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Old 20-09-2015, 23:12   #1
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Any special Christening or Ritual for launching a "new" sailboat?

It's our first sailboat. It's not new, we don't plan on renaming it. We will be "launching" it from a trailer. We want to start off right, is there anything we need to do to properly commemorate the launch? Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions.
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Old 21-09-2015, 05:37   #2
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Re: Any special Christening or Ritual for launching a "new" sailboat?

Christening ceremonies are fun, and a great excuse for a party, why not, I've been to a few and enjoyed every one.

Fashion a little davit for your champagne bottle to swing on, the longer the arc of the swing, the more likely the bottle is to break. The common practice is to put the bottle in a mesh bag so you don't wind up with shards of broken glass every where.

The experienced seaman will take a dime or a penny and score the sides of the champaign bottle before putting the bottle in the bag to help ensure it breaks the first time.

The bottle is typically broken by a female.

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Old 21-09-2015, 05:49   #3
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Re: Any special Christening or Ritual for launching a "new" sailboat?

Denaming

If you're not changing the name, omit that part.
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Old 21-09-2015, 06:02   #4
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Re: Any special Christening or Ritual for launching a "new" sailboat?

The origins of the tradition of smashing a bottle of champagne on the bow go back to the time of the Vikings.
When they launched a longboat, legend has it that they tied their prisoners to the skids, and the boats crushed their bodies as they slid into the water. The Greeks were also said to grease the skids with blood.
Later shipbuilders, a bit less sanguine, tied red ribbons to the nails on the skids as a substitute.
Wine also stood in for blood in later days. Because launching a ship was a big deal, champagne was considered more festive and prestigious.

Or not.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/12612...shed-new-ships
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Old 21-09-2015, 06:05   #5
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Re: Any special Christening or Ritual for launching a "new" sailboat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
The origins of the tradition of smashing a bottle of champagne on the bow go back to the time of the Vikings.
When they launched a longboat, legend has it that they tied their prisoners to the skids, and the boats crushed their bodies as they slid into the water. The Greeks were also said to grease the skids with blood.
Later shipbuilders, a bit less sanguine, tied red ribbons to the nails on the skids as a substitute.
Wine also stood in for blood in later days. Because launching a ship was a big deal, champagne was considered more festive and prestigious.

Or not.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/12612...shed-new-ships
That's a pretty gruesome tale about the vikings Gord, very informative!

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Old 21-09-2015, 08:40   #6
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Re: Any special Christening or Ritual for launching a "new" sailboat?

Don't recommend using a real bottle of champers at all. Apart from the cost, you really don't need to damage your boat before it goes in. Not a good omen. Unless of course you purchase a stage bottle which is really brittle.

If your superstitious you don't launch on a bad weather day or a Friday or on a full moon, or is it to launch 'on' a full moon can't remember. And if your Christian you shouldn't launch on The sabbath as its a rest day

Some would say it's bad luck to name your boat a male
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Old 21-09-2015, 09:02   #7
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Re: Any special Christening or Ritual for launching a "new" sailboat?

If it's a multihull, we prefer to shoot the cork at the hull and dispose of the contents of the bottle in a more environmentally kind manner, plus, the glass then gets recycled (as does the champagne, I suppose).
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Old 21-09-2015, 09:15   #8
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Re: Any special Christening or Ritual for launching a "new" sailboat?

as soon as the boat is in the water, check the bilge to see if there are any leaks!
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Old 21-09-2015, 09:38   #9
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Re: Any special Christening or Ritual for launching a "new" sailboat?

I have christened at least a couple of dozen boats through the years. I never break a bottle, I generally open the bottle and pour glasses for those present including myself and one for the boat. I go through the ceremony which is customized for each boat, and then we drink a toast to the boat and ceremoniously pour the boats glass of champagne on the bow. I always go dressed in my formal captains uniform!
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Old 21-09-2015, 09:41   #10
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Re: Any special Christening or Ritual for launching a "new" sailboat?

The Celts didn't use champaign, they poured a little whiskey on the foredeck and the water to get McNannin Mac Lir, the sea god on their side though. The rest they poured down their throats.....
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Old 21-09-2015, 10:20   #11
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Re: Any special Christening or Ritual for launching a "new" sailboat?

I kissed her on the boom, when I felt her ready to go after a 18month renovation, and stressed her on a 3 day long course first.

Respect is inside <3
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Old 21-09-2015, 13:29   #12
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Re: Any special Christening or Ritual for launching a "new" sailboat?

I would save the Champagne for after the boat is back on the trailer, assuming it is a day sail and focus on making sure everything to water tight and working correctly. Nothing puts a damper on the fun like a bilge full if water.
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Old 21-09-2015, 17:33   #13
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Re: Any special Christening or Ritual for launching a "new" sailboat?

Wow, didn't know that tradition came from blood. Will use red kool-aid from now on...
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Old 21-09-2015, 19:06   #14
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Re: Any special Christening or Ritual for launching a "new" sailboat?

Family Van, GordMay, Lodesman, you were most informative. I had know idea.
Rustic Charm, Superstitions do abound, thanks for your input. Roy M, that was the best use of Champagne, Cheers! Sdwcheney, you offered the best practical advice that is certainly a Top Priority, thanks. Lesterbutch, I like the idea about emptying the bottle slowly- one glass at a time. Redhead, Whiskey is an great idea. The Thunderbird, I read it three times and the fourth time I read "boom" and not "bottom", what was I thinking! Launch had to be great after 18 months renovation! bwells79, it's going to be docked and not going on the trailer. The beverages will be saved for then. Excellent advice from all. Thank-you so much. -Sam
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Old 22-09-2015, 09:12   #15
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Re: Any special Christening or Ritual for launching a "new" sailboat?

We did the whole renaming ceremony but have not smashed a bottle of champagne on her. I figure it can't be good for the fiberglass and why waste a perfectly good bottle of champagne? I recently hailed the boat for bottom job and maintenance and will likely use splashing her as an excuse for another ceremony.


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