Naming a boat can be fun and spark creativity, and how about renaming a second-hand boat; Let’s see what to consider!
It would be wise not to make a rash decision that might cause later regret; think of a name you can be proud of, easy to pronounce… something that speaks to you! Why not think about a favorite place, what kind of boat you have and the pleasure and adventure it will bring you?
What should you consider; Name a ship?
Think safety first!
Make the name easy to pronounce and broadcast in times of emergency, your life could depend on it. You don’t want a name that could be misunderstood or difficult to pronounce when called on the emergency radio. Complicated spelling can also cause confusion, especially when using the phonetic alphabet to call the Coast Guard in a crisis.
Think of the feminine touch!
Ships are traditionally ‘she’, but you don’t have to go overboard with this. Many boats are named after a woman, perhaps something personal to the skipper. Too cute usually doesn’t work either.
Avoiding the cliches
Some names are very common and you see them repeatedly on different ships. When naming your boat think outside the box and look for something original, personal and unique for your boat. Some of the sailboats commonly seen have been called ‘Cool Running’, ‘Keel Over’, ‘Ocean Runner’ and ‘Ocean Spirit’, ‘Wind Dancer’ and ‘Wind Breaker’ to name a few.
Rename a ship!
But what if you’ve bought a boat and you don’t even like to say the name out loud… It’s so horrible and inappropriate that it gets stuck in your throat when asked?
So how do I go about changing it?
Nautical folklore is heavily shrouded in superstition! One of the most famous superstitions is that if you change the name of your ship, the gods of the sea will get angry and curse it with bad luck forever. What if you don’t like a ship’s name, do you stick with it?
Mythology says that you can change the name of a ship without being cursed with bad luck, as long as you undergo a special renaming ceremony!
Superstition says that changing the name of a ship is equivalent to defying the deities. According to myth, the name of each vessel is recorded in the Ledger of the Deep, which is the personal record book of Poseidon (the Greek god of the sea). To actually change a ship’s name, you must remove its original name from the ledger.
Pour the champagne over the side to appease Neptune as she splashes some on the ship’s hull. An alternative is to break a bottle of champagne into the ship’s hull, so that both Neptune and the ship get their proper portions.
Then, while surrounded by family and friends, christen your boat like it’s the first time. This process is fraught with danger and tradition, and getting it right is serious business. However, you should follow the advice below with a large pinch of (sea) salt!
Here is a basic outline for you to follow;
• Remove all traces of the old name. Obviously only do this once you’ve formally changed the registry, but don’t bring anything on board with the new name on it until you’ve done so.
• Perform a ritual ceremony! See below.
• Offer a sacrifice: Champagne is the norm, but a little rum, red or white wine may do the trick, don’t forget to have enough for yourself and your friends.
• Attach the new name as soon as possible
Neptune Purge Ceremony
“O mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans, to whom all ships and we who venture into your vast domain must pay homage, we implore you in your kindness to forever erase from your records and remember the name (insert name here). old name of your ship) that has ceased to be an entity in your realm.
As proof of this, we submit this ingot that bears his name to be corrupted through your powers and forever purged from the sea. (At this point, the prepared metal tag is dropped from the bow of the ship 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 rest can be passed between her guests.
Neptune renaming ceremony
Oh mighty rulers of the winds, by whose power our frail vessels traverse the wild and faceless depths, we implore you to grant this worthy vessel (Insert new name of your vessel) the benefits and pleasures of your generosity, assuring us your kind service according to our needs.
(Facing north, pour a generous champagne libation into a champagne glass and pour it north as you intone. Great Boreas, exalted ruler of the North Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in pursuit of our legitimate endeavours, always sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your icy breath.
(Facing west, for the same amount of champagne and flinging west while chanting. Great Zephyr, exalted ruler of the West Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in pursuit of our legitimate endeavours, ever sparing us the scourge overwhelming of your wild breath.
(Facing east, repeat and dash east.) Great Eurus, exalted ruler of the East Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in pursuit of our legitimate endeavours, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your mighty breath.
(Facing south, repeat, throwing south.) Great Notus, exalted ruler of the South Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our legitimate endeavours, always sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your boiling breath.
Oh! Neptune, spirit God of waters great and small, on this ship, by your grace, let all these sons and daughters pass from port of hail to port of call, and upon these subjects of navigation cause your sweet blessings to fall.
“You who make the seas rage or lie down in sweet rest, please write to us, the sailors, your servants of the flows. This ship, the captain, the crew and all those who love the wind and the seas, they will follow you wherever you go.”
Is this name change ceremony necessary?
It’s completely up to you! Do people really do it? an absolute yes! As a joke or to have fun with this ceremony, traditional words and a good champagne. If nothing else it’s a good excuse for a party!