for Renaming Your Boat
By Capt. Pat
|Everyone knows that renaming your
boat will bring nothing but bad luck and make your boating experience something
that you will want to forget. But what happens when, after months of searching,
you find your dreamboat with a name that you just cannot live with. For example,
my first love was a 28-foot Alden with the most beautiful lines Id
ever seen. She was named Perfidious. How could anything this graceful
be named betrayer of trust? Well, I never bought her, but I often
thought that if I had, I would have renamed her Magic, after my
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.
|According to legend, each and every
vessel is recorded by name in the Ledger of the Deep and is known personally
to Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea. It is logical
therefore, if we wish to change the name of our boat, the first thing we
must do is to purge its name from the Ledger of the Deep and from
This is an involved process beginning with the removal or obliteration of every trace of the boats current identity. This is essential and must be done thoroughly. I once went through the ceremony after the owner had assured me that every reference to his boats old name had been purged from her. A couple of weeks later, he discovered he had missed a faded name on her floating key chain. I advised him to start over, perhaps with a little extra libation for the ruler of the sea. Unfortunately, he declined. Since then, his boat has been struck by lightning, had its engine ruined by the ingress of the sea, been damaged by collision and finally sunk! It pays to be thorough.
In purging your boat, it is acceptable to use White-Out or some similar obliterating fluid to expunge the boats name from log books, engine and maintenance records etc., but it is much easier to simply remove the offending document from the boat and start afresh. Dont forget the life rings and especially the transom and forward name boards. Do not under any circumstances carry aboard any item bearing your boats new name until the purging and renaming ceremonies have been completed! Once you are certain every reference to her old name has been removed from her, all that is left to do is to prepare a metal tag with the old name written on it in water-soluble ink. You will also need a bottle of reasonably good Champagne. Plain old sparkling wine wont cut it.
Since this is an auspicious occasion, it is a good time to invite your friends to witness and to party.
Begin by invoking the name of the ruler of the deep as follows:
It is usual for the renaming ceremony to be conducted immediately following the purging ceremony, although it may be done at any time after the purging ceremony. For this portion of the proceedings, you will need more Champagne, Much more because you have a few more gods to appease.
Begin the renaming by again calling Poseidon as follows:
The next step in the renaming ceremony is to appease the gods of the winds. This will assure you of fair winds and smooth seas. Because the four winds are brothers, it is permissible to invoke them all at the same time, however, during the ceremony; you must address each by name.
Begin in this manner:
Of course, any champagne remaining will be the beginnings of a suitable celebration in honor of the occasion.
Once the ceremony has been completed, you may bring aboard any and all items bearing the new name of your vessel. If you must schedule the painting of the new name on the transom before the ceremony, be sure the name is not revealed before the ceremony is finished. It may be covered with bunting or some other suitable material.