Boating and fishing through the southeast is incredible as it offers the ability to enjoy a wide range of bodies of water. Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina offer boaters the chance to enjoy coastal waters, the Atlantic Ocean, lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. Not only can you boat, but fish for an exceptional number of species. Whether you are boating on a personally own watercraft or aboard a charter, bananas on a boat are a sore subject. Learn the history behind why bananas on a boat are a delicate subject. 

What Is The History Behind Bananas On A Boat

The history of bananas allegedly dates back to the 1700s when wooden seas ventured across the seas. 

Bananas were on board ships for many reasons, so we will explore three plausible explanations as to why bananas on a boat cause a stir to this day. 

Spoiling Food

We all know that bananas turn from edible to mush in short order. It is believed that the bananas would turn inedible at a rapid rate rendering the fruit inedible. 

The combination of undeniable bananas and the inability of the crew to catch fish for meals forced starvation. Sailers were believed to have died due to rotting bananas and lack of fresh fish, making banans unwelcome aboard sailing vessels.

Causing Sailing Vessels To Sink

When bananas were transported across seas to be enjoyed in other countries, bananas were transferred from farms to the holds of wooden sailing ships.

Unfortunately, vessels would sink along the journey due to poor weather or running aground. All that remained of the lost ship were bananas bobbing about the surface. The eerie sight left passing sailors with the fear of becoming the next victim of the sea. 

Dangerous Creatures

Rumore has it that bushels of bananas were not the only plant or wildlife brought aboard the ship. As lore has it, dangerous bugs and reptiles lurked in the bushels of bananas, wreaking havoc on crews. 

Sailors were forced to battle poisonous snakes and spiders, which caused severe injury or death to unsuspecting crew members. 

Why Do Boaters, Anglers, And Captains Ban Bananas Onboard To This Day

We have fished aboard charters through the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Bahamas. It holds that to this day, the captains are irked or entirely ban bringing bananas over the threshold from land and on the boat no matter if it is fishing or cruising. 

Let’s look at it on a case-by-case basis on why each type of boater or captain bans bananas on board. 

Pleasure Boater

The least haunted by the history of bananas on boats are pleasure boaters. Pleasure boaters are vastly unfamiliar with the theory behind leaving boats back on the dock. 

However, don’t be surprised to run into a grouchy private boat owner, whether a cousin, uncle or friend who says leave them bananas back on the dock. 


When we refer to anglers were are talking about fishers who utilize a personal boat to catch fish. Anglers take the baning of bananas to a more elevated level compared to pleasure boaters.

Having fished extensively with friends and family, nine out of ten have indicated a dislike for bananas coming aboard. 

Anglers do not ban bananas because of the fear of sinking but rather believe that it will result in a skunked day. A skunked day of fishing means no fish are caught. We recommend consulting with your friend or family member before arriving with bananas. 

Captain For Hire

When we refer to a captain for hire, we talk about fishing, ferry, or sightseeing guides. Each of these varies significantly in the number of passengers ranging from one to hundreds. 

Fishing Charter Captains

Like private anglers, fishing captains fear the inability to catch fish. The failure to find and catch fish results in an unhappy customer likely to receive a refund. Long story short, don’t pack bananas on a fishing charter. 

Read the tips on finding and hiring a top-quality fishing captain

Ferry And Sightseeing Captains

When referring to ferry or sightseeing guides, the fear is rooted in risking lives. Similar to back in the 1700s, passing sailors were left feeling dreadful after passing thousands of floating banana bushels.

Ferry and sightseeing captains today fear the loss of a passenger as this would be a traumatic experience because safety is number one. Don’t torment the captain; leave the bananas behind and pack another snack. 

Bananas On A Boat The History And How It Applies Today

Now you know the history of why bananas on a boat cause a stir to this day. Before showing up for an adventure on friends, families, or charter boats, ask the operator or captain ahead of time regarding their policy on bananas aboard. Despite the health benefits of a banana including potassium, find alternatives such as Gatorade or other fruits. Here is a list of foods containing the highest levels of potassium