Are you thinking of changing the current name of your boat? Of all the many superstitions involved in sailing–leaving on a Friday, cutting hair on a boat, seeing a red-head, a rat, a cormorant, the list seems endless–renaming a boat is perhaps one of the riskiest endeavors…unless you and your friends have a properly reverent ceremony, spill lots of bubbly and generally respect the power of the wind and sea. You might want to do your research before bringing the wrath of Neptune and Poseidon down upon your decks.  These gods maintain a “Ledger of the Deep” and changing your boat name can be disrespectful to them.

Therefore, a purging and renaming ceremony is needed to appease these gods.

Follow these steps provided by Boatsafe.com and you can avoid being one of the unlucky ships that have seen mysterious incidents such as extended bad weather, onboard fires, collision and even sinking of the ship.

Do not, under any circumstances, carry aboard any item bearing your boat’s new name until the purging and renaming ceremonies have been completed!

You will need to prepare a metal tag with the old name written on it in waterproof ink and have plenty of good champagne on board. First, begin the process with the removal or white-out of every trace of the boat’s current identity. This must be done thoroughly. Do not forget the key float.

Now you are ready to invoke the name of the ruler of the deep to request all records of the previous boat name erased.

Ring the ship’s bell and call the ceremony to order.

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.

Ring the bell. Everyone drink a toast.

It is tradition to place a good luck symbol under the mast, a silver dollar is recommended for this, to show the boat that we will take care of every financial need the boat has.

Ring the bell. Everyone drink a toast.

After you have purged the old name from the records, it is time for the renaming ceremony. For this next step, you will need more champagne, a lot more champagne, as there are many gods to appease. Start off with calling Poseidon:

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.)

Ring the bell. Everyone drink a toast.

Don’t forget the gods of the wind are needed for smooth seas and fair passage:

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 frigid 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 scalding breath.

Ring the bell. Everyone drink a toast.

The remaining champagne is shared with the gods and distinguished guests on the bow of the vessel.

 

 

 

 

 

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