How to rename your new boat: A step by step guide
Avoid Poseidon's wrath and seven years of bad boating luck, with our handy step by step guide on how to rename your boat.
Traditionally, mariners are an extremely superstitious bunch. In the face of the immense, uncontrollable power of the sea, sailors relied on myth, legend and especially superstition to substitute for their lack of control over the environment around them.
There are literal lists of seagoing superstitions, but one of the biggest magnets for superstitious beliefs relates to the changing of a boat's name.
According to ancient mariners, changing the name of a boat will immediately bring down seven years of bad luck on the boat, its captain and its crew. One source says it’s not just ‘bad luck’ but rather the ‘worst luck of all’. Yikes!
But there's some good news, too: By carefully following this simple, fun step by step ritual, you can rename your boat and avoid all of that bad luck and calamity for all future fun trips on the water.
Step 1: Remove the current name
Not only the actual name on the hull but also anything still on board bearing the old name. That includes everything from towels and pillows to cookware, glassware, decorations, badges and on-deck accessories, even if it includes life rings. It all needs to go.
Hey, nobody said this would be cheap! Also, don’t be mad at us; We don’t make the rules.
We DO however make an awesome range of clothing, accessories and boating equipment that will make perfect replacements for all of those discarded items. Visit our online store to browse our exclusive range of Pursuit Boats gear.
Things like your boat’s logbooks are going to be trickier to discard, of course. Some sources suggest burning them, but we’re reliably informed that the less fiery option of keeping them and just using white-out fluid on the relevant text is sufficient, too.
Once every trace of the old name has been removed from the boat, it’s definitely NOT time to put the new name on or bring anything with the new name on board. In fact, according to superstition, it’s not even okay to say the boat’s new name out loud yet. So, be patient.
Right now, it’s time to prepare for the next step where we officially delete the old name from the history of the world.
Step 2: The name purging ceremony
In this step, you’ll reassure Poseidon, the god of the sea, that you have no ulterior motives for renaming your vessel, and you’ll ask him to erase the vessel’s old name from his Ledger of the Deep.
Start by preparing a small metal badge or ingot with the boat’s old name written in water-soluble ink, and two bottles of champagne, wine, cider or any other drink you prefer.
Now, if the ship has one, ring the ship’s bell to call Poseidon. Next, recite the following ritual to him:
“Oh mighty Poseidon, great ruler of the seas and oceans, to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain are required to pay homage, we 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, drop the metal tag from the bow of your boat, into the sea, then continue the ritual):
“In grateful acknowledgement of your munificence and dispensation, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court.”
Pour half a bottle of champagne into the sea from east to west and immediately prepare for Step 3.
Step 3: The boat naming ceremony
For this one, you’re going to need that second bottle of champagne. Nice.
The naming ceremony ensures that Poseidon enters your new boat’s name into the Ledger of the Deep, thus ensuring that he knows that your vessel exists and can protect it.
After once again ringing the bell to call Poseidon, you’re going to address him as follows:
“Oh Poseidon, 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 new name of your boat), 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.”
Pour some of your champagne out into the sea, from west to east this time.
Step 4: Appease the four gods of the wind
We’re almost done!
Having ensured that your new boat’s name is correctly entered into Poseidon’s Ledger of the Deep, the last part of the ceremony to rename your boat asks the four gods of the wind for fair winds and calm seas.
While you can individually address each of the four gods, it’s also permissible to address all four simultaneously, as follows, whilst facing north:
“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 (boat name) the benefits and pleasures of your bounty, ensuring us of your gentle ministration according to our needs. Eurus, Zephyrus, Boreas and Notus, exalted rulers of the winds, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavours, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your wild breath.”
Fling a glassful of champagne to the north.
Fair winds and following seas!
You’ve successfully completed the ritual to rename your boat. Congrats! You can now safely bring on board any items bearing the new name of your boat, and of course, you can safely speak the boat’s new name out loud.
For extra good luck, it’s recommended that you take a very short trip with your new boat - even if it’s simply a ride around the marina - with a branch of green leaves on the bow of your boat. You can throw it overboard when done.