How to Rename Your Boat & Avoid Bad Luck
So you finally bought a boat. You have been thinking about it for years and putting it off, pretending you like golf. Congratulations and welcome to the final frontier that hasn’t been ruined by insurance companies and lawyers … the open seas! Problem is that the previous owner gave your boat a bad name and you want to change it. But you heard all the old skipper stories about renaming a boat brings bad luck.
It’s all true, renaming a boat without following time-honored traditions can incite the wrath of Poseidon, the god of the sea. The legend has it that Poseidon has a ledger of every vessel on the sea. When you change the name of your boat, Poseidon thinks you are trying to trick him and he will invoke bad luck on your boat. Therefore, if you want the boat to carry a new name, you need to purge it from the ledger and inform Poseidon of the new name.
Here’s are the steps to follow if you dare.
How to Rename a Boat
- Remove all traces of the current name.
- Hold a Purging Ceremony.
- Hold a Renaming Ceremony.
- Appease The Four Wind Gods (Pour em out for the homies)
- Finish The Champagne (lets not be crazy)
1. Remove The Current Name From Everywhere
Start by taking any and every item bearing the boat’s name off the boat. This means documents, decor items, labels and life rings. Then, strike the name from every record, ranging from log books to maintenance documents. Some people recommend burning them, to ensure you obliterate the name. Finally, after you’ve checked and re-checked that you’ve completed these steps, write the old name in water-soluble ink on a metal tag. It’s very important not to take any items with the new name onboard yet or change the name on the transom. You cannot do this until you’ve completed all of the steps. If you have already changed the name, then you must cover it until the ceremony ins complete.
2. Hold a Purging Ceremony
The official ceremony, in which you address Poseidon himself, calls for good champagne, and good friends as witnesses. Once you’re gathered together on the bow of the boat, recite the following:
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 (mention the old boat 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, drop the metal tag over the bow into the water. Then say:
In grateful acknowledgement of your munificence and dispensation, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court.
Pour at least half the champagne into the water, from east to west. Share the rest among yourselves.
Now, your boat is officially “unnamed” in the eyes of Poseidon. Some people choose to wait 24 hours; I think while you have his attention, proceed with the renaming ceremony! Make sure you have the other bottles near-by, as there are a few deities expecting a little nip of the bubbly, as well.
3. Hold a Renaming Ceremony.
Speak to Poseidon once again:
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 take unto your records and recollection this worthy vessel hereafter and for all time known as (say the name you’ve selected), 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.
Make sure you have more champagne on hand, because you’ll need to pour it, minus one glass for you and one for the mate, into the water, this time from west to east.
4. Appease the Four Wind Gods
Renaming a boat also involves asking for fair winds and calm seas for your voyages.
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 (say your boat’s new name) the benefits and pleasures of your bounty, ensuring us of your gentle ministration according to our needs.
Next, address each wind god individually. In facing north, pour champagne into a champagne flute and toss the libation to the north as you say:
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 frigid breath.
Next face west, repeating the champagne pour and toss while saying:
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.
Face east, repeating the champagne pour and toss while saying:
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.
Lastly, face south, pouring the champagne and tossing it while reciting:
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 scalding breath.
5. Finish The Champagne
It is now that you finish the champagne and join the gods of sea and wind in a toast. It is also now that you may finally take your first item bearing the new name onto your boat. Congratulations!
Be safe, be smart, be insured, be USCG Compliant and rest assured that you now have the blessings of Poseidon.
Thanks For Reading!