7 Wacky Ways to Have Fun on a Boat (Don’t Tell Mom!)

Whether you have a bowrider, a center console, a cabin cruiser, or a speed boat, one or more of these nutty nautical nuggets will have you laughing until your belly aches.

27th May 2013.
By Lenny Rudow

Many of the wild and crazy craft we featured in the Top 10 Coolest Looking Boats Ever had a special ability that let you do something unusual: drive on both land and sea, hover above the water’s surface, dive down below it, or maybe give your buddy a broadside blast with a water cannon. But there are some insanity-inspired activities which you can do on any boat—and are a heck of a lot of fun.

1. Asian Carp Hunting – Defend our nation from foreign invaders, protect the environment, and improve your combat skills while LOL-ing until you can’t stand it anymore—by going head-to-head with the Asian carp. This video of the Peoria Carp Hunters will show you how it’s done, though it starts with the claim that they’re professionals, and you shouldn’t try this on your own. We’re not sure what’s so professional about dressing up in a trash can and swinging a pitchfork at flying fish, so chances are their disclaimer is just an attempt at legal butt-covering. Maybe we’d better do the same. WARNING: don’t try this yourself, unless you’re a professional… something.

2. Catch ‘N Splash – All you need for this one is a boat, a bridge, and a willing buffoon. One person stands on the bridge (a tall pier will work, too) and throws a Frisbee towards the boat; it needs to come close, but not too close. The buffoon stands on the swim platform, dives off, and must catch the Frisbee in mid-air. If he succeeds three times, reward him with a towel and some cheese-puffs.

3. Golf-fishing – Why not combine two of our favorite activities? First, you need to outfit your boat with a piece of artificial turf, a bucket of bio-degradable golf balls, clubs, and an inner-tube with an anchor and line. Then go fishing in an area with good hot-spots that are in relatively shallow water. Keep track of how many casts you take until you catch a fish. Then put the turf on the bow, pitch the inner-tube over the side, move your boat away to a challenging distance, and chip balls off the turf until you drop one through the tube. Combine the number of casts with the number of strokes, to get your final score for the hole. Whoever ends the day with the lowest combined score wins the match.

4. Happy Hoops – Swimming at the beach is fun, but it can get dull fast. Once you’re anchored up in Party Cove, why not break out a ball and play some hoops—while you’re still in the water. You can get basketball hoops (from BoatFun) with back-stops which are designed to mount to the fences on pontoon boats, come with add-on mounts or suction-cups, and even some that come with a pole that augers into the sand. Playing basketball in the water with a hoop designed for boats is not only fun, it’ll have you dribbling like never before.

jousting on a boat

Boat Jousting: not necessarily better than a poke in the eye.

5. Jousting – Okay, we admit that this may not be the safest—nor the smartest—sport we’ve ever seen at sea and we’re certainly not going to recommend you try this at home. But it does look like a great time, especially if you pre-medicate. Hey buddy, watch the low-blow.

6. Snorkle-fishing – Here’s another combo-sport , which puts fish in the cooler and a smile on everyone’s face. Anchor your boat over a wreck or reef, but instead of dropping a line over the side, bait one up and hand it off to a snorkeler. The snorkeler’s job is to swim it down to the fish, place it near the biggest one he sees, then back off. If a small fish moves in, the snorkeler rushes back to scare it off. When Bubba takes the bait, the snorkeler earns a point for every pound. Take turns being the snorkeler, and whoever scores the most points wins the day.

7. Water Wars – We’re not talking about having a water battle with water guns—for an all-out water war, you’ll need to up the ante to full-blown water cannons. You can build a decent one with 70’ of range in a weekend (plans can be found here) or if you really want to go crazy, get an electric-powered water cannon boat or three and stage a true amphibious assault.

Want to explore some other boating activities that are slightly more sane? You can try oyster tonging from a center console, join in one of the many Summer Sailstice events, or take an adventure yacht charter to an exotic destination. If you’re really feeling tame, take the family tubing, go to a poker run or rendezvous, or take up SUP Paddleboarding.


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About the author:

Lenny Rudow

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Lenny Rudow is Senior Editor for Dominion Marine Media, including Boats.com and Yachtworld.com. With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, he has contributed to publications including Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design who has won 28 BWI and OWAA writing awards.
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