The Ultimate Guide to Yacht Jazz Nights: Hosting a Musical Sea Voyage

  • by yachtman
  • September 30, 2023 September 20, 2023

yacht jazz music

Hosting a yacht jazz night can be a unique and unforgettable experience, combining the beauty of the sea with the magic of live jazz music. To ensure a successful musical sea voyage, careful planning and attention to detail are essential. This ultimate guide will take you through the steps of hosting a yacht jazz night, from setting the stage to inviting guests and managing logistics.

Setting the Stage: Planning Your Musical Sea Voyage Choosing the Right Yacht: The first step is to select a yacht that can accommodate your guests comfortably and provide the perfect setting for your jazz night. Consider factors like size, amenities, and the overall ambiance of the yacht .

Selecting the Perfect Jazz Band: To create the right atmosphere, it’s crucial to choose a jazz band that suits your preferences and can deliver an unforgettable performance. Research and consult with professionals to find the ideal band for your yacht jazz night.

Creating the Ambiance: Pay attention to the ambiance by considering lighting, decorations, and seating arrangements. Set the tone for the evening by creating a sophisticated and intimate atmosphere on the yacht .

Curating the Playlist: A well-curated playlist is essential for a yacht jazz night. Explore different jazz genres and incorporate other musical styles to create a diverse and enjoyable musical experience for your guests .

Adding the Finishing Touches: Enhance the overall experience by paying attention to details like yacht decorations, planning delicious fine dining options, and organizing engaging activities to keep your guests entertained throughout the evening.

Ensuring Safety and Smooth Sailing: Safety should always be a top priority. Keep a close eye on weather conditions, ensuring that the chosen date aligns with favorable conditions. Prepare for emergency situations and have safety measures in place to ensure a smooth and enjoyable sailing experience .

Inviting Guests and Managing Logistics: Create stylish invitations to set the tone for your yacht jazz night. Arrange transportation for the guests, ensuring a seamless experience from start to finish.

By following this ultimate guide, you can host a remarkable yacht jazz night, offering your guests an unforgettable musical sea voyage that combines the beauty of the sea, the magic of jazz, and the luxury of a yacht.

Key takeaway:

  • Yacht Jazz Nights maximize entertainment: Hosting a musical sea voyage allows you to create a unique and enjoyable experience for your guests.
  • Planning is essential: From choosing the right yacht to curating the perfect playlist and organizing engaging activities, proper planning is crucial for hosting a successful Yacht Jazz Night.
  • Safety first: Ensuring the safety of your guests by keeping track of weather conditions, preparing for emergency situations, and managing logistics such as transportation is paramount.

Setting the Stage: Planning Your Musical Sea Voyage

Are you ready to embark on a musical sea voyage like no other? In this section, we will lay the groundwork for creating the ultimate yacht jazz night experience. From selecting the right yacht to curating the perfect jazz band and setting up the ambiance, we’ve got you covered. So, get ready to set the stage for a memorable evening filled with smooth tunes, breathtaking views, and the gentle waves as your backdrop. Let’s dive in and plan your musical sea voyage!

Choosing the Right Yacht

When it comes to hosting a yacht jazz night , choosing the right yacht is essential for creating the perfect atmosphere. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Size: The size of the yacht will depend on the number of guests you plan to invite. Ensure that the yacht can comfortably accommodate all guests and provide enough space for music, dining, and socializing.
  • Amenities: Look for a yacht that offers the amenities you need for a memorable jazz night, such as a spacious deck for live performances, a fully equipped bar, and comfortable seating areas.
  • Sound system: To ensure optimal acoustics for the jazz music, choose a yacht that is equipped with a high-quality sound system. This will enhance the overall experience for your guests.
  • Design and ambiance: Consider the design and ambiance of the yacht. A sleek and stylish yacht with a luxurious interior can create a sophisticated atmosphere that is perfect for a jazz night.
  • Crew: The crew on board the yacht should be experienced, professional, and friendly. They will play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth running of the event and the comfort of your guests.

Yacht jazz nights have a rich history dating back to the early 20th century. These events became popular during the Jazz Age , when wealthy individuals would host lavish parties on their yachts, featuring live jazz performances. The combination of luxurious surroundings, stunning views, and soulful jazz music created an unforgettable experience for guests. Today, when it comes to hosting a yacht jazz night, choosing the right yacht is essential for creating the perfect atmosphere for a unique and sophisticated way to enjoy live jazz music while cruising on the open seas.

Selecting the Perfect Jazz Band

When it comes to selecting the perfect jazz band for your yacht jazz night, it’s important to consider a few key factors. Here are some crucial points to keep in mind:

  • Genre expertise: When looking for a jazz band for your event, find one that specializes in the specific sub-genre you prefer. Whether it’s swing, bebop, fusion, or smooth jazz, choosing a band with a deep understanding and mastery of your desired style is essential.
  • Experience and reputation: Take into account the jazz band’s experience and reputation within the jazz community. To gauge their professionalism, talent, and ability to entertain, check out their previous performances, reviews, and testimonials.
  • Musical versatility: It can be exciting to have a jazz band that can perform other musical styles alongside jazz. This adds variety and keeps your guests engaged throughout the night. Look for bands skilled in blending jazz with genres like Latin, funk, or blues.
  • Band size: Consider the number of musicians in the band, depending on the size of your yacht and the desired ambiance. While a trio or quartet creates an intimate and relaxed atmosphere, a larger ensemble with additional instruments such as saxophone, trumpet, or percussion brings a fuller and more energetic sound.
  • Interactivity and audience engagement: Look for a band that knows how to engage and interact with the audience. They should be able to create a vibrant and immersive experience, encouraging guests to dance, sing along, or simply enjoy the music in a participatory way.

By taking these factors into account, you can ensure that you select the perfect jazz band, creating an unforgettable musical atmosphere for your yacht jazz night. So, get ready to sail away with the smooth sounds and captivating rhythms of your carefully chosen jazz ensemble.

Creating the Ambiance

Creating the ambiance for a yacht jazz night is crucial to setting the right mood and enhancing the overall experience for your guests. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Lighting: Set up soft and warm lighting to create a cozy and intimate atmosphere on the yacht. Use dimmers or string lights to create a softer glow.
  • Decorations: Choose elegant and classy decorations that reflect the jazz theme. Incorporate elements like vintage-inspired table settings, jazz-inspired artwork, and elegant floral arrangements.
  • Furniture arrangement: Arrange the furniture in a way that encourages conversation and fosters a relaxed vibe. Have comfortable seating areas where guests can gather and enjoy the music.
  • Fragrance: Use subtle and pleasant scents like vanilla or lavender to enhance the ambiance. Consider using scented candles or essential oil diffusers to add a touch of luxury.
  • Sound system: Ensure you have a high-quality sound system to provide clear and crisp sound for the jazz music. Position the speakers strategically to ensure even distribution of sound throughout the yacht.
  • Table settings: Use fine tableware, stylish glassware, and crisp linens to elevate the dining experience. Pay attention to details like folded napkins and elegant place cards.
  • Dress code: Encourage guests to dress in jazz-inspired attire to create a cohesive and festive atmosphere. This can include classy attire with a touch of vintage flair.

Creating the right ambiance for your yacht jazz night will transport your guests to a world of sophistication and musical delight. By paying attention to the details, you can ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Curating the Playlist

When it comes to curating the playlist for your yacht jazz night, there are two key aspects to consider. First, we’ll dive into the exciting world of jazz genres, exploring the unique sounds and rhythms that define this beloved musical genre. Then, we’ll take a detour and discuss the art of incorporating other musical styles into your yacht jazz experience. Get ready to set sail on a musical sea voyage like no other!

Exploring Jazz Genres

When exploring jazz genres, it is vital to immerse oneself in the vast and varied musical styles that compose this mesmerizing genre. Here are some jazz genres that one can delve into:

A true testament to the exploration of jazz genres is the iconic collaboration between Miles Davis and Gil Evans on the album “ Sketches of Spain .” This album, released in 1960, artfully merged jazz with Spanish influences, incorporating elements of classical music. The outcome was a groundbreaking and exquisitely innovative exploration of jazz genres. This collaboration perfectly exemplifies the spirit of experimentation and boundary-pushing that characterizes jazz as a continually evolving art form.

Incorporating Other Musical Styles

When planning a yacht jazz night, it’s crucial to consider the incorporation of other musical styles to seamlessly enhance the diversity and entertainment for your guests. Here are some important factors to keep in mind:

1. Variety: To add depth and excitement to the playlist, make sure to include a fusion of musical genres like blues , soul , funk , or even Latin jazz . This will cater to diverse tastes and maintain an engaging and dynamic atmosphere.

2. Seamlessness: Properly curate the order of songs to ensure a smooth transition between different musical styles. Pay attention to the tempo and energy levels, gradually moving from one style to another for a seamless flow .

3. Collaboration: Encourage collaboration among various musicians or bands to create unique fusions of jazz with different genres. This will create an extraordinary musical experience that will leave a lasting impression on your guests.

4. Audience engagement: Take into account the preferences and musical interests of your guests. Incorporate popular or well-known songs from various genres to ensure that everyone is engaged and enjoys a lively atmosphere.

5. Theme incorporation: If you have a specific theme for the yacht jazz night, align the musical styles with the theme. For example, for a tropical-themed event, include reggae or calypso-inspired jazz to enhance the ambiance.

Pro-tip: Remember to maintain a balance between incorporating other musical styles and staying true to the essence of jazz. Let other genres complement the jazz selections rather than overpower them. The key is to create a diverse and harmonious musical experience that will delight your guests throughout the night.

Adding the Finishing Touches

When it comes to hosting a yacht jazz night, the finishing touches can make all the difference. From transforming the yacht into a glamorous haven to planning a delectable fine dining experience, and organizing engaging activities, this section dives into the key elements that will elevate your musical sea voyage. Get ready to discover the secrets of creating a captivating ambiance, tantalizing taste buds, and creating unforgettable moments on the open waters.

Decorating the Yacht

Decorating the Yacht for your yacht jazz night is a crucial aspect to consider when striving to create the perfect ambiance. To enhance the aesthetic appeal of your yacht, keep the following key considerations in mind:

1. Lighting: Incorporate ambient lighting fixtures to establish a warm and inviting atmosphere on your yacht. Opt for soft, dimmable lights that will contribute to a cozy and intimate setting during the jazz night.

2. Colors and Themes: Choose a color scheme and theme that complements the jazz night experience. Consider elegant and sophisticated colors like navy blue, gold, or black. Infuse elements of jazz music into your décor, such as musical notes or saxophone motifs.

3. Table Settings: Adorn your dining tables with crisp, white tablecloths and elegant tableware. Add jazz-themed centerpieces, such as miniature saxophones or musical instruments, to infuse a touch of creativity.

4. Lounge Areas: Create cozy lounge spaces on the yacht by incorporating plush cushions, throw pillows, and comfortable seating arrangements. Utilize decorative rugs to define the spaces and add a touch of luxury.

5. Floral Arrangements: Spruce up your yacht with beautiful floral arrangements that match the color scheme and theme. Opt for elegant flowers like roses, lilies, or orchids to add a touch of sophistication.

6. Nautical Accents: Enhance the maritime theme of your yacht’s décor by incorporating nautical accents. This can include decorative anchors, ship wheels, or sea-inspired artwork on the walls.

Always bear in mind that the key to decorating the yacht for your jazz night is to create a luxurious and inviting atmosphere that reflects the elegance of both jazz music and the sea. Paying attention to detail and making cohesive design choices will undoubtedly impress your guests and elevate their overall experience.

Planning Delicious Fine Dining

When planning delicious fine dining for your yacht jazz night, there are several factors to consider that will enhance the dining experience for your guests.

1. Menu selection: Carefully craft a menu that showcases a variety of gourmet dishes, incorporating both seafood and meat options to cater to different preferences. Offer a range of flavors, textures, and culinary styles to tantalize the taste buds of your guests.

2. Fresh and quality ingredients: Source the finest ingredients for your dishes to ensure that the flavors are exceptional. Choose fresh seafood, organic produce, and high-quality meats to create dishes that are both delicious and memorable.

3. Creative presentation: Pay attention to the visual appeal of each dish. Present the food in an artistic and aesthetically pleasing manner, using elegant plating techniques to elevate the dining experience. This will not only impress your guests but also enhance their anticipation of the flavors to come.

4. Wine pairing: Consider pairing each course with a suitable wine to complement the flavors and enhance the overall dining experience. Select wines that harmonize with the flavors and profiles of the dishes, providing a well-rounded sensory experience for your guests.

5. Professional service: Ensure that you have a skilled and attentive team of waitstaff onboard to provide impeccable service throughout the dining experience. They should be knowledgeable about the menu, able to answer any questions, and offer recommendations to enhance the dining experience for your guests.

By carefully planning and executing a menu that showcases a variety of gourmet dishes, incorporates both seafood and meat options, sources the finest and freshest ingredients, presents the food in an artistic and pleasing manner, pairs each course with suitable wines, and ensures professional service, you will create a memorable culinary experience that will enhance the overall enjoyment of your yacht jazz night.

Organizing Engaging Activities

When organizing engaging activities for your yacht jazz night, it is important to ensure that there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Live performances: Arrange for live jazz bands or musicians to perform throughout the event. Jazz enthusiasts will appreciate the live music , and it will create a vibrant and energetic atmosphere.
  • Dance lessons: Offer dance lessons to guests who want to learn some jazzy moves . This interactive activity will engage guests and get them involved in the festivities.
  • Jam sessions: Encourage guests to bring their musical instruments and have impromptu jam sessions. This will create a fun and collaborative environment where guests can showcase their musical talents.
  • Storytelling sessions: Invite jazz experts or musicians to share stories and anecdotes about the history and significance of jazz. This activity will not only entertain guests but also educate them about the genre.
  • Art exhibitions: Display jazz-inspired artworks or photographs onboard. This will add an artistic touch to the event and provide guests with something visually appealing to enjoy.
  • Themed costume party: Encourage guests to dress up in jazz-era attire to fully immerse themselves in the ambiance. Host a costume contest and offer prizes for the best-dressed guests.
  • Wine or cocktail tastings: Organize tastings of jazz-inspired cocktails or fine wines to enhance the overall experience. This activity will cater to guests’ preferences for indulgence and relaxation.

Remember, the goal is to cultivate a lively and immersive environment that fully engages guests and enhances their overall enjoyment. With these engaging activities, your yacht jazz night will be an unforgettable experience for all.

