Boat Decoration Ideas for the Holidays

By December 21, 2020May 29th, 2021Explore
Photo by Megan Nixon on Unsplash | Boat Decoration Ideas | Snag-A-Slip

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, temperatures are dropping, but boaters know how to spread warmth all year round. And one of the best things about owning a boat during the holidays is decorating it and increasing magical nautical holiday cheer. It’s a chance to show off your holiday spirit and get out on the water with friends and loved ones.

We at Snag-A-Slip know that boaters have big hearts, big personalities and are the best at lighting up the water with extravagant displays of twinkling lights. But, if you need a little inspiration, we’re here to give it to you! Here are boat decoration ideas to get you started.

Boat Decoration Ideas for the Holidays – How To

Make it shine

The goal, when decorating your boat for the dock or a holiday boat light parade, is to make it shine so brightly it can be seen from space. We’re exaggerating, but you do want it to stand out from the other boats around you, and get the best reaction from the crowd. The trick we learned from old salts, with lots of experience, is to alternate colors of lights so there’s contrast and your design pops. If you use all the same color lights, they’ll blend together and create one monochromatic blob. We also learned that to come up with the best design, you should get your crew involved. Let them have fun creating a theme and choosing holiday characters.

Before you jump in and start decorating your boat, you need to asses it and have a plan. For example, the horizontal lines on powerboats are perfect for hanging lights and signs. Sailboats with their tall masts and vertical lines are ideal for hanging long dramatic strands of lights.

When brainstorming your design ideas, consider your power supply. Many boaters have ambitious ideas but soon find out that their plans exceed their power supply. We don’t want that to happen to you. The bottom line is, for big displays, you’re going to need to have an additional

Photo by Kevin Fitzgerald on Unsplash | Boat Decoration Ideas | Snag-A-Slip

generator on board. Of course, if you’re docked at the marina, you can usually grab some extension cords and plug into the standard outlets on most shore power pedestals.

Holiday music

Make the experience complete with holiday music that sets the mood. You can secure additional speakers on your boat and turn up the volume on those festive tunes. Not only will music make it more fun for all watching, but also for everyone on board. Let Santa shake what he’s got!

Decorate you

Best of all, you can be part of the show. Put on the costume of your favorite holiday character and ham it up for the audience. Be Santa and let your crew be the elves. You can’t deck out your boat and have your crew look like duds. Not only will you create fun for those on board, you’ll brings the experience to life.

Think safety

Whenever you’re adding extra lights and other decorations to your boat, you need to think safety. LED lights approved by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) are more durable than traditional lights. They also use very little energy and produce very little heat, helping you avoid fire hazards. But there are still things to do and consider. First, always have a fire extinguisher handy.  Second, inspect your lights before hanging them, for any frayed wires or connections. Third, be sure to take a few minutes and wrap plug connections tightly with electrical tape. Fourth, always keep track of the number of lights you plug in, so you don’t overload the circuit.  When in doubt, it’s always better to use less.

Now all you need to do is gather your supplies. You’ll want to have a few handy items at the ready like zip ties, extension cords, chicken wire (great for creating shapes), spare bulbs, extra line, and electrical tape. And, here’s a great tip that will add to the wow factor. Yard decorations can do double duty on a boat.

Oh! And don’t forget the cabin. Holiday spirit isn’t just for on deck. A few lights, holiday throw pillows and a small lighted

Photo by Meadow Marie on Unsplash | Boat Decoration Ideas | Snag-A-Slip

tree guarantee visions of sugar plumbs will dance in your head.

There you go! We think you’re ready to get started decorating your boat for another festive and fun holiday season. Untangle those lights and spread some holiday cheer like only boaters can with these boat decoration ideas!

Stay updated with all things boating by liking us on Facebook or checking us out on Instagram!

When searching for all marinas, use our Interactive Map! Or check out our partner Marinalife with their marina listings for reference!

Share this Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Jo Montgomery

Author Jo Montgomery

Jo is a lifelong boat lover and writer. She learned the ropes of boating on her family’s 36’ Carver at the Jersey (joy-see) shore. With over 30 years of writing under her belt, she delights in seeking out, and sharing, the things most important to fellow boating enthusiasts. Jo now lives in Connecticut, near the water she adores, with her husband, two children and large, hairy dog. She is over the moon to be part of the Snag-A-Slip crew!

More posts by Jo Montgomery