From The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat by John Vigor, pg. 216:
Vigor’s Black Box Theory states that there is an invisible Black Box aboard every boat. Whenever you take the trouble to consult the chart, inspect the diesel filters, go forward on a cold and rainy night to check the running lights, or take any other seamanlike precaution, you earn a point that goes into the Black Box.
When things start to go wrong in bad weather, when you get to the stage where you can accomplish nothing more through your own skill and physical effort, the points are cashed in as protection. You don’t have any control over their withdrawal: They withdraw themselves, as appropriate.
If you have no points in the Black Box, you will suffer the fate the sea decides. You may be one of those later described as unlucky.
If you have sufficient points to spend, you’ll survive the storm — but you’ll have to begin replenishing your savings immediately because the sea offers no credit.
It’s the long-winded (appropriate for sailing…) extrapolation of the old Scout motto, Be Prepared.