Is Renaming a Boat Unlucky ?

June 20, 2013  


Can it be done without a ceremony ?   Will the lords and gods of Sea and Wind be offended ?    We try to answer those questions. A quick Google search turns up 83,900 results in 0.29 seconds and a Bing search, 193,000 results, so the answer must be yes…   Here’s some of what we found:    Remember, everything you read on the internet is true, right ?     From   Renaming a boat is, of course, not something to be done lightly. Since the beginning of time, sailors have sworn that there are unlucky ships and the unluckiest ships of all are those who have defied the gods and changed their names. So, is there a way to change a name and not incur the wrath of those deities that rule the elements? Yes, Virginia, there is.   From There are several steps involved in the naming or renaming of a boat, not the least of which is choosing the name itself. It's important to take care with this step because the name will probably stick with you. You, your crew, and the boat herself will probably all be known simply by the boat's name. You can choose a name for the attributes the boat herself seems to have. If I had a particularly snazzy and happy little sailboat, I might dub her Snappy. Or you can name her for attributes you'd like her to have; as Puritan parents used to name their daughters Charity or Chastity, you could name your boat the Dauntless (as in the movie, Pirates of the Caribbean) if you wished your vessel to be brave, and, well, dauntless on the waters. There are other conventions to choosing a name as well, including naming the boat for your wife (if you happen to be a married man), or for characters out of mythology; for celestial beings, or for the wind, sea, or sun; for some unique favorite of yours, such as a storybook character or hobby. Endless variations of the above conventions find their ways into Neptune's (and the Coast Guard's) ledgers. Unconventional names work as well, just take care that it's something easy to pronounce over the radio, in case of trouble. From Some years ago, when I wanted to change the name of my newly purchased 31-foot sloop from Our Way to Freelance, I searched for a formal "de-naming ceremony" to wipe the slate clean in preparation for the renaming. I read all the books, but I couldn't find one. What I did learn, though, was that such a ceremony should consist of five parts: an invocation, an expression of gratitude, a supplication, a re-dedication and a libation. So I wrote my own short ceremony: Vigor's inter-denominational de-naming ceremony. It worked perfectly. How you conduct the ceremony depends entirely on you. If you're the theatrical type, and enjoy appearing in public in your yachtclub blazer and skipper's cap, you can read it with flair on the foredeck before a gathering of distinguished guests. But if you find this whole business faintly silly and embarrassing, and only go along with it because you're scared to death of what might happen if you don't, you can skulk down below and mumble it on your own. That's perfectly OK. The main thing is that you carry it out. The words must be spoken.   And how unlucky is it if your boat has no name ?  After reading the serious excerpts above the answer must be obvious !   And other questions come to mind;  Do we use Champagne or Rum ?  Sip or Swill ?  Crash the bottle or pour a tiny little bit……..     By Capt. Rick Delfosse   (Who, with appropriate ceremony, renamed his boat “Independence” from it’s former  “Tolerance”)  Must be some story there, huh ?   hilarious-boat-names-0911

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