Best Yacht Rock Songs to Play on Your Boat

Best Yacht Rock Songs to Play on Your Boat

August 17, 2023
Best Yacht Rock Songs to Play on Your Boat

Whether sailing the high seas or cruising on a tranquil lake, there’s no denying the magical combination of boating and music. And nothing quite fits the bill like yacht rock songs when it comes to creating the perfect ambiance for your boat party. With their smooth melodies and laid-back vibes, yacht rock tunes are the ideal soundtrack to accompany your nautical adventures. 

Curate the ultimate playlist for your next boat party with these suggestions so you can set sail with style and groove to the sounds of the sea.

What Is Yacht Rock and Why Is It Perfect for Boating?

Yacht Rock emerged in the late ’70s and early ‘80s, epitomizing the era’s smooth, soft rock music. Characterized by its polished production, jazz-influenced arrangements and evocative lyrics, yacht rock often features leisure, escapism and coastal lifestyle themes. These songs would be played aboard luxury yachts, capturing the essence of sunny days, ocean breezes and carefree adventures on the water.

Yacht rock songs for boats’ relaxed yet sophisticated nature make it a perfect complement to any boating experience. As the boat glides through the water, the soothing rhythms of the best lake songs create an atmosphere of tranquility and joy, taking your boat party to a new level of enjoyment.

Crafting the Perfect Boating Playlist

To create the ultimate summer boating songs playlist, we considered various factors contributing to the perfect sailing ambiance. The selected songs boast uplifting beats, catchy melodies and lyrics that evoke images of boats, sailing and the sea. Moreover, we’ve included diverse songs to cater to different musical tastes.

Best Boat Songs of All-Time

With so many options out there, we’re excited to share our top songs about boats and sailing and the best songs to listen to on a boat. 

  • “Sailing” by Christopher Cross: With its gentle guitar strums and Christopher Cross’s velvety vocals, “Sailing” is an anthem for seafarers. The song’s serene melody and poetic lyrics encapsulate the feeling of being on the open water, making it a must-have for your boat party playlist. As you cruise along, “Sailing” will have everyone swaying to the rhythm, embracing the true spirit of yacht rock.
  • “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes: A yacht rock classic, “Escape” brings a touch of whimsy to your boat party. This catchy tale of love and adventure pairs perfectly with the carefree ambiance of boating. The song’s playful vibe and sing-along chorus will have your guests joining in the fun, creating unforgettable memories on the water.
  • “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass: “Brandy” is a timeless yacht rock gem that narrates the tale of a sailor’s love for a barmaid. Its upbeat tempo and memorable hooks make it an essential addition to your boat party playlist. As you listen to the story unfold, you’ll be transported to coastal taverns and endless maritime horizons.
  • “Yacht Rock” by JD & The Straight Shot: The eponymous “Yacht Rock” is a modern tribute to the genre. With smooth instrumentals and polished vocals, this song embodies the very essence of summer boating songs. As you sail into the sunset, “Yacht Rock” will warmly embrace you, ensuring a truly unforgettable boat party experience.
"Sail On" by Commodores
  • “Sail On” by Commodores: Smooth and soulful, “Sail On” by the Commodores is a yacht rock favorite that perfectly captures the essence of sailing. The mesmerizing vocals of Lionel Richie and the mellow instrumentation make it a sublime addition to your boat party playlist. As you sail into the horizon, “Sail On” will evoke feelings of serenity and nostalgia.
  • “Southern Cross” by Crosby, Stills & Nash: “Southern Cross” is a yacht rock sensation that vividly depicts a sailor’s journey and longing for adventure. With its dreamy harmonies and evocative lyrics, this song embodies the wanderlust spirit of boating. As you navigate the waters, “Southern Cross” will ignite a sense of exploration and freedom.
  • “Key Largo” by Bertie Higgins: Set the perfect mood for your boat party with “Key Largo” by Bertie Higgins. This romantic ballad takes inspiration from the beautiful Florida island, offering a gentle and relaxing vibe. As you anchor in tranquil waters, “Key Largo” will fill the air with enchanting melodies, creating a magical experience on your boat.
  • “Into the Night” by Benny Mardones: “Into the Night” is a yacht rock classic that weaves a tale of passion and romance under the moonlight. With its soulful vocals and captivating melody, this song is perfect for setting a dreamy and intimate atmosphere at your boat party. As the stars twinkle above, “Into the Night” will take you on a magical journey through the night skies.
  • “Reminiscing” by Little River Band: As the sun sets on your boat party, let the nostalgic vibes of “Reminiscing” fill the air. This boating playlist gem has smooth harmonies and a gentle rhythm that will transport you back to cherished memories and create an ambiance of camaraderie and friendship. It’s the perfect tune to share stories and laughter with your guests.
  • “Moonlight Feels Right” by Starbuck: “Moonlight Feels Right” is a funky and fun yacht rock song that will have everyone dancing on deck. With its catchy marimba riffs and chorus, this tune infuses your boat party with playful energy and excitement. So, let loose and dance under the moonlit sky as “Moonlight Feels Right” fills the night with joy.

Honorable Mentions

Whether you use them to create a more extensive playlist or keep them on standby for future voyages, these yacht rock gems will elevate your boat party’s ambiance. Let the melodies of these honorable mentions serenade you as you create unforgettable memories on your nautical journey. Here are our best boat party songs: 

  • “Dance with Me” by Orleans: A captivating blend of folk and yacht rock, “Dance with Me” offers a smooth and romantic melody that sets the perfect tone for a slow dance on deck. This timeless classic will create a memorable moment for you and your guests as you sway together beneath the stars.
  • “Cool Change” by Little River Band: “Cool Change” is an introspective Yacht Rock anthem that captures the essence of tranquility and self-discovery. Its calming rhythm and soul-stirring lyrics make it an excellent addition to your boat party playlist, especially during introspection on the open waters.
  • “Steal Away” by Robbie Dupree: The captivating vocals and soft rock style of “Steal Away” make it a must-have on your Yacht Rock boat party playlist. This tune exudes a sense of freedom and adventure, making it the perfect companion as you explore new horizons on your boat journey.
  • “On and On” by Stephen Bishop: Stephen Bishop’s soothing voice and the mellow instrumentation of “On and On” create an atmosphere of pure relaxation. As you glide across the water, this yacht rock classic will add a touch of serenity to your boat party experience.

As you set sail on your boat party adventure, let the smooth melodies of yacht rock be your trusted companions. The carefully curated playlist will transport you and your guests to a world of blissful boating, where the worries of the shore are left behind. Grab your sunglasses, feel the wind in your hair and embark on a memorable journey with the ultimate yacht rock playlist for your boat party.

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