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December 7, 2020

Enhancing Your Chartering Experience through Music

Part of the allure of chartering is being out on the water away from it all and indulging all of the  senses: seeing the variety of blue hues in the water and sky, feeling the wind in your hair,  smelling the briny sea air, hearing the slap of the sails, and tasting the salt in the breeze. The  freedom felt as you journey through the water is remarkable by itself, but this encounter with  nature might also be enhanced through music; a way to connect all of the senses for a more  vivid and memorable experience. 

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Historically sailors have had limits to how they could include background music during their  voyages. Unwinding and unplugging was literally a requirement as the only option was cassette  tape players then CD players, and dozens of batteries. Remember the boom boxes of the  eighties? Talk about hogging valuable boat storage space. Then the Walkman came along and  allowed more of an individualized listening experience while providing freedom to move about.  Next came the iPod and MP3 players allowing listeners to download hundreds of songs and  listen from anywhere. Streaming has drastically changed how audiences purchase and listen to  music and provides more freedom and opportunities to select songs that enhance an  experience. 

Crewed Catamaran Shangri La enjoying some Karaoke

Today’s yachts have amazing technological capabilities allowing the cruiser to stay linked if  necessary, but part of the value of chartering is having an excuse to be disconnected from social media, texts, emails, and demands. While you might be able to stay connected on your  smart device, the best way to utilize a connection is to listen to a song list chosen specifically  for your cruising adventure. And, if the need arises, you could even download additional songs  along the way as you are inspired by new sights, sounds, smells, and emotions. Sitting on deck  with ear buds is one way to add music to your adventure, but the best way to augment the  experience is to share the soundtrack with everyone. 

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Even if your fellow sailors enjoy different genres of music, sailing across the sea opens people  to new experiences and sharing background music amplifies the scenes. So how do you select  a song list for your charter? If you would like to include songs about sailing and yachting, you  could Google “Sailing Song Lists” and dozens of song titles will come up. Also, some  streaming players have stations dedicated to the feelings sailing emotes, like Yacht Rock Radio on Sirius and Pandora which might inspire your playlist.  

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Some of the obvious choices are: anything by Jimmy Buffet, Sailing by Christopher Cross,  Southern Cross by Crosby Stills and Nash, Come Sail Away by Styx, Cool Change by the Little  River Band, Into the Mystic by Van Morrison, Sail On by the Commodores, Sailors Lament by  Credence Clearwater Revival, and Kokomo by the Beach Boys. Additional choices might  include Castaway by the Zac Brown Band, Calypso by John Denver, If I Had a Boat by Lyle  Lovett, Orinoco Flow by Enya, A Sailboat in the Moonlight by Billie Holiday, Sailin’ Shoes by  Little Feat, and Soul of a Sailor by Kenny Chesney. After sunset, and a few sundowners, you  might want to include songs for the whole crew to sing along with like Brandy by Looking  Glass, The Chain, by Fleetwood Mac, The Ballad of Gilligan’s Island by Sherwood Schwartz  and George Wyle, Banana Boat by Harry Belafonte, Red Red Wine (either Neal Diamond or  UB40 versions), Cake by the Ocean by DNCE, The Devil Went Down to Georgia by the Charlie  Daniels Band, and The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding. 

There is a seemingly infinite amount of music out there, and so many different genres and  preferences; therefore, the songs listed in this article are only suggestions of a very small  sample. 

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Your crew might prefer classical music or instrumental music versus the more obvious songs  so you should include those as well or instead. You may want to research the music from your  charter destination and include some songs from the region. It is also important to include  songs from albums you enjoy on land because you will have a new appreciation for the music  when you return from your trip.  

No matter your inclination, having a soundtrack for your experience will complement your  travels and help you relax. The songs you select will not only provide accompaniment for your  journey, but will evoke emotions and memories so whenever you hear these songs back on  terra firma, you will be taken back to the wonderful adventures from your charter.