Like a lot of boaters, I’ve learned some valuable seamanship lessons the hard way. One lesson that comes to mind occurred as I manned the helm of a 27-foot center-console while shepherding a crew of friends on a sightseeing tour. We were tucked behind a cruiser in a channel, and, growing impatient, I hit the throttles and attempted to cross its wake to cut ahead. All seemed good until we launched into the trough and three of my passengers went flying off the cooler seat in front of the console. No one got hurt, but the mishap has stuck with me through the years. Here’s a quick review of the wake mistakes I made that you should avoid.