Ensuring Safety and Smooth Sailing

Embark on a musical sea voyage with our ultimate guide to yacht jazz nights. In this section, we focus on ensuring safety and smooth sailing throughout your journey. Discover how to stay updated on weather conditions, allowing you to plan and navigate your voyage accordingly. Learn essential techniques for preparing and handling emergency situations. Join us as we dive into the world of oceanic melodies, while keeping safety at the helm of our voyage.

Keeping Track of Weather Conditions

Keeping track of weather conditions is crucial when planning a yacht jazz night to ensure the safety and enjoyment of everyone on board.

  • Monitoring weather forecasts: Regularly check weather forecasts from reliable sources to keep track of weather conditions and stay updated on any changes in weather conditions. Websites, mobile apps, and marine radios can provide accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Paying attention to wind speed and direction: Wind is an important factor to consider when sailing, as it affects the stability and maneuverability of the yacht. High wind speeds can make the journey uncomfortable or unsafe, so it’s important to avoid areas with strong winds.
  • Being aware of precipitation: Rain or storms can dampen the atmosphere of a yacht jazz night. Keeping track of weather conditions , keep an eye on rainfall predictions and consider rescheduling or adjusting plans if heavy rain or storms are expected.
  • Checking for thunderstorms: Thunderstorms can pose a significant risk when on a yacht. Lightning can be dangerous, so it’s important to avoid areas where thunderstorms are forecasted. Consider postponing the event if there is a high chance of thunderstorms.
  • Considering sea conditions: Wave height and sea swells can impact the comfort and safety of guests on the yacht. Avoid areas with rough seas or large waves to ensure a smooth sailing experience.
  • Having a backup plan: Always have a backup plan in case weather conditions become unfavorable. This could include changing the route, adjusting the itinerary, or rescheduling the event. Flexibility is key when dealing with unpredictable weather.

Preparing for Emergency Situations

When preparing for emergency situations on a yacht jazz night, it is vital to follow a set of actions to guarantee the safety and well-being of all individuals on board. Here is a checklist to keep in mind:

  • Conduct a safety briefing: Prior to departure, gather all guests and crew members for a comprehensive safety briefing. Emphasize the location and proper usage of life jackets, emergency exits, and fire extinguishers.
  • Ensure communication devices are in working order: Verify that all communication devices, such as radios or satellite phones, are functioning correctly. These devices will be crucial in case of an emergency.
  • Have a first aid kit on board: Keep a well-stocked first aid kit that includes basic medical supplies, like bandages, antiseptic ointment, and medications for common ailments.
  • Familiarize yourself with emergency procedures: Understand the correct procedures to follow in various emergency situations, such as a fire, man overboard, or a medical emergency. Regularly practice drills to ensure everyone is aware of what to do.
  • Monitor weather conditions: Stay informed about weather updates and forecasts to anticipate any potential storms or rough seas. Adjust the itinerary if necessary to avoid hazardous conditions.
  • Prepare emergency contact information: Create a list of emergency contact numbers, including local coastguard or maritime authorities, to have readily available in case of emergencies.
  • Maintain safety equipment: Regularly inspect and maintain safety equipment on board, such as life rafts, lifebuoys, and flares, to ensure they are in proper working condition.

Remember, safety should always be the top priority during a yacht jazz night. By being well-prepared for emergency situations, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone on board.

Inviting Guests and Managing Logistics

Get ready to host the most unforgettable yacht jazz night! In this section, we’ll dive into the art of inviting guests and managing logistics, ensuring smooth sailing throughout your musical sea voyage. Discover the ins and outs of creating captivating invitations that set the tone for an extraordinary evening. Plus, we’ll explore the essential steps for arranging seamless transportation to and from your grand yacht jazz affair. Let’s embark on this exciting journey and make your event a sensation!

Creating Invitations

When it comes to creating invitations for your yacht jazz night, it’s important to follow a few steps to ensure you get it right:

  • Design selection is key: To set the right tone for your yacht jazz night, choose an invitation design that reflects the theme. Incorporate elements such as musical notes, nautical motifs, or elegant typography.
  • Essential event details: Make sure to include all the necessary information about your yacht jazz night, including the date, time, and location. Clearly indicate whether the event is formal or casual for your guests.
  • Putting jazz in the spotlight: Highlight the jazz aspect of the event by mentioning the talented jazz band that will be performing or including a jazz-inspired image on the invitation.
  • RVSP for convenience: Provide your guests with a convenient way to RSVP, whether it’s through an email address or phone number. Specify a deadline for RSVPs to help with your planning.
  • Don’t forget the extras: If there are any special instructions or requests for your guests, such as a dress code or dietary preferences, be sure to include them in the invitation.
  • Personalize the invitations: Add a personal touch to each invitation by addressing them to the individual guest or couple. Consider including a handwritten note or signature.
  • Effective distribution: Choose whether to send out the invitations by mail or email, depending on the formality of the event and your preference. Allow enough time for the guests to receive and respond to the invitation.

By following these steps, you can create invitations that perfectly capture the essence of your unforgettable yacht jazz night.

Arranging Transportation

  • When arranging transportation for your yacht jazz night, be sure to contact a reputable yacht charter company.
  • Discuss the number of guests and your desired pick-up and drop-off points with the company.
  • To ensure a seamless and stylish arrival, consider hiring a luxury limousine service for your guests.
  • If your yacht is in a marina, coordinate with the charter company for shuttle services from a designated meeting point.
  • For an extravagant experience, you can opt for a helicopter transfer service.
  • Make sure the transportation company you choose is licensed and insured .
  • Communicate all transportation details in advance to your guests, including the meeting point, pick-up time, and instructions.
  • Consider providing transportation options for guests who may require special assistance .
  • Arrange transportation back to their respective locations after the yacht jazz night concludes.
  • Confirm all transportation arrangements with the service providers a few days before the event to avoid last-minute complications.

By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free transportation experience for your guests, allowing them to fully enjoy the yacht jazz night without any transportation worries.

  • ✅ Yacht Jazz Nights is a popular event on board Virgin Voyages’ ships. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Guests are treated to live jazz performances while cruising on the sea. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ The event creates a unique atmosphere with a fusion of music and nautical experience. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Yacht Jazz Nights offer a variety of jazz styles, including traditional, contemporary, and fusion jazz. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ The Ultimate Guide provides tips and suggestions on how to host a successful Yacht Jazz Night event. (Source: Our Team)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the live performance space offered on virgin voyages.

Virgin Voyages provides the Red Room, a versatile theater that can be transformed to host various performances.

Is there a nightclub available on board?

Yes, Virgin Voyages offers The Manor, an alluring nightclub where guests can enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and dance the night away.

Can I find classic albums for purchase on the cruise?

Yes, Voyage Vinyl is a record shop on the ship that is stocked with a collection of both classic and current albums.

Are there any private karaoke options available?

Absolutely! The Groupie is a private karaoke room onboard where you can have an unforgettable karaoke experience with your friends.

What entertainment is provided at Scarlet Night?

Scarlet Night is a themed event where guests are encouraged to wear red and enjoy live performances, creating a vibrant atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.

Can I experience gaming and lounge areas on the ship?

Yes, The Casino on board offers both gaming and lounge areas, providing a thrilling and luxurious gambling experience.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Myleene Klass 4pm - 7pm

Now Playing

Dawning Light of Sun Download 'Dawning' on iTunes

The 20 greatest yacht rock songs ever, ranked

27 July 2022, 17:50

The greatest yacht rock songs ever

By Tom Eames

Facebook share

We can picture it now: lounging on a swish boat as it bobs along the water, sipping cocktails and improving our tan. Oh, and it's the 1980s.

There's only one style of music that goes with this image: Yacht rock.

What is Yacht Rock?

Also known as the West Coast Sound or adult-oriented rock, it's a style of soft rock from between the late 1970s and early 1980s that featured elements of smooth soul, smooth jazz, R&B, funk, rock and disco.

  • The 40 greatest disco songs ever, ranked
  • The 10 greatest and smoothest ever sax solos, ranked

Although its name has been used in a negative way, to us it's an amazing genre that makes us feel like we're in an episode of Miami Vice wearing shoulder pads and massive sunglasses.

Here are the very best songs that could be placed in this genre:

Player - 'Baby Come Back'

yacht jazz music

Player - Baby Come Back

Not the reggae classic of the same name, this 1977 track was Player's biggest hit.

After Player disbanded, singer Peter Beckett joined Australia's Little River Band, and he also wrote 'Twist of Fate' for Olivia Newton-John and 'After All This Time' for Kenny Rogers.

Steely Dan - 'FM'

yacht jazz music

It's tough just choosing one Steely Dan song for this list, but we've gone for this banger.

Used as the theme tune for the 1978 movie of the same name, the song is jazz-rock track, though its lyrics took a disapproving look at the genre as a whole, which was in total contrast to the film's celebration of it. Still, sounds great guys!

Bobby Goldsboro - 'Summer (The First Time)'

yacht jazz music

Bobby Goldsboro - Summer (The First Time)

A bit of a questionable subject matter, this ballad was about a 17-year-old boy’s first sexual experience with a 31-year-old woman at the beach.

But using a repeating piano riff, 12-string guitar, and an orchestral string arrangement, this song just screams yacht rock and all that is great about it.

Kenny Loggins - 'Heart to Heart'

yacht jazz music

Kenny Loggins - Heart To Heart (Official Music Video)

If Michael McDonald is the king of yacht rock, then Kenny Loggins is his trusted advisor and heir to the throne.

This track was co-written with Michael, and also features him on backing vocals. The song is about how most relationships do not stand the test of time, yet some are able to do so.

Airplay - 'Nothing You Can Do About It'

yacht jazz music

Nothin' You Can Do About It

You might not remember US band Airplay, but they did have their moment on the yacht.

Consisting of David Foster (who also co-wrote the Kenny Loggins song above), Jay Graydon and the brilliantly-named Tommy Funderburk, this tune was a cover of a Manhattan Transfer song, and was a minor hit in 1981.

Boz Scaggs - 'Lowdown'

yacht jazz music

Boz Scaggs - Lowdown (Official Audio)

We've moved slightly into smooth jazz territory with this track, which is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

The song was co-written by David Paich, who would go on to form Toto along with the song's keyboardist David Paich, session bassist David Hungate, and drummer Jeff Porcaro.

Steve Winwood - 'Valerie'

yacht jazz music

Steve Winwood - Valerie (Official Video)

This song is probably as far as you can get into pop rock without totally leaving the yacht rock dock.

Legendary singer-songwriter Winwood recorded this gong about a man reminiscing about a lost love he hopes to find again someday.

Eric Prydz later sampled it in 2004 for the house number one track ‘Call on Me’, and presented it to Winwood, who was so impressed he re-recorded the vocals to better fit the track.

Toto - 'Rosanna'

yacht jazz music

Toto - Rosanna (Official HD Video)

We almost picked 'Africa' , but we reckon this tune just about pips it in the yacht rock game.

Written by David Paich, he has said that the song is based on numerous girls he had known.

As a joke, the band members initially played along with the common assumption that the song was based on actress Rosanna Arquette, who was dating Toto keyboard player Steve Porcaro at the time and coincidentally had the same name.

Chicago - 'Hard to Say I'm Sorry'

yacht jazz music

Chicago - Hard To Say I'm Sorry (Official Music Video)

Chicago began moving away from their horn-driven soft rock sound with their early 1980s output, including this synthesizer-filled power ballad.

  • The 10 greatest Chicago songs, ranked

The album version segued into a more traditional Chicago upbeat track titled ‘Get Away’, but most radio stations at the time opted to fade out the song before it kicked in. Three members of Toto played on the track. Those guys are yacht rock kings!

Michael Jackson - 'Human Nature'

yacht jazz music

Michael Jackson - Human Nature (Audio)

A few non-rock artists almost made this list ( George Michael 's 'Careless Whisper' and Spandau Ballet 's 'True' are almost examples, but not quite), yet a big chunk of Thriller heavily relied on the yacht rock sound.

Michael Jackson proved just how popular the genre could get with several songs on the album, but 'Human Nature' is the finest example.

The Doobie Brothers - 'What a Fool Believes'

yacht jazz music

The Doobie Brothers - What A Fool Believes (Official Music Video)

Possibly THE ultimate yacht rock song on the rock end of the spectrum, and it's that man Michael McDonald.

Written by McDonald and Kenny Loggins, this was one of the few non-disco hits in America in the first eight months of 1979.

The song tells the story of a man who is reunited with an old love interest and attempts to rekindle a romantic relationship with her before discovering that one never really existed.

Michael Jackson once claimed he contributed at least one backing track to the original recording, but was not credited for having done so. This was later denied by the band.

Christopher Cross - 'Sailing'

yacht jazz music

Christopher Cross - Sailing (Official Audio)

We're not putting this in here just because it's called 'Sailing', it's also one of the ultimate examples of the genre.

Christopher Cross reached number one in the US in 1980, and VH1 later named it the most "softsational soft rock" song of all time.

Don Henley - 'The Boys of Summer'

yacht jazz music


Mike Campbell wrote the music to this track while working on Tom Petty’s Southern Accents album, but later gave it to Eagles singer Don Henley, who wrote the lyrics.

The song is about the passing of youth and entering middle age, and of a past relationship. It was covered twice in the early 2000s: as a trance track by DJ Sammy in 2002, and as a pop punk hit by The Ataris in 2003.

England Dan and John Cord Foley - 'I'd Really Love to See You Tonight'

yacht jazz music

England Dan & John Ford Coley - I'd Really Love To See You Tonight.avi

A big hit for this duo in 1976, it showcases the very best of the sock rock/AOR/yacht rock sound that the 1970s could offer.

Dan Seals is the younger brother of Jim Seals of Seals and Crofts fame. Which leads to...

Seals & Crofts - 'Summer Breeze'

yacht jazz music

Summer Breeze - Seals & Croft #1 Hit(1972)

Before The Isley Brothers recorded a slick cover, 'Summer Breeze' was an irresistible folk pop song by Seals & Crofts.

While mostly a folk song, its summer vibes and gorgeous melody make for a perfect yacht rock number.

Christopher Cross - 'Ride Like the Wind'

yacht jazz music

Ride Like The Wind Promo Video 1980 Christopher Cross

If Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins are in charge of the yacht rock ship, then Christopher Cross has to be captain, right? Cabin boy? Something anyway.

