The Biggest Boating Mistakes To Avoid (New Boaters Beware!)


If you’ve been on the water lately, you’ve probably noticed WAY more boat traffic!

The market for new boats has absolutely exploded over the past two years.

That also means a lot of new boaters.

And with the massive explosion of new boats and new boaters over the past two years, there has also been an increase in boating accidents, mistakes, long lines at the ramps, and boats stuck on sandbars.

So we brought in a new boating expert (who actually is hired by new boaters to show them the ropes) to discuss the biggest boating mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Check it out below!

You can watch the video version of this podcast below (which I highly recommend), listen to the audio version by clicking the play button underneath it, or listen to it on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify and leave us a review!

Biggest Boating Mistakes [VIDEO]

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Biggest Boating Mistakes [PODCAST]

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You can follow the timestamped table of contents:

  • 1:27 – The Captain’s Coach (How it started)
  • 2:54 – The in and out method to start learning
  • 3:28 – Pre-purchase mistakes (Safety courses & sizing)
  • 4:59 – Make sure the boat fits your needs
  • 6:58 – Tons of new boats in the water right now
  • 9:07 – Navigation: Huge mistakes that lead to running aground
  • 11:51 – Communication: Working as a team and being prepared
  • 12:46 – Boat ramp stories & fails
  • 15:28 – Practice & Aim Small, Miss Small
  • 17:02 – What accessories do you really need?
  • 19:57 – Best navigation and depth finders
  • 23:39 – Best and worst anchors
  • 27:01 – Biggest docking mistakes and tips
  • 29:53 – Neutral is your friend
  • 32:28 – Don’t be afraid of reverse and know how to use it
  • 34:20 – Anchoring at a sandbar
  • 36:23 – Know when to ditch
  • 38:10 – You are only as good as your first mate
  • 39:58 – Boating should not be stressful. If it is, then you need to ask for help!
  • 42:47 – How far should you back your trailer in when you are loading your boat?
  • 46:39 – Will insurance companies start to require training over and above the Boater Safety Course?
  • 47:48 – Just don’t drink when you are operating a boat. (Especially not White Claw. Sorry Wyatt.)

Learn more about The Captain’s Coach here:

Click here to see the Anchoring Mini-Course!

And click here to see all of our anchoring tips.


boating mistakes

If you’re going to operate a boat, you must know how to do it safely (and still have fun out on the water)!

And with all of the new boat traffic, it’s crucial to always be prepared, communicate, and know how to handle your boat.

Have any questions about boating?

Would you like to see more boating tips?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know an angler who is a new boater or just bought a new boat, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

P.S. Want access to our best fishing spots and tips, plus discounts to our online tackle store? Click here to join us in the Insider Club!

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Nick Maggio
2 years ago

learn something new every time I watch

Sean Griffin
2 years ago

Neutral is your FRIEND is the best advice I was ever given.

Mark Herrmann
2 years ago

Thought the presentation was well done. However as a USCG Licensed captain with a 100 ton Masters license, I must comment that your guest should know the difference between tide and current Current is the horizontal force that affects the boats handling and tide is the vertical movement (up and down) that will affect anchoring and level of height at the dock and obviously the depth of water

2 years ago

Good information! A couple of items or mistakes I see at the ramp that you didn’t cover was remember to check the plug is in the boat and inspect any unfamiliar ramp before launching. Some ramps are very steep or have sharp drop offs where the ramp actually ends. You can hang your tires off the ramp and get it stuck. With tides or lakes that have low water and algae covered backing up too far may make it difficult for certain vehicles to pull a boat out off a slick ramp.

Jason Shoemake
2 years ago

Great discussion guys, all three of you. I for one took away a good bit. Thank you. I really liked the idea of including the wives/moms/sig others, they need to hear these things from someone besides us, I’ve found they hear things or gain knowledge that we don’t or have never heard of before and can teach us in a subtle manner so that we don’t know we’re learning, we say, or think to ourselves…oh.
That’s the “clean slate” starting point.

Melissa Chow
2 years ago

Thanks for your marriage counseling session!😉😁

Russ Haynes
2 years ago

I have operated a boat for many years albeit small boats but this is one of the best podcasts you guys have done. You need to broadcast this info every week.

Richard Kucharski
2 years ago

Great podcast. Question. I was drift fishing in a 14″ power boat (power off) about 1 mile in the gulf. Large sail tour boat coming my port side about 4′ off my boat. Never changed course for a good mile. I was told that I should have started my motor and mover. Is that a case of he was law correct but ignorant? I know big boat always wins.

Capt. Will Mason
2 years ago

Hey Richard, technically in any situation a sailboat with its sail up has the right of way. It really depends on how much room the sailboat had to maneuver. Was there shallow water nearby? Was there another boat? Was he able to tac into the wind to turn away from you? There are many variables to consider. If you were in open water then one would think he could’ve changed course a little. It all goes back to matching etiquette and rules of road.

2 years ago

The biggest boat always has the right of way regardless of the “rules of the road”

Mark Catanese
2 years ago

Great discussion!  I took a course, years ago in New Jersey.  The first thing the instructor said was, “If it’s bigger than you, stay away from it”.  I find it incredible how many people don’t follow that!

I would love to see you do one on boating etiquette.  My biggest pet peeve is people plowing through under bridges.  Last weekend (I realize it was Labor Day) there were guys fishing on a skiff under a bridge. I had slowed so I wouldn’t blast them with my wake and a 40’ cruiser blew past me under the bridge.  Luckily the guys saw it coming and sat down and were fine, but it could have been bad.

ricardo rivas jr
2 years ago
Reply to  Mark Catanese

Fishing is peace and quiet. Its getting hard even when out on a boat with all the nightclubs rolling by blaring music and I like most types of music having played a sax.

Pat Roll
2 years ago

Since retiring, I dont get on the water on weekends. The boating situation in this area has gotten a bit too crazy for me. Weekdays are calmer.


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