April Foolish Stuff Day!

foolish 1

Drain Plug in?

In honor of April Fools Day, we thought we would share all our Foolish Stuff we have done with our boats. Like leaving the plug out when putting the boat in the water.  Sitting on the top of front seats, and the best yet! Running all last summer with my head bolts not torqued correctly! Hitting the throttle at the dock, rebuilding the water pump backwards, restoring a boat, and then finding out you don’t like the model, leaving the lock pin on your trailer out. Yes the list goes on and on! Share today your foolish stuff so we can all feel better ourselves!

foolish 2

WECATCHEM’s Engine! Turns out I was using a 1970’s broken torque wrench and the head bolts were not tight! So I was using oil all summer. A simple proper tool fixed the issue with one turn. Yes I felt foolish!


55 replies
  1. Rick
    Rick says:

    A friend of mine didn’t secure his anchor correctly while trailering. People honking their horns at him made him look in the rearview mirror to see his anchor whipping across 2 lanes on 100 feet of line. The miracle is no damage and nobody got hurt.

  2. Warren
    Warren says:

    After running big block v-drives , fast ski boats etc who needs to hook up the kill switch on a new built skiff with an 18 hp

  3. Warren - different guy - don't go boating with Warrens
    Warren - different guy - don't go boating with Warrens says:

    Hate to admit this one and it’s not even a wood boat story. So out in Georgian Bay, and anchored miles for home when we decide to take the dingy off the big boat and go out for a run. Flop it into the water while attached to the davits and the dingy is “soft” A bit later, after some frustration, I find the pin hole and think “I’ve got this”. Get the patch kit ready, pull a plug to relieve some air pressure so the patch can be applied – yes the dingy is in the water with the motor attached and I decide to let the air out. Boy do those things relieve air pressure quickly. Well, luckily I was quick enough to realize to situation I had just put myself in, unhooked the motor and got it aboard before it submerged. Hey kids, you want to go swimming instead?

  4. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    I bought a jet boat…a wood jet boat. That is ALMOST as foolish as buying a wood cruiser.

    I also let Paul H tow my boat thinking he could trailer 30 miles without a breakdown. I don’t think he made it 10 miles before my factory original vintage bearing grease gave out.

  5. Chad
    Chad says:

    I once spent 15 minutes trying to restart a freshly rebuilt engine with the fuel valve in the CLOSED position.

  6. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    In the old days of “good gas” we used to leave the tank full. With Ethanol I leave them as empty as I can. Launched Yorktown in the spring and ran out before getting to the dock. Had to be Towed by a Sea Doo.

  7. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    Tie between Leaving my 25′ Sportsman in too long and not covering it up with snow in the forecast.

  8. Fred
    Fred says:

    Towed my newly built small wood boat 4 hours on interstates and back roads on an 1 7/8 ball with a 2 inch hitch on the trailer….popped off 3 miles from camp…safety chains worked….

    • Kentucky Wonder
      Kentucky Wonder says:

      I have never understood the reason for having hitch balls sized so closely. There cannot be much difference in the strength of the balls, or in their practical use. One of the two sizes, either 1.875 or 2 inch, should be outlawed! My vote is for the two inch ball to remain, and be the small-ball standard.

  9. Jeff Funk
    Jeff Funk says:

    After methodically preparing for a successful launch at the ramp, forgot to put in the bilge plug…twice. Jan just rolls her eyes, signaling she is indeed married to an occasional boating idiot.

  10. Mark
    Mark says:

    One year on April 1st I was going to take my boat out but there was snow in the forecast …

    Oh that is today ….

  11. Andy C
    Andy C says:

    I foolishly bought a boat sight unseen that I was assured would float. When I got it, I lifted up a floorboard and to my surprise I could see the ground ( a hole right through the keel). That boat is still waiting to be finished.

