Party Barge Survival Tips from Lake Travis Boat Captains

“Where do I start?” Brandon Herring laughs when asked about party boat gaffes and bad behavior.

the herring is the captain ATX Party Boata company that rents captained pontoons and double deckers Party Barge on Lake Travis, the Colorado River Reservoir, northwest of Austin. Most people are polite and do the right thing, but there will always be someone who goes astray.

It looks fun. Gather 10 or 25 friends, fill the cooler with cold beer, spend the day on a lake in texas. But for many, it’s either their first time on a party boat, or they don’t quite grasp the full picture of what it means to be out in the deep sea under the scorching sun in a big metal vehicle. It is It is inevitable that someone will forget to drink water, drink too much water on the Bacardi, or hitch another boat and attempt a triple backflip.

With party boat season approaching, Nisin recently increased his work day from three to five days a week. With temperatures rising and the lakes filling up with pontoons and barges, here are some tips to make your trip as safe and enjoyable as possible.

Cost of renting a party barge on Lake Travis

Party boat rental prices vary depending on boat type, number of passengers and tour duration. ATX Party Boats offers weekday 3-hour pontoon trip rentals starting at $500. Also available are his 15-, 20-, and 22-passenger double-decker boats with slides starting at $600, and the option to rent a 10-passenger cabin cruiser yacht starting at $1,200. There are many party boat companies in central Texas, and prices vary depending on which company you choose.

Play cool games right

“If you can tell someone not to bring anything, it’s a Styrofoam cooler,” Haring says.

However, no matter how many times I ask the customer to stop, someone usually finds out that they are cooler shorts and buys a cooler at a gas station on the way to the marina.

Each time someone steps on the boat and crushes it, or the lid flies or shatters, he says, sending thousands of tiny white styrofoam shards all over the boat and into the water.

“It will be a million,” he says. “And never clean it.”

If you don’t have a soft-sided or hard-sided cooler, rather than relying on a Styrofoam cooler, just bring the beer or hard seltzer you plan to drink and a bag of ice to keep it cold, says Nisin. say. , it always breaks anyway.

Don’t forget the ice. It may seem intuitive, but Haring says more people are disappointed to find their drinks hot as soon as they get on the boat.

And when it comes to deciding what to drink, cans are a much better option on boats than glass, especially when people are kicking drinks or jumping into the water with beer. Remember

drink responsibly

This bit of advice applies everywhere, of course, but especially if you’re stuck in the ocean (in this case, a lake) for a few hours. Drinking too much can lead to poor decisions, such as throwing a can in a lake, throwing up, or even arguing with a passenger.

Herring recalls one of his most harrowing moments as a captain.

“I had three off-duty cops on my boat with their girlfriends,” he says. “I literally had to pull off a fight between a cop and my girlfriend on a boat.”

At one point he had to separate the policeman and his girlfriend because they were all drinking too much tequila, instructing them to stay away from each other or the boat would be turned. Sometimes, as in this case, just the threat of ruining everyone’s day is enough.

Jumping over slides into invisible water is a bad idea.

Jumping over slides into invisible water is a bad idea.

ATX Party Boat

Drink water

“We’re seeing early signs, people bring only alcohol and don’t have much else to drink,” Haring said. “Then you know you’ll have your hands full for the day.”

Often people are in the middle of a weekend bender or in a hurry to start a bender. When you get on the ship, even if you load water, you go to drink immediately. Not always a good idea under the sun. He can often identify it early on, such as people becoming slurred, their heads low, or their boats not having much drinking water.

“If there is a need, I run people to floating petrol stations to fetch water and make sure people have their supplies,” he says.

Know your swimming ability

Nisin said she had to pull him into the boat last weekend because she overestimated how far she could swim after he jumped off the side. The captain made the man wear a life jacket for the remainder of the voyage, which he said was embarrassing.

“They will write on your tombstone, ‘He was ashamed,'” he told the man.

People feel overloaded and instantly feel invincible. Overall, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Stay safe in and around your boat

“I’ve run over rails and slides on boats and tried to jump into the water,” Haring says. “There are people swimming over there.”

People also hang from or jump off ladders, generally watching the wind and jumping off where they can hit other boats, motors, or people. The herring gives people one warning, but turns the boat around when it starts endangering others, ruining the fun for everyone on board.

It doesn’t always happen outside the ship. People like to jump and run on smooth decks, but boats are made of aluminum, which can lead to injuries from falls.

“Boats aren’t built to protect you, they’re built to protect yourself,” Haring says.

Styrofoam coolers are Herring's #1 "please do not bring" item.

The styrofoam cooler is Herring’s #1 “must have” item.

ATX Party Boat

don’t litter

Besides being an insult to the planet, it’s also the quickest way to get the police to stop the boat, Haring said. Getting parked isn’t fun for everyone on the boat, and while the ticket is likely to be handed over to the captain, figuring out exactly who threw Lone Star Tallboy into the lake is a Because it is very difficult, the fee will be paid. with the passengers.

All employees volunteer to clean up the lake at the end of the summer. If people clean up in the process, it makes everyone’s life easier. Before returning to the marina each time, Hering turns down the music and tells you it’s time to get everything in order so you don’t get blown off the boat on your way home.

“It’s great to have a group that collects all the trash,” Haring says. “We have nothing, so we don’t want anything to drift away.”

pack more than you think

Too often people show up barefoot and in only bathing suits…and that’s it, Haring said.

“Some people literally walked out with just the drink in their hand,” he says.

It might seem like a hassle to bring extra clothes you might not use, but Haring recommends at least remembering a towel and layering it over your bathing suit just in case.

“You never know what kind of storm will come, what kind of wind will blow,” he said. “So it’s always nice to have something to cover.”

respect the ship

Sometimes you feel like you need to batter your boat or hop in your seat and hop to impress your friends and social media followers.

“It looks great on TikTok, but give me two hours to clean up after,” Herring said. “And then there’s the cleaning fee, and the broken stuff gets replaced.”

After all, it’s best to treat your boat like a hotel room. Destroy anything and a harsh reality awaits you when the bill arrives.

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