Picture this: a day on the water, a full tank of gas in your boat, and vibes set by the perfect soundtrack. Boating songs are a mixed bag — Jimmy Buffett caters toward the lower and slower southern boater, while new tunes from popular country artists can get any party going.

Because boaters come from all walks of life, we’ve separated our list of the best boating songs ever into categories:

Turn up the volume and set sail with this curated list of the best boating songs.

Top Summer Boating Songs

We’ve crafted a list of five upbeat and energetic songs perfect for setting a lively atmosphere for your summer boating trip.

1. “Soak Up the Sun” – Sheryl Crow

This is a country anthem about enjoying life’s simple pleasures, starting with the summer sun. With uplifting lyrics like “I don't have digital / I don't have diddly squat / It's not having what you want / It's wanting what you've got,” this song is a classic feel-good tune.

2. “Summer” - Calvin Harris

This one is an electrifying dance hit that captures the essence of the season. Something about it carries the euphoria of late summer nights and carefree moments on the dancefloor. Its lyrics are about hitting it off with a summer fling and falling in love “while the leaves turn brown.”

3. “All Summer Long” – Kid Rock

Kid Rock blends rock and country in this nostalgic ode to carefree summers. Its easy melody takes listeners down memory lane of sun-kissed days and youthful adventures.

4. “When the Sun Goes Down” – Kenny Chesney and Uncle Kracker

A slow, laid-back country jam, this tune has breezy melodies and easy sing-along lyrics. “Everything gets hotter when the sun goes down” is a bumper sticker-worthy lyric.

5. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” – Bob Marley

Bob Marley is known for his soothing lyrics that make you feel like you’re right down in Jamaica with him. There’s nothing better than sitting on a boat, looking out at the horizon, and remembering that all is well.

Top Party Boating Songs

1. “Sunroof” - Nicky Youre Loud Luxury Remix

Los Angeles-based Nicky Youre writes youthful, romance-filled lyrics in this happy-go-lucky summer song. There’s a reason the song blew up so swiftly - it’s infectiously positive.

2. “Island in the Sun” - Gamper & Dadoni, Conor Byrne

Need a musical escape to paradise? This combination of laid-back beats and tropical sounds creates the perfect summer backdrop to your boating day, whether you’re fishing, partying, or just chilling.

3. “Welcome to Jamrock” - Damian Marley

This classic reggae jam samples an even more well-known hit, “World-a-Reggae” by Ini Kamoze. With an upbeat spin on a timeless throwback, partiers around the world love this jam.

4. “Potion” - Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa

As you drink your potions by the ocean, groove to the sound of energetic beats and intoxicating vocals. Calvin Harris, the master of producing dancefloor-worthy songs, created the perfect “song of the summer” boat party jam with this one. Play it to liven up your bachelorette boat party or to make the most of your Saturday out.

5. “Red Solo Cup” - Toby Keith

Name a better way to bring people together than with the universal red solo cup. As catchy as a nursery rhyme but with lyrics you wouldn’t play around mixed company, “Red Solo Cup” is one of the best party boat songs out there. Play it at your bachelor boat party or a simple weekend get-together.

Top Country Boating Songs

1. “Pontoon” - Little Big Town

Full of puns and witty lyrics, Pontoon makes you want to drop what you’re doing and rent a pontoon boat with friends. With lyrics like “5 mile an hour with aluminum side

/ Wood paneling with a water slide / Can't beat the heat, so let's take a ride,” it’s a chill country boating song for lower and slower boating days. Pour up your boat drinks and soak up the sun.

2. “No Shoes, No Short, No Problems”- Kenney Chesney

Chesney channels a work hard play harder attitude; we can all relate to wanting to unwind after a long work week, kick back, and chill on the beach. He really said it perfectly: ”Wanna soak up life for a while, and lay back low / No boss no clock no stress, no dress code.”

3. “Buy Me A Boat” - Chris Jansen

Money might not buy happiness, but it can buy a boat…and a truck to pull it. Enjoy your boat ride with a country song that makes you appreciate just being there.

4. “Redneck Yacht Club” - Craig Morgan

Fun is universal and you don’t need a huge, suped-up boat to do it (although yacht rentals can be really fun). This country boating song reminds us that life is what you make it, and it doesn’t matter if you’re boating on rivers, lakes, or oceans - what matters most is being on the water.

5. “Cruise” - Florida Georgia Line

Every boating song playlist needs a sing-songy melody like Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise.” Whether cruising on a boat or the road with the windows down, this country-pop fusion is infectious.

6. “Where The Boat Leaves From” - Zac Brown Band

Zac Brown Band has mastered the summer boating vibe. This one mixes folk, country, and reggae beats, inviting you to escape the daily grind and embrace the tranquil beauty of seaside retreats.

7. “Somethin' 'Bout a Boat” - Jimmy Buffett

The open waters are, as this song reminds us, calming. “Somethin bout a boat” gives you hope - it can take you home, or take you around the world.

8. “Knee Deep” - Zac Brown Band

Another carefree hit from Zac Brown Band, “Knee Deep” paints a picture of blue waters, sandy beaches, and carefree living. Full of easygoing optimism and mellow sounds, it’s a warm invitation to disconnect and enjoy your day on the water.

9. “Lovely Cruise” - Jimmy Buffett

With deeper undertones than most of Buffett’s vacation-vibed songs, “Lovely Cruise” connects the end of one of life’s chapters with the bitter-sweet ending of a trip at sea. “We'll bid our farewells much too soon / So drink it up, this one's for you / Honey, it's been a lovely cruise.”

10. “Water” - Brad Paisley

As a kid, water means inflatable pools and rope swings. As we get older, our “love affair with water” grows up with us, from “Daytona Beach on spring break” or “driving until the map turns blue.”

Songs About Boats and Water

1. “(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay“ - Otis Redding

What better way to waste time than enjoying a sweet sunset cruise? This song beautifully carries deeper meanings about life, time, and how we spend it.

2. “Son Of A Son Of A Sailor” - Jimmy Buffett

“The sea's in my veins, my tradition remains.” For some of us, boating is in our blood, a family tradition that reminds us where we came from. It’s a lyrical voyage about heritage and freedom.

3. “The Downeaster 'Alexa'” - Billy Joel

Joel’s evocative voice crafts a powerful ode to fishermen’s struggles and resilience. As you set sail toward the horizon, this boat song will provide a motivational and emotional tone.

4. “Sailor’s Lament” – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Inspiring reflection, this song captures a yearning for change. Somewhat somber lyrics with an upbeat classic rock tune make this a good boating song for sailing alone.

5. “Single Handed Sailor” – Dire Straits

The line "Single-handed sailor, go out and get the hidden hoard" evokes a sense of solitary adventure. The song's moody melody and Mark Knopfler's distinctive vocals create a mysterious aura for boat music on the sea.

As you prepare for your day on the water, use these songs about boats and water as a starting point to create your ultimate boating playlist. From upbeat party boat songs to heartfelt melodies of sailors past, our selection embraces the diverse community that makes up the boating world. Happy Boating!