  12. Paul Thibault
    Paul Thibault says:

    How about quickly hooking up my empty trailer to the SUV. Then proceeding to hit a curb on way to pull boat, which then popped the hitch and did a number ($1000 estimate) to bumper and tail gate. What a racket it made……duah…

  13. ScottK
    ScottK says:

    Most foolish thing: I bought a boat.
    Second most foolish thing: That same boat has a funky latch on the tongue. Thought it was properly latched, even gave it a tug. Towed it 10 miles on back roads and 5 on highway. I found the magic bump and off it went. Thankfully 1 chain held and I also had presence of mind to not stab the brakes. The sparks flying off the bottom of the tongue parted traffic to allow me to get safely to the shoulder.
    Which reminds me that I need to put that on my fix it list for this spring.

    • ScottK
      ScottK says:

      oh, Third thing, (a fault of the previous owner) we were on a mission to join our neighbors for a Labor Day float in the center of our small lake. Pulling out of the hoist, the boat wouldn’t turn properly. Half way there it wouldn’t turn at all. Poking around I found the hydraulic steering ram swinging, no longer attached to the drive. Bolts in the bilge.

    • Rick
      Rick says:

      Yep, I stabbed the brakes and smashed the hatch on my Yukon. Foolishly didn’t check the latch after my family helped me hookup. Luckily I was just down the block on a side street, no traffic. Felt REALLY REALLY STUPID!

  14. Danny B
    Danny B says:

    There’s two kinds of boaters: those that are going to leave the plug out, and those that HAVE left the plug out.

    I am firmly encamped with the latter group.

  15. Tommyholm " nutless in Mich"
    Tommyholm " nutless in Mich" says:

    After riding around the lake for more than an hour the girls needed a pit stop. When I reversed out the boat quit moving, no reverse. The prop was found in six feet of water next to the dock; the prop nut somewhere else.

  16. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    Not our goof, but the people that bought our house in IL. They should have taken my husband up on his offer to meet with them & go over haw things worked. They left the boat hoist on and …

  17. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    Last year I was moving Troy’s trailer to the ramp following the St. John’s River Cruise when I snagged the fender on a post in the parking lot. I suppose at my age I can’t see where I’m going while watching where I’ve been. Embarrassing !!!

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      Every time I look at that fender I have fond memories of our wonderful adventure with Al and Karen on the St. Johns!
      At my age I need something to remind me.

  18. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    Ours was coming into dock in our ’88 Supra about 20 years ago. The dock at the ramp we mostly used always had lots of boats tied up, but there was one slightly awkward to reach area around the end usually empty. We developed a routine where I would use the skiboat’s ability to nearly rotate on its axis to put the corner of the platform next to the dock in that too-short- for-the-boat space. My husband would be waiting in the rear corner of the cockpit & with two steps of his long legs he’d be on the dock to go get the trailer. I’d pull away to wait our turn on the ramp. One day, I went to initiate the turn & nothing. A bit of reverse & there’s a clunk, followed by the engine stalling. So my husband comes to the helm & says “Let me try it”. Same thing again. Luckily nothing but soft shore ahead, so we didn’t hit anything. And that’s how we ended up with not one, but two chunked blades on he prop. Rudder cable came loose from the arm, so when we reversed the rudder turned around into the prop!

  19. Mike W
    Mike W says:

    I could go on and on. Like Chad only it was oil. I drained the generator in two falls ago, heated storage, so I just figured I will fill in the spring of last year. Forgot. Thankfully the oil pressure kill switch works. I was so mad at that Ohno! (Onan)

  20. Sean
    Sean says:

    Pulling out at the ramp in haste after a club run, I neglected to trim the sterndrive up to the trailering position and dragged the boat up the ramp on the skeg! Thank goodness it doesn’t have a bilge plug 🙂

  21. Tim Robinson
    Tim Robinson says:

    Did it twice. Unable to buy a exhaust elbow gasket, I made my own. After several attempts to start the engine I discovered I had forgotten to cut the center out of the gasket. Just like sticking a potato in the exhaust pipe. No air she won’t run. You would think I would learn from my mistakes, but no, several years later on the same engine I did it again. Now that is stupid.