The singer was arguably the biggest success story of the relatively short-lived yacht rock era, and this one still sounds incredible.

Eagles - 'I Can't Tell You Why'

yacht jazz music

The eagles - I can't tell you why (AUDIO VINYL)

Many Eagles tunes could be classed as yacht rock, but we reckon their finest example comes from this track from their The Long Run album in 1979.

Don Henley described the song as "straight Al Green", and that Glenn Frey, an R&B fan, was responsible for the R&B feel of the song. Frey said to co-writer Timothy B Schmit: "You could sing like Smokey Robinson . Let’s not do a Richie Furay, Poco-sounding song. Let’s do an R&B song."

Gerry Rafferty - 'Baker Street'

yacht jazz music

Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street (Official Video)

Gerry Rafferty probably didn't realise he was creating one of the greatest yacht rock songs of all time when he wrote this, but boy did he.

  • The Story of... 'Baker Street'

With the right blend of rock and pop and the use of the iconic saxophone solo, you can't not call this yacht rock at its finest.

Michael McDonald - 'Sweet Freedom'

yacht jazz music

Michael McDonald - Sweet Freedom (1986)

If you wanted to name the king of yacht rock, you'd have to pick Michael McDonald . He could sing the phone book and it would sound silky smooth.

Possibly his greatest solo tune, it was used in the movie  Running Scared , and its music video featured actors Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines.

Hall & Oates - 'I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)'

yacht jazz music

Daryl Hall & John Oates - I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) (Official Video)

This duo knew how to make catchy hit after catchy hit. This R&B-tinged pop tune was co-written with Sara Allen (also the influence for their song 'Sara Smile').

  • Hall and Oates' 10 best songs, ranked

John Oates has said that the song is actually about the music business. "That song is really about not being pushed around by big labels, managers, and agents and being told what to do, and being true to yourself creatively."

Not only was the song sampled in De La Soul's 'Say No Go' and Simply Red 's 'Home', but Michael Jackson also admitted that he lifted the bass line for 'Billie Jean'!

More Song Lists

See more More Song Lists

Shania Twain's 10 best songs ever, ranked

The 100 greatest movie songs of all time, ranked, the greatest oscars music performances of all time, ranked, mother's day: 10 of the greatest and emotional songs about mums, the 30 greatest female singers of all time, ranked in order of pure vocal ability, more features.

See more More Features

When Barry Gibb invited his son and Maurice's daughter on stage for emotional revival of 'Stayin' Alive'

When celine dion paid emotional tribute to the bee gees with poignant rendition of 'immortality'.

Celine Dion

When Shania Twain wowed on her TV debut as a plucky 14-year old

Shania Twain

Glastonbury Festival 2024: Lineup, headliners, legends slot, dates and re-sale tickets revealed

The story of... 'i will always love you' by dolly parton and whitney houston, smooth playlists, smooth's all time top 500, smooth soul, smooth country hot hits, smooth chill concentration, smooth podcast picks, they don't teach this at school with myleene klass, take that: this life, runpod with jenni falconer, the news agents.

Relaxing Smooth Jazz Music and Crackling Fireplace

August 18, 2022 17 Songs, 1 hour, 12 minutes ℗ 2022 Gold Jazz Records

More By Yes Jazz

Select a country or region, africa, middle east, and india.

  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Congo, The Democratic Republic Of The
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Niger (English)
  • Congo, Republic of
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania, United Republic Of
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Arab Emirates

Asia Pacific

  • Indonesia (English)
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Malaysia (English)
  • Micronesia, Federated States of
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Solomon Islands
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • France (Français)
  • Deutschland
  • Luxembourg (English)
  • Moldova, Republic Of
  • North Macedonia
  • Portugal (Português)
  • Türkiye (English)
  • United Kingdom

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina (Español)
  • Bolivia (Español)
  • Virgin Islands, British
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chile (Español)
  • Colombia (Español)
  • Costa Rica (Español)
  • República Dominicana
  • Ecuador (Español)
  • El Salvador (Español)
  • Guatemala (Español)
  • Honduras (Español)
  • Nicaragua (Español)
  • Paraguay (Español)
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • St. Vincent and The Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos
  • Uruguay (English)
  • Venezuela (Español)

The United States and Canada

  • Canada (English)
  • Canada (Français)
  • United States
  • Estados Unidos (Español México)
  • الولايات المتحدة
  • États-Unis (Français France)
  • Estados Unidos (Português Brasil)
  • 美國 (繁體中文台灣)

Toggle Events Categories

Browse by Boat

  • Schooner Adirondack (7)
  • Schooner America 2.0 (8)
  • Yacht Full Moon (7)
  • Yacht Kingston (5)
  • Yacht Manhattan or Manhattan II (29)

Browse by Location

  • Chelsea Piers (48)
  • North Cove Marina at WTC (5)

Browse by Theme

  • 4th of July (8)
  • Architecture (5)
  • Around Manhattan (6)
  • Christmas in NYC (11)
  • City Lights Sails/Cruises (14)
  • Day Sails/Cruises (27)
  • Fall Foliage (6)
  • Family Friendly (18)
  • Fireworks Cruises (9)
  • Food Cruises (10)
  • Full Circumnavigations (6)
  • Holiday Cruises (12)
  • Hudson River Cruises (12)
  • Livestream Series (13)
  • Lower Manhattan (33)
  • Mini Yachts (10)
  • Music Cruises (5)
  • Narrated Cruises (8)
  • New Years Eve (7)
  • New York SailGP (0)
  • NYC PRIDE (2)
  • Romantic Sails/Cruises (20)
  • Sailing (12)
  • Sightseeing Cruise (40)
  • Statue of Liberty Cruises (39)
  • Sunset Sails/Cruises (16)
  • Valentine’s Day (7)
  • Wine Cruises (5)
  • Winter Sightseeing Cruises (6)
  • Terms and Conditions

NYC Jazz Cruise

VIEW ONLINE CALENDAR Call to order 212-627-1825 -->

Music Cruises

For our NYC Jazz Cruise our in house Jazz Trio — Boat Band will perform throughout the week on yacht Manhattan or Schooner America 2.0 . 

This is the perfect NYC date idea whether you are a visitor in town for the weekend or a local looking for something new.  Join us and enjoy an evening on the water for a romantic night cruise.  Let our most professional crew cater to you on this fabulous boat ride.

Looking for some romance?  Join us aboard the 105 foot schooner America 2.0 for a live Jazz City Lights Sail.  Sit under the star filled sky and listen to tunes by the “Boat Band”. 

Which ever cruise you choose, our yachts will give you a whole new perspective of this stunning city and will keep you coming back for more. So sit back and relax and enjoy a NYC Music Cruise while live musicians accompany the evening! 

Three jazz band members playing jazz on the deck of the Yacht Manhattan for a Evening Jazz Cruise

-->Evening Jazz Cruise -->

Cruise New York City’s famous harbor aboard the luxury 1920s style yacht Manhattan or Manhattan II while listening to live jazz music by the Classic Harbor Line Jazz Trio, The Boat Band! Learn more about our NYC Jazz Cruise !  This is truly the perfect way to start your evening and relax to the soothing sound of the jazz. 

Jazz Sail NYC

-->Live Jazz Sunset Sail -->

Join us for a magical evening of live jazz aboard the decks of our stunning 105 foot schooner.  Sit back and relax with a glass of Champagne in hand and glide through NY Harbor with the magical sun setting behind the Statue of Liberty.  This sail is perfect for date night or a group of friends looking to do something unique. Enjoy a live Jazz trio from the decks of this elegant schooner.  

Cocoa and Carols themed boat interior, with families gathered inside

-->Cocoa and Carols Holiday Cruise -->

Please join us for this special warm and cozy cruise with your friends, family, and all your loved ones during the Holiday Season. Join us inside the toasty solarium in full holiday decor for a one hour and thirty minute cruise to see the New York City lights. Listen to Holiday songs backed by a live band!  One complimentary drink of Beer, Wine, Champagne or Delicious Hot Cocoa (Spiked if you please), Cookies, and treats for all our guests are included! (**Additional Drinks are available for purchase)   This is a NYC Holiday cruise that you just can’t miss! (Children tickets are available on early departure times) 

Click Here to Watch the Video

several band members on a stage performing music on the Yacht Manhattan II

-->Holiday Jazz Cruise -->

Join us aboard our luxury Yacht Manhattan II in full holiday decor and join us for our romantic Holiday Jazz Cruise.  Enjoy this 1.5 hour cruise with your loved one and a glass of Champagne in hand.  See the city lights twinkle at night as you cozy up for an evening out in NY Harbor aboard a luxury yacht.  A complimentary beer, wine, hot cocoa (spiked if you please) or champagne from the bar is offered on all trips. Additional drinks are available for purchase.

New Year's Eve Fireworks Cruise aboard the Yacht Manhattan II. Couple dancing with decorations in the background.

-->New Year’s Eve Fireworks Champagne Tasting Cruise with hors d’ oeuvres and bar! -->

Join us in your finest formal-wear for a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration aboard the yacht Northern Lights, and experience a comfortable and unique Manhattan waterways cruise through the Hudson and East Rivers. Enjoy a champagne/sparkling glass of wine at boarding to set the celebration in motion. Throughout this 3.5 hour cruise enjoy a 5-glass flight of Champagne, along with passed hors d’ oeuvres, a buffet of displays,  an open standard bar and our Live Jazz Trio the “Sound Waves”! And, of course, don’t forget the New York Harbor Fireworks at midnight from the decks of our intimate and elegant 1920s style yacht.


Gift certificates, see our calendar of events, private charters.

Private Charters

Sail out into NY Harbor and impress your guests. Step aboard one of our classic vessels for a private charter. These yachts are perfect for Corporate outings, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Weddings, Team Building and more. Read more »


Public events

  • Private Yacht Charters
  • Ticketed Cruises
  • America 2.0
  • Manhattan II
  • Architecture
  • Romantic Sails/Cruises
  • Sightseeing Cruise
  • Around Manhattan
  • Sunset Sails/Cruises
  • Holiday Cruises
  • Fall Foliage
  • Press/Video
  • Buy Tickets
  • Contact / Directions
  • Our NY Locations
  • All Locations
  • Information/Rates
  • Meetings & Conferences
  • NYC TV, Film, Photo & Fashion Shoots
  • Fundraisers & Galas
  • Hudson River Cruises
  • Tour Operators
  • NYC Ferry or Transportation by Boat
  • Take to the water and fall in love all over again.
  • Accessibility
  • Contact Classic Harbor Line: 212-627-1825
  • Tickets: 212-627-1825

Copyright © 2024 Classic Harbor Line Chelsea Piers, Suite 103 New York, NY 10011 | Powered by Diedrich RPM.


Back to top

yacht jazz music

  • Black Crowes Albums Ranked
  • Ross Valory on Journey Split
  • Bon Jovi's Contact With Sambora
  • April New Music Releases
  • Rock Stars Who Were Murdered
  • Bon Jovi Uncertain About Touring

Ultimate Classic Rock

Top 50 Yacht Rock Songs

Yacht rock was one of the most commercially successful genres to emerge from the '70s and yet has managed to evade concise definition since its inception. For many listeners, it boils down to a feeling or mood that cannot be found in other kinds of music: Simply put, you know it when you hear it.

Some agreed-upon elements are crucial to yacht rock. One is its fluidity, with more emphasis on a catchy, easy-feeling melody than on beat or rhythm. Another is a generally lighthearted attitude in the lyrics. Think Seals & Crofts ' "Summer Breeze," Christopher Cross ' "Ride Like the Wind" or Bill Withers ' "Just the Two of Us." Yes, as its label suggests, music that would fit perfectly being played from the deck of a luxurious boat on the high seas.

But even these roughly outlined "rules" can be flouted and still considered yacht rock. Plenty of bands that are typically deemed "nyacht" rock have made their attempts at the genre: Crosby, Stills & Nash got a bit nautical with "Southern Cross," leading with their famed tightly knit harmonies, and Fleetwood Mac also entered yacht rock territory with "Dreams" – which, although lyrically dour, offers a sense of melody in line with yacht rock.

Given its undefined parameters, the genre has become one of music's most expansive corners. From No. 1 hits to deeper-cut gems, we've compiled a list of 50 Top Yacht Rock Songs to set sail to below.

50. "Thunder Island," Jay Ferguson (1978)

Younger generations might be more apt to recognize Jay Ferguson from his score for NBC's The Office , where he also portrayed the guitarist in Kevin Malone's band Scrantonicity. But Ferguson's musical roots go back to the '60s band Spirit; he was also in a group with one of the future members of Firefall, signaling a '70s-era shift toward yacht rock and "Thunder Island." The once-ubiquitous single began its steady ascent in October 1977 before reaching the Top 10 in April of the following year. Producer Bill Szymczyk helped it get there by bringing in his buddy Joe Walsh for a soaring turn on the slide. The best showing Ferguson had after this, however, was the quickly forgotten 1979 Top 40 hit "Shakedown Cruise." (Nick DeRiso)

49. "Southern Cross," Crosby, Stills & Nash (1982)

CSN's "Southern Cross" was an example of a more literal interpretation of yacht rock, one in which leftover material was revitalized by Stephen Stills . He sped up the tempo of a song titled " Seven League Boots " originally penned by brothers Rick and Michael Curtis, then laid in new lyrics about, yes, an actual boat ride. "I rewrote a new set of words and added a different chorus, a story about a long boat trip I took after my divorce," Stills said in the liner notes  to 1991's CSN box. "It's about using the power of the universe to heal your wounds." The music video for the song, which went into heavy rotation on MTV, also prominently displayed the band members aboard a large vessel. (Allison Rapp)

48. "Jackie Blue," the Ozark Mountain Daredevils (1974)

Drummer Larry Lee only had a rough idea of what he wanted to do with "Jackie Blue," originally naming it after a bartending dope pusher. For a long time, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils' best-known single remained an instrumental with the place-keeper lyric, " Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh Jackie Blue. He was dada, and dada doo. He did this, he did that ... ." Producer Glyn Johns, who loved the track, made a key suggestion – and everything finally snapped into place: "No, no, no, mate," Johns told them. "Jackie Blue has to be a girl." They "knocked some new lyrics out in about 30 minutes," Lee said in It Shined: The Saga of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils . "[From] some drugged-out guy, we changed Jackie into a reclusive girl." She'd go all the way to No. 3. (DeRiso)

47. "Sailing," Christopher Cross (1979)

