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Old 15-12-2015, 15:05   #1
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Murphy's Marine Laws

OK. We all know about Lt Murphy and his law. I however have been noticing that there are specific laws and corollaries that apply to the marine world. I was reminded of how Murphy impacts my boat projects by a post I made in another thread so thought it a good time to start a thread to collect a few of Murphy's Marine Laws.
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Old 15-12-2015, 15:07   #2
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The Law of Goop

Any type of goop: glue, caulk, bedding compound, paint, grease, thread compound, etc used in any boat job will preferentially stick to fingers, tools, upholstery, varnished woodwork, your wife, the dog or anything else within a 5' radius except the item to which you want to apply that goop.
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Old 15-12-2015, 15:12   #3
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Re: Murphy's Marine Laws

It is not until you crawl into the depths of the lazerette or bilge (commonly known as boat yoga) that you find you brought a metric wrench to an English nut...
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Old 15-12-2015, 15:17   #4
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The Law of Dropped Parts

If you drop a part, screw, nut, washer or any other small thing it will bounce to the worst place it could go.

- If you are on deck, even in the cockpit it will bounce over the coaming, over the bulwarks and into the water.

- If you are below, with all the floorboards in place and all the holes covered, the part will still find a way to the bilge.

- If a part falls into the bilge it will roll to the most inaccessible corner of the bilge, necessitating the removal of floors, access hatches and engine covers to retrieve it.

- The likelihood of the part being permanently lost in the bilge or falling overboard is directly proportional one of the following, whichever is greatest:

1. The cost of the part.
2. The difficulty in replacing the part
3. The importance of the part in making the boat run.

First Corollary, replacement of a lost part. If a replacement is available it will only be sold as part of an expensive assembly that contains a dozen other parts that you don't need.

Second Corollary. If the part is available but has to be ordered from elsewhere, rapid transit time of the package to your location is inversely related to the importance of the part. If the part is shipped from out of the country it will be held up in customs.
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Old 15-12-2015, 15:54   #5
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Re: Murphy's Marine Laws

Similar to mine:
Any piece of hardware dropped will bounce overboard if you have no spares, if you got a bag of spares it either lands safely in the cockpit or you don't drop it at all.
Corollary: Everybody has extra shackles and pelican hooks missing their pins, but nobody has a bag of pins.
Also, if a manufacturer is the only source for a part they'll insist on a shipping method that costs more than part.
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Old 15-12-2015, 16:00   #6
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Re: The Law of Dropped Parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
The likelihood of the part being permanently lost in the bilge or falling overboard is directly proportional one of the following, whichever is greatest
Thank you, skipmac, that made me laugh so hard!
Very, very true and I feel & share your frustration

You managed to write it up in a very funny way tho
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Old 15-12-2015, 16:00   #7
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Re: Murphy's Marine Laws

The part you need, will of course not be what you have in spares.
If it's an O ring, the extra you have will be just a tiny bit too big, making you wonder if you can cut out a section and superglue it back together.
Required bolts will be just a tiny bit too short, clamps just barely too small, a half inch hose will require a hear gun to get it to fit over a half inch fitting, ID, OD? So that's what that means?
Hoses will always be 1" too short, as will wires.


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Old 15-12-2015, 16:02   #8
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Re: Murphy's Marine Laws

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calif.Ted View Post
Corollary: Everybody has extra shackles and pelican hooks missing their pins, but nobody has a bag of pins.
There has to be one person somewhere on the planet with a giant bag full of pins.
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Old 15-12-2015, 16:32   #9
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Re: Murphy's Marine Laws

You're looking for a particular part or tool half way through a job, you will find every other tool and part, but the one you really need. The only time you find it is when you don't need it.

If your working on something near the edge of the boat, at least one tool will be donated to Poseidon. Sometimes it's best to just toss a tool overboard to get that out of the way.
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Old 15-12-2015, 16:37   #10
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Re: Murphy's Marine Laws

A precise length of expensive water blocked cable that you have measured three times instantly becomes too short the moment you close the wire cutters.

And a corollary:
The expensive water blocked marine cable remaining on the spool after you finish the first job is slightly too short for any other job on board. So you store it for the life of the boat.
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Old 15-12-2015, 16:45   #11
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Re: Murphy's Marine Laws

The degree of docking precision is inversely proportional to the number of casual dockside observers.

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Old 15-12-2015, 17:05   #12
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Re: Murphy's Marine Laws

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
If your working on something near the edge of the boat, at least one tool will be donated to Poseidon. Sometimes it's best to just toss a tool overboard to get that out of the way.
Wise advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
You're looking for a particular part or tool half way through a job, you will find every other tool and part, but the one you really need. The only time you find it is when you don't need it.
A related law. You disassemble something for repairs, put the special screws and unique, little pieces in a carefully labeled container and put it safely away while you wait for repair part. A few months (weeks or even days?) later you get the new parts and are ready to reassemble the unit and the container of parts is nowhere to be found.

You spend hours searching every drawer, shelf and locker on the boat (yes, finding lots of other lost parts that you no longer need) with no luck. Weeks later you reach for the box of left handed, metric, fine thread, truss head screws you need to fix the Albanian made toilet that came with the boat and there's the lost parts container. Of course by now you have ordered replacements so you save the old ones in the "spares you will never use" locker.
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Old 15-12-2015, 17:10   #13
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Re: Murphy's Marine Laws

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
So you store it for the life of the boat.
I think it's mandatory for every cruiser to have a locker dedicated to spare parts that will never get used.

Which of course brings up the law of spares. The spare part you need when you are broken down in a remote location is the one that you decided you would never need and did not to bring.
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Old 15-12-2015, 19:31   #14
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Re: The Law of Dropped Parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post

- The likelihood of the part being permanently lost in the bilge or falling overboard is directly proportional one of the following, whichever is greatest:

1. The cost of the part.
2. The difficulty in replacing the part
3. The importance of the part in making the boat run.
Ah...So this explains the loss of the cell phone, whilst working on a two cent job...
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Old 15-12-2015, 19:44   #15
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Re: Murphy's Marine Laws

If you have the perfect tool for the job and are at the boat, the tool will be at home. If you are home the tool will be on the boat.

I have almost two complete sets of tools now
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