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a boat sitting on top of a table

Creating a budget is a fundamental part of hosting any party. When you set a maximum amount you can spend, you have a better idea of how to divide it up. Budgeting for a party boat is similar, but there are a few things to consider when putting it together to avoid sunk costs.


One of the first things you want to figure out when planning a party on a boat is how many people will be in attendance. When you have a party in a public park or a hall, knowing the exact size of the guest list may not be as vital. But having a clear idea of how many people will be on the party boat allows you to plan for what size ship you need.

The ship rental itself may be one of the largest expenses, so you should have a rough idea of that cost based on the number of people in attendance. This will make it easier to get a base estimate and determine how much more you may be willing to spend.


Aside from the cost of the boat itself, food and drink are among the essential parts of budgeting for a party boat. You typically want something slightly nicer than some store-brand cola and potato chips. Try to make room in your budget for proper hors d’oeuvres and drinks to make it a more memorable experience. Typically, at least 25 to 40 percent of your total budget should go toward refreshments.


A distinct advantage of planning a party on a ship is that you can have some additional wiggle room when it comes to traditional party expenses. Many party barges have sound systems that let you hook up a playlist if you don’t want to hire a DJ to play music.

Depending on the occasion, you may want to allocate some of your budget toward decorations. This will help you get into the party spirit. The party barge and captain will generally have most of the essentials you need to have a good time, but you may still have some unforeseen expenses.

To learn more about party boat rental costs and how to book a barge for your next big event, contact us. With a wide variety of ships, helpful tips for throwing the best parties on the lake, and trained staff to address your questions, ATX Party Boats can ensure you have no sunk costs.

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