Memorial services are a time for reflection, remembrance, and saying goodbye. They can be held in various settings, each offering a unique ambiance and experience. One such unique setting is a boat or ship, providing a serene and tranquil environment to honor a loved one. This article will guide you through the process of planning a memorial service on a boat or ship.


Understanding the Basics of a Boat or Ship Memorial Service

A boat or ship memorial service is a ceremony held on a water vessel to commemorate the life of a deceased loved one. It's a unique way to celebrate life, offering a peaceful setting surrounded by the calming influence of water. The service can be as formal or informal as you wish, depending on your personal preferences and the wishes of the deceased.

Boat or ship memorial services can be held on various types of vessels, from small private boats to larger charter vessels. The choice of boat will depend on the number of attendees, the location, and your budget. Some people may choose to scatter ashes at sea during the service, while others may prefer a simple ceremony on the water.


Steps to Plan a Memorial Service on a Boat or Ship

Step 1: Choose the Right Boat or Ship

Choosing the right boat or ship for your memorial service is crucial. Consider the number of people you expect to attend, the type of service you want to hold, and your budget. Private charter boats can accommodate small to medium-sized groups, while larger vessels can cater to bigger crowds. Ensure the boat or ship you choose has the necessary amenities for a comfortable and memorable service.

Consider the location and accessibility of the boat or ship. It should be easily accessible to all attendees, including those with mobility issues. If you plan to scatter ashes at sea, ensure the boat or ship allows for this and is equipped with the necessary facilities.

Step 2: Plan the Ceremony

Planning the ceremony involves deciding on the order of service, choosing readings or eulogies, and selecting music. You may wish to include a moment of silence, a prayer, or a reading that reflects the life and personality of the deceased. Consider incorporating elements that were important to the deceased, such as a favorite song or poem.

Remember to consider the unique setting of a boat or ship when planning the ceremony. For example, you might include a moment where attendees can throw flowers into the water as a symbolic farewell. If you're scattering ashes at sea, plan this part of the ceremony carefully to ensure it's a respectful and meaningful moment.

Step 3: Arrange Logistics

Logistics for a boat or ship memorial service can include transportation to and from the vessel, catering, and accommodation for out-of-town guests. If you're hiring a charter boat, check what services are included in the package. Some companies may provide catering or can recommend local providers.

Ensure you communicate clearly with all attendees about the location, time, and any special instructions for the service. This could include advice on appropriate attire for a boat or ship service, or instructions for those who may wish to participate in scattering ashes at sea.


Considerations for a Boat or Ship Memorial Service

While a boat or ship memorial service can be a beautiful and unique way to say goodbye, there are some considerations to keep in mind. Weather can be unpredictable, so have a backup plan in case of poor conditions. Ensure all attendees are aware that the service is on a boat or ship and are comfortable with this.

Consider the legal aspects of scattering ashes at sea. In some areas, you may need a permit or have to follow specific regulations. Always check local laws and regulations to ensure you're compliant.



Planning a memorial service on a boat or ship can be a meaningful and unique way to honor a loved one. By considering the type of vessel, planning the ceremony, and arranging logistics, you can create a beautiful and memorable service. Always remember to consider the comfort and needs of attendees, and to respect local laws and regulations if scattering ashes at sea.