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more quintessential yacht rock song than “Sailing.” The second single (and first chart-topper) off Christopher Cross’ 1979 self-titled debut offers an intoxicating combination of dreamy strings, singsong vocals and shimmering, open-tuned guitar arpeggios that pay deference to Cross’ songwriting idol, Joni Mitchell . “These tunings, like Joni used to say, they get you in this sort of trance,” Cross told Songfacts in 2013. “The chorus just sort of came out. … So I got up and wandered around the apartment just thinking, ‘Wow, that's pretty fuckin' great.’” Grammy voters agreed: “Sailing” won Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Arrangement at the 1981 awards. (Bryan Rolli)

46. "Just the Two of Us," Bill Withers and Grover Washington Jr. (1980)

A collaboration between singer Bill Withers and saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. resulted in the sleek "Just the Two of Us." When first approached with the song, Withers insisted on reworking the lyrics. "I'm a little snobbish about words," he said in 2004 . "I said, 'Yeah, if you'll let me go in and try to dress these words up a little bit.' Everybody that knows me is kind of used to me that way. I probably threw in the stuff like the crystal raindrops. The 'Just the Two of Us' thing was already written. It was trying to put a tuxedo on it." The track was completed with some peppy backing vocals and a subtle slap bass part. (Rapp)

45. "Sara Smile," Daryl Hall & John Oates (1975)

It doesn't get much smoother than "Sara Smile," Daryl Hall & John Oates ' first Top 10 hit in the U.S. The song was written for Sara Allen, Hall's longtime girlfriend, whom he had met when she was working as a flight attendant. His lead vocal, which was recorded live, is clear as a bell on top of a velvety bass line and polished backing vocals that nodded to the group's R&B influences. “It was a song that came completely out of my heart," Hall said in 2018 . "It was a postcard. It’s short and sweet and to the point." Hall and Allen stayed together for almost 30 years before breaking up in 2001. (Rapp)

44. "Rosanna," Toto (1982)

One of the most identifiable hits of 1982 was written by Toto co-founder David Paich – but wasn't about Rosanna Arquette, as some people have claimed, even though keyboardist Steve Porcaro was dating the actress at the time. The backbeat laid down by drummer Jeff Porcaro – a "half-time shuffle" similar to what John Bonham played on " Fool in the Rain " – propels the track, while vocal harmonies and emphatic brass sections add further layers. The result is an infectious and uplifting groove – yacht rock at its finest. (Corey Irwin)

43. "Diamond Girl," Seals & Crofts (1973)

Seals & Crofts were soft-rock stylists with imagination, dolling up their saccharine melodies with enough musical intrigue to survive beyond the seemingly obvious shelf life. Granted, the lyrics to “Diamond Girl,” one of the duo’s three No. 6 hits, are as sterile as a surgery-operating room, built on pseudo-romantic nothing-isms ( “Now that I’ve found you, it’s around you that I am” — what a perfectly natural phrase!). But boy, oh boy does that groove sound luxurious beaming out of a hi-fi system, with every nuance — those stacked backing vocals, that snapping piano — presented in full analog glory. (Ryan Reed)

42. "What You Won't Do for Love," Bobby Caldwell (1978)

Smooth. From the opening horn riffs and the soulful keyboard to the funk bass and the velvety vocals of Bobby Caldwell, everything about “What You Won’t Do for Love” is smooth. Released in September 1978, the track peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went on to become the biggest hit of Caldwell’s career. It was later given a second life after being sampled for rapper 2Pac's posthumously released 1998 hit single “Do for Love.” (Irwin)

41. "We Just Disagree," Dave Mason (1977)

Dave Mason's ace in the hole on the No. 12 smash "We Just Disagree" was Jim Krueger, who composed the track, shared the harmony vocal and played that lovely guitar figure. "It was a song that when he sang it to me, it was like, 'Yeah, that's the song,'" Mason told Greg Prato in 2014. "Just him and a guitar, which is usually how I judge whether I'm going to do something. If it holds up like that, I'll put the rest of the icing on it." Unfortunately, the multitalented Krueger died of pancreatic cancer at age 43. By then, Mason had disappeared from the top of the charts, never getting higher than No. 39 again. (DeRiso)

40. "Crazy Love," Poco (1978)

Rusty Young was paneling a wall when inspiration struck. He'd long toiled in the shadow of Stephen Stills , Richie Furay and Neil Young , serving in an instrumentalist role with Buffalo Springfield and then Poco . "Crazy Love" was his breakout moment, and he knew it. Rusty Young presented the song before he'd even finished the lyric, but his Poco bandmates loved the way the stopgap words harmonized. "I told the others, 'Don't worry about the ' ooh, ooh, ahhhh haaa ' part. I can find words for that," Young told the St. Louis Dispatch in 2013. "And they said, 'Don't do that. That's the way it's supposed to be.'" It was: Young's first big vocal became his group's only Top 20 hit. (DeRiso)

39. "Suspicions," Eddie Rabbitt (1979)

Eddie Rabbitt 's move from country to crossover stardom was hurtled along by "Suspicions," as a song about a cuckold's worry rose to the Top 20 on both the pop and adult-contemporary charts. Behind the scenes, there was an even clearer connection to yacht rock: Co-writer Even Stevens said Toto's David Hungate played bass on the date. As important as it was for his career, Rabbitt later admitted that he scratched out "Suspicions" in a matter of minutes, while on a lunch break in the studio on the last day of recording his fifth album at Wally Heider's Los Angeles studio. "Sometimes," Rabbitt told the Associated Press in 1985, "the words just fall out of my mouth." (DeRiso)

38. "Moonlight Feels Right," Starbuck (1976)

No sound in rock history is more yacht friendly than Bruce Blackman’s laugh: hilarious, arbitrary, smug, speckled with vocal fry, arriving just before each chorus of Starbuck’s signature tune. Why is this human being laughing? Shrug. Guess the glow of night will do that to you. Then again, this is one of the more strange hits of the '70s — soft-pop hooks frolicking among waves of marimba and synthesizers that could have been plucked from a classic prog epic. “ The eastern moon looks ready for a wet kiss ,” Blackman croons, “ to make the tide rise again .” It’s a lunar make-out session, baby. (Reed)

37. "Same Old Lang Syne," Dan Fogelberg (1981)

“Same Old Lang Syne” is a masterclass in economic storytelling, and its tragedy is in the things both protagonists leave unsaid. Dan Fogelberg weaves a devastating tale of two former lovers who run into each other at a grocery store on Christmas Eve and spend the rest of the night catching up and reminiscing. Their circumstances have changed — he’s a disillusioned professional musician, she’s stuck in an unhappy marriage — but their love for each other is still palpable if only they could overcome their fears and say it out loud. They don’t, of course, and when Fogelberg bids his high-school flame adieu, he’s left with only his bittersweet memories and gnawing sense of unfulfillment to keep him warm on that snowy (and later rainy) December night. (Rolli)

36. "Eye in the Sky," the Alan Parsons Project (1982)

Few songs strike a chord with both prog nerds and soft-rock enthusiasts, but the Alan Parsons Project's “Eye in the Sky” belongs to that exclusive club. The arrangement is all smooth contours and pillowy textures: By the time Eric Woolfson reaches the chorus, shyly emoting about romantic deception over a bed of Wurlitzer keys and palm-muted riffs, the effect is like falling slow motion down a waterfall onto a memory foam mattress. But there’s artfulness here, too, from Ian Bairnson’s seductive guitar solo to the titular phrase conjuring some kind of god-like omniscience. (Reed)

35. "Somebody's Baby," Jackson Browne (1982)

Jackson Browne 's highest-charting single, and his last Top 10 hit, was originally tucked away on the soundtrack for the 1982 teen comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High . That placed Browne, one of the most earnest of singer-songwriters, firmly out of his element. "It was not typical of what Jackson writes at all, that song," co-composer Danny Kortchmar told Songfacts in 2013. "But because it was for this movie, he changed his general approach and came up with this fantastic song." Still unsure of how it would fit in, Browne refused to place "Somebody's Baby" on his next proper album – something he'd later come to regret . Lawyers in Love broke a string of consecutive multiplatinum releases dating back to 1976. (DeRiso)

34. "Still the One," Orleans (1976)

Part of yacht rock’s charm is being many things but only to a small degree. Songs can be jazzy, but not experimental. Brass sections are great but don’t get too funky. And the songs should rock, but not rock . In that mold comes Orleans’ 1976 hit “Still the One.” On top of a chugging groove, frontman John Hall sings about a romance that continues to stand the test of time. This love isn’t the white-hot flame that leaves passionate lovers burned – more like a soft, medium-level heat that keeps things comfortably warm. The tune is inoffensive, catchy and fun, aka yacht-rock gold. (Irwin)

33. "New Frontier," Donald Fagen (1982)

In which an awkward young man attempts to spark a Cold War-era fling — then, hopefully, a longer, post-apocalyptic relationship — via bomb shelter bunker, chatting up a “big blond” with starlet looks and a soft spot for Dave Brubeck. Few songwriters could pull off a lyrical concept so specific, and almost no one but Donald Fagen could render it catchy. “New Frontier,” a signature solo cut from the Steely Dan maestro, builds the sleek jazz-funk of Gaucho into a more digital-sounding landscape, with Fagen stacking precise vocal harmonies over synth buzz and bent-note guitar leads. (Reed)

32. "Sail On, Sailor," the Beach Boys (1973)

The Beach Boys were reworking a new album when Van Dyke Parks handed them this updated version of an unfinished Brian Wilson song. All that was left was to hand the mic over to Blondie Chaplin for his greatest-ever Beach Boys moment. They released "Sail On, Sailor" twice, however, and this yearning groover somehow barely cracked the Top 50. Chaplin was soon out of the band, too. It's a shame. "Sail On, Sailor" remains the best example of how the Beach Boys' elemental style might have kept growing. Instead, Chaplin went on to collaborate with the Band , Gene Clark of the  Byrds  and the Rolling Stones – while the Beach Boys settled into a lengthy tenure as a jukebox band. (DeRiso)

31. "Time Passages," Al Stewart (1978)

Al Stewart followed up the first hit single of his decade-long career – 1976's "Year of the Cat" – with a more streamlined take two years later. "Time Passages" bears a similar structure to the earlier track, including a Phil Kenzie sax solo and production by Alan Parsons. While both songs' respective album and single versions coincidentally run the same time, the 1978 hit's narrative wasn't as convoluted and fit more squarely into pop radio playlists. "Time Passages" became Stewart's highest-charting single, reaching No. 7 – while "Year of the Cat" had stalled at No. 8. (Michael Gallucci)

30. "I Go Crazy," Paul Davis (1977)

Paul Davis looked like he belonged in the Allman Brothers Band , but his soft, soulful voice took him in a different direction. The slow-burning nature of his breakthrough single "I Go Crazy" was reflected in its chart performance: For years the song held the record for the most weeks spent on the chart, peaking at No. 7 during its 40-week run. Davis, who died in 2008, took five more songs into the Top 40 after 1977, but "I Go Crazy" is his masterpiece – a wistful and melancholic look back at lost love backed by spare, brokenhearted verses. (Gallucci)

29. "Biggest Part of Me," Ambrosia (1980)

Songwriter David Pack taped the original demo of this song on a reel-to-reel when everyone else was running late, finishing just in time: "I was waiting for my family to get in the car so I could go to a Fourth of July celebration in Malibu," he told the Tennessean in 2014. "I turned off my machine [and] heard the car horn honking for me." Still, Pack was worried that the hastily written first verse – which rhymed " arisin ,'" " horizon " and " realizin '" – might come off a little corny. So he followed the time-honored yacht-rock tradition of calling in Michael McDonald to sing heartfelt background vocals. Result: a Top 5 hit on both the pop and adult-contemporary charts. (DeRiso)

28. "Africa," Toto (1982)

Remove the cover versions, the nostalgia sheen and its overuse in TV and films, and you’re left with what makes “Africa” great: one of the best earworm choruses in music history. Never mind that the band is made up of white guys from Los Angeles who'd never visited the titular continent. Verses about Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti paint a picture so vivid that listeners are swept away. From the soaring vocals to the stirring synth line, every element of the song works perfectly. There’s a reason generations of music fans continue to proudly bless the rains. (Irwin)

27. "Hello It's Me," Todd Rundgren (1972)

“Hello It’s Me” is the first song Todd Rundgren ever wrote, recorded by his band Nazz and released in 1968. He quickened the tempo, spruced up the instrumentation and delivered a more urgent vocal for this 1972 solo rendition (which became a Top 5 U.S. hit), but the bones of the tune remain the same. “Hello It’s Me” is a wistful, bittersweet song about the dissolution of a relationship between two people who still very much love and respect each other a clear-eyed breakup ballad lacking the guile, cynicism and zaniness of Rundgren’s later work. “The reason those [early] songs succeeded was because of their derivative nature,” Rundgren told Guitar World in 2021. “They plugged so easily into audience expectations. They’re easily absorbed.” That may be so, but there’s still no denying the airtight hooks and melancholy beauty of “Hello It’s Me.” (Rolli)

26. "Smoke From a Distant Fire," the Sanford/Townsend Band (1977)

There are other artists who better define yacht rock - Michael McDonald, Steely Dan, Christopher Cross - but few songs rival the Sanford/Townsend Band's "Smoke From a Distant Fire" as a more representative genre track. (It was a Top 10 hit in the summer of 1977. The duo never had another charting single.) From the vaguely swinging rhythm and roaring saxophone riff to the light percussion rolls and risk-free vocals (that nod heavily to Daryl Hall and John Oates' blue-eyed soul), "Smoke" may be the most definitive yacht rock song ever recorded. We may even go as far as to say it's ground zero. (Gallucci)

25. "Dream Weaver," Gary Wright (1975)

Unlike many other songs on our list, “Dream Weaver” lacks lush instrumentation. Aside from Gary Wright’s vocals and keyboard parts, the only added layer is the drumming of Jim Keltner. But while the track may not have guitars, bass or horns, it certainly has plenty of vibes. Inspired by the writings of Paramahansa Yogananda – which Wright was turned on to by George Harrison – “Dream Weaver” boasts a celestial aura that helped the song peak at No. 2 in 1976. (Irwin)

24. "Reminiscing," Little River Band (1978)

