Here's what happens when you don't quite make it across the Mangawhai Bar.
Or more to the point, here's what happens to your boat after it's been through Mother Nature's washing machine, stripped down by the pressure of thousands of litres of sea water and tonnes of sand.
There is a happy ending to the story - the person aboard the boat was saved by the Mangawhai Heads Volunteer Surf Lifesaving Club.
MHVLS club captain Richard Kannemeyer said the man who was rescued on Saturday was truly grateful that lifeguards and local surfers were on hand to save him.
The man's boat had capsized in 3m waves on the notorious bar.
Mr Kannemeyer has been involved in numerous rescues on the Mangawhai bar.
"People need to check weather, tides and the bar itself before they go out in their boats," he said.
"People can always ring the Surfclub or make a trip to the beach to see its conditions. Our lifeguards are always happy to discuss conditions and give a word of advice."
At Mangawhai there is a surf webcam online that gives up-to-date images of bar conditions.
Coastguard NZ run courses on Bar Crossings. - http://www.boatingeducation.org.nz/courses/38/bar-crossing/