  22. Ranger
    Ranger says:

    After not using the boat in a few years and having it revarnished and the engine gone through, we arrived at the ramp eager for the fun to start. First thing we notice is we have a passenger aboard, our cat had gotten in the boat and was up under the bow, not happy. We called our son to come get it; being a hot summer day I stashed it in one of the bathrooms while we finished getting the boat ready.
    At the dock the boat wouldn’t start. After looking at everything we could think of to get her running and calls to the mechanic I finally remembered the toggle switch thingy I had found while setting the boat back up a few weeks prior and apparently had pushed the wrong way.
    We ran the boat for several hours with our neighbor, smiling and laughing even as it started pouring down rain, we made it back to the dock in one soggy piece and had the boat safely on the trailer when our neighbor goes to release the pressure from the wench. You guessed it our day ended up with the three of us sitting in the emergency room. Thankfully he had no broken bones. And we love boating because…

  23. Dennis Mykols8
    Dennis Mykols8 says:

    After boating since 1956, I can say, I have no “OPPS” stories to share.
    You believe that, I got some waterfront property to sell you in New Mexico!!!
    Sadly we do not have room to list ALL the OPPS this old Captain has experienced, but as I have read all the above stories, I could place a check mark by 2/3 of them to say, Yep, done that, Been there…

  24. Tuobanur
    Tuobanur says:

    Let’s see, where do I start, tried to crank with the power shut off, tried to crank with the fuel shut off, cranked it with the water valve shut off, while trying to load it onto the trailer it shut down when I recranked it had throttle up and in gear ram the front of the bow in to the trailer did about $10,000 worth of damage. This year at Dora had fuel problems with the engine, after determining that it was the pick up on my tank I put in auxiliary tank, got it running and after driving around for a little while it started acting up, realized I had not open the vent on the auxiliary tank. And it goes on…..

  25. Bill W
    Bill W says:

    This picture was taken by an idiot, in his boat, being towed by the very nice lady who owns the Priest Lake Marina in Idaho.

    The idiot knew that the wiring harness, in the vintage Mercury outboard was in bad shape. But the motor ran so good that he put off changing the harness for another 8 years.

    Finally the ignition pack could take it no longer…..

  26. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Been there, done just about all of the above, except perhaps and anchor behind a boat on the road and the wrong size trailer hitch thingy… My latest OOOPs was thinking my hand was on the shift lever when I needed to bump the boat into forward for a few seconds…

    • Eric Bohman
      Eric Bohman says:

      Did exactly the same thing at Mystic Seaport with a ’59 Penn Yan…first time in the water after a two year restoration. Quite a few people were watching as I went to full throttle 6 ft off the dock, and sideswipe the starboard side. I was so disgusted with myself that I went right back to the launch, pulled the boat out, and went home…tail between my legs!

  27. Warren - A different one, Don't go boating with Warrens
    Warren - A different one, Don't go boating with Warrens says:

    Hate to admit this one and it’s not even a wood boat story. So out in Georgian Bay, and anchored miles for home when we decide to take the dingy off the big boat and go out for a run. Flop it into the water while attached to the davits and the dingy is “soft” A bit later, after some frustration, I find the pin hole and think “I’ve got this”. Get the patch kit ready, pull a plug to relieve some air pressure so the patch can be applied – yes the dingy is in the water with the motor attached and I decide to let the air out. Boy do those things relieve air pressure quickly. Well, luckily I was quick enough to realize to situation I had just put myself in, unhooked the motor and got it aboard before it submerged. Hey kids, you want to go swimming instead?

  28. Fred Bursch
    Fred Bursch says:

    A storm was brewing so left quickly for home after untying dock lines and tossing it into then boat. Beat ass across the lake and started to put the boat into the lift while fighting 3 foot waves. As I backed up to reposition the boat I discovered the stern line had been dragging in the water for the last five miles and now was wrapped around the prop and stopped the engine. I had to jump into the lake, battle a 22 foot -4000 lb boat, in 20 Knot winds and 3 foot waves. Not fun and definitely felt stupid. I had to cut the line free only to discover a nice dent in the newly replaced deck and transom.

  29. Briant
    Briant says:

    Wow. I got nothing. No boo boos, no screw ups, no trailering mishaps, no equipment failures…nothing. Great…now I probably just jinxed myself…..

