When you imagine a party boat fail, what comes to mind? Probably someone belly-flopping off of the top deck, or Mindy’s top coming off again (seriously, does she not know how to properly tie a bikini top?).

Maybe you’re an overachiever, so a party boat fail that might come to mind is forgetting the sunscreen, or not bringing the correct wine to pair with yacht rock and a charcuterie board.

But when we think of the biggest party boat fails, we’re thinking bigger – things that could only happen to the dumbest of dumb, the unluckiest of the unlucky, but mostly in part to a lack of training or simple awareness.

We can’t relate to any of these because we take safety extremely seriously and protect our fleet like they’re our children (it IS the most luxurious fleet on Lake Travis after all).

Shameless self-promotion aside, let’s take a look at some of the wildest party boat fails in recent years!

Much Crash, Such Viral

You might have seen this bad boy, but if not, buckle up, it’s painful. It’s an internet classic, and we’ll give you an update after you take a gander:

We had to know if everyone was okay, so we did some digging. First of all, no one died, and all are now okay several years later. Marvin Carter III of Tennessee was the driver, and he endured “moderate injuries” per authorities and citations for speeding and imprudent operation of the boat.

On that day, five out of seven passengers were hospitalized for moderate injuries like broken bones. Since it was years ago, it appears all seven have fully recovered.

What’s fascinating about this boat fail is that even Family Guy parodied the crash:

Buoy, This Compilation Video Is a Banger

Yeah, yeah, we did a pun, sorry. This is one of those ridiculously narrated compilation videos that says “watch ‘til the end, you’ll be amazed,” but hear us out – there’s some ridiculous stuff here…

In case you are picky and don’t want to spend 7 minutes watching boat fails, here are the highlights you can choose from:

  • 1:25 a dude straight up falls off trying to jack with the rope
  • 1:40 happens on land, but towing a luxury boat inappropriately ends poorly
  • 2:05 someone crashes into another boat AND a dock (it appears again from another angle at 4:15), it’s very cringe and probably involves alcohol
  • 3:36 avoiding a draw bridge proves why marinas are a no-wake zone
  • 5:15 another boat screws near a marina by being too fast
  • 5:35 boating over a sandbar? Come on, ya dinghies (sorry, we won’t make any more boat puns)
  • 6:10 there is a massive fire caused by a bbq pit, this one is sad for the boat AND the beef’s sakes
  • 6:37 plowing through huge waves is really unsafe especially that close to rocks

Lake Travis Party Sinks Boat Over Nudity

Ask any local about the biggest party boat fail in Lake Travis history, and they’ll probably point to the 2004 incident, not the more recent boats sinking as part of the on-water Trump parade. Why? Because nudity was involved.

A party barge was nearing Hippie Hollow, Lake Travis’ clothing-optional beach, and the 60 folks on board wanted a closer look. When 60 people lean over one side of the boat all at one time, it’s going to flip. Every time. The pontoon boat flipped over, two people were hospitalized with minor injuries, and the boat sank in 50 feet of water.

Even though officials had accounted for all party-goers, they still sent divers into the water to check all crevices for potential victims (there were none).

Lake Travis party boat sinks over nudity
unfortunately, there isn't a video for this one 🙁

Parking Lot Fight, Florida Style!

Party boat fails don’t just happen on the water, they can happen in those stressful moments for people that choose public boat ramps. You never know who you’re dealing with, how drunk they are, whether or not they’ve actually ever launched a boat before, and if they’re from Florida or not.

Since we’re in a marina and a private company, we’ll never take you to a public ramp, so this is just fun viewing, not a reality for anyone that hires us to charter their lake experience.

The following is a glorious and stressful video, and if you look closely, the license plates are all Florida. Enjoy:

Similarly, this fight on the water spreads, heats up, cools down, heats up again, and our favorite part is that there is a gator that gets involved without people even knowing – it’s wild!

So Many People Screw Up so Royally

Compilation videos are a lot of fun, so let’s watch another, shall we? In this one, literally everyone screws up, and this time, boats literally sink:

Actual Boat Party Fails You Might Encounter

These videos have been entertaining, but the truth is that boat party mistakes happen a lot. The most common failures we see on Lake Travis are from inexperienced or drunk people (and often a dangerous mix of both).

Our founder is a former firefighter and EMT, so none of our professionally trained captains are drunks OR inexperienced, but we’ve seen our share of irresponsibility on the waters.

Our customers don’t have to encounter parking lot fights, gators, or worry about a captain flipping the boat, but sunburn is a reality. So is dehydration which can be life-threatening if not taken seriously.

But mostly, we all have to watch out for each other when drinking on a boat, especially around other boats that are inexperienced or drunk. It’s never a good idea for anyone to overdo it, but common mistakes are typically linked to either of these factors.

We’ll keep our trained eyes out for you so you can just have fun on your next excursion with us!