Mother’s Day this year falls on Sunday, May 9, when the weather in most parts of the country should be warm enough to enjoy at least one day of the Mother’s Day weekend on a boat.
Of course, you will already have bought your mom one of the Best Boating Gifts for Mother’s Day before you step aboard. But planning out the rest of the day—the gift-giving and far more—is what will leave a lasting impression and make you her favorite.
1. Start with Brunch on Board
Sure, breakfast in bed is nice, but how many moms get to tell their friends that the family hosted an entire brunch on board?
Onboard brunch can be as simple as yogurt, bagels and spreads with coffee, or can be a full-on event with eggs Benedict, farm-fresh bacon and mimosas. Your plans will of course depend on the size of your boat’s galley—or on the availability of takeout from a great local restaurant. But there is no restaurant that can match the view from the dinette in the boat’s cockpit, or that can bring a bigger smile to your mom’s face for making her feel so special.
To make the day feel even more out of the ordinary, consider adding new placemats and cloth napkins to your pre-Mother’s Day shopping list. Perhaps add some cute napkin holders, and maybe a festive centerpiece for the setup. Simply sprucing up the table settings can add a new layer of enjoyment to the day, and can make the boat feel like a newly special spot.
2. Forget the Flowers; Get Mom a Great Boat Hat
Flowers on Mother’s Day are the old standby. But if you’re spending the day with your mom on the boat, then consider investing your flower budget into an oversized sun hat—one with a flower on it, perhaps.
Great hats are like great pocketbooks: Most moms love them, but don’t want to feel too extravagant by spending money on them. You can find oversized sun hats at affordable prices on Amazon or indulge with a more upscale option from a shop like San Diego Hat designs. For fun colors, Coolibar offers some unusual designs.
3. Set the Playlist for the Day
Music can do more than set the mood. It can also send a message, which on Mother’s Day can focus on themes like love and gratitude.
Billboard offers a whole playlist for Mother’s Day, featuring an eclectic mix of artists that ranges from the Rolling Stones and Ozzy Osbourne to The Backstreet Boys and Trace Adkins to the Jackson Five and John Lennon. And no less than Oprah Winfrey has anointed the 40 Best Mother’s Day Songs featuring artists such as Linda Ronstadt and Carrie Underwood.
No matter your own mom’s musical tastes, a song (or three or a dozen) in this mix are sure to set the right tone on the boat from morning till night.
4. Let Mom Take the Helm as Captain
One of the biggest complaints that many moms have about being on the boat is that they never get to drive. If there’s a dad in the family, he often assumes command at the helm—leaving mom not only feeling left out of a big part of the boating experience, but also left in a position where she’s not learning and using the skills that everyone needs to have in order to feel confident with the wheel and throttles.
You can do more than just let mom drive the boat on Mother’s Day: Think about presenting her with the gift of a boating course.
- MarineMax offers a Women on the Water course that’s for women only;
- As does NW Explorations, which does a three-day learning experience;
- The Annapolis School of Seamanship in Maryland calls its course “Women at the Wheel;”
- While Sea Sense Boating offers a number of women-only options.
All course schedules are subject to change because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but expectations are that opportunities should be available this summer and fall, including online-only courses for women.
5. Dock and Dine, or Get Creative for Dinner Onboard
After a long day of having fun on the water, everyone is going to be hungry for a great dinner. Dock and dine at a favorite restaurant is of course a great option for Mother’s Day—any place she loves will likely have a nice menu with specials for the occasion.
Another, more personalized option is an onboard or shoreside barbecue. If you’re in a cruising area with parks or beaches that allow barbecuing, then consider setting up your own fish or lobster bake, or perhaps your own burger and steaks night, depending on your mom’s tastes. Grab your waterproof speakers from the boat and bring them along to keep the playlist humming, and perhaps to get the dance party going on the sand as a final celebration of the day. Or, you can grill right on your own boat—just follow these simple tips in Grilling on a Boat: 3 Quick Tips for Cookouts Onboard.