Law of Belowdecks Repair: As soon as your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you’ll have to pee. The possibility of this occurring is greatest when you are trapped in the engine room.
Law of Biomechanics: The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.
Bilge’s Law: Any tool, nut, bolt or screw, when dropped, will roll to the deepest and least accessible part of the bilge.
Law of Docking: The probability of being watched as you completely screw up a landing is directly proportional to how bad your docking is. A corollary to this law states that the worse the docking disaster, the more people will be watching. The inverse of this law dictates that no perfect docking shall ever have anyone in attendance to prove you actually did it.
Wake’s Law: The percentage probability of being waked is increased by the size of the power boat coming up on you, and further increased by the narrowness of the channel.
Law of Crossed Legs: The likelihood of having another boat nearby increases directly with the urgency of your need to pee over the side.
Law of Close Encounters: The probability of meeting someone from your yacht club or marina increases dramatically when you are out on a PWC and going crazy with it.
Service Department Law: When you try to prove to a mechanic that a machine won’t work, it will. Every time. The inverse of this law states that the likelihood of the machine’s failing again approaches 100 percent as you board the boat.
Law of the Anchorage: At any anchorage, the possibility of you getting a spot close in is inversely proportional to your boat’s draft. The possibility is further decreased by the imminence of bad weather and high winds.
The First Beer After Anchoring Law: As soon as you sit down to a cold drink after anchoring, your boat will begin to drag. This is especially true if you have shut down the engine.
The Law of 0300: The likelihood of your boat dragging anchor is greatest at 0300.
The Law of Thunder and Lightning: The odds of a major thunder and lightning storm occurring are greatest at 0300 if your boat is dragging anchor.
Murphy’s Law of Proximity: If you and your loved one are the only boat in a beautiful, remote anchorage with a gorgeous sunset coming on, the possibility of a powerboat filled with noisy obnoxious teenagers and PWCs approaches 100 percent.
Law of Physical Surfaces: The chance of your smartphone landing on the deck and sliding overboard is directly correlated to the newness and cost of said phone.
Oliver’s Law of Public Speaking: A VHF will always be keyed open when you least expect it. A corollary to this law dictates that the dumber your remark, the greater the number of people you know will be listening.
illustration by Tom Payne