  30. Brian "been boating since I was born" Flaherty
    Brian "been boating since I was born" Flaherty says:

    In all my years of boating I have committed some heinous atrocities…
    1) Launched SeaDoo without plug, couldn’t figure out why she had no power and kept tipping over.
    2) launched little outboard speedboat for club event without drainplugs! Had to hold up ramp traffic as my brother and I loaded it on his trailer to drain the water (didn’t have a bilge pump of any kind).
    3) First time taking our 1969 Chris Craft to the local lake with my buddies, it came with a roller style EZ-loader trailer… I have never used a roller trailer and never will again… unhooked all the straps including bow strap! Ended up using truck power to push the boat down the ramp into the water so we could get it back on the trailer to go home and replace prop, strut, and shaft!!

  31. Chug-A-Lug
    Chug-A-Lug says:

    After coming back from a good day of fishing,drove boat into boat channel a little bit too hot so put 50hp outboard in reverse-popping up motor and locking.nothing to do but grit teeth and hang on.big dent in dock.helps when the dock was covered with people.

  32. Dave Bannerman
    Dave Bannerman says:

    I wanted to impress some friends with a tour of”old Florida” by my ’58 Glen-l Swish. Heading up river to see the cabins with porches hanging over the river, turtles on logs and such, I wasn’t paying attention to the depth of the river.
    I heard a splash, saw a high column of water and looked to my right. There on the mud flats exposed by low water was a ‘gator almost as long as my boat.
    I decided to press on, and just upriver, I ran aground in what should have been the middle of the channel. Once we pushed and pulled with a boat hook and canoe paddle, I turned tail and ran back down river, past more big ‘gator to the dock.
    My neighbor says”everybody knows about those rocks”.

  33. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    Bought an old cruiser and didn’t adequately explain to my wife how much work she would need $$$$$$$$$. She loves the boat now, but I spent a couple of years in the dog house.

  34. Dave Bannerman
    Dave Bannerman says:

    I’m a newbie to boating. We bought an old Seadoo sportster, thinking we could beach and relaunch on the barrier islands in the Gulf.
    Took the Coast Guard course, read books and went to launch from a public ramp for our first adventure.
    No problem getting the Bimini up, the life jackets on, etc. Backing down the ramp wasn’t too bad, considering how busy the six ramps were. My wife had a dock line guiding the boat back to tie up, so I could park the trailer, but the boat wouldn’t come off the trailer. Multiple tries, my pulling the line, backing deeper into the water, but nothing.
    Other boaters watching, then helping, but nothing. Finally 40 minutes later, it comes off the trailer. I tied the boat off and pulled the trailer to the parking lot. I heard a rattle and loo, only to find one of the tie down straps dragging along under the trailer.

  35. Matt
    Matt says:

    Sorry, website was down for a little. All fixed. Mmm I wonder if its something foolish I did?

  36. Mike dovichi
    Mike dovichi says:

    I’ve got one that no one else mentioned yet. After a couple years without boating I launched the boat and noticed that the tires were floating as I backed down. Took way too long for me to realize that was a problem and drove back up the ramp. Yep I forgot to take the strap off the strut. At least now I know that the boat has enough displacement to drag the trailer across the lake if I ever need to.

  37. Clyde Walker
    Clyde Walker says:

    Bought a Gw invader 10 footer from just south of Canton Ohio.
    I live northwest of Flint Michigan. I got all the way to Grand Blanc Michigan on US-23 and the bow rope let loose!
    The boat went bow up, STRAIGHT UP at about 65mph.
    Lucky for me and everyone around me the rear strap grabbed just in front of the transom. In a millisecond it broke through the fiberglasss and grabbed tight hauling the boat back down. We aren’t done yet folks… The boat had enough “wing” at that speed
    to flip the trailer sideways. The boat rode on it’s nose for about 15 feet at this point. I got it all hauled down before anymore carnage. Believe it or not although the hull had some road rash and the trailers bunk mount was sheared off. The whole rig has been relatively easily repaired. I am so glad my stupidity didn’t cost someone’s loved ones injury or worse. I have hauled many,many old boats over long distances and I am a careful driver. Never had anything like that happen in 20 odd years of fooling with this stuff.
    Guy’s/Gal’s. If your hauling an old rig for the first time.

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