miss the boat

miss the boat also miss the bus  {v. phr.},  {informal}
To fail through slowness; to put something off until too late; do the wrong thing and lose the chance.
Mr. Brown missed the boat when he decided not to buy the house.
In college he didn't study enough so he missed the boat and failed to pass.
Ted could have married Lena but he put off asking her and missed the boat.
Categories: informal study verb