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Darling on deck: Kristin Ducote's guide to planning the perfect on board date

9 May 2018• Written by Kristin Ducote

Own a yacht? Well, you’re already halfway to the perfect date, says Kristin Ducote. Just follow her simple tips to truly wow your beloved...

Dates, whether you're meeting for the first time of spending some quality time with your partner of decades, can be fraught with tension. Expectations can be dashed by awkward small talk or a bouquet of crushed carnations chosen because it was the only one left.

Perhaps the perfect date isn’t attainable, at least not in the real world of our everyday lives. In the enchanted world of yachting, however, it could be. There’s nothing like a gently rocking boat and isolation from the stress of life to make you stop and smell the roses. Listen up, guys! Plan a romantic getaway on the boat and consider the following tips to make this the best date she's ever been on.

A few simple gestures can created the perfect on board date, say Kristin Ducote. Illustration by Natasha Law.

Quality Time

Ask your captain to disconnect the Wi-Fi. Gasp! This sounds scary, but picture an entire evening without the magnetic pull of an iPhone. Imagine where that might lead…


Plan to stay the night on the hook and set up dinner on the aft deck with a candlelit, petal-strewn table. It’s OK to be a little cheesy and clichéd. Send your chef a list of favourite foods or let him create a romance themed meal like rose-scented chicken with asparagus arrows piercing baked tomato hearts.


Send a bouquet of flowers during the day to surprise her along with a sweet, suggestive message. If you’re already on board, arrange them on her nightstand before she wakes up. Now, even if your assistant orders them, never let him or her sign the card for you. We’ll notice! We want a note that could only be from you, preferably in your handwriting. Throw in a pet name or inside joke for extra points.


If you're out to impress then a small gift won't do any harm. Pick something useful like an Hermès shawl to wrap around her shoulders on the aft deck on a cool evening, polarised sunglasses by her favourite designer or a new perfume like Jo Malone’s Wood Sage and Sea Salt for the smell of a windswept shore. Alternatively, a good present doesn’t have to cost a thing. If you're in a long-term relationship, create an IOU booklet with hand-written coupons for things like one night of watching a movie of her choice with a side of hubby-made popcorn, one romantic walk on the beach or one 15 minute neck rub. Make it specific and put it in writing. Be careful what you promise, though. We’re certain to cash these babies in!


These songs are sure to put some motion in your ocean: Baby Love by the Supremes, Power of Love by Celine Dion, How Deep is Your Love by the Bee Gees, I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston, Best of My Love by the Emotions, I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner, Here I Am by Al Green, and of course, the obligatory Let’s Get it On by Marvin Gaye. Pick one and create a station on iMusic or have your chief stew make a playlist. You’ll be set for the night.

Granted, you may not have the time or inclination to plan a trip just for one date. That’s OK. Have your crew meet you at the dock and spend a night in the marina. Above all, what you really need to make a relationship work is a sense of humour... and selective hearing! So loosen up, let a few things slide, and you’ll soon be dancing to Queen’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love under the stars.

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