
  • “The River” by Bruce Springsteen
  • “Sailing” by Christopher Cross
  • “Ship to Wreck” by Florence + The Machine
  • “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”
  • “A Sailor Went to Sea”
  • “Baby Shark”
Woman singing karaoke with friends.

Tidal Would You Rather

Add an aquatic twist to the classic game with Tidal Would You Rather.

Take turns asking sea-inspired questions all in relation to the water, forcing each person to make a difficult choice between two unfavorable options.

For example, someone will be asked a question such as: ‘Would you rather jump off that 10-foot cliff into the water or swim back to shore?’

The questions can get more and more twisted, forcing people to stretch their limits of what they can see themselves doing in comparison to an even worse option.

We have a list of clean would you rather questions as well as those designed for friends, best friends, couples, and girls.

Text Would You Rather Image of thinking bubble and question marks

Maritime Whisper Down the Lane

Test your listening skills and comprehension with Maritime Whisper Down the Lane.

The first person whispers a water-based story such as a shipwreck or a boat race, and the listener will then need to recite the story in a whisper to the next person.

While it may seem relatively straightforward, by the time the story makes it to the last person on the boat, you may be shocked to discover what the story has become after all of the little misunderstandings along the way.

Whisper Down the Lane is a great game for kids, but can be just as fun for adults attempting to decipher incredibly quiet whispers.

Loving father and daughter sitting on a boat with mom in the background.

Never Have I Ever

Dive into revealing stories with Never Have I Ever.

Share maritime-themed experiences and tales in this revealing game, and if you don’t have enough of those you can always adjust the game to include any stories at all.

Each person holds up ten fingers in the air, and the first person starts the game by stating something they have never done, such as night swimming or surfing.

Never Have I Ever is suited for anyone brave enough to admit to whatever comes up, as the stated activities have a tendency to get a little racy and shocking depending on who is playing.

Because of the tendency for inappropriate topics for children, this may be best enjoyed as a boat party game for adults, unless you remember to stay silly and child-appropriate.

For prompts to this game, check our list of ‘’never have I ever’’ questions for girls, friends, best friends, and couples.

Try next: Cocktail Party Games for Adults.

A group of multiracial friends having fun and drinking on a sailboat.

Physical Activities Off the Boat

When you’re ready to explore the shores, these activities will keep your squad on their toes! 

Try these fantastic games to let the excitement continue even after you’ve docked. 

Cannonball Contest

Make a splash in the Cannonball Contest.

Compete to create the biggest splash with your cannonball jump into the water, with judges determining the winner in each round.

Cannonball Contest is best suited for energetic jumpers and those who love a bit of friendly competition, and is a great option if you are looking for free boat games, as all you need is a good place to jump.

Water Basketball

Water basketball adds the challenge of navigating through the water while also trying to play a relatively traditional game of basketball.

The rules of the game can be as specific to an actual game as you like, whether that means a 5-on-5 match or a game of H-O-R-S-E.

To begin, get an inflatable basketball hoop or get one attached to the boat somehow.

The game can be played in a half-court format, with a designated back-court and each team competing to get the ball in the hoop by all means necessary.

Anyone looking for a good deal of exercise along with some rigorous and entertaining competition should find the proper equipment and put a game of water basketball together.

Like basketball? Try our exciting NBA Trivia Quiz.

Water Volleyball

Dive into some physical activity with Water Volleyball.

Play a friendly game of volleyball in the water, embracing the challenges of buoyancy while also attempting to get the volleyball over a net without it touching the water or anyone touching it twice.

Water volleyball is one of the perfect yacht party games, ideal for energetic swimmers and those who enjoy a bit of sporty competition.

Relaxing Activities on or off the Boat

Sometimes, all you need is a little relaxation, whether you’re floating on water or soaking up the sun on the shore. 

These serene activities are perfect for unwinding and enjoying the tranquility of your watery surroundings.

Seascape Sketching

Capture the beauty around you in Seascape Sketching.

Bring sketch pads and pencils to create artistic representations of the picturesque scenes on the water.

Seascape Sketching is a perfect activity for artists and nature lovers that are looking for an activity that is not competitive or high-energy and would much rather sit back and relax for an hour in front of a canvas.

Tropical beach on Barbuda Island.

Floating Yoga

Find tranquility with Floating Yoga.

Practice yoga poses on the boat’s stable surface, surrounded by the soothing sounds of water.

For an additional challenge, take the yoga out into the water and see if you can recreate some of the poses while submerged to your neck.

Floating Yoga is a fitting option for yoga enthusiasts and anyone looking for a relaxing activity while lounging on the water.

Silhouette of a family of four doing yoga at the beach during sunset.

Final Thoughts

We hope these boat party game ideas set the tides of laughter for your lively gatherings on and off board.

If you’ve got more creative suggestions to share or want to tell tales of your nautical escapades, feel free to share them in the comments below. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *