Hiring a boat can seem daunting. If you’re anything like us, you don’t have any friends who own a catamaran and neither do you hang out at yacht clubs on the weekends. So who the heck do you contact to organise boat hire? Is it going to be expensive? And do you need to get one of those captains hats and boat shoes before getting on board? 😉
Let us put your mind at ease. Our Sydney Harbour Days team is here to help! To get you started on the right foot, we’ve put together a list of the main things you should think of before you lift anchor (did we mention we love boat puns?) and send that Facebook event notice to your friends
Here are the 7 easy steps to consider when booking a Sydney Harbour boat party.
First things first, what are you working with in terms of budget? Your budget is one of the main factors determining what type of boat you’ll be looking to board for your day on the harbour.
For people who are budget conscious, there are a few amazing options out there! Boat hire starts at $200/hr for small sailing yachts up to 12 guests, $350-$800/hr for catamaran cruisers for up to 43 guests and you can hire a small yacht or double decker catamaran for $600-$900/hr.
Expert organiser tip 1: communicate the price per person rate to get your group to agree on the boat hire. $62/pp* for a 4-hour cruise is an easier sell than the total of $2,650. *Price based on the average Seawind Catamaran hire with 43 passenger capacity.
If it’s your big “0” birthday, a corporate event, or your cryptocurrency is on the upswing, we can get you set up on something with all the bells and whistles. One of those jaw dropping ‘look-at-me-i’m-onna-mf-boat’ vessels you can imagine James Bond villains sailing on.
Luxury boat hire options can come fully catered with open bars, waiters and will guarantee to make you and your crew feel like a million bucks. These boats range from $900-$1,800+/hr but when breaking it down into a per-person cost, you can hire a boat with all the above for less than $200 per person!
Read more about the cost of boat or yacht hire on Sydney Harbour in our blog “How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Yacht or Boat on Sydney Harbour?”
The fleet of boats we have access to ranges from 4 -950 guests, so we’ve got you covered no matter what the event. When you hire a boat, why not pack it out? Each boat has a max capacity, so depending on your budget and number of guests, this will help you narrow down your boat options for your party.
As the day approaches, you might get dropouts. We all know in Sydney “something can come up” so have some friends on standby to fill up those spots if it comes to that. And, freel free to ask us for excuses to use on ‘why they weren’t included on the initial invite list’; we’re here to help.
Expert organiser tip 2: If you’re splitting the boat hire costs make sure everyone transfers their portion of the boat hire to you in advance. This way you’re never out of pocket, and the number of dropouts will be minimal.
It’s the group that makes the experience. Make sure your above invite list is full of people looking for the same experience as you are planning. If you want a blowout party full of swimming in the harbour, drinks and a BBQ, you need a crew to reflect that.
That means inviting a crew that’s looking to sit in the shade with a fully catered meal, won’t be a good match (like your last swipe left). It’s best to be upfront with your guests and let them know what they can expect of the day. Also drop a link to the boat in your group chat so everyone can get as excited as you are.
When thinking about food and drink for your boat party, budget and ease of organisation are the main things to consider.
Pretty much all boats will offer a BYO or catered option. With the BYO option, the boats provide eskies to keep your drinks cool but make sure to bring some ice. To comply with RSA rules in NSW, you will also need to bring an adequate amount of food.
So, don’t just bring a bag of chips and take advantage of the boat’s BBQ instead. The captain will cook up a snag feast for you and your crew as you take a dip in the harbour. Take it from us experienced weekend boat attendees: a good feed is essential after a swim and a few drinks. Your future self will thank us later.
If budget isn’t an issue or you’re looking for a relaxing day out, most boats will offer catering packages for your party. From simple canapes to full buffet, catering can range from $20-$150 per person. We will provide you with options upon request.
To theme or not to theme. This depends on the type of friends you’re inviting and on how willing they are to put themselves out there. From the always popular ‘white party’ to an array of sexy and/or seaworthy costumes, we’ve seen it all. Including a very interesting banana themed party.
We always suggest planning for the weather when deciding on a theme. If it’s looking like a warm sunny day, make sure you come dressed accordingly. Also bear in mind the after party. Trying to get into Marquee dressed as a banana could prove to be challenging. 😉 Check out our list of the best boat party themes here.
Your day, your crew, your vibe! As you’re cruising around Sydney Harbour, you can play your tunes through the boat speaker systems. Depending on how big the event is, you can even organise a DJ onboard. Now, that is one way to get the boat rocking as you party on the deck!
Since you’re out on the water, why not jump in? On a hot Sydney summer day, a dip in the harbour is always a welcome way to cool down. Many of the boats offer additional water toys for your boat hire. Move your party onto a water mat or test out your balance on a stand-up paddleboard. We will help you find a boat that offers these extras.
Are you planning for a friend’s hens or a bucks party boat? Then (cheeky) entertainment could be a little bare. We’re not shy so let us know what you’re planning. We can point you in the right direction and make sure we put you on the right hens or bucks party boat. Whether that’s a laid back cruise, a rather posh gathering or a big banger to see your friend out of singlehood.
Sydney has lots of pick up and drop off wharfs around the harbour. So no matter what part of the city you are in, we will be able to organise a wharf nearby.
If pretty much everyone is from one specific area (e.g. the Eastern Suburbs), we will organise a local pick spot that’s convenient for everyone. If your group is spread out across town, we can book a spot near public transport to make sure everyone can easily get there.
From experience, just because you’re getting off the boat doesn’t mean the party is over! Plan a venue for after the boat party if possible. This will allow for friends who couldn’t make the boat to meet you there. Make sure to communicate the post-boat party plans to your crew so everyone can bring a change of clothes if necessary.
A Sydney Harbour boat party can tick all your boxes for any event. It’s a perfect idea for a weekend party with friends, a corporate event, a small intimate gathering or that ultimate birthday party on a yacht.
We’ve helped plan boat parties of all kinds so know what to look for when narrowing down your options. Best of all, you don’t pay anything extra when booking through compared to booking directly with a boat owner!
We believe planning your event should be fun and above all easy. Don’t spend your precious time browsing the web trying to find the perfect boat for your event. We'll do that for you, at no extra cost!