Skip to main content
Home Boating

Never Too "Seasoned" to Make a Mistake

james 14james 14 Posts: 3,168 Moderator
I've been pulling boats for over 20 years; made my share of mistakes. Yesterday might've been the worst. I went through all of the steps to get the boat out of the garage and hooked up. Changed out hitch on the truck, swing-tongue locked, power pole down to get out the door, etc.

I get about 3 miles down the road, hit a railroad track, and hear a loud bang as I look back to see the front of the boat much lower than it's supposed to be. ****?! I think, as I make sure not to panic and to slow down as easily as I can. I knew I closed and locked the latch, so seriously, what happened?

Turns out I somehow didn't get the hitch pin through the hole. There laid the tongue on the asphalt with the hitch still locked onto the trailer - pin locked in the receiver. I've swapped the hitch out with my bike rack countless times, but somehow, a mistake I never imagined I could make, was, in fact, made.

A few good samaritans helped me lift the trailer back up onto the ball after I properly secured it. Fortunately, the only damage ended up being a little road rash that is largely just superficial. I felt like a complete dolt, but also thankful it wasn't as bad as it could've been. My truck was somehow unscathed.

Except for cradling the tongue and keeping it off the ground, the chains did their job of preventing a catastrophe. And I have a new item to add to the checklist.


  • surfmansurfman Posts: 6,017 Admiral
    On my hitch reciever I can see how far to insert it due to the rust on the square shaft. It is either where it needs to be or close and needs to be moved slightly to align the hole.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • snookaffinitysnookaffinity Posts: 1,303 Officer
    Almost been there and done that. My granddaughter made the observation just before I left the driveway and saved me.
    "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." - Mark Twain
  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,712 Captain
    It seems like the older I get the more mistakes I make.  CRS.
  • gogittumgogittum Posts: 4,166 Captain
    Sometimes you pull the silliest boo-boos.  Bass fishing with a friend the other day, I broke a lure off on a snag, so tied on a new setup.  Went to cast and realized I'd forgotten to thread the line thru the guides 1st.
  • Crkr23Crkr23 Posts: 868 Officer
    My bone-head mistake was a little more expensive. I loaded the boat on the trailer in a hurry, jumped in the truck and took off. I got about about 5 miles down the road and looked in the rear view mirror and something did not look right. I pulled over on the shoulder of the road and took a look. I had forgotten to raise the motor. It ground off the skag and about half of a SS prop.
  • james 14james 14 Posts: 3,168 Moderator
    With the boat being in the garage now, I have what seems to be 15 extra steps to take just to get it ready compared to when I had a boat in the driveway. I love being able to keep it in the garage to keep it looking as new as possible if I can avoid missing one of those steps and screwing it up worse than leaving it outside.
  • madm002madm002 Posts: 283 Deckhand
    OP stuff happens.  I had that happen dragging the boat back from the mechanics, scared the crap out of me.
  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,712 Captain
    Yesterday while river fishing I had a fish on and the current carried me into a tree where I was stung by a hornet or wasp.  It's not the first time either.  The place is still swollen and itches.
  • ocalaocala Posts: 248 Deckhand
    We're all human. Mistakes will be made.
    Mine was a cabled steering system Me and a buddy installed. Everything looked good until I backed it off the trailer into the water. Trying to steer the boat to tie it to the dock it wouldn't go in the right direction. Turns out we put the unit in backwards. When I turned the wheel to the right the boat went left. When I turned it to the left the boat went right. We had a good laugh and luckily it was an easy fix.  
  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,712 Captain
    My buddy did the same thing with a lower station and a flybridge station.  When I backed the boat off from the bridge it didn't pull into the dock.  The lower station worked right.  I didn't tell him when he got back to drive.  We still laugh 40 years later.
  • swampdogswampdog Posts: 5,652 Admiral
    Worst thing was letting my boat sit until the old teleflex cable seized in the sleeve. What a pain. 
    I also have installed the throttle backwards. It worked great just in reverse of normalcy. 
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 4,511 Captain
    Anderson’s Law:
    ” Murphy Was An Optimist”
    Things Happen. 
    As The Prop Turns.......
    Wonderful to review and share on this Forum. 
    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • TurtleTeaTurtleTea Posts: 7 Deckhand
    Thinking you are too seasoned is a mistake in itself I suppose. You sound lucky on this one. I have made mistakes that cost money but none where anyone got hurt so I feel like I have a good streak going.
  • diverritediverrite Posts: 167 Deckhand
    I did something close, 2" ball for my Proline 240 trailer and a 2 5/16 ball for a flat bed trailer I have. Backed up to hook the boat, let it down on the ball closed the latch and thought it didn't look correct. 
    Sure enough wrong ball, lucky I didn't pull out.     We all live and learn. 
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] Diverrite aboard "Step Into Liquid"
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.


Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now