There are a lot of misconceptions about boat parties. For one thing, people tend to have this preconceived notion that boat parties are raucous affairs straight out of a rap music video, as gloriously satirised in The Lonely Island song “I’m on a Boat” featuring T-Pain.
However, while this can sometimes be the case, the music will oftentimes be much more reserved than what you might expect. Yes, boat parties will inevitably have copious amounts of alcohol flowing throughout, but the big draw is the novelty of a day (or night) out on the water with friends and strangers.
It’s a great way to meet new people, and it’s your job as the DJ to ensure that people are enjoying themselves, musically speaking. Boat parties are very popular during summer, and, as such, you should take care to feel out the vibe of the season. Music aside, it’s definitely a good idea to acquaint yourself with the service staff, especially the bar staff, and to meet up with any other DJs who might be performing earlier or later.
The good news about most boat parties is that they tend to be more focused on drinking and social interaction rather than the music, and often the music will serve as an enjoyable backdrop to the cruise. That being said, as people will inevitably become more inebriated throughout the day, it’s certainly a good idea to have a few aces in the hole if the crowd wants to get their dancing shoes on.
Other things to consider are more fundamental to cruising. If you’re a person who gets motion sickness or seasick, it’s advisable to take seasickness medication before your journey starts, as it should be both hands on the decks—not all hands on the deck, regretting life as you heave all over the place.
If you’re actually put in charge of the logistics of the night, then you’re in for a big job. Assuring that you have enough food and drink for the whole trip is essential, and it’s much better to oversupply than undersupply.
Additionally, don’t overbook the event; it might not seem like a big deal to go over, but even just a few more people than the boat should carry can cause annoying inconveniences and increase danger, generally speaking; furthermore, doing this could run the risk of breaking licensing laws, and water police are known to enforce such breaches with surprising regularity.
Another thing to remember is medical aid. This is especially important, since a medical emergency might take place a long way from professional medical assistance, and it’s essential that your boat has adequate medical supplies for such an event.
By extension, this includes sick bags and life preservers. The last thing anyone wants to do is have to clean up a vomit-stained dancefloor, so be sure that your audience is made aware of the sick bags before dropping anchor.
Finally, just enjoy yourself! Unless this is going to be a full-time gig, DJing on a boat is a unique experience, so just make sure you’ve got enough redundancy in your DJ gear in the event of a technical failure, because if a critical component fails, getting resupplies on the voyage won’t be an option.