boating songs

15 Best Boating Songs of All-Time!

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No matter if you’re in the middle of a BBQ, pool party, or out enjoying life on the water – we ALL can agree that music makes life better and more enjoyable.

To help you take your next boating or fishing experience up a notch, we spent some time recently mulling over our personal music libraries, in search of the ultimate playlist to put together. It was very difficult for us to narrow our list of favorites down while omitting others that we have grown fond of over the years while out on the water.

After putting our heads together, we agreed on some timeless classics from Jimmy Buffett, Bob Marley, and Led Zeppelin, as well as ballads from Styx, Billy Joel, and Otis Redding.

So, check out our selections for the 15 best boating songs of all-time below (in no particular order):


“It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” by Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett (2003)

This feel-good hit justifies that you can indeed enjoy a cold one at any time of the day (which is fine with us as long as you’re not the captain!)


“Kokomo” by The Beach Boys (1988)

Contrary to popular belief, this stressbuster of a song will work anywhere…and not just on an island off the Florida Keys.


“Redemption Song” by Bob Marley (1980)

An acoustic song from a legend that urges us to free our minds, no matter how strong the currents are in life. We don’t know about you…but boating does just that for us!


“Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett (1977)

From eating sponge cake and drinking lots of margaritas while enjoying life at the beach – “Margaritaville” is the perfect anthem to blast from the deck of any boat.


“Where the Boat Leaves From” by Zac Brown Band (2008)

Whenever someone asks us why we go boating, this is what we tell them: “You got worries you can drop them in the blue ocean.”


“The Ocean” by Led Zeppelin (1973)

Although this song is talking about oceans of fans, the song’s famous “la la la la la la la la la” section paired with the blue ocean is enough to put a smile on our faces and keep it there.


“Downeaster Alexa” by Billy Joel (1989)

While this song is about fishermen having a hard time finding fish – the line “I know there’s fish out there, but where God only knows,” helps ease the pain of those tough fishing trips where nothing is biting. “Downeaster Alexa” reminds us why we love to go fishing, and that tomorrow could be the day we land our biggest catch yet.


“Hooked on Fishin” by Captain Sam Crutchfield (2001)

So are we, Captain Sam Crutchfield, so are we.


“Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” by Jimmy Buffett (1977)

This classic boating song is about traveling and enjoying life…while laughing along the way. While Jimmy spends his night dreaming about the ocean, you can enjoy life on the water.


“Knee Deep” (featuring Jimmy Buffett) by Zac Brown Band (2010)

When you’re on a cruise, you don’t want or need the stress and tension of everyday life. Instead, you could opt to enjoy “the champagne shores.” (the beaches when the tide rolls in)


“Proud Mary” by Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969)

A rock and roll sing-along classic…that’s all about a boat! “Keep on “rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river.”


“Pirate Looks at 40” by Jimmy Buffett (1974)

Ever dreamt about being a pirate? We probably all have. So, crank the volume up and enjoy listening to the life of a pirate on the high seas. Arrgghhh!


“Come Sail Away” by Styx (1977)

Feeling down on the open waters? “Come Sail Away” will cheer everyone up with its synthesizer interludes and guitar-heavy riffs.


“(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding (1968)

Is the sun setting down? Time to put this slow-jam on and listen to the whistling and sounds of waves crashing on a shore at sunset.


“Boat Drinks” by Jimmy Buffett (1979)

A song about drinking on a boat sounds like the perfect way to wrap up a boating playlist. However, “Boat Drinks” is about people who live in a cold climate area, looking to escape to somewhere warm and tropical. If you’re not currently at a warm location – just close your eyes, crank the volume up, and picture your perfect paradise.


As Bob Marley famously sang back in 1973, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain!”

We hope you guys enjoyed our selections. Which one of these is your favorite from the bunch?