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Yes You Can!

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

By Martha Goodfellow, South Carolina Pro Angler July 2019

Yes You Can!

For as many times as I’ve approached a dock with my husband and he jumps out and my husband hears a guy ask, “Where can I find one of those?” At first you might think they are talking about the boat or something on the boat. The reality is, they are impressed that a lady can handle a boat. Really, it’s not a big deal. After all, we all know ladies can learn anything, if they have the desire and the opportunity. When I was growing up, my Mom was my role model. She took the kids and friends out in the boat on fishing and water ski trips. Mom also took us camping and backed the camp trailer into many tight spots. Yes, she showed me ladies can. Next up, my husband was my best teacher. Whether learning how to back a horse trailer or boat, he took the patience to train me. For years, I’d haul our daughter to horse events and pull the horses in our trailer. Plus, he taught me safe boating skills and how to handle the boat and all of the boat’s features. Learning how to drive or trailer a boat, including backing up a trailer isn’t “rocket science.” Both takes practice and with experience you’ll feel confident. One friend said that he has trouble backing up if his trailer isn’t behind him.  My biggest recommendation for someone that wants to learn how to back a trailer is to practice in an empty lot, not on tournament day or the busy weekends at the ramps. There are many impressive ladies and gentleman that have successfully taken the steps to teach ladies, often their tournament partner, skills to back a trailer. Many ladies that I have seen are better at backing up at difficult ramps than a lot of guys.

A quick cute story… One of the couples that we fish with, he taught his wife how to drive the boat up on the trailer. Great! One day, she masterfully drove the boat up on the trailer. She couldn’t have done it any better. She was so proud of her accomplishment. As she waited for her husband to step out of the truck and compliment her, she was surprised when a stranger got out of the truck, stared at her in disbelief, and wondered why she’d loaded her boat up on his trailer. Cute story yes and one she tells perfectly. Idea, there are a lot of same color and brands of vehicles and same color boat trailers. It’s easy to make a mistake. Solution, they put a sticker on their back window. As for learning how to drive and handle a boat. Ask lots of questions. And, if you are the teacher, remember that whoever you are teaching “doesn’t know what they don’t know.” Cover all the details of how the gauges work, power switches, trim, live well operation, gas and oil, etc. The purpose of this Blog post is to not teach others how to drive a boat or tow a trailer. I hope that this Blog might encourage others to take the challenge and try to learn. And, to learn, there must be others that will step up and teach. YES, you can!

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