The third time was the charm with Little River Band 's highest-charting single in the U.S. Guitarist Graeham Goble wrote "Reminiscing" for singer Glenn Shorrock with a certain keyboardist in mind. Unfortunately, they weren't able to schedule a session with Peter Jones, who'd played an important role in Little River Band's first-ever charting U.S. single, 1976's "It's a Long Way There ." They tried it anyway but didn't care for the track. They tried again, with the same results. "The band was losing interest in the song," Goble later told Chuck Miller . "Just before the album was finished, Peter Jones came back into town, [and] the band and I had an argument because I wanted to give 'Reminiscing' a third chance." This time they nailed it. (DeRiso)

23. "Heart Hotels," Dan Fogelberg (1979)

Ironically enough, this song about debilitating loneliness arrived on an album in which Dan Fogelberg played almost all of the instruments himself. A key concession to the outside world became the most distinctive musical element on "Heart Hotels," as well-known saxophonist Tom Scott took a turn on the Lyricon – a pre-MIDI electronic wind instrument invented just a few years earlier. As for the meaning of sad songs like these, the late Fogelberg once said : "I feel experiences deeply, and I have an outlet, a place where I can translate those feelings. A lot of people go to psychoanalysts. I write songs." (DeRiso)

22. "Year of the Cat," Al Stewart (1976)

Just about every instrument imaginable can be heard in Al Stewart's "Year of the Cat." What begins with an elegant piano intro winds its way through a string section and a sultry sax solo, then to a passionate few moments with a Spanish acoustic guitar. The sax solo, often a hallmark of yacht-rock songs, was not Stewart's idea. Producer Alan Parsons suggested it at the last minute, and Stewart thought it was the "worst idea I'd ever heard. I said, 'Alan, there aren’t any saxophones in folk-rock. Folk-rock is about guitars. Sax is a jazz instrument,'" Stewart said in 2021 . Multiple lengthy instrumental segments bring the song to nearly seven minutes, yet each seems to blend into the next like a carefully arranged orchestra. (Rapp)

21. "How Long," Ace (1974)

How long does it take to top the charts? For the Paul Carrack-fronted Ace: 45 years . "I wrote the lyric on the bus going to my future mother-in-law's," he later told Gary James . "I wrote it on the back of that bus ticket. That's my excuse for there only being one verse." Ace released "How Long" in 1975, reaching No. 3, then Carrack moved on to stints with Squeeze and Mike and the Mechanics . Finally, in 2020, "How Long" rose two spots higher, hitting No. 1 on Billboard's rock digital song sales chart after being featured in an Amazon Prime advertisement titled "Binge Cheat." (DeRiso)

20. "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)," Looking Glass (1972)

Like "Summer Breeze" (found later in our list of Top 50 Yacht Rock Songs), Looking Glass' tale of an alluring barmaid in a busy harbor town pre-dates the classic yacht-rock era. Consider acts like Seals & Crofts and these one-hit wonders pioneers of the genre. Ironically, the effortless-sounding "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" was quite difficult to complete. "We recorded 'Brandy' two or three different times with various producers before we got it right," Looking Glass' principal songwriter Elliot Lurie told the Tennessean in 2016. The chart-topping results became so popular so fast, however, that Barry Manilow had to change the title of a new song he was working on to " Mandy ." (DeRiso)

19. "I Can't Tell You Why," Eagles (1979)

Timothy B. Schmit joined just in time to watch the  Eagles disintegrate. But things couldn't have started in a better place for the former Poco member. He arrived with the makings of his first showcase moment with the group, an unfinished scrap that would become the No. 8 hit "I Can't Tell You Why." For a moment, often-contentious band members rallied around the outsider. Don Henley and Glenn Frey both made key contributions, as Eagles completed the initial song on what would become 1979's The Long Run . Schmit felt like he had a reason to be optimistic. Instead, Eagles released the LP and then promptly split up. (DeRiso)

18. "Sentimental Lady," Bob Welch (1977)

Bob Welch  first recorded "Sentimental Lady" in 1972 as a member of Fleetwood Mac . Five years later, after separating from a band that had gone on to way bigger things , Welch revisited one of his best songs and got two former bandmates who appeared on the original version – Mick Fleetwood and Christine McVie – to help out (new Mac member Lindsey Buckingham also makes an appearance). This is the better version, warmer and more inviting, and it reached the Top 10. (Gallucci)

17. "So Into You," Atlanta Rhythm Section (1976)

Atlanta Rhythm Section is often wrongly categorized as a Southern rock band, simply because of their roots in Doraville, Ga. Songs like the seductively layered "So Into You" illustrate how little they had in common with the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd . As renowned Muscle Shoals sessions ace David Hood once said, they're more like the " Steely Dan of the South ." Unfortunately, time hasn't been kind to the group. Two of this best-charting single's writers have since died , while keyboardist Dean Daughtry retired in 2019 as Atlanta Rhythm Section's last constant member. (DeRiso)

16. "Dreams," Fleetwood Mac (1977)

Stevie Nicks was trying to channel the heartbreak she endured after separating from Lindsey Buckingham into a song, but couldn't concentrate among the bustle of Fleetwood Mac's sessions for Rumours . "I was kind of wandering around the studio," she later told Yahoo! , "looking for somewhere I could curl up with my Fender Rhodes and my lyrics and a little cassette tape recorder." That's when she ran into a studio assistant who led her to a quieter, previously unseen area at Sausalito's Record Plant. The circular space was surrounded by keyboards and recording equipment, with a half-moon bed in black-and-red velvet to one side. She settled in, completing "Dreams" in less than half an hour, but not before asking the helpful aide one pressing question: "I said, 'What is this?' And he said, 'This is Sly Stone 's studio.'" (DeRiso)

15. "Minute by Minute," the Doobie Brothers (1978)

Michael McDonald was so unsure of this album that he nervously previewed it for a friend. "I mean, all the tunes have merit, but I don't know if they hang together as a record," McDonald later told UCR. "He looked at me and he said, 'This is a piece of shit.'" Record buyers disagreed, making Minute by Minute the Doobie Brothers' first chart-topping multiplatinum release. Such was the mania surrounding this satiny-smooth LP that the No. 14 hit title track lost out on song-of-the-year honors at the Grammys to "What a Fool Believes" (found later in our list of Top 50 Yacht Rock Songs) by the Doobie Brothers. (DeRiso)

14. "Lonely Boy," Andrew Gold (1976)

Andrew Gold’s only Top 10 U.S. hit is a story of parental neglect and simmering resentment, but those pitch-black details are easy to miss when couched inside such a deliciously upbeat melody. Gold chronicles the childhood of the titular lonely boy over a propulsive, syncopated piano figure, detailing the betrayal he felt when his parents presented him with a sister two years his junior. When he turns 18, the lonely boy ships off to college and leaves his family behind, while his sister gets married and has a son of her own — oblivious to the fact that she’s repeating the mistakes of her parents. Gold insisted “Lonely Boy” wasn’t autobiographical, despite the details in the song matching up with his own life. In any case, you can’t help but wonder what kind of imagination produces such dark, compelling fiction. (Rolli)

13. "Baby Come Back," Player (1977)

Liverpool native Peter Beckett moved to the States, originally to join a forgotten act called Skyband. By the time he regrouped to found Player with American J.C. Crowley, Beckett's wife had returned to England. Turns out Crowley was going through a breakup, too, and the Beckett-sung "Baby Come Back" was born. "So it was a genuine song, a genuine lyric – and I think that comes across in the song," Beckett said in The Yacht Rock Book . "That's why it was so popular." The demo earned Player a hastily signed record deal, meaning Beckett and Crowley had to assemble a band even as "Baby Come Back" rose to No. 1. Their debut album was released before Player had ever appeared in concert. (DeRiso)

12. "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight," England Dan & John Ford Coley (1976)

There aren't too many songs with choruses as big as the one England Dan & John Ford Coley pump into the key lines of their first Top 40 single. Getting there is half the fun: The conversational verses – " Hello, yeah, it's been a while / Not much, how 'bout you? / I'm not sure why I called / I guess I really just wanted to talk to you " – build into the superpowered come-on line " I'm not talking 'bout moving in ...  ." Their yacht-rock pedigree is strong: Dan Seals' older brother is Seals & Croft's Jim Seals. (Gallucci)

11. "Hey Nineteen," Steely Dan (1980)

At least on the surface, “Hey Nineteen” is one of Steely Dan’s least ambiguous songs: An over-the-hill guy makes one of history’s most cringe-worthy, creepiest pick-up attempts, reminiscing about his glory days in a fraternity and lamenting that his would-be companion doesn’t know who Aretha Franklin is. (The bridge is a bit tougher to crack. Is anyone sharing that “fine Colombian”?) But the words didn’t propel this Gaucho classic into Billboard's Top 10. Instead, that credit goes to the groove, anchored by Walter Becker ’s gently gliding bass guitar, Donald Fagen’s velvety electric piano and a chorus smoother than top-shelf Cuervo Gold. (Reed)

10. "Rich Girl," Daryl Hall & John Oates (1976)

It’s one of the most economical pop songs ever written: two A sections, two B sections (the second one extended), a fade-out vocal vamp. In and out. Wham, bam, boom. Perhaps that's why it’s easy to savor “Rich Girl” 12 times in a row during your morning commute, why hearing it just once on the radio is almost maddening. This blue-eyed-soul single, the duo’s first No. 1 hit, lashes out at a supposedly entitled heir to a fast-food chain. (The original lyric was the less-catchy “rich guy ”; that one change may have earned them millions.) But there’s nothing bitter about that groove, built on Hall’s electric piano stabs and staccato vocal hook. (Reed)

9. "Fooled Around and Fell in Love," Elvin Bishop (1975)

Elvin Bishop made his biggest pop-chart splash with "Fooled Around and Fell In Love," permanently changing the first line of his bio from a  former member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band to a solo star in his own right. There was only one problem: "The natural assumption was that it was Elvin Bishop who was singing,” singer  Mickey Thomas told the Tahoe Daily Tribune in 2007. Thomas later found even greater chart success with Starship alongside Donny Baldwin, who also played drums on Bishop's breakthrough single. "A lot of peers found out about me through that, and ultimately I did get credit for it," Thomas added. "It opened a lot of doors for me." (DeRiso)

8. "Baker Street," Gerry Rafferty (1978)

Gerry Rafferty already had a taste of success when his band Stealers Wheel hit the Top 10 with the Dylanesque "Stuck in the Middle With You" in 1973. His first solo album after the group's split, City to City , made it to No. 1 in 1978, thanks in great part to its hit single "Baker Street" (which spent six frustrating weeks at No. 2). The iconic saxophone riff by Raphael Ravenscroft gets much of the attention, but this single triumphs on many other levels. For six, mood-setting minutes Rafferty winds his way down "Baker Street" with a hopefulness rooted in eternal restlessness. (Gallucci)

7. "Dirty Work," Steely Dan (1972)

In just about three minutes, Steely Dan tells a soap-opera tale of an affair between a married woman and a man who is well aware he's being played but is too hopelessly hooked to end things. " When you need a bit of lovin' 'cause your man is out of town / That's the time you get me runnin' and you know I'll be around ," singer David Palmer sings in a surprisingly delicate tenor. A saxophone and flugelhorn part weeps underneath his lines. By the time the song is over, we can't help but feel sorry for the narrator who is, ostensibly, just as much part of the problem as he could be the solution. Not all yacht rock songs have happy endings. (Rapp)

6. "Ride Like the Wind," Christopher Cross (1979)

“Ride Like the Wind” is ostensibly a song about a tough-as-nails outlaw racing for the border of Mexico under cover of night, but there’s nothing remotely dangerous about Christopher Cross’ lithe tenor or the peppy piano riffs and horns propelling the tune. Those contradictions aren’t a detriment. This is cinematic, high-gloss pop-rock at its finest, bursting at the seams with hooks and elevated by Michael McDonald’s silky backing vocals. Cross nods to his Texas roots with a fiery guitar solo, blending hard rock and pop in a way that countless artists would replicate in the next decade. (Rolli)

5. "Summer Breeze," Seals & Crofts (1972)

Jim Seals and Dash Crofts were childhood friends in Texas, but the mellow grandeur of "Summer Breeze" makes it clear that they always belonged in '70s-era Southern California. "We operate on a different level," Seals once said , sounding like nothing if not a Laurel Canyon native. "We try to create images, impressions and trains of thought in the minds of our listeners." This song's fluttering curtains, welcoming domesticity and sweet jasmine certainly meet that standard. For some reason, however, they released this gem in August 1972 – as the season faded into fall. Perhaps that's why "Summer Breeze" somehow never got past No. 6 on the pop chart. (DeRiso)

4. "Lowdown," Boz Scaggs (1976)

As you throw on your shades and rev the motor, the only thing hotter than the afternoon sun is David Hungate’s sweet slap-bass blasting from the tape deck. “This is the good life,” you say to no one in particular, casually tipping your baseball cap to the bikini-clad crew on the boat zooming by. Then you press “play” again. What else but Boz Scaggs ’ silky “Lowdown” could soundtrack such a moment in paradise? Everything about this tune, which cruised to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, is equally idyllic: Jeff Porcaro’s metronomic hi-hat pattern, David Paich’s jazzy keyboard vamp, the cool-guy croon of Scaggs — flexing about gossip and “schoolboy game.” You crack open another cold one — why not? And, well, you press play once more. (Reed)

3. "Lido Shuffle," Boz Scaggs (1976)

Scaggs' storied career began as a sideman with Steve Miller  and already included a scorching duet with Duane Allman . Co-writer David Paich would earn Grammy-winning stardom with songs like "Africa." Yet they resorted to theft when it came to this No. 11 smash. Well, in a manner of speaking: "'Lido' was a song that I'd been banging around, and I kind of stole – well, I didn't steal anything. I just took the idea of the shuffle," Scaggs told Songfacts in 2013. "There was a song that Fats Domino did called 'The Fat Man ' that had a kind of driving shuffle beat that I used to play on the piano, and I just started kind of singing along with it. Then I showed it to Paich, and he helped me fill it out." Then Paich took this track's bassist and drummer with him to form Toto. (DeRiso)

2. "Peg," Steely Dan (1977)

"Peg" is blessed with several yacht-rock hallmarks: a spot on Steely Dan's most Steely Dan-like album, Aja , an impeccable airtightness that falls somewhere between soft-pop and jazz and yacht rock's stalwart captain, Michael McDonald, at the helm. (He may be a mere backing singer here, but his one-note chorus chirps take the song to another level.) Like most Steely Dan tracks, this track's meaning is both cynical and impenetrable, and its legacy has only grown over the years – from hip-hop samples to faithful cover versions. (Gallucci)

