Giant pumpkins used as kayaks, retired US Navy Battleships overrun by aliens, amphibious World War II vehicles, and sombrero-sporting sailors—this can only mean one thing: it’s Halloween. While you’ve already read about boat decorating and dockside trick-or-treating, the fun doesn’t stop there. Halloween horror nights and other annual nautical-related festivities are taking place all around the country to celebrate this spooky holiday. boats.com has compiled a list of Halloween boating events from across the US to bring you some of the best, some of the scariest, and well, some that are just a little weird.
The 13th Annual West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta
While the Annual West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta was unfortunately canceled this year due to weather restrictions, in the past 12 years it has been one of the most anticipated events of the season in Tualatin, Oregon. The massive pumpkins used in the race are generously supplied by the Pacific Giant Vegetable Growers (PGVG), which hosts the “Terminator Weigh-Off” prior to the event. Judged by the PGVG, the first 20 pumpkin-growers who enter “sea-worthy” gourds in the weigh-off receive cash prices for their submissions. With pumpkins weighing in at over 1,000 lbs., you can imagine that this regatta is one Halloween event that has no problem turning heads.
For more information and a full gallery of images from past events, check out the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta Facebook page.
The 7th Annual Halloween on the Harbor: A Trick-or-Treat Event for Grown-Ups
The Boston Harbor has often been the setting for a lot of maritime history over the years, and each Halloween it happens to be the setting for a lot of inebriated adults. These grown-up trick-or-treaters flock to the waterside in search of Halloween goodies, but it’s not the candy they’re after. Dressed head-to-toe in costumes, they crawl from bar to bar along the harbor, frequently hitching a ride in the event-sponsored DUCK Boats between stops. These DUCK Boats are World War II inspired amphibious land-sea vehicles, and they provide the perfect form of transportation for the oversized (and potentially over-served) trick-or-treaters.
Head over to the Halloween on the Harbor Facebook page to find out more and check out photos from previous years, and visit Boston Duck Tours for more information on these amphibious rides.
Nauticus, Featuring Battleship Wisconsin : Haunted Ship
In addition to being boats.com headquarters, Norfolk, Virginia is known for being home to the world’s largest naval base, Naval Station Norfolk. Unsurprisingly, it’s also home to Nauticus, a contemporary museum showcasing global maritime commerce and the history of the US Navy—but most importantly, it’s the dock site for the Battleship Wisconsin. This Halloween season the retired battleship will be transformed into a haunted vessel invaded by extraterrestrial creatures. There’s only one question left to ask: Are you the hunter…or the hunted?
For more information on this supernatural ship, visit Nauticus.
Halloween Sail to Double Bayou Shipwrecked Shores
This year the Waterford Yacht Club and the Texas Mariners Cruising Association (TMCA) are teaming up to set sail out of Galveston Bay and Trinity Bay to embark on a Halloween-spirited weekend getaway. Cruising to the Double Bayou Pasture and Oak Island, those brave enough to venture out for this spooky journey will enjoy a night filled with cocktails, a costume contest, music, dancing, and of course, ghost stories. Participants are encouraged to dress up their boats, and upon arrival at their destination organizers plan to start a bonfire to ward off (or perhaps summon) evil spirits.
To find out more about the Halloween cruise, check out Waterford Yacht Club.
Neuse Yacht Racing Association’s Halloween Regatta
Slightly different than racing giant pumpkins, the Neuse Yacht Racing Association (NYRA) takes a different approach in their Halloween Regatta. Kicking off their winter racing series and setting sail out of the Blackbeard Sailing Club in New Bern, North Carolina, racers are split into different classes for spinnaker boats, non-spinnaker boats, cruising boats and multihulls. Regardless of boat type, costumes are strongly encouraged. The scariest part of this event? The fear of potentially running out of tasty hors d’oeuvres and adult beverages at the post-race social.
To learn more about the Halloween and Winter Regattas, visit NYRA.
Halloween spirit is alive and well in boaters and water-lovers all across the country. These five unique celebrations are just a small glimpse into the long list of Halloween boating events held this year, including other regattas, dock parties, boat parades, and much more. Let us know how you’re celebrating Halloween by sharing all of your pictures and videos with us on the boats.com Facebook page.