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It’s happened to us all – you find the perfect boat, she’s got everything you want in a vessel, and the price is a steal – but the name is just awful! So what do you do? It’s well known that renaming a boat can bring bad luck. Sailors have sworn since the dawn of time that the unluckiest ships of all are those who have defied the gods and changed their names. Here is a list of Boat Name ideas to help you think of a new one.
But did you know that, with a little preparation, and if done in the right way, you CAN re-name your boat without invoking the wrath of the gods?
Of course, renaming a boat is not something to be done lightly, or without thought. But with this traditional boat renaming ceremony, you can rename your boat without fear of angering the gods.
And if you’ve just bought a new boat, you can use the same boat naming ceremonies to bring good luck and fair weather to your vessel. It may be superstitious, but as every sailor knows, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
According to legend, 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. To change the name of a vessel without consulting Poseidon is to invoke his wrath, so in order to change a boat’s name, a traditional ceremony is used to appease the gods of the seas.
The first thing that must be done when renaming a boat is to purge its old name from the Ledger of the Deep, and from Poseidon's memory. This will involve wiping out every trace of the old boat name, and reciting a short ceremony to remove the boat’s name from Poseidon’s records. See our guide to removing old boat lettering and graphics, or call us on 0421 333 905 to find out about hiring our mobile boat names team who can do it for you.
The renaming ceremony can then begin, and should take place as soon after the purging ceremony as possible. Finally, the gods of the winds must be appeased with another short ceremony, which will assure you of fair winds and smooth seas, wherever you sail.
If you would like a hand naming or renaming your boat, why not enlist the services of a professional civil celebrant who specialises in Boat Naming and Blessing ceremonies?
Find out more about hiring a celebrant >>
This is an involved process beginning with the complete removal of every trace of the boat's current identity. This is essential and must be done thoroughly.
You may use White-Out to cover the boat's name in log books, engine and maintenance records ships library books etc., but it is much easier to simply remove the offending document from the boat and start afresh. Don't forget the life rings. Do not under any circumstances carry aboard any item bearing your boat's new name until the renaming ceremony has been completed! Once you are certain every reference to her old name has been removed, you have to make a metal tag with the old name written on it in water-soluble ink.
Buy a bottle of good Champagne & invite your friends to witness and party.
Begin by invoking the name of the ruler of the deep as follows:
Oh mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans, to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain are required to pay homage, implore you in your graciousness to expunge for all time from your records and recollection the name (here insert the old name of your vessel) which has ceased to be an entity in your kingdom. As proof thereof, we submit this ingot bearing her name to be corrupted through your powers and forever be purged from the sea. (At this point, the prepared metal tag is dropped from the bow of the boat into the sea.)
In grateful acknowledgment of your munificence and dispensation, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court. (Pour at least half of the bottle of Champagne into the sea from East to West. The remainder may be passed among your guests.)
You must conduct the renaming ceremony immediately after the purging ceremony. For this you will need more Champagne.
Oh mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans, to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain are required to pay homage, implore you in your graciousness to take unto your records and recollection this worthy vessel hereafter and for all time known as (Here insert the new name you have chosen), guarding her with your mighty arm and trident and ensuring her of safe and rapid passage throughout her journeys within your realm.
In appreciation of your munificence, dispensation and in honor of your greatness, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court. (At this point, one bottle of Champagne, less one glass for the master and one glass for the mate are poured into the sea from West to East.)
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.
This version is for the Southern Hemisphere. For the Northern Hemisphere swap around the atributes of the wind Gods, eg:
Great Boreas, exalted ruler of the North Wind would have frigid breath instead of scalding.
Oh mighty rulers of the winds, through whose power our frail vessels traverse the wild and faceless deep, we implore you to grant this worthy vessel (Insert your boat's new name) the benefits and pleasures of your bounty, ensuring us of your gentle ministration according to our needs.
(Facing north, pour a generous libation of Champagne into a Champagne flute and fling to the North as you intone:) Great Boreas, exalted ruler of the North Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your scalding breath.
(Facing west, pour the same amount of Champagne and fling to the West while intoning:) Great Zephyrus, exalted ruler of the West Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your wild breath.
(Facing east, repeat and fling to the East.) Great Eurus, exalted ruler of the East Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your mighty breath.
(Facing south, repeat, flinging to the South.) Great Notus, exalted ruler of the South Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your frigid breath.
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.