Halloween means different things to different people. For the kids it is an excuse to eat lots of candy while running around as their favorite superheroes, characters and monsters and for adults it is an excuse for a great party… while also dressing up in costumes. For boat owners wanting a fun affair with a twist, a Halloween party on-board your yacht offers a great alternative that is free from trick-or-treating neighbors and there are plenty of nautical themes to run with. Here are four Halloween costumes for boat lovers to inspire you.

1- The Pirate

Dressing up as a pirate is perhaps the most obvious of all the nautical themes, but that is because it is so popular and opens up plenty of opportunities. The great thing about a pirate costume is the diversity in pirate choices you get. You can go for a fancy store-bought version for men, women and children – perhaps letting Dads channel their inner Jack Sparrow – but it also allows for creativity in making your own. With supervision, kids can play with their plastic swords on the customized deck while the adults party with some grog and rum (none for the captain of course). Alternatively, you can take a more cultured route with famous pirates from history and literature like Long John Silver, complete with toy parrot, or Blackbeard.

2- The Old Man and the Sea

Continuing with this idea of more sophisticated themes and literary figures, one character that is ideal for a night on the water is Santiago from “The Old Man and the Sea.” This is pretty easy to pull off with the right coat and hat – especially for men with a big bushy white beard

3- The Sailor

Santiago may have limited appeal as a character to emulate, but there are a number of different ways that you can go with the broader nautical theme of the sailor. These parties can be a classier affair, with a strictly navy-blue and white theme, a more formal supper and men in the finest naval uniforms. Or, go for a casual event with simple sailor suits for the men and children, perhaps in the form of Shirley Temple’s “Good Ship Lollipop” so there are plenty of treats for the kids. Or, make it an adult’s night with masculine crew and sexy female sailors.

4- The Mermaid

Speaking of sexy – a favorite among adults is the mermaid. A mermaid costume may not be completely practical for the men on board. The children may be traumatized by the sight of Grandpa in a shell bikini top, but to each their own. And it doesn’t have to be sexy. It can be fun, with a colorful theme that can have a Disney twist if the kids want to join in the fun. The boat can be decked out with an underwater theme to match.

Whether you make your Halloween boating a family affair or adults only, spice it up with some costumes and have fun!