1. "What a Fool Believes," the Doobie Brothers (1978)

Michael McDonald not only steered the Doobie Brothers in a new direction when he joined in 1975, but he also made them a commercial powerhouse with the 1978 album Minute by Minute . McDonald co-wrote "What a Fool Believes" – a No. 1 single; the album topped the chart, too – with Kenny Loggins and sang lead, effectively launching a genre in the process. The song's style was copied for the next couple of years (most shamelessly in Robbie Dupree's 1980 Top 10 "Steal Away"), and McDonald became the bearded face of yacht rock. (Gallucci)

Top 100 Classic Rock Artists

Gallery Credit: UCR Staff

More From Ultimate Classic Rock

Ranking All 81 Steve Perry Journey Songs

Boat logo

The global authority in superyachting

  • Yachts Home
  • The Superyacht Directory
  • Yacht Reports
  • Brokerage News
  • The largest yachts in the world
  • The Register
  • Yacht Advice
  • Yacht Design
  • 12m to 24m yachts
  • Monaco Yacht Show
  • Builder Directory
  • Designer Directory
  • Interior Design Directory
  • Naval Architect Directory
  • Yachts for sale home
  • Motor yachts
  • Sailing yachts
  • Explorer yachts
  • Classic yachts
  • Sale Broker Directory
  • Charter Home
  • Yachts for Charter
  • Charter Destinations
  • Charter Broker Directory
  • Destinations Home
  • Mediterranean
  • South Pacific
  • Rest of the World
  • Boat Life Home
  • Owners' Experiences
  • Interiors Suppliers
  • Owners' Club
  • Captains' Club
  • BOAT Showcase
  • Boat Presents
  • Events Home
  • World Superyacht Awards
  • Superyacht Design Festival
  • Design and Innovation Awards
  • Young Designer of the Year Award
  • Artistry and Craft Awards
  • Explorer Yachts Summit
  • Ocean Talks
  • The Ocean Awards
  • BOAT Connect
  • Between the bays
  • Golf Invitational
  • Boat Pro Home
  • Pricing Plan
  • Superyacht Insight
  • Product Features
  • Premium Content
  • Testimonials
  • Global Order Book
  • Tenders & Equipment

yacht jazz music

Weatherbird: The story behind the classic sailing yacht that inspired Jazz Age artists

After an extensive refit lasting more than a year, the 31 metre, classic schooner Weatherbird has returned to the market in search of a new owner. Olivia Michel looks back at her storied past…

“Weatherbird” is the name of a 1928 rag record, considered one of the most famous duets in jazz music history. The song is characterised by the clean and jolly tones of Louis Armstrong’s trumpet paired with the staccato piano notes of Earl Hines – sounds distinctively recognisable of the Roaring Twenties. The 31 metre, two-masted sailing yacht that has been named after this record similarly embodies the Zeitgeist of the early 20th-century, with a copy of the record itself symbolically melded into the keel.

Since her designer and original captain, Vladimir Orloff, first started sketching her schooner lines, Weatherbird has been touched by unusual stories and eccentric characters from the bygone era in which she was delivered. In turn, she has inspired some of the greatest writers, artists and musicians of the Jazz Age who stepped on board when she was in her prime. When her current owner saw Weatherbird for the first time lying in Palermo, Italy, “I fell in love with it,” he recalls. As her broker, Northrop & Johnson ’s Richard Callender puts it, Weatherbird “is more than a sailing yacht”.

Weatherbird was commissioned by Sarah and Gerald Murphy, a couple of American expatriates who had relocated to the French Riviera during the prohibition years. Gerald was a clean-cut Yale graduate with one foot in business and the other in art, while Sarah was a glamorous socialite who hailed from a millionaire family and mingled with London’s fashionable set.

The Murphys were close friends with captain Orloff, the son of a Russian nobleman who had overseen the finances of Czarina Alexandra prior to the October Revolution. After his father was killed by the Bolsheviks in 1917, the aristocrat who had grown up sailing his grandfather’s yachts on the Black Sea escaped Russia and emigrated to France. In Paris, he met the Murphys through their mutual involvement with Serge Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes and went on to helm all of their yachts.

Together with Frenchman Henri Rambaud , Orloff designed Weatherbird with a profile reminiscent of American clipper ships and a generous 6.5 metre beam. Her sails were by E. Mariole & M. Hémet loft of Le Havre, with power provided by a Benz diesel auxiliary motor. The gaff-rigged schooner was constructed entirely in oakwood and teak, built by the Chantier Navals de Normandie shipyard and delivered as the Murphys' third and final yacht in 1931.

The Murphys sailed the yacht around the Riviera for just three heady years, joined by an eclectic and esteemed group of friends from home and abroad. Their social circle was nicknamed “the Transatlantiques” and moved between lavish parties in their “Villa America” onshore in Antibes and jaunts out at sea, dining al fresco out on the deck or drinking in the wood-panelled and fireplace-warmed saloon of Weatherbird .

Friends of the Murphys that frequented the yacht were famed creatives and intellectuals of the Lost Generation; Ernest Hemmingway, John Dos Passos, Dorothy Parker, Cole Porter, Coco Chanel, Man Ray and Archibald Macleish included. Artist Pablo Picasso reportedly designed the yacht’s house flag, while Fernand Léger was inspired to create a portfolio of paintings following his time on board. Louis Armstrong, whose jazz song inspired the yacht’s name, also joined the Murphys out at sea.

From 1924 onwards, F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda regularly visited the Murphys in France, and their time together cruising around the Riviera was later immortalised in the writer’s 1934 novel Tender is the Night , which begins with a dedication to the couple.

Aside from her obvious beauty, it is her history that will sell the yacht, attests Callender. “With a yacht that was built in 1931, you can’t help but stand at the wheel or sit around the table and conjure up all these thoughts in your mind about who’s sat there, who’s helmed the boat, what conversations have gone on – if the walls could talk it would be incredible,” he says.

In 1933, as Mussolini rose to power and the health of their son Patrick declined, the Murphys sold Weatherbird and closed up their villa to leave for America, never to return. But Weatherbird’s story didn’t end there – tales have been told of subsequent ownership under a Swiss count, who was arrested for using the yacht to smuggle gold from Turkey into France and according to her current owner, she’s also had a star appearance in an Orson Welles film.

After sailing through the previous century, she was purchased by her current owner in February 2020. A Greek IT businessman, he was charmed by her unique layout and old-school looks that directly contrast with his modern, tech-focused background: “It was the only sailing yacht built in the 1930s that I had seen with the saloon on top, on the main deck, and for me, that was a plus – something unusual.”

Though Weatherbird is his first classic, it is not the owner’s first boat. Since 2010 he has owned a 25 metre and a 36 metre Tecnomar , and currently uses a Mangusta 80 “for speedy excursions” between the Greek islands.

But his history of ownership was plagued with misfortune; after an intensive refit on his last Tecnomar, the yacht caught fire while he was sleeping inside in April 2017. “The whole boat burned in a matter of minutes. We all had to jump into the water with guests, and the boat was history. It's off the coast of Mykonos, 58 metres at the bottom of the sea right now. I couldn't feel ready to buy another boat very promptly after that,” he explains.

When the urge to go sailing eventually returned, Weatherbird’s owner decided to change tact and move away from modern plastic yachts and start looking back at classics. The first boat that he had ever wanted to own was actually a classic; a wooden-hulled 1968 Baglietto which he describes as “the most beautiful boat I had ever seen.” Looking for his next yacht, he tried to find out what had happened to this vessel only to discover that it too – like his second boat – had been lost to a fire.

But then Weatherbird came onto the market in August 2019. “I saw that the boat was for sale online for a good price. When I saw the boat and I stepped inside I said ‘wow.’ I wanted to take this boat and make it over, but make sure that it still looked exactly like it was back in the 1930s.” He describes superyacht refits as his “hobby,” with Weatherbird being his third project.

Exactly 91 years since she first set sail, Weatherbird went into an extensive 17-month restoration. On a functional level, all mechanical systems were replaced and the engines overhauled. This included a new watermaker and generators, and an updated varnished wood navigation panel. All of her rigging systems and winches are also now automatic “so actually you can lift the sails with just two levers,” explains her owner, adding that “for me, automation on a vintage boat – automation that you cannot see – is really gorgeous”.

“Basically, all the moving parts have been overhauled and serviced or replaced mechanically, the point being that a new owner can just set sail,” details Callender.

Weatherbird’s classic interiors were also refreshed, with her owner carefully studying boats from the same era to ensure that the 1930s look was retained on board. The structure of the deckhouse is original but features details such as geometric TV frames and light fittings that are new but maintain an Art Deco style – the owner even sourced a special glass substitute popular in the 1930s named Opalina which diffuses light more softly through the saloon than modern fixtures would. The fireplace screen is finished with a distinctly Art Deco motif, an exact copy of one made in 1930 but reproduced with modern laser technology in Greece. Out on the deck, plush marine blue sun loungers are accompanied by drinks tables finished with the sweeping curves distinctive of the Streamline Moderne style.

In the four cabins, many of the original features have been retained but are complimented by entirely renovated ensuites. Even behind the scenes in the crew quarters, which accommodate up to five staff, every detail meticulously maintains the classic design. The Lacanche stove and Gaggenau oven in the galley were both purchased with brass elements that reference the characteristic Roaring Twenties look. As the owner stipulates; “nobody can tell you that her features don’t belong to that era”.

One of the newer pieces of furniture that has been installed by the owner is the piano in the saloon which doubles as a coffee table when closed – but even that modern piece has a story to tell. The owner had the exact same Yamaha H801 on his last boat and after it was lost to the fire in 2017 spent years searching for it until he found the last ever out-of-production model for sale in Switzerland and shipped it back to Greece. “There's no other piano like this,” he says. Now, that piano is a key element for creating an ambience whenever the owner is on board. “I am friends with someone who's a famous singer here. That first winter on board was very cold, so we turned on the fireplace and played on the piano,” he reminisces.

Since finishing the refit, the owner has cruised Weatherbird around Greece and Turkey. Under sail, she cruises comfortably around eight knots and can make it up to 11 knots when powered by her Cummins Mercruiser 300hp engines. “The feeling of sailing with this schooner is unparalleled,” her owner describes. “The moment you go inside the yacht and you pass the passerelle of the boat, you leave all your problems and all your complications outside.”

But her owner already has his eye on his next refit project and is ready for someone new to take on the act of preserving this piece of history. Weatherbird is currently listed for sale with Northrop & Johnson , asking €3,800,000. Callender speculates that the new owner will be “ somebody that has a natural fascination with history, the arts, who clearly has a love of sailing”.

In Tender is the Night , Fitzgerald writes of a yacht “lying placid among the little swells of the Nicean bay, constantly bound upon a romantic voyage that was not dependent on motion.” He could well have been writing about Weatherbird , the storied superyacht that is now waiting for her next chapter to begin.

More about this yacht

Yachts for sale, more stories, most popular, from our partners, sponsored listings.

Formula Boats

  • Build A Boat
  • Find A Dealer

yacht jazz music

  • Best Yacht Rock Songs to Play on Your Boat

Best Yacht Rock Songs to Play on Your Boat

Whether sailing the high seas or cruising on a tranquil lake, there’s no denying the magical combination of boating and music. And nothing quite fits the bill like yacht rock songs when it comes to creating the perfect ambiance for your boat party. With their smooth melodies and laid-back vibes, yacht rock tunes are the ideal soundtrack to accompany your nautical adventures. 

Curate the ultimate playlist for your next boat party with these suggestions so you can set sail with style and groove to the sounds of the sea.

What Is Yacht Rock and Why Is It Perfect for Boating?

Yacht Rock emerged in the late ’70s and early ‘80s , epitomizing the era’s smooth, soft rock music. Characterized by its polished production, jazz-influenced arrangements and evocative lyrics, yacht rock often features leisure, escapism and coastal lifestyle themes. These songs would be played aboard luxury yachts, capturing the essence of sunny days, ocean breezes and carefree adventures on the water.

Yacht rock songs for boats’ relaxed yet sophisticated nature make it a perfect complement to any boating experience. As the boat glides through the water, the soothing rhythms of the best lake songs create an atmosphere of tranquility and joy, taking your boat party to a new level of enjoyment.

Crafting the Perfect Boating Playlist

To create the ultimate summer boating songs playlist, we considered various factors contributing to the perfect sailing ambiance. The selected songs boast uplifting beats, catchy melodies and lyrics that evoke images of boats, sailing and the sea. Moreover, we’ve included diverse songs to cater to different musical tastes.

Best Boat Songs of All-Time

With so many options out there, we’re excited to share our top songs about boats and sailing and the best songs to listen to on a boat. 

  • “Sailing” by Christopher Cross: With its gentle guitar strums and Christopher Cross’s velvety vocals, “Sailing” is an anthem for seafarers. The song’s serene melody and poetic lyrics encapsulate the feeling of being on the open water, making it a must-have for your boat party playlist. As you cruise along, “Sailing” will have everyone swaying to the rhythm, embracing the true spirit of yacht rock.
  • “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes: A yacht rock classic, “Escape” brings a touch of whimsy to your boat party. This catchy tale of love and adventure pairs perfectly with the carefree ambiance of boating. The song’s playful vibe and sing-along chorus will have your guests joining in the fun, creating unforgettable memories on the water.
  • “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass: “Brandy” is a timeless yacht rock gem that narrates the tale of a sailor’s love for a barmaid. Its upbeat tempo and memorable hooks make it an essential addition to your boat party playlist. As you listen to the story unfold, you’ll be transported to coastal taverns and endless maritime horizons.
  • “Yacht Rock” by JD & The Straight Shot: The eponymous “Yacht Rock” is a modern tribute to the genre. With smooth instrumentals and polished vocals, this song embodies the very essence of summer boating songs. As you sail into the sunset, “Yacht Rock” will warmly embrace you, ensuring a truly unforgettable boat party experience.

yacht jazz music

  • “Sail On” by Commodores: Smooth and soulful, “Sail On” by the Commodores is a yacht rock favorite that perfectly captures the essence of sailing. The mesmerizing vocals of Lionel Richie and the mellow instrumentation make it a sublime addition to your boat party playlist. As you sail into the horizon, “Sail On” will evoke feelings of serenity and nostalgia.
  • “Southern Cross” by Crosby, Stills & Nash: “Southern Cross” is a yacht rock sensation that vividly depicts a sailor’s journey and longing for adventure. With its dreamy harmonies and evocative lyrics, this song embodies the wanderlust spirit of boating. As you navigate the waters, “Southern Cross” will ignite a sense of exploration and freedom.
  • “Key Largo” by Bertie Higgins: Set the perfect mood for your boat party with “Key Largo” by Bertie Higgins. This romantic ballad takes inspiration from the beautiful Florida island, offering a gentle and relaxing vibe. As you anchor in tranquil waters, “Key Largo” will fill the air with enchanting melodies, creating a magical experience on your boat.
  • “Into the Night” by Benny Mardones: “Into the Night” is a yacht rock classic that weaves a tale of passion and romance under the moonlight. With its soulful vocals and captivating melody, this song is perfect for setting a dreamy and intimate atmosphere at your boat party. As the stars twinkle above, “Into the Night” will take you on a magical journey through the night skies.
  • “Reminiscing” by Little River Band: As the sun sets on your boat party, let the nostalgic vibes of “Reminiscing” fill the air. This boating playlist gem has smooth harmonies and a gentle rhythm that will transport you back to cherished memories and create an ambiance of camaraderie and friendship. It’s the perfect tune to share stories and laughter with your guests.
  • “Moonlight Feels Right” by Starbuck: “Moonlight Feels Right” is a funky and fun yacht rock song that will have everyone dancing on deck. With its catchy marimba riffs and chorus, this tune infuses your boat party with playful energy and excitement. So, let loose and dance under the moonlit sky as “Moonlight Feels Right” fills the night with joy.

Honorable Mentions

Whether you use them to create a more extensive playlist or keep them on standby for future voyages, these yacht rock gems will elevate your boat party’s ambiance. Let the melodies of these honorable mentions serenade you as you create unforgettable memories on your nautical journey. Here are our best boat party songs: 

  • “Dance with Me” by Orleans: A captivating blend of folk and yacht rock, “Dance with Me” offers a smooth and romantic melody that sets the perfect tone for a slow dance on deck. This timeless classic will create a memorable moment for you and your guests as you sway together beneath the stars.
  • “Cool Change” by Little River Band: “Cool Change” is an introspective Yacht Rock anthem that captures the essence of tranquility and self-discovery. Its calming rhythm and soul-stirring lyrics make it an excellent addition to your boat party playlist, especially during introspection on the open waters.
  • “Steal Away” by Robbie Dupree: The captivating vocals and soft rock style of “Steal Away” make it a must-have on your Yacht Rock boat party playlist. This tune exudes a sense of freedom and adventure, making it the perfect companion as you explore new horizons on your boat journey.
  • “On and On” by Stephen Bishop: Stephen Bishop’s soothing voice and the mellow instrumentation of “On and On” create an atmosphere of pure relaxation. As you glide across the water, this yacht rock classic will add a touch of serenity to your boat party experience.

As you set sail on your boat party adventure, let the smooth melodies of yacht rock be your trusted companions. The carefully curated playlist will transport you and your guests to a world of blissful boating, where the worries of the shore are left behind. Grab your sunglasses, feel the wind in your hair and embark on a memorable journey with the ultimate yacht rock playlist for your boat party.

Discover Your Dream Boat With Formula Boats

Discover Your Dream Boat With Formula Boats

Whether you seek luxurious leisure or thrilling performance, their boats offer innovation, design and unwavering craftsmanship. Customize your own Formula Boat model or locate a dealer now to turn your boating dreams into a reality and create unforgettable memories aboard your very own exquisite boat.

Contact Dealer

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply

yacht jazz music

Already signed up? Log in

Welcome to AccuRadio's "March of Time" -- We're featuring a different year every day, all month long. TODAY , it's  1984 !

yacht jazz music

Today's Features

yacht jazz music

Rock the Yacht

Setting sail on a sea of smooth Yacht Rock grooves

Featuring songs by:

yacht jazz music

Daryl Hall & John Oates

yacht jazz music

James Taylor

yacht jazz music

You may also like:

yacht jazz music

Rock en Español

Latin Rock Classics from Mexico to Argentina

yacht jazz music

Rock @ the Movies

Rockumentaries, concert films, and rock songs that inspired movies

yacht jazz music

Rock and Alternative: 2013

With Vampire Weekend, the Neighbourhood, Phoenix, and NIN

yacht jazz music

Adult pop and rock plus "crossover" favorites

yacht jazz music

Japanese Rock

The best of J-rock and visual kei music

yacht jazz music

Magic Sunny Classic Love Affair

'60s through '80s lite hits love songs

yacht jazz music

Magic Sunny After Lunch Energy

Adult pop hits to help you power through your afternoon

yacht jazz music

Progressive Rock

King Crimson, Yes, and Genesis along with their progeny like Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater

yacht jazz music

Power Pop Overthrow

Shake some action here! Big guitars and bigger melodies.

yacht jazz music

Rock Out Workout

For when you want to work out something other than your neck...

yacht jazz music

Magic Sunny Lite Party

It's an adult pop hit party -- high energy and lots of fun!

yacht jazz music

The Best Rock of the '10s

Ten years of killer rock tracks

yacht jazz music

The Multiverse

From Alternative to Zydeco and ABC to ZZ Top, it's genre-defying, decades-spanning eclecticism.

yacht jazz music

Protest Music: The Fury

Righteous anger and thirst for justice crystallized into hip hop and rock. (STRONG LANGUAGE WARNI...

yacht jazz music

'90s Rocker Movie Tunes

Bill & Ted, Wayne & Garth, Beavis & Butthead. Rock 'n roll.

yacht jazz music

Rock Alphabet: "H" satisfies the hunger

Feeding your ears with Harrison, Hagar, Hornsby, and Heart ... just to name a few.

yacht jazz music

Rock Alphabet: "N" is Notorius & Nefarious

From Nazareth and New Order to Night Ranger and Nirvana, the potent noise of "N" never-ending.

yacht jazz music

Rock Alphabet: "O" is Opulence in Stereo

Sounds that make you go "Oh" from The Outsiders, OK Go, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Roy Orbison an...

yacht jazz music

Rock Alphabet: "S" means Stoked with volume!

Get steeped in Saga, Santana, Stray Cats, Springsteen, Spoon, and Stone Temple Pilots.

yacht jazz music

Rock Alphabet: "T" is a Tantalizing Trip

Trailing the tracks of Thin Lizzy, T. Rex, George Thorogood, They Might Be Giants and many more!

yacht jazz music

Music from "Supernatural"

We celebrate 15 seasons of the CW's hit dark fantasy series. Enjoy the music of easons 'Supernatu...

yacht jazz music

Rock and Alternative: 2005

Seether, Weezer, Shinedown, and Foo Fighters bring the best, the best, the best of 2005

yacht jazz music

Rock: AccuRadio 500

These are the 500 "Rock" songs rated highest by AccuRadio listeners.

yacht jazz music

Music from "Peacemaker"

Little-known glam metal classics with modern power rockers from the HBO Max hit starring John Cen...

yacht jazz music

Rock and Alternative: 2003

It's all about White Stripes, Radiohead, Kings of Leon, Queens of the Stone Age, Blink-182...


The Bizarre History Of Yacht Rock Music

Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina on a yacht

Popular music has always been complex. Different musical styles break up into infinite sub-genres — what started off as rock 'n' roll has splintered into dozens of sub-genres, and even the considerably younger musical genre of rap has splintered into several distinct styles. And each of those sub-genres then splinters as musicians innovate and reinvent the form.

None of this is science, though, so it's easy to get lost down rabbit holes when discussing what bands or songs belong in what genre or sub-genre. Yacht rock is a perfect example: None of the artists currently considered to be yacht rockers called themselves that at the time or were even aware that they were carving out a distinct sub-genre of rock music. The whole idea of yacht rock is a modern invention — and yet it perfectly describes a specific type of music that ruled pop culture roughly between 1975 and 1985.

What was yacht rock? It's a soft rock musical style, sometimes called the California sound, exemplified by smoothness and melody — these weren't exactly bangers, but that doesn't mean they were bad. Yacht rock could be very musically complex, incorporating elements of jazz into their compositions. The songs were usually introspective and did not engage with politics or current events at all — they were frictionless. Imagine a wealthy white man sailing on his yacht in 1980, and the music he's listening to in your imagination is what we're talking about. Here's the bizarre history of yacht rock.

The term was coined in 2005

Although the roots of yacht rock arguably go back to the 1960s, the history of yacht rock begins in 2005. That's because prior to that year, the term and concept of yacht rock simply didn't exist.

According to Rolling Stone , it all began on June 26, 2005, when the 12-episode web series "Yacht Rock" was released by Channel 101. As explained by Mental Floss , the series was a lovingly mocking look back at the smooth music of the late 1970s and early 1980s, written and directed by J.D. Ryznar, produced David B. Lyons and Hunter D. Stair, and hosted by Steve Huey, a former editor at AllMusic. MasterClass notes that the series was fictional — it depicted rockers like Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald as a bunch of goofy friends hanging out and composing the smoothest rock music possible.

Ryznar and company were making gentle fun of those soft rock musicians, but the concept of yacht rock was so obviously appropriate it became viral. They defined it as perfectly produced, with a high level of musicianship and harmonic sophistication (in fact, far from being bad music, many yacht rock songs have been sampled numerous times by modern artists ), and imbued with the vibe and sound of 1970s Los Angeles. Although many yacht rock songs do have nautical references, it's not necessary to be considered yacht rock. 

The roots of yacht rock go back to the 1960s

Although not all yacht rock songs reference the ocean, yachts, or the beach, the distant roots of the sound and the vibe go back to 1961. That's the year The Beach Boys was formed. As noted by Jacobin Magazine , the cheerful fun in the sun beach aesthetic of The Beach Boys' sound provides the fundamental template for yacht rock's sound. What elevated The Beach Boys was the songwriting craft of Brian Wilson — without his subtle genius, all that was left was the perfect production standards and sunny vibe. As noted by Warm 106.9 , the band's classic song "Sloop John B" is often cited as a clear influence on the sailing-obsessed soft rock that hit the charts a decade later.

In fact, as noted by MeTV , The Beach Boys' 1973 song "Sail On, Sailor" is considered a proto-yacht rock song. Because it was co-written by troubled musical genius Brian Wilson, the song isn't really yacht rock, but it holds many of the seeds, from its perfect production to the jazzy complexity hidden under mellow good-time vibes. And everything came full circle in 1988 when The Beach Boys released their Number One hit, "Kokomo," a song Stereogum describes as "extremely boring and self-satisfied yacht-rock." Singer Mark McGrath cites "Kokomo" as probably the last legitimate yacht rock song to ever be released.

Two foundational groups form

It wasn't just the California vibe and sailing imagery that yacht rock took from The Beach Boys. As noted by The Guardian , in the mid-1960s, a man named Daryl Dragon began playing keyboards with The Beach Boys as a backup musician. Dragon had a habit of wearing a ship captain's hat as part of his on-stage costume, underscoring the nautical theme and earning him the nickname "The Captain." According to Jacobin Magazine , Toni Tennille also toured with The Beach Boys. Dragon and Tennille married and, a few years later, formed the group Captain & Tennille, whose Grammy-winning song "Love Will Keep Us Together" is considered one of the earliest yacht rock hits.

Meanwhile, another foundational yacht rock band formed in 1972: Steely Dan . According to  The Seattle Times , part of what defines yacht rock is the people involved. Members of The Doobie Brothers  – especially Michael McDonald, Toto , and Steely Dan tend to be involved in some capacity (songwriting, background vocals, or performing) on most yacht rock songs. This was the inspiration for the original comedy sketch that birthed the whole concept . Steely Dan came to define the perfect production, jazzy musicality, and smooth melody lines of the genre. And as noted by Mental Floss , Steely Dan shared session musicians with many of their musical genre peers, explaining the somewhat similar sound produced by these different groups.

Loggins and Messina broke up in 1976

Many of the pieces that would form yacht rock existed long before the genre coalesced into a recognizable sound and vibe. Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina formed Loggins & Messina in 1971, and according to The Chicago Tribune , their 1975 album "Full Sail" is part of yacht rock legend. The album's cover art depicts Loggins and Messina on an actual yacht, looking pretty relaxed and very California. The album was held up at the very beginning of the "Yacht Rock" series to demonstrate what the creators of the series were talking about.

Loggins & Messina are crucial to the yacht rock story because they broke up. As noted by The Seattle Times , one of the features of yacht rock is the loose collaborations between a small group of musicians — and Kenny Loggins is a key member of that group. Loggins wrote many yacht rock classics recorded and performed by other artists, and Loggins himself often released his own versions of songs he gave to other artists, increasing his influence over the genre.

Loggins, now a free agent, worked with Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers several times as the core yacht rock musicians collaborated freely, ensuring a certain uniformity of sound and style that resulted in a recognizable sub-genre.

Steely Dan releases Aja

Mention the band Steely Dan in conjunction with the concept of yacht rock, and many people will have a passionate reaction . Yacht rock is often erroneously believed to be bad music and is frequently conflated with soft rock. But the opposite is true: According to MasterClass , part of what defines yacht rock is the harmonic sophistication and jazz influences of the music. In other words, yacht rock was often composed and recorded at a very high level of musical ability.

That's where Steely Dan comes in. Famed for their complex arrangements and overt jazz influences, the band produced smooth, melodic songs that perfectly captured the late-1970s California vibe. Rolling Stone  considered the band's sixth studio album, "Aja," a pinnacle for the musical genre. The songs are intricate, the production is pristine, and the mood is mellow. Decider  was even more enthusiastic in their praise, establishing the album as essential listening to any fan of yacht rock and notes that by the time Steely Dan (Walter Becker and Donald Fagan) recorded "Aja" they weren't really a band — they were two guys with a lot of session musicians, musicians who often played on other yacht rock bands' recordings, resulting in a similar sound on many of these records. And Michael McDonald of The Doobie Brothers even sings backup on some songs.

U ltimate Classic Rock ranks one of the songs from the "Aja,"  "Peg," as the second-best yacht rock song of all time and describes "Aja" as having "impeccable airtightness that falls somewhere between soft pop and jazz."

The Doobie Brothers release What a Fool Believes

Movements in music and the evolution of sub-genres usually have deep roots that go back invisibly into the past. But they often also have a key moment that clearly marks their beginning. As noted by Mental Floss , for yacht rock, that beginning comes in 1978 with the release of "What a Fool Believes" by The Doobie Brothers.

The song was written by Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. Not only did this song kick off the habit of collaboration between the artists that came to define this genre —  IGN pegs it as number three on its list of the best yacht rock songs, describing the song as quirky and mellow, while according to  Smooth Radio , the song is the ultimate example of what makes a yacht rock song. The song was a massive hit for The Doobie Brothers, one of the few non-disco hits that year.

The song is considered so "yachty," in fact, that according to Houstonia Magazine , the "Yacht Rock" series that defined the musical genre kicks off with an episode spoofing the writing of the song. The song is, indeed, kind of the platonic ideal of a yacht rock song: It's musically complex, smooth as heck, and lyrically focused on a lovelorn fool, a frequent topic of yacht rock songs. And, of course, it involves Loggins and McDonald.

Rupert Holmes releases Escape (The Piña Colada Song)

M ark McGrath , the lead singer of Sugar Ray, calls "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes the ultimate yacht rock song and an inspiration for all future yacht rock songs to follow. The song's connection to the genre is so clear that ABC News reports it was chosen for inclusion in the "NOW That's What I Call Yacht Rock" compilation album.

It's easy to see why the song (and the album containing it, 1979's "Partners in Crime") is what a computer algorithm would create if tasked with composing a yacht rock song. As noted by Rolling Stone , Holmes displays the musicianship of Steely Dan while singing with the exuberance of Barry Manilow. That combination of mellow, smooth delivery and complex song arrangements, and a distinctly California vibe make this an iconic example of yacht rock. As MasterClass notes, the song's clean production links it to other yacht rock songs because it eliminates mistakes or rough spots and offers the illusion of smooth perfection.

The song is also one of the most enduring and well-known yacht rock songs of all time. If you're trying to explain yacht rock to someone, this is the song to use as an example.

The high point of yacht rock: Christopher Cross releases Sailing

The unquestioned high point of yacht rock came in 1980. Songs from bands associated with this genre of music had been big hits before, but that year a yacht rock album dominated pop culture, ensuring that this style of music would be remembered and defined decades later. We're talking about, of course,  "Sailing" by Christopher Cross .

U ltimate Classic Rock reports the song was a smash hit, earning Cross several Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Arrangement. Its yacht rock cred begins with its title and themes — it's literally about sailing, presumably on some sort of yacht (Cross doesn't seem the type to sail on anything less). The song is smooth as glass but extremely complex, combining strings, open-tuned arpeggios, and what Rolling Stone calls "an elegant pop classicism." And as Jacobin Magazine notes, the song features backing vocals from none other than the artistic glue that holds the genre together, Michael McDonald.

"Sailing," and the album it hailed from, remain the most successful examples of yacht rock, a pinnacle of sales and awards both Cross and the genre never managed again. No one knew they were part of the yacht rock movement at the time or that it was all (slowly) downhill from there.

Toto ties it all together

One of the characteristics of yacht rock, as noted by Mental Floss , is the extremely high level of musicianship on the records — largely due to the use of professional session musicians that were shared by yacht rock groups like Steely Dan. In the late 1970s, some of those session musicians decided to form their own band, and Toto was born. This was a key moment: As noted by the man who helped define yacht rock, J.D. Ryznar, one way to identify a yacht rock song is to ask if members of Toto played on it.

In 1982, Toto released "Toto IV," which Smooth Radio noted contains two all-time yacht rock classics in "Rosanna" and "Africa." Vinyl Me, Please calls "Toto IV" a perfect introduction to the musical genre, which makes sense since the members of Toto were involved in so many recordings we now consider to be yacht rock.

But Toto was involved in another project in 1982, one that proves how the yacht rock sound traveled through session musicians: Michael Jackson's "Thriller." As reported by NOW Magazine , Toto was heavily involved with the album, and Toto keyboardist Steve Porcaro even contributed a classic yacht rock track that became the fifth Top Ten song from the album (per Rolling Stone ): "Human Nature." Porcaro originally wrote it for Toto but accidentally included it on a tape of demos for producer Quincy Jones — who immediately loved it.

Kokomo: Yacht rock's last gasp

The heyday of this musical genre was between roughly 1975 and 1985. By the late 1980s, musical tastes had shifted, and most yacht rockers found themselves fading off the charts. But there was one final gasp of the genre in 1988 when the legendary band The Beach Boys released their No.1 hit  on the Billboard Hot 100, "Kokomo." 

Despite its success, the song is widely hated ( Mel Magazine shared their extreme dislike for the song and even Mike Love), but it's definitely a yacht rock song. According to Sugar Ray lead singer Mark McGrath , it's likely the last yacht rock song to be released. By the time The Beach Boys began working on it, however, they weren't too concerned about quality — as noted by , the band hadn't been on the charts in years, didn't have a record contract, and had been reduced to playing Oldies tours to pay the bills. The band accepted the invitation to contribute a song to the soundtrack of the Tom Cruise and Elisabeth Shue romantic comedy,  "Cocktail"  largely for the money and actually left the composition of the song to John Phillips, Scott McKenzie, and Terry Melcher, giving the song the traditional session-player touch of all yacht rock songs.

The song's yacht rock bona-fides are pretty clear — in fact, as Stereogum notes,  the original demo makes its yacht rock roots very, very clear. But even The Beach Boys' version with its earworm chorus retains the smooth, slickly-produced sound that marks all yacht rock tunes.

The resurgence of yacht rock

After being established as a distinct genre of music by the " Yacht Rock" web series in 2005 , yacht rock enjoyed a period of viral fame. Everyone who came across the term quickly realized it actually made sense to regard these songs as a specific style of soft rock, and there was a lot of buzz around the topic. But all buzz fades, and after a few years, yacht rock was no longer an exciting new idea — it was an accepted truth.

But in recent years, the genre has made a comeback, infiltrating pop culture for the second time. A seminal moment in this comeback was the release of "The Blue Jean Committee" in 2018. As noted by 100.9 The Eagle , "The Blue Jean Committee" is a "mockumentary" that has actually served as an introduction to yacht rock for a whole new generation of people. Esquire reports that the show (and the "fake yacht rock band" at its center) was created by comedians Fred Armisen and Bill Hader for their TV series "Documentary Now!" But they went as far as actually writing songs for the band — and even made a music video showcasing the very yacht rocky song "Catalina Breeze," eventually releasing an entire EP, according to Wired . Suddenly, yacht rock was on everyone's mind again, more than 15 years after the initial phenomenon and more than 40 years since the actual musical era ended.

Yacht rock is modern again

As noted by The Guardian , yacht rock is experiencing a full-on reappraisal. Long considered to be trite and boring, emblematic of the insincere late 1970s and early 1980s era, a new appreciation for the very things that make these songs yacht rock is developing. One key reason is that clear production noted by MasterClass  — yacht rock songs sound timeless and still slap today because they weren't thrown together. The bands spent a lot of time and money and care to make every song sound amazing, which has helped them pass the test of time. And recent years have seen bands like The Yacht Rock Revue achieve surprising success in the genre, as noted by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution .

As InsideHook notes, the rise of Internet culture has helped people rediscover and appreciate yacht rock. Younger generations have grown up in a world where they can listen to anything, any time they want. The result has been a softening of genre edges, and the adoption of old, outdated musical trends. There's a whole new group of soft rock bands that aren't covering yacht rock songs; they're writing new ones.

And as reported by MTV , yacht rock original gangsters are also releasing new music, proving that the genre has fresh legs. According to NPR , in 2017, Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald collaborated with bassist and singer Thundercat on the song "Show You the Way."  Suffice it to say, this ship (or should we say yacht?) is still sailing. 


  1. Release “Yacht Jazz” by Various Artists

    yacht jazz music

  2. Yacht Jazz Music

    yacht jazz music

  3. NYC Jazz Cruise: Music cruises in NY Harbor aboard a classic yacht

    yacht jazz music

  4. The Yacht Club Jazz Band

    yacht jazz music

  5. Jazz Yacht Cruise

    yacht jazz music

  6. Yacht Club Swing

    yacht jazz music


  1. north sea jazz festival in Rotterdam 2023

  2. yacht jazz rock live in Boston with Raghav Mehrotra and Santiago Bosch

  3. north sea jazz festival in Rotterdam 2023

  4. Yacht

  5. Charter: Sailing Yacht Jazz Jr

  6. Sea Side Jazzband


  1. Relax Music

    ️ SUBSCRIBE! → 🎧 Listen to on Apple Music →🎼 Listen to ...

  2. Luxury Yacht Jazz Music Background Music to Relax, Study ...

    Luxury Yacht Jazz Music 📀 Background Music to Relax, Study and Chill.Welcome aboard this luxury yacht, where relaxation meets the open sea. In this video, w...

  3. Luxury Yacht on Ocean

    🎼 | Jazz Relax: to "Jacht Jazz" Luxury Yacht on Ocean - Relaxing Smooth Jazz Music with Wave...

  4. Yacht Jazz Music

    Listen to Yacht Jazz music on Pandora. Discover new music you'll love, listen to free personalized Yacht Jazz radio.

  5. Yacht Jazz

    Listen to Yacht Jazz on Spotify. Various Artists · Compilation · 2019 · 28 songs.

  6. Yacht Relaxation

    Listen to Yacht Relaxation - Smooth Jazz Music on Spotify. Yes Jazz · Album · 2021 · 23 songs.

  7. Yacht Jazz

    <iframe src="" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden"></iframe>

  8. Yacht jazz music

    Find yacht jazz tracks, artists, and albums. Find the latest in yacht jazz music at

  9. The Ultimate Guide to Yacht Jazz Nights: Hosting a Musical Sea Voyage

    Consider factors like size, amenities, and the overall ambiance of the yacht. Selecting the Perfect Jazz Band: To create the right atmosphere, it's crucial to choose a jazz band that suits your preferences and can deliver an unforgettable performance. Research and consult with professionals to find the ideal band for your yacht jazz night.

  10. The 20 greatest yacht rock songs ever, ranked

    What is Yacht Rock? Also known as the West Coast Sound or adult-oriented rock, it's a style of soft rock from between the late 1970s and early 1980s that featured elements of smooth soul, smooth jazz, R&B, funk, rock and disco. The 40 greatest disco songs ever, ranked; The 10 greatest and smoothest ever sax solos, ranked

  11. Oceanic Yacht Jazz: Soothing Waves for Ultimate Relaxation

    Welcome to the mesmerizing world of Oceanic Yacht Jazz! Immerse yourself in a symphony of tranquil melodies and let the soothing waves of this incredible jaz...

  12. Relaxing Smooth Jazz Music and Crackling Fireplace

    Listen to Relaxing Smooth Jazz Music and Crackling Fireplace by Yes Jazz on Apple Music. 2022. 17 Songs. Duration: 1 hour, 12 minutes. Album · 2022 · 17 Songs. Home; Browse; Radio; ... Yacht Relaxation - Smooth Jazz Music. 2021. Jazz Music Christmas. 2022. United States. Español (México)

  13. NYC Jazz Cruise: Music cruises in NY Harbor aboard a classic yacht

    Evening Jazz Cruise. Cruise New York City's famous harbor aboard the luxury 1920s style yacht Manhattan or Manhattan II while listening to live jazz music by the Classic Harbor Line Jazz Trio, The Boat Band! Learn more about our NYC Jazz Cruise! This is truly the perfect way to start your evening and relax to the soothing sound of the jazz.

  14. Top 50 Yacht Rock Songs

    20. "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)," Looking Glass (1972) Like "Summer Breeze" (found later in our list of Top 50 Yacht Rock Songs), Looking Glass' tale of an alluring barmaid in a busy harbor town ...

  15. Weatherbird: The story behind the classic sailing yacht that inspired

    "Weatherbird" is the name of a 1928 rag record, considered one of the most famous duets in jazz music history. The song is characterised by the clean and jolly tones of Louis Armstrong's trumpet paired with the staccato piano notes of Earl Hines - sounds distinctively recognisable of the Roaring Twenties.

  16. Yacht Rock Classics

    Tie a sweater around your neck and set sail for the high seas with these smoother than smooth yacht rock classics. #yacht #rock #essentials

  17. Relaxing Jazz Music on the Beach

    Relaxing Jazz Music on the Beach - Cozy luxury yacht space | Perfect for a Tranquil StartWelcome to Jazz Waves Ocean, where the rhythmic allure of jazz meets...

  18. Yacht rock

    Yacht rock (originally known as the West Coast sound or adult-oriented rock) is a broad music style and aesthetic commonly associated with soft rock, one of the most commercially successful genres from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. Drawing on sources such as smooth soul, smooth jazz, R&B, and disco, common stylistic traits include high-quality production, clean vocals, and a focus on light ...

  19. Yacht Jazz in Sunny Time: Easy Listening Bossa Jazz, Yacht Party

    Listen to Yacht Jazz in Sunny Time: Easy Listening Bossa Jazz, Yacht Party, Cocktails & Sun on Spotify. Jazz Music Collection Zone · Album · 2021 · 15 songs. Jazz Music Collection Zone · Album · 2021 · 15 songs. Home; Search; Your Library. Playlists Podcasts & Shows Artists Albums.

  20. Best Yacht Rock Songs to Play on Your Boat

    Yacht Rock emerged in the late '70s and early '80s, epitomizing the era's smooth, soft rock music. Characterized by its polished production, jazz-influenced arrangements and evocative lyrics, yacht rock often features leisure, escapism and coastal lifestyle themes.

  21. Yacht & Jazz

    ️ SUBSCRIBE! → 🎼 Listen to on Spotify → 🎧 Listen to on Ap...

  22. Rock the Yacht

    Get steeped in Saga, Santana, Stray Cats, Springsteen, Spoon, and Stone Temple Pilots. Rock Alphabet: "T" is a Tantalizing Trip. Trailing the tracks of Thin Lizzy, T. Rex, George Thorogood, They Might Be Giants and many more! Music from "Supernatural". We celebrate 15 seasons of the CW's hit dark fantasy series.

  23. The Bizarre History Of Yacht Rock Music

    Yacht rock is often erroneously believed to be bad music and is frequently conflated with soft rock. But the opposite is true: According to MasterClass, part of what defines yacht rock is the harmonic sophistication and jazz influences of the music. In other words, yacht rock was often composed and recorded at a very high level of musical ability.

  24. Yachtica

    Set sail to The Land of Smooth! The Yachtica (rhymes with Nautica) mix is an ode to the late 70s/early 80s feel good songs that were perfect for lying on the...