Bachelorette party

How are men and women different? Men prefer to hold a bachelor party on a motorboat while women prefer a sailboat for a bachelorette party.

The reasons are simple. Men like boats that go fast, make noise and stink. What better place to enjoy your last night of freedom than on a motorboat? Women enjoy the elegance and grace of a sailboat where they can take in the wind without having to overcome screaming engines—or loud men, for that matter. Men would have a hard time hosting a stripper on a sailboat since she could hardly twirl around the only pole onboard — the mast.

Bachelorette party
Sometimes ladies prefer to have fun on the bow.

I have hosted a few bachelorette parties, to great success. For one thing, it can be a unique surprise to the bride if she is unaware of the trip. For the planner, a sailboat is perfect because it limits the total number in the party to six. Let everyone sign up first-come, first-served. You miss it, too bad.

Bachelorette PartyMy last bachelorette party didn’t have much wind, but that didn’t matter. The girls jumped in the water and swam for an hour. That’s not as easy as it sounds, but it’s quite do-able. I have to position the boat in waters that are shallow enough to preclude much drift from the river current. But not too shallow to attract jellyfish. In any event, swimmers are tethered to the boat with sturdy lines that prevent them drifting too far.

The website lists 14 ideas for bachelorette parties. One of them is to go camping: “Does the bride love the great outdoors? Consider a back-to-nature bachelorette party. Call your state board of tourism to ask about campsites, then ring up locations of interest and ask about rental cabins or tents (if you come up empty, you can rent tents and other supplies at outdoor stores). Also find out what activities are offered (hiking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, or horseback riding). Make sure all guests know what clothes, food, and accessories to pack — and most importantly, remember to bring toilet paper.”

Man, that sounds like a lot of work. With sailing, you show up at the dock, get on and go. It’s a lot easier and it works fine with food and drinks. I have someone on board who knows how to pop a champagne bottle.

Girls’ Getaway

Bachelorette PartyA unique idea for any girls’ weekend getaway is to go sailing. Many’s the time I’ve had pals show up spontaneously for three-hour afternoon sail. Mothers and daughters find sailing a bonding experience as well. Get out of the parking lot and on to the water.

The Adventure Cruise is the most popular, offering a chance to sit in the warm sun as the water zooms past. Some ladies like to run the helm. They get to interact with couples and families in a comfortable setting that is magnificently serene.

Lessons Cruise offers informal instruction for those who may want to buy or boat, or more frequently, are going on a Caribbean cruise and want to know how the boat works.

Girls' Weekend GetawayHere’s what we cover:

  • Learn the aerodynamics of sailing.

  • Differentiate the three sail “reaches” for power.

  • Learn how to “see” the wind.

  • Help deploy the spinnaker sail when going downwind.

  • Learn the basics of preventative maintenance for diesel engines.

  • Follow up with ASA-sanctioned sailing lessons.

    Lesser-known cruises

History Cruise presents an informal lecture on the two key battles of 1781, the Capes and Yorktown Siege. The talk is geared from the point of view of the water, where considerable fighting took place. History faculty and armchair historians enjoy debating the finer points of the battles. It’s not as much fun as a bachelorette party, but it’s pretty interesting.

We sail to three key points: Mouth of the York, Moore House, Redoubt 10. Sometimes we can make it under the bridge to view from the water the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. From this angle, it resembles Lee’s Mansion at Arlington, though I imagine that was unintended.

Appreciation Cruise for women usually entails a birthday or anniversary or other event. Often it’s a surprise, which is fun. Marriage proposals are the best.

Girls' Weekend Getaway
US Navy guided missile cruiser.

Military Cruise offers a drive-by of US Navy ships in dock at the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station. Destroyers and Cruisers usually come in on Mondays and depart Thursdays or Fridays. I’ve had a few women from the Navy in Norfolk who have served in the fleet. They’re very supportive. 

Marine patrol boats from the Naval Weapons Station hover offshore in a protective zone around the ships. They sometimes drift our way to review the women on board. As well, every day we see US Coast Guard trainees on the York River. They practice towing, radio contact, man overboard and interdiction. The Zodiac training boats have aluminum guardrails on the back to proect the dual outboards from damage by drug runners. That’s largely in Florida, not here, but you never know.

Finally, the Boat Buyer Cruise describes in detail the perils and joys of ownership. I try to talk the potential buyer down from the ledge, in favor of short-term renting or leasing. Women love this approach because it saves tens of thousands of dollars from going into a boat. Maintenance is a big factor for owners, so we cover that too. The women tend to look at their nails.

Let’s Go Sail, Cheers!

Check rates and pick a day for a sailboat charter. See reviews on Trip Advisor. 

Bachelorette Party

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