Nine Favorite Boat Expressions

You can miss the boat, rock the boat, be fresh off the boat and even be in the same boat. There are certain boat expressions that we use all the time. I'm sure many of them are applicable to other situations, but we decided to share them with you and see if you had any to add.

  1. Nothing's ever easy on a boat.

    We use this expression all the time. Things that might be easy on land are never easy on a boat … mostly because there are few straight lines on a boat, lots of odd angles plus the boat is usually rocking and things are hard to get at. Whether it be working on the engine, trying to clean the oven, retrieving a part that's fallen into the bilge or trying to get a mattress to fit on an odd-shaped bunk … nothing's every easy on a boat.


  2. The happiest two days in a boat owner's life is when he buys his boat and when he sells it.

    Another iteration of this is … the happiest days in a sailor's life is when he arrives in port and when he leaves. For us, the latter applies. We like arriving, but after a visit, it's always great to be back at sea.

  3. Cruising is fixing your boat in exotic places.

    Boat work never ends. Wherever we've been in the world, there's been boat work to do. The neighborhood and scenery might change, but the boat projects, repair and maintenance are always there.

    repairs in exotic locals

  4. If it's for a boat, it will cost twice as much and last half as long.

    Boat parts are always expensive because of the environment in which they're made to be used and because once the words “for marine use” appear on a label, the price doubles. Because the typical boat environment of salt water, sun and wave action are so hostile, parts tend to wear out sooner than they would on land. All that said, we've been snookered a few times by paying a higher price for a product that was just a land-item re-labeled.

  1. For every 10' (3m) you add to the length of your boat, everything doubles in cost.

    It's just how it is … do the math.

  2. A boat is a hole in the water into which you throw money.

    The truth of this is in your bank account.

    money sucking vortex

  1. Whatever floats your boat …

    That is … whatever makes you happy. In our case, a boat that floats, floats our boat.

  1. If the boat's rockin', don't come knockin'.

    A hint that company is not welcome because of personal business aboard.

  2. Come sail away with me …

    Pretty much the nicest invitation my captain ever made. Who could have thought (certainly not me) that those simple words would take me around the world with him.


Got a few to add?