So we know that BYO food and beverage venues are a great way to cut costs down and get out on the water for a special occasion, or just for a great day with friends! Although it reduces costs, it generally requires much more organisation and effort on your part right? So let’s make is a little easier for you! We have been doing this for a long time now, so think it is now only fair to share our secrets with you.
Here are some helpful tips to make your BYO cruise on Sydney Harbour a breeze. Careful! Once you try it, you will be wanting to make it a regular thing! You’ve been warned…
1. Choose a boat with plenty of coverage so that IF it rains on the day it doesn’t hinder your experience, leaving you to cram into one area of the boat. Check the capacity of the boat so that you know you will fit your party on board.
2. Organise with the operator to deliver your beverages and catering to the boat prior to your charter (even 1-2 hours before) to eliminate having to cart so much upon boarding. This also ensures not to waste time setting up during your charter and you can just get your party under way as soon as you step on!
3. If tip number 2 is not an option, simply choose a boarding wharf with plenty of parking close by (ask the boat owner for options) so that you can unload onto the boat at boarding time and simply leave the car there during the charter or overnight. You might even decide to disembark there so that you can take your leftovers and put them straight back into the cars afterwards, leaving no need to organise to collect them from the boat’s mooring the following weekday.
4. Ask the boat owner what facilities/space they have for music entertainment. Bring along a device to connect to the boat’s sound system or if you have a friend who likes to DJ, bribe them into bringing their equipment and keeping the atmosphere going.
5. If you are organising everything yourself, order your beverages online with the bottle shop, select that you would like them “chilled” for pick up, collect them on the day and take them straight to the boat to go into eskies/fridges (nobody likes warm drinks!)
6. Ask the boat owner for some suggestions on what types of catering to provide. They will be able to give you options in line with the facilities available for you to use on board the boat (Ie. BBQ, oven, fridges or eskies, buffet tables) There is extremely simple and satisfying options available. Organise for delivery to the boat 1 hour beforehand along with your beverages or delegate a plate for guests to bring for boarding on the day.
7. Bring all disposable supplies! Including platters, tongs, bowls, plates, napkins, cutlery and cups. This means you spend no time washing up or carting used/dirty supplies back home. Straight in the bin!
8. Finally, if there is a little bit extra in the budget, book a hospitality staff member or 2 to serve you and your guests. Rather than spending your time preparing the food, taking platters around to guests and getting your own drinks, let someone else do it. Treat yourself!
There you have yourself a fantastic day or night out on Sydney Harbour at half the cost and the tips to ensure it is seamless. If this is up your alley, find yourself a boat that offers BYO and use these tips when dealing with your agent or boat owner. Convert them into questions and send them through via email to ensure you find yourself the right boat for your party!
Share these tips with someone you know is hanging to get out on the water this summer. This might just motivate them, or be the not-so-subtle hint you were looking for! 😉