Assure Your Boat of Fair Winds and Smooth Seas with this Boat Renaming Ceremony
It’s happened to us all – you found the perfect boat. She has everything you want in a vessel and the price is a steal – but her name is just awful! So what do you do? It’s well known that renaming a boat can bring bad luck – sailors have sworn it since the dawn of time. The unluckiest ships of all are those who have defied the gods and changed their names. 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? Simply follow this Boat Renaming Ceremony.
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. You can also check out our list of the best boat names for some inspiration.
The boat renaming ceremony is suitable for brand new boats as well as old – use it 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.
The Boat Renaming Superstition, and how to get around it.
According to legend, every vessel is recorded by name in the ‘Ledger of the Deep’. It’s known personally to Poseidon (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.
Firstly, when renaming a boat, we must purge the 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.
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 fair winds and smooth seas – wherever you sail.
Boat De Naming Ceremony
This is an involved process. Firstly, completely remove any 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 logbooks, 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!
Secondly, 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.
Thirdly, buy a bottle of good Champagne & invite your friends to witness and party.
Boat De Naming Ceremony – 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. I implore you in your graciousness to expunge for all time from your records and recollection the name (insert your vessel’s old name). 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.
Boat Naming Ceremony – Begin by again calling Poseidon as follows:
This version is for the Southern Hemisphere. For the Northern Hemisphere swap around the attributes 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.
Boat Naming Ceremony – Ask for the winds’ blessing:
(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.
The Boat Naming Ceremony is completed!
Of course, any champagne remaining will be the beginnings of a suitable celebration in honour of the occasion.
At last, the ceremony has been completed. Now you may bring aboard items bearing the new name of your vessel. Need to install the name before the ceremony? Make sure the name is not revealed before the ceremony is finished, it may be covered with bunting or